Skip to content

Around the NL East: Will the Mets ever lose again?

Aug 27, 2015, 12:37 PM EDT

Aug 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer (23) celebrates win with relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (46) against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets defeated the Phillies, 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA BRAVES

How unlucky is Shelby Miller? The 24-year-old All-Star pitcher has had a solid season, but doesn’t have a whole lot to show for it. As crazy as it sounds, Miller is in search for his first win since May 17 vs. the Marlins. The old saying is that you are what your record says you are, but Miller’s 5-11 mark is a bit deceiving considering he has a 2.50 ERA. It looked like he was going to get off the schneid Wednesday night, being staked to a 3-0 lead vs. the Rockies, but squandered it in the seventh inning and was charged with another loss. A starting pitcher has not started 30 games with a 2.50 ERA or less and won fewer than 10 games since Cole Hamels in 2014. With that in mind, Miller is going to try to avoid being apart of history.

MIAMI MARLINS 

Given how bad the Marlins have been this season, you’d expect team officials to be realistic about where the club is in its rebuilding process. But apparently not, as manager Dan Jennings said recently the team is “one or two pieces away” from contending. Huh? Miami is on pace for 95 losses, and somehow is just one or two pieces away. Sure, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez are blue-chip players that are legitimate cornerstones. But they haven’t stayed healthy on a consistent basis, and the Marlins have been known to be frugal in the past when it comes to signing big-name free agents.

NEW YORK METS 

Nats fans are asking themselves the same question every night: Will the Mets ever lose again? Given the way they’re playing right now, it doesn’t seem like it. Though they’ve gone against inferior competition (they’re 13-0 against the Marlins, Phillies and Rockies this month), they’ve taken care of business to increase their NL East lead to 6 1/2 games. It’s remarkable that New York’s offense — which had been one of the worst in baseball — is all of a sudden a juggernaut. They can thank Yoenis Cespedes for that, who is everything GM Sandy Alderson could have hoped for and then some. Since Cespedes has been on board, he’s hitting .311 with seven home runs and 21 RBI with a .941 OPS, and the club is 18-6 in the process.

The only hope the Nats have right now (aside from winning most of the six remaining head-to-head matchups) is if the Mets rotation has to be reworked in September to accommodate the young arms that are reaching innings limits. If that happens, perhaps there’s a chance New York can slip into some sort of slump. But given how the offense is on fire, who even knows if that would matter at this point.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 

This past week marked the end of an era in Philadelphia as Chase Utley was traded to the Dodgers for Darnell Sweeney and pitcher John Richie. We knew this day would come eventually, but it was still a mild surprise that he was moved during the season considering that GM Ruben Amaro stated recently that it was more likely he’d be traded in the offseason. Regardless, this move represents another step towards the retooling of a roster that has desperately needed it for years.

  1. nats106 - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    At this point, does it really matter if they Mets ever lose the rest of the season? They will, but even if they just go 500 the rest of the way we have to win like 2/3 of our remaining games just to get to a playoff tie.

    Ray Knight 2016-He’s tanned, rested and ready!

    • Section 222 - Aug 27, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      So you’ve joined MNF in thinking that Ray Knight, goofy postgame analyst, is the answer. Only MNF would make him our hitting coach, a position he’s never held, and whose impact on team is questionable at best. You’d make him manager, where he actually has a track record:

      “Knight managed the Reds from 1996 to 1997, and served as acting manager for a single game in 2003. In 1997, he forgot how many outs there had been in a half-inning in which the Reds were at bat and called for a bunt at an inopportune time. He later fined himself $250 for the incident. The team’s lack of success would lead to his firing midway through the 1997 season in favor of Jack McKeon.”

      — Wikipedia

      Ray Knight in 2016? If we have to keep listening to him on MASN ok, but in the postgame pressers? Nah, no thanks.

      • nats106 - Aug 27, 2015 at 2:26 PM

        Yep, got me there.

  2. nattyboh1 - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    So, why didn’t we get Cespedes? Didn’t want to hurt Werth’s feelings?

    • nats106 - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      We’ve been outplayed, out GM’d and out managed by the Mets. If they still hold a 6+ lead on September 7th, they are going to out-fan us as well.

      I didn’t have seats in 106 the last time the Mets were good, but I suspect they can be as obnoxious as Phillies fans and might even rival Braves fans.

      • quixote2030 - Aug 27, 2015 at 2:08 PM

        I still don’t get what Rizzo should have done that he didn’t do. He made a great trade to address a clear weakness in the bullpen. Other than that the main holes we had were being filled by players returning from injury. Rizzo publicly commented that he projected, very reasonably IMO, that the players he would get back would be roughly equivalent to what he could bring in through trades. With Rendon, Werth, and Zimmerman all looking like their play is ticking up he has a decent shot at being spot on in that assessment.

        The problem with this team all year has been that, apart from a couple of notable exceptions, the players young and old have almost universally under performed according to their career norms. No GM can predict or account for that, and no magical trade deadline move can correct it. The best hope that anyone who loves this team has for this year is that the players begin to play the way we all have seen that they are capable of. I’m personally glad we have a GM that knows how to balance long and short term goals and won’t turn the roster over in a knee jerk panic splurge.

      • nats106 - Aug 27, 2015 at 2:24 PM

        Q2030, regarding Rizzo and the non movement. Generally speaking it is sometimes good to stand pat, sometimes not. I’m not saying what Rizzo did was right or wrong and agree there is a need to balance for future needs. What I am saying is that Alderson made moves at the deadline that clearly resulted in a greatly improved team, That’s why I say Rizzo was out GM’d. Not a knock against Rizzo, per se-more of a compliment to Alderson in this particular case.

        Agree or disagree, call me a troll if you like, but the end result since that trade has been Mets 18, Nationals 9. Weaker opponents? Maybe but three of those 18 wins were against us. And the rest? Well, they are still major league ball clubs.

      • quixote2030 - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:45 PM

        Not a troll, and I agree that Alderson’s moves are looking pretty darn good. I think my main point is that Rizzo’s decisions made good baseball sense, and that trade deadline moves are meant to address targeted weaknesses rather than team that is (with a few exceptions) under performing across the board.

  3. robertrobert104 - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Will the Nats ever win again? That should be the title of this article. When you hear analysts saying that Matt Williams is a terrible manager, that players don’t seems to be concerned with second place and think that they have enough time to get to first place, you have to wonder if they are aware of how bad they are….Biggest fail of the year….

    • therealjohnc - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      Will the Nats ever win again?

      Odd question to pose at a team that, if they win tonight’s game, will have one three consecutive series.

    • Dave - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:38 PM

      “Will the Nats ever win again?”

      Is your memory really not capable of reaching back 48 hours?

      • robertrobert104 - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:01 PM

        I was sarcastic, not really serious…Love the Nats, but puzzled by their performances….

  4. Drew - Aug 27, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    I hope Shelby Miller gets off of the schneid. It’s trolls that need to get off of the snide.

    • ArVAFan - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      Thank you for mentioning that. It annoyed me when I saw it. I know you’re shoveling sand into the ocean–but it’s worth it for those who still notice (and care).

  5. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I really hope that our players use the off-season to get their surgeries as early as possible and get healthy, so they can have a productive spring training and hit the ground running. I’m tired of injuries that linger past the All-Star Break (except Werth’s wrist, you can’t do much about HBP). If Zim needs to have foot surgery, just have it in November, never mind trying the rest/rehab route. The same for anyone else who ends the season with a partially torn labrum, etc. etc.

    Last year the Rangers had injuries off the charts. This year they are in contention for a Wild Card spot.

    Meanwhile, this season isn’t over. Yes, we need the Mets to falter, but they’ve faltered before. Meanwhile, WIN TONIGHT!!

    • jd - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:23 PM

      Tonight’s a new night and will be there in spirit if not in person and hoping against hope that MW doesn’t come up with the most in opportune times to make the most bone headed decisions.

      It’s been a tough year for the skipper.

      • NatsLady - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:40 PM

        I don’t think the 3-0 green light was “bone headed.” In my view, it was entirely defensible. Sorry it didn’t work out, but when you get five runs, you should win the game, you shouldn’t need seven. Of more concern (to me) were mental errors in the field and giving up home runs.

  6. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    I’m not sure I disagree with MW on the 3-0 pitch. Yes, Zimm had the Grand Slam. But over the last 14 days, he’s hitting .147/.326/.294. Escobar, over the same period is .303/.425/.545 and he’d already had two hits.

    Yes, Escobar has hit into 18 GDP in 111 games, but Zim has hit into 12 in 84 games.

    The 3-0 pitch is when a hitter is likeliest to get one grooved. Same theory, even more so, as first pitch swinging. He may not get another pitch to swing at, yes, he might walk, but Zim is almost as likely to GIDP–and much more likely to make an out, don’t kid yourself.

    • jd - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      Totally disagree on all fronts:

      1) The pitch wasn’t grooved, Esco hasn’t proven that he can discern if a pitch is grooved or not. Some players give me the impression that they view a green light almost as an automatic swing, I think Esco is one of them.

      2) Zim’s average over 14 days belies the fact that he’s been stinging the ball and recent stats notwithstanding Zim is a much better hitter than Esco. but that’s not even the issue. If the pitcher isn’t throwing strikes to Esco, what makes you think that he’ll start throwing strikes to Zim?

      3) The Pads pitchers were absolutely in the process of handing the game back to the Nats. At that point I don’t care if we allowed 6 runs or 10. Heck the Mets have won 3 games were their pitchers gave up 9,9, and 7 runs. The other issues which are valid aside, the game was right there to be won. You pretty much did the only thing you can do to bail the Pads out and hand the game over to Benoit and Kimbrel.

    • jd - Aug 27, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      I’d have taken one pitch and if the next one is a strike I’d have squeezed.

  7. ArVAFan - Aug 27, 2015 at 5:08 PM

    Off topic:

    Had lunch with Rob McDonald today (Clubhouse operations and team travel). Got a lot of insights about his job. Toughest time is actually Spring Training–they only have two off days between 52 days before Opening Day and Opening Day. They arrive down there just after Super Bowl weekend to get ready for P & C (which is 45 days before OD). Lots of day in, day out, logistics both on and off the field (never thought about it, but at least with a three or four day series, there’s a middle day with no travel. Nothing like that in Spring Training).

    His office is right at the top of the tunnel from the dugout to the clubhouse, so guys stop in during the game to ask questions about random stuff (both game and non-game stuff). So he feels as if he’s practically in the game. Other guys in his position have sat in the dugout during games. He says he won’t do that unless its the 7th game of the WS.

    He didn’t really recall any weird requests from players. But since his tenure goes back to the Expos, his “worst memory” was the 27 day road trip when the Expos played their home games in Puerto Rico between an east and west coast swing. The families were traveling with the players, almost everyone got sick, and the logistics were challenging (i.e. 28 sets of golf clubs).

    Best part of the job: hanging with MLB players, even though he isn’t playing the game.

    He does handle the call-ups and the sent-downs, too. His office is the next stop after the skipper breaks the bad news. The call-ups detail logistics are handled through the minor league trainers, because the trainers are right there with the players and can handle the questions.

    BTW, Trea Turner chose to drive because he wanted his car here. He was planning on being here much earlier than 4 a.m., but he got stuck behind a major accident.

    He doesn’t know in advance who is being called up, but he does get an idea of how many so he knows how many hotel rooms to hold for the roster expansion. That’s on today’s agenda–getting that estimate.

    And by the way, nice guy. I have permission to yell to him at Spring Training, even if he’s on the field (which does happen there more than up here).

    OK, that’s enough for now.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK9072
WASHINGTON83797.0
MIAMI719119.0
ATLANTA679523.0
PHILADELPHIA639927.0

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter