Michael Conforto, a game-changer for the Mets

Michael Conforto slice


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The Mets have added six players from outside the organization since July 24, during which the Mets are 24-11 and have netted 9 1/2 games on their division rival, the Washington Nationals.

Certainly, the three position players in Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Yoenis Cespedes can be credited for the Mets second half revival, and Tyler Clippard has been invaluable to the club’s beleaguered bullpen since the All-Star break.

But then there’s the sweet-swinging Michael Conforto, who Sandy Alderson himself was skeptical would perform if promoted from Double-A Binghamton with only one year’s worth of professional experience and being just 14 months removed from his junior year at Oregon State.

Even his own agent, Scott Boras, felt it more appropriate Conforto be promoted today when rosters expanded, rather than five weeks before.

Even the subject-matter experts aren’t right all the time. And everyone got this one wrong.

In a good way, of course. (more…)

Watch: Put It In The Books: WOR’s Legendary Mets Announcer Howie Rose

Howie RoseWOR 710 AM Radio, spearheaded by Executive Producer of New York Mets Baseball Joseph Curci, has produced a short documentary on Howie Rose, the voice of Mets baseball on the radio.

In this documentary, Rose reminisces about his childhood fandom of the Mets as the cameras follow him in a day of the life as a broadcaster for the Mets. It provides fans a unique opportunity to see some unique footage of the clubhouse, the radio booth, and his role with the club.

“Having a business card that says, ‘New York Mets Broadcaster’ with my name on it, to me, that’s something of a lifetime achievement award,” Rose said proudly in the documentary.

To watch this excellent short documentary, click here.

It is finally a September of meaningful – and memorable – baseball for the Mets


BaronAfter a long, tiring, and aggravating wait, meaningful games in September are finally back in Flushing.

The Mets open play on September 1 with a 73-58 record after going 20-8 in August and 25-11 since July 24, the day the Mets called up Michael Conforto and announced the acquisitions of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.

The Mets open play on September 1 15 games over .500, matching their high watermark for the year. They’re 6.5 games ahead of the Nationals with 31 games to go. They magic number to clinch the National League East is down to 26. They have six games remaining with Washington beginning with a three-game series at Nationals Park September 7-9.

The Mets open play on September 1 with a better record than the Yankees, albeit by just one win. But that one win has a significance, as it symbolizes a difference in the conversation about each club. The 73 wins through 131 games for the Mets represent hope and promise for the month which lies ahead. The 72 wins in 130 games for the Yankees only seems problematic, at best.

The Mets open play on September 1 primed for their first division title in nine years with the hopes and dreams of the late 1980s being revived with each inspiring win.

Oh yes, the Mets open play on September 1 playing meaningful, relevant pennant race baseball, leading this race now by more than a stride.

“The biggest difference is July 31 we made some moves that brought some energy, brought some enthusiasm to this team, in the clubhouse and on the field and I think it spread,” manager Terry Collins said after another win over the Phillies on Monday night at Citi Field.

They sure did.  (more…)

Mets to activate Steven Matz, Erik Goeddel, Bobby Parnell from the disabled list

matz goeddel


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With rosters expanding on Tuesday to 40 players, the Mets have added two more players who will be rejoining the club for the final month of the season.

The Mets announced Steven Matz, Bobby Parnell and Erik Goeddel will be activated from the disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game against the Phillies.

Goeddel is on the 60-day disabled list, and needs to be accommodated on the 40-man roster. But the Mets outright Daniel Muno to Triple-A Las Vegas, so he can take Muno’s spot on the 40-man roster.

As for Matz, the club has not decided when he will re-enter the rotation. He threw 78 pitches for Double-A Binghamton on Monday night, allowing just a hit and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Matz and Goeddel join Kevin Plawecki, Eric Campbell, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Eric Young Jr. as the first wave of September call-ups.

Takeaways from the Mets 3-1 win over the Phillies on Monday…

Colon Granderson


The Mets defeated the Phillies by the score of 3-1 at Citi Field on Monday night. Here are my takeaways from the win…


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Quietly enough.

The Mets bats were pretty silent on Monday night against a Phillies team they absolutely scorched over four days last week. But they got an outstanding performances from Bartolo Colon – on both sides of the ball – and a couple of timely home runs in the fifth inning from both Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson, which ended up being more than enough for the Mets 73rd win of the year.

The Bartolo Colon Show.

What a night for the 42-year-old veteran.

He was dazzling from the very beginning of this one, moving his two-seamer in and out and down in the zone, keeping the Phillies completely off-balanced thanks to just the right mix with his off-speed pitches.

Colon had a little extra on his fastball on Monday night, has he was consistently in the low-90s with his two-seamer in particular. The Phillies were actually late on a few of his fastballs in the seventh inning, during which he struck out the side.

Bartolo ColonHe also extended the fifth inning with a two-out single to center field, which prolonged the inning long enough to get Curtis Granderson to the plate, who connected for a two-run home run to extend the lead to 3-0.

That’s all Colon needed as he continued to resuscitate his season with a splendid evening.

It hasn’t been a great year for Colon by any means. But he’s put together a very impressive stretch in his last two starts against the Phillies along with his brief relief appearance on Saturday. Amazingly, he’s made an adjustment which has made him effective and reliable again, and he’s not going away without a fight and a compelling argument as October draws closer.

Crush Conforto.

Conforto showed off his power to the opposite field with a solo home run to left field in the fifth to get the party started for the Mets on Monday. He connected on a good pitch down although it did get quite a bit of plate, but he went with it and muscled the ball over the fence.

It was his fourth career home run, his first to the opposite field with probably many more to come. Lately, he’s featured a much more level swing which has been able to show off his incredibly quick hands. Once he finds that consistency, he’s going to become the special hitter everyone expects him to become.

But even while he continues to develop, Conforto has quietly transformed this offense since he got here. So, he’s already a special component to this run towards October in 2015.

The Curtis Granderson story.

Granderson just continues to have a marvelous year out of the leadoff spot for the Mets. He has brought a combination of qualities of both a top-of-the-order presence and a middle order power threat to the leadoff spot, and has excelled in both roles at the right times all year long.

He knows when he needs to be patient and work a pitcher to draw a walk, and then, like he did in the fifth inning on Monday night, he knows when he has to power up to be a run producer. There aren’t too many players with that kind of mental discipline who can embrace both qualities and be a hitter with multiple personalities. But Granderson has done that with incredible results this season, and quietly been the most consistent presence for the Mets from the beginning.


Other notes from Monday:

Colon now has a scoreless streak of 16 innings. He tied a season-high with nine strikeouts. He collected his fourth win against Philadelphia in 2015.

The Mets are now 13-1 against the Phillies in 2015, 7-0 at home. They’ve now won ten straight games against Philadelphia.

The Mets finished August with a 20-8 record. It’s the first time since August, 2000 they’ve won 20 games in a calendar month.

The Mets hit 45 home runs in August.

Granderson drove in 22 runs in 27 games in August.

Familia converted his 36th save of the year despite struggling in the ninth inning. He converted all nine save chances he had in August, although he allowed his first run in August in the ninth inning.

Yoenis Cespedes went 0-for-4 on Monday – he’s hitless in his last 14 at-bats.

Mets outright Daniel Muno to Triple-A Las Vegas

Daniel Muno 1 slice


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The Mets cleared a necessary 40-man roster spot ahead of the active roster expanding to 40-players on Tuesday, outrighting Daniel Muno off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Las Vegas, the team announced on Monday night.

Muno hit just .148/.258/.185 in 17 games in various stints with the Mets in 2015.

Since being optioned for the last time in late July, Muno hit .297/.395/.405 with a home run and eight RBI in 17 games with Triple-A Las Vegas.

The 40-man roster now contains 39 players.

What to look for: Phillies vs. Mets, 7:10 PM

Citi Field 1 slice


The Mets open up a three-game series with the Phillies on Monday night at Citi Field at 7:10 PM.


Rich MacLeodHere is today’s starting lineup for New York:

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes CF
  3. Daniel Murphy 1B
  4. David Wright 3B
  5. Kelly Johnson 2B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud C
  7. Michael Conforto LF
  8. Wilmer Flores SS
  9. Bartolo Colon RHP

Here is today’s pitching matchup:

Bartolo Colon (11-11, 4.65 ERA) will start for the Mets.

Jared Eickhoff (1-1, 2.25 ERA) will start for the Phillies.


Mets vs PhilliesHere is what I am looking for today from the Mets:

No mercy.

After sweeping them in Philadelphia just one week ago, the Mets face the last-place Phillies once again starting on Monday, and they’ll look to continue their dominance against them.

This season, New York is 12-1 against the Phillies and in their last 28 games against them, they’re 25-3 in their last 28 games against their once hated rivals. While I don’t expect the Mets to win every single game against the Phillies the rest of the way, what I do expect is them is to continue winning series. Let’s face it, these two teams aren’t even on the same stratosphere right now. We’ll see if that equates to tonight’s game.

Opportunity.

It’s baseball, so anything can happen, but as the Mets begin their three-game series with the Phillies, the second place Nationals open up a three-game set against the MLB-best Cardinals in St. Louis.

Not only are the Cardinals the best overall team in baseball, but they’re also the best home team in the sport as well, as they’re a dominant 46-19 at Busch Stadium this season. Now, the Nationals could turn their fortunes around and win this series from St. Louis because, as I said, it’s baseball. However, if they do not and the Cardinals continue to ravage the National League, the Mets have a huge opportunity to strengthen their stranglehold of the National League East.

Lucas Duda now unlikely to return this weekend, Erik Goeddel should join the Mets soon

Duda Goeddel


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Last week, Terry Collins said he believed Lucas Duda would return from the disabled list when eligible on September 6 against the Marlins, although he was mostly idle through Friday afternoon.

However, Collins said on Monday he now believes Duda will need additional time beyond September 6, as he has yet to begun swinging a bat during his rehab.

The problem for Duda is if he needs to play in a rehab assignment, it’s going to be hard for the team to find him games to play in next week, as St. Lucie’s season is coming to a close. They could have him join an affiliate that’s in the postseason, but it’s not clear if that’s in the cards.

The other issue is it sounds like Duda will not be available for their series against the Nationals. While the lineup is still solid, that’s a 20+ home run bat the Mets might be without in that showdown series. No matter how good a group is, missing a power bat like this is significant.

Duda has been on the disabled list since August 22 with a herniated disc in his thoracic spine.

Meanwhile, Erik Goeddel, who is with Double-A Binghamton on a rehab assignment, is expected to rejoin the Mets, “soon,” Terry Collins said on Monday.

Goeddel has to be activated from his rehab assignment soon, as he began his assignment on August 2 with Single-A St. Lucie. He can only be on a rehab assignment for 30 days. He last pitched for the B-Mets on August 27, although he has already pitched in back-to-back games with Binghamton in the last week.

Goeddel has been on the disabled list since June 12. He is on the 60-day disabled list, meaning the Mets will have to make a 40-man roster move to accommodate him when they activate him.

Noah Syndergaard has made some adjustments, and they showed on Sunday

Noah Syndergaard 1 slice


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Noah Syndergaard took the mound on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field having struggled for most of the month of August.

In his previous four starts entering Sunday’s game – three of which had been on the road = Syndergaard had thrown just 21 innings, posting a 5.57 ERA while holding the opposition to a .286 average, allowing 21 and eight walks with 26 strikeouts and six home runs allowed over that span.

There are a variety of theories why Syndergaard was struggling entering his start on Sunday. (more…)

Steven Matz could re-enter the Mets rotation this weekend

Steven Matz 1 slice


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Steven Matz will pitch for the Double-A B-Mets on Monday evening against the Fighting Phils in Reading, Pennsylvania. He is expected to throw 80-90 pitches for Binghamton, and will rejoin the Mets on Tuesday in New York.

Sandy Alderson said on Monday if Matz comes through his final rehab start with no incident, it’s likely Matz will be re-inserted into the rotation as soon as this weekend’s series against the Marlins in Miami.

Matz would be able to pitch on normal rest this Saturday against the Marlins. Given the club is intent on skipping Noah Syndergaard at least once before the end of the season, it would seem logical Matz could be used to skip Syndergaard’s next start, and then re-isnert Syndergaard as part of a six-man rotation the next turn through the rotation.

That also keeps Syndergaard from pitching on the road, a situation the club is concerned about since he struggles more often than not away from Citi Field.

The Mets have not made their plans for the six-man rotation known at this time.

Matz has been on the disabled list since July 6 with a torn lat muscle.


Update, 8:05 PM: Matz allowed a hit and two walks in 5 1/3 innings for the B-Mets on Monday night, throwing 49 of his 78 pitches for strikes and retiring the final ten batters he faced.

Terry Collins’ contract situation will be addressed at the end of the year

Sandy Alderson Terry Collins


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Terry Collins has guided the Mets to a 72-58 record and a 5 1/2 game lead over the Nationals for first place in the National League East.

He is arguably lining himself up for Manager of the Year in the National League, and his candidacy could be that much greater should he win the National League East in 2015.

But Collins is managing a first place Mets team without a contract for next season, and that situation has grown no clearer with each passing day.

On Monday morning at an event in Fort Hamilton, Sandy Alderson clarified Collins’ situation, stating the club will not address the possibility of a new contract for the fifth-year manager until the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Collins said in early August he is not focused on his future with the club. Instead, he’s just enjoying his club’s winning ways in 2015.

“I don’t think about it,” the 66-year-old manager recently told Steven Marcus of Newsday. I think about playing golf in November. That’s the only thing on my mind right now.”

The Mets are 376-402 in almost five years under Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.

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