Category: Rich MacLeod

Thank you, Mets fans

League Championship Series - New York Mets v Chicago Cubs - Game Four

BaronWhat a year it’s been, not just for the Mets but for Just Mets as well.

The site was conceptualized a year ago between myself, Rich MacLeod and MLB Advanced Media, and at the time I really had no idea what I wanted this to be. Everyone in this community has a valid voice and opinion, but how I could make this voice standout was–and still remains–a challenge.

But after dealing with some growing pains and adjustments to the voice and style of the site, Just Mets was able to complete a surprisingly successful first year.

Sure, it helps that the Mets are both good and relevant again, and the chance to be great again in 2016 and beyond has only furthered the unification of our community.

And the one thing I’ve learned after covering this team for seven seasons is that every day provides a story, whether it’s a good one or bad one.

But what has helped steer and guide the site to the success it’s enjoyed is the inspiration of the audience. I’ve taken my unique opportunity as both a fan of the Mets and a member of the media to listen and understand you, and attempt to relate what I learn on a daily basis in various forms of writing, whether it’s an analytical story about a player’s performance, a player the club may or may not be interested in trade or free agency, or something I see or hear at the ballpark or during a game you may not have known or realized.

And I think that’s been the common goal of the Just Mets brand, to provide you that unique perspective on the club.

I hope we are off to a good start.

In conclusion, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for tagging along, thank you for teaching me and guiding me through the first year of Just Mets. Without this audience, Just Mets doesn’t exist and doesn’t function, but you gave me the inspiration to launch this brand, and continue to build what I hope is becoming a daily landing spot for you and your Mets reading. It’s not easy and a lot of sacrifices have been made to make this site possible, but your support makes it all worth our while.

Happy New Year, and here is to the Mets bringing it all home in 2016!

Rich MacLeodAs 2014 came to a close and 2015 was upon us, co-writer Michael Baron and I prepared the launch of–what is now known as–Just Mets.

When this venture began, I didn’t know what to expect.

The Mets hadn’t been to the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, and went six straight years without a .500 season. Not to mention that this team was already armed with a terrific group of beat writers and popular blogs such as MetsBlog and Amazin’ Avenue–among others–I knew this adventure wouldn’t be easy. In order to gain traction and the respect of Mets fans, we had to work hard from Day One.

And I think we’ve done that.

The reception that we’ve gotten over our first season has been far greater than I ever could have imagined and I have you all, our readers and fans of this franchise, to thank for that (with a big hat tip to the Mets for their performance on the field).

2015 was an incredible roller coaster ride from the onset as the Metropolitans went through an 11-game winning streak in April, a two-month long scoring drought, a myriad of trade deadline acquisitions, a prolific march towards the team’s first National League East title since 2006 and all the way to an unbelievable run into the World Series.

From the debuts of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, to Wilmer Flores’ near-trade, crying episode and subsequent walk-off home run, to Yoenis Cespedes putting this team on his back, Daniel Murphy making postseason history by hitting home runs in six consecutive games and so many more moments throughout the year, the 2015 season was an unforgettable ride that produces chills down my spine–the good kind–every time I reflect upon them.

The first year of Just Mets has gone better than I ever expected and I can promise you all that we will put forth the same tireless effort to bring you daily content, photographs, videos, quotes, breaking news, opinions and insight about the New York Mets in 2016 and beyond.

Thank you all once again for following along this season. At the end of the day, like all of you, I am a Mets fan–plain and simple. So, enjoy this picture of me appropriately losing my mind as the Mets clinched their NLDS series victory this past October.

The best is yet to come.



Matt Harvey threw a lot of innings in 2015, but history says he should be ok

Matt Harvey

Rich MacLeodFor Matt Harvey, 2015 was a tremendous success.

In his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in the 2013-2014 offseason, Harvey performed tremendously, as the Mets starter went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts, as well as 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA in four postseason starts.

On Thursday, Harvey was recognized for his terrific season as he was the winner of the 2015 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Overall this past season, Harvey combined to pitch 216 total innings, well beyond what his agent, Scott Boras would have liked, as it was believed that he and the team along with his physicians had agreed to a hard innings cap set at 180.

Among all of the pitchers who had Tommy John Surgery, Harvey accumulated the highest innings total of any pitcher in their first full season following Tommy John Surgery:


Image courtesy of MLB Network

While this might seem alarming, it’s worth mentioning Harvey had a 17-month layoff in between his procedure and the start of his 2015 season. He also averaged a shade under 13 pitches per inning in 2015.

The Mets also gave Harvey breaks along the way to spread out his recovery periods in between several starts in 2015. And in the postseason, the only time he pitched on regular rest was in Game 5 of the World Series – he accumulated a total 27 innings between October 3 and November 1.

In addition, not one of John Lackey, Adam Wainwright, Tommy John or Jake Westbrook underwent or have undergone a second procedure. So if history is any indication, Harvey should be ok.

Of course, that shouldn’t be offered as any kind of guarantee. There’s no way to know what’s going to happen to Harvey or his elbow, be it in 2016 or in 2026.

The general takeaway is the Mets managed Harvey’s case as well as could be expected this past season. If he’s going to break – as Terry Collins always says – then he’s going to break, regardless of how much the Mets coddle and nurture their star right-hander.

The end…


Rich MacLeodI’ve been racking my brain since last night on the proper combination of words to describe how I’m feeling right now, but I’m not sure any will do it justice.

After the Mets lost the World Series in the fifth game last night at Citi Field, I sat alone in my dimly lit apartment for what felt like an eternity, attempting to process everything that had just happened.

It was a close series. Everything was right there for this team. They had a chance to win a championship.

But they didn’t.

The thing that will sting the most over the long, cold offseason for me will be the mistakes the Mets made in this series, and the ones the Royals didn’t. Continue reading

Strat-O-Matic predicted David Wright’s home run in Game Three…


Rich MacLeod

Remember Strat-O-Matic? The baseball-based simulator that accurately predicted specific plays and the results of the first two games of the World Series based on computer simulations and algorithms?

Well yeah, they’re at it again.

After accurately predicting that the Mets would drop the first two games of the Fall Classic in Kansas City, Strat-O-Matic predicted that New York would gather their first victory in Game Three in front of an energized home crowd at Citi Field–another prediction they got correct.

While they did predict that the game would be much closer than it wound up being, Strat-O-Matic once again nailed one of their more specific predictions, as they had David Wright hitting his first career World Series home run–a feat he accomplished in the 1st inning of Game Three against Yordano Ventura.

Once again, the Strat-O-Matic blueprint holds to form, and if that continues, it means that the Mets will come away victorious tonight in Game Four on the back of a Michael Conforto home run.

Couple these incredibly and eerily accurate predictions along with the fact that this series is playing out almost exactly how the 1986 World Series did–the Mets lost Game One by a run, Game Two by six runs and won Game Three by six runs as they have in this series–and this is certainly starting to get weird.

All hail the mighty computer. LGM.

Strat-O-Matic’s World Series prediction is going as expected, which may be good news for the Mets…

World Series - New York Mets v Kansas City Royals - Game Two

Rich MacLeodThings have not gone as planned for the New York Mets so far in the World Series, as the Metropolitans trail the Royals 2-0 after the series’ first two games in Kansas City.

By all accounts, nothing has gone right for the Mets in these first two games, as their starting pitching, offense, defense and bullpen have all suffered as the Royals have played two nearly flawless games.

As a Mets fan, I can quite honestly say that this was not the result I saw coming entering this series.

There is one contingent, however, who may have actually predicted the start of this series, and that could be good news for the Mets…

Strat-O-Matic, a Hall of Fame featured baseball simulator that uses computer simulations and algorithms, projected what they believed would happen in the Fall Classic prior to Game One, and the results have been eerily similar thus far…

*   Kansas City wins first two games at home
*   GAME 1: Home runs by Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon
*   GAME 1: Matt Harvey allows 3 earned runs
*   GAME 1: Mets bullpen implodes
*   GAME 2: Jacob deGrom allows 4 earned runs
*   GAME 2: Johnny Cueto 1 earned run allowed

That’s just downright mind-blowing.

While Strat-O-Matic hasn’t been flawless in this process–they predicted Daniel Murphy’s home run streak to continue and for there to be more of a blowout loss for the Mets in Game One–this is still rather remarkable.

The good news for the Mets, though, if you believe in any of this, is that Strat-O-Matric predicted that New York would go on to win the World Series in six games after dropping the first two at Kauffman Stadium.

According to the simulation, the Mets will win three consecutive pitchers duels at Citi Field on the backs of Noah SyndergaardSteven Matz and Matt Harvey, all while getting some big hits from rookie outfielder Michael Conforto, prior to winning Game Six back in Kansas City after a Jeurys Familia blown save in 14 innings–a similar scenario to their Game One loss, albeit with a different end result.

While it is just a computer simulation at the end of the day, it provides hope, and that’s something Mets fans could use a lot of at this moment.

Let’s go Mets. Let’s go computers.