Tag Archives: Curtis Granderson

The Non-Stop Calamity Of Errors

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

The New York Mets franchise has been around now for 56 years and in that time they’ve had more lows than highs. The Mets do have a pair of World Series Championships to their credit, but they have not won it all since 1986. And each time that the Mets appear ready to turn the corner, they have failed to get out of their own way. After the 1991 Major League Baseball season, the Mets went out and spent money on what was expected to be a “super team” as they acquired the likes of Bret Saberhagen, Bobby Bonilla, and Eddie Murray. But in the words of Bob Klapisch, the Mets got “the worst team that money can buy”. The late 1990’s saw the Mets become a contender once again which paved the way for them to win the National League Pennant in 2000. However in the World Series, base running blunders and the experience of the New York Yankees was too much for them. The Mets would once again make the playoffs in 2006, but they fell short against the St. Louis Cardinals. And who could forget the collapses of the Mets in 2007 and 2008 when they were in first place in the N.L. East at the start of September only to end up watching the postseason from home. The Mets would come out of nowhere in 2015 to win the N.L. East which paved the way for their first World Series appearance since 2000. The Mets had every chance win it all as they held a lead after the seventh inning in four of the five games versus the Kansas City Royals, but they simply fell apart. Injuries hindered New York last year, but they were still able to make the playoffs as a wild card team. However the optimism that the Mets had to begin 2017 is quickly fading into the New York night.

Through 55 games the Mets find themselves with a record of 24-31 which has them tied for second place in the National League East. The Mets are 11.5 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals, and 8 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks s for the final wild card spot in the N.L. The Mets haven’t been above .500 since April 16 with the lowest of their low points this season coming in late May when they lost two out of three games at home against the San Diego Padres who are one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball. In both losses to the Padres, the Mets had the potential game-tying runs at the plate in the ninth inning, but they were unable to execute as things are only going from bad to worse in Queens.

All season long the Mets have been dealing the injury bug at a very alarming rate. The Mets currently have seven players on the disabled list which includes some of their key players. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been out of the Mets lineup since April 27 with a hamstring injury. The Cespedes injury has really hurt the Mets offense as he is one of the big bats in the middle of their lineup and he sets the tone. Relief pitcher Jeurys Familia began the season by serving a suspension by Major League Baseball due to an altercation with his wife last year. Familia returned to action the Mets on April 21 and was beginning to get into a groove until he was placed on the disabled list on May 11 after it was discovered that he had a blood clot in his right shoulder. And what the Mets are losing in not having Familia available for the ninth inning is a player who set a single-season club record for saves last year with 51. In April, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard felt tightness in his biceps. Syndergaard refused to have an MRI and for some strange reason the Mets obliged. Syndergaard would then take the mound for the Mets against the Nationals on April 30 as he couldn’t make it out the second inning. The Mets would then place Syndergaard on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as a torn lat muscle in his right arm which will see him miss the majority of the season. And all that the Mets have been left with is a team that keeps finding ways to lose games while hindering their chances of making the postseason for the third consecutive year which would be the first time in franchise history if that were to occur. But aside from all of the injuries and the handling of it, the Mets simply have been their own worst enemy.

Matt Harvey

Starting pitcher Matt Harvey is attempting to make his way back from dealing with thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016. In 11 starts for the Mets here in 2017, Harvey is 4-3 with an earned run average of 5.43 as he is learning to pitch instead of relying on his fastball which has lost some zip. And unfortunately for Harvey this season, he has only completed seven innings once as teams to get to him the second time around in the batting order.

Overall the Mets starting rotation has been kept together with spit and glue and none of their starting pitchers have an earned run average under 3.25. Pitching was supposed to be a strength for the Mets coming into 2017, but instead New York’s team earned run average of 4.91 is 14th in the National League, while their 22 quality starts is tied for tenth. The Mets lack of quality pitching has put a strain on their bullpen which only has 12 saves, while tallying a league worst 11 blown saves.

Terry Collins

Through Terry Collins’ time as the manager of the Mets, his management of his pitching staff has come under scrutiny from fans and media alike, and it’s once again the case this year as his bullpen is being run into the ground being that if a starting pitcher can give him five quality innings, it is deemed as a good thing.

The Mets offense hasn’t fared much better as they’ve been up and down. The Mets are fifth in the National League in home runs with 75, but they are 11th in batting average (.244), and 12th in on-base percentage (.317). The bright spots of the Mets lineup have been first baseman Lucas Duda, along with outfielders Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce. In 35 games for the Mets, Duda is batting .269 with 10 homers and 21 runs batted in. Conforto is emerging as a star as he is leading the Mets in batting average (.308), home runs (14), runs batted in (36), and on-base percentage (.410). Bruce is only batting .248, but he has plenty of thunder in his bat as he has 13 long balls and 36 runs batted in. However aside from this trio, it has been pretty pedestrian like for the Mets.

Curtis Granderson

Age is catching up to Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson as the 36-year old is gutting it out through his worst season in Major League Baseball. Granderson is only batting .201 with 4 homers and 19 runs batted in, while striking out 46 times as his timing at the plate has simply not been there. The same can be said in regards to veteran infielder Jose Reyes who is only batting .190 with an on-base percentage of .263. And once you add up the struggles of Granderson and Reyes, to go along with stints on the disabled list for catcher Travis d’Arnaud and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, as well as Cespedes who is currently in witness protection, you get a lineup that is either outhouse or penthouse; with the majority of the games seeing them in the crapper.

Sandy Alderson

The past few years have seen the Mets be one the better second half teams in baseball, however this time around there isn’t as much optimism. The Mets keep blowing games and there isn’t one part of their team that is dominant, along with the fact that other teams in the National League have improved which makes a third consecutive trip to the postseason highly unlikely. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson isn’t yet ready to wave the white flag as he would like to see what this squad can do if and when they healthy. However with so many players such as Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season, the Mets could become sellers real soon which would be a far cry from a team that had postseason aspirations not that long ago. But if you’ve followed the Mets throughout their history, you’ve learned to accept heartache.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Quality Pitching Being Wasted

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Matt Harvey

The New York Mets have been around since 1962 and they’ve always been known for their pitching. The Mets organization has been home to starting pitchers such as Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, and Dwight Gooden just to name a few. Strong pitching has carried the Mets to a pair of World Series Championships and it is once again prevalent with their present day team. The Mets currently have a surplus of young pitching in their organization that includes starting pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard along with relief pitcher Jeurys Familia. And the Mets have another starting pitcher in their minor-league system by the name of Steven Matz who they are very high on as well. The Mets team earned run average of 3.60 this season is fifth in National League while they are also fifth in quality starts (43), and fourth in strikeouts (566) as they currently have three starting pitchers that are posting winning records.

But the dominance of the Mets pitching staff hasn’t carried over to their lineup which has left this team perplexed. Injuries have put second baseman Daniel Murphy and third baseman David Wright on the disabled list. And for Wright, he has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis which has threatened to end his Major League Baseball career altogether. Offensively the Mets are near the bottom of most statistical categories in the NL. Already this season the Mets have played in 24 games where they scored two runs or fewer and one of the low lights of this came last month when the Mets lost consecutive 1-0 games to the Washington Nationals.

Sandy Alderson

For Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, his tenure in New York has been highlighted by re-developing the team’s minor-league system while keeping the big club together with spit and glue due to the financial peril of the team’s owners in Fred and Jeff Wilpon. But the past two off-seasons have seen Alderson spend money on veteran bats that have been unable to answer the bell.

Curtis Granderson

In 2014, the Mets signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year contract worth $60 million. Granderson is a lifetime .256 hitter, but the Mets brass knew that he was good clubhouse guy and they were hopeful that he would show some flashes of the player that had consecutive 40-plus home runs campaigns for the New York Yankees in 2011 and 2012. But what the Mets have gotten in Granderson is a player that is a shell of himself as he is batting .209 with an on base-percentage of .329 during his time with the Metropolitans. Granderson has only hit 9 homers this season for the Mets and he hasn’t been comfortable in most of the positions that he has been placed at in the team’s lineup. Then there is outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The Mets signed Cuddyer last off-season to the tune of $21 million for two years. Cuddyer led the National League in batting in 2013 as a member of the Colorado Rockies, but he is a shell of that player with the Mets as he is currently batting .256 with 6 homers and 28 runs batted in. Cuddyer has also grounded into 12 double plays this season including a game-ending one this past Sunday against the Atlanta Braves as his production or lack thereof has drawn the ire of fans and sports writers in the Big Apple alike.

The Mets currently have a record of 36-35 and they are in second place in the NL East as they are 1.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. The Mets have lost their last five games which included being swept over the weekend by the Braves. But if the Mets had a better offense, we could only imagine how good that this team could be.

The Mets lineup is lacking some key ingredients as they are missing a lead-off hitter along with a consistent clutch bat. And even when Wright and Murphy return to the Mets lineup, they might not be able to perk this team up by themselves.

Kevin Long

Prior to becoming the Mets hitting coach this season, Kevin Long was the hitting coach of the Yankees for the past eight seasons. In 2014, the Yankees offense was near the bottom of most statistical categories in the American League last season which is why he was let go last year, and in spite of this the Mets welcomed him with open arms.

As things are shaping up this summer, it appears that only one team will make the playoffs from the NL East and with the Nationals failing to put a stranglehold on the division, it is up for grabs. Even as the Mets claim to be “rebuilding”, they now have a golden opportunity to excite their fan base and win the NL East for the first time since 2006. Under Alderson’s watch, the Mets have played it close to the chest and at Major League Baseball’s trade deadline they have typically been sellers. But more than ever the time is now for the Mets and Alderson to be buyers. With the additional wild card spot in each league, it has given more teams the belief that they are contenders than ever before and thus they’ve become more hesitant to waive the white flag. However an upgrade to the Mets lineup could work like a blood transfusion for the club as eventually the pitching staff in Queens will get frustrated as far as not getting any run support behind them. If the Mets were to make the playoffs, they could be a very dangerous team due to their pitching. But that quality pitching can only get you so far if they don’t have quality bats to support them and thus it is wasted.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

facebooktwittergoogle_plus