Let me start this off by saying I love Bartolo Colon. I really do. Everything about him is a joy to watch. From his care free demeanor on the mound to his helmet flying off of his head with each swing he takes at the plate – I can’t get enough of it. He’s been a pleasant surprise and a highlight free agent signing during GM Sandy Alderson’s tenure with the Mets. But manager Terry Collins made some comments last night that I found to be rather alarming regarding Colon’s mid game struggles.
In the third inning of last nights game, Colon reached base on a fielding error made by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. He was then followed by back-to-back base hits that required Colon to “run” to reach base before being stranded at third. The following inning, after throwing three scoreless innings, Colon imploded and allowed six runs.
“That’s the first time he’s had to do that all year long,” Collins said after the game, referring to Colon having to run the bases. “Maybe that was some of the reason why the next inning he didn’t have much. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him struggle so much with the command side.”
I know, Colon isn’t exactly the model of good health. But I still find that to be disturbing. I know the line from ‘Mr. Baseball‘ goes “We’re not athletes, we’re baseball players” – and while some degree of that may hold true, not being able to run 90 feet at a time is embarrassing. At the end of the day I don’t care if Colon get on base again for the rest of the season. He’s getting paid to perform on the mound, not at the plate. But if you’re going to play baseball in the National League I expect pitchers to at the bare minimum be able to run, and I use that term very loosely with Colon, the bases without it effecting you on the mound.
Here’s the clip from last night of Colon reaching base on an infield error:
The release of the MLB.com pitching prospect rankings should have been a good day for the Mets, and their fans, to boast about their pitching depth. But you didn’t have to look any further than the number one spot to be reminded that the Mets are still playing second fiddle to the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals 20-year-old right-hander Lucas Giolito was named the top pitching prospect in all of major league baseball. Noah Syndergaard, 22, of the Mets followed him in the rankings. Both Syndergaard (6’6″ 240) and Giolito (6’6″ 255) have big frames and are known for their power arms. Syndergaard is expected to start the season in Triple-A and could be promoted to the big leagues as soon as 2015. Giolito has never pitched higher than A-ball and is expected to start the year in Double-A. Although their timetables are slightly different, they will undoubtedly be compared to one another upon their arrival to the major league level.
Much has been made of the Mets young pitching. This is supposed to be the year they start to lead the organization back into relevancy and play meaningful games into late September, and then hopefully October. Although I don’t question the potential in the Mets rotation, the Nationals signing of Max Scherzer not only solidified themselves as the team to beat this year, but for years to come.
Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon is likely to be the Mets opening day rotation. I excluded Dillon Gee from this list because all signs point to him being traded in the near future. Minus Colon, this group is as young and talented as there is in the game. Harvey, before undergoing Tommy John Surgery, looked like a premier pitcher in the game. DeGrom was the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year. Wheeler has struggled with his command but showed his potential as a front-line starter in the second half of the season. Niese is a consistent lefty who provides stability. Colon will be the staffs innings eater who GM Sandy Alderson will likely look to trade come the All-Star break. Thus opening up a spot in the rotation for Syndergaard to make his debut sometime this summer.
Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez are projected to be the Nationals opening day rotation. That has the makings to be Atlanta Braves 1990’s good. In the event one of these starters is traded before the season, a more than formidable Tanner Roark will step right in. Giolito might be the top pitching prospect in the game, but the Nationals feel he is a year away. GM Mike Rizzo is well aware of what he has in Giolito and could be the reason why he would be okay with trading one of his soon to be free-agent starters. One hole that remains on the Nationals roster is their bullpen. Don’t be surprised if Giolito, assuming he continues to progress, is promoted to bolster the pen down the stretch. The more likely scenario would be Giolito joining the rotation in 2016 when a spot opens up due to trade or free agency.
There is no shame in having the second-best pitching prospect in baseball. These rankings are nothing more than someones personal opinion. And at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is how these pitchers perform on the major league level. Despite many off-season rumors of teams asking for Syndergaard, the Mets were unwilling to part with him. They clearly view him as a big part of their future. Only time with tell if Syndergaard, along with the rest of the Mets young pitchers, will be able to out-duel the Nationals rotation in the years to come.
Although many have been downplaying the Subway Series, claiming the buzz and energy it once created is all but gone, I beg the differ after last night’s game. It doesn’t get much better than game 1 of this year’s series.
We were given everything you want in a rivalry game and more. Conflicting chants could be throughout the game, growing more and more intense in the latter innings. There was no shortage of excitement as the Mets and Yankees exchanged blows all night long in a seesaw game of momentum, this one will go down as an instant Subway Series classic.
After the Mets got the scoring going in the first inning, the Yankees quickly began to tag Bartolo Colon. Behind a Brett Gardner grand slam, the Yanks put themselves in front with a commanding 4-1 lead in the second. Hiroki Kuroda appeared to be settling into a groove, until Travis d’Arnaud hit a vintage Yankee Stadium home run to cut the lead to two in the fifth. Just an inning later, Curtis Granderson hit a 2-run shot of his own, as he looked quite comfortable in his return to the Bronx.
Just when it felt like the Mets had everything going their way, The Yankees bats came back to life in the bottom of the sixth. A Yangervis Solarte single gave the Yankees back the lead and Kelly Johnson followed up with a triple to make it a 7-4 ball game. The pendulum had swung back the Bronx Bombers way heading into the final stretch.
In the top of the seventh inning, The Mets continued to take advantage of the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. Eric Young of all people hit a 2-run shot to make it a 7-6 ballgame. The Mets bats continued to stay hot in the eighth, Eric Campbell started a rally with a hustle double past Solarte at third base. Lucas Duda then blooped in a single to tie the game back up. Chris Young stepped in soon after and hit the Mets fourth home run of the game to take a two run lead.
After a stellar 1 1/3 innings relief by Jenrry Mejia, Kyle Farnsworth was brought in to close this one out. This wouldn’t have been a Subway Series game without an interesting finish. Farnsworth, quickly worked himself into a jam, walking Derek Jeter to lead off the inning and letting up a double to Mark Teixeira two batters later. With runners on first and third, it seemed inevitable that the Yankees would find a way to pull this one out. Brian McCann stepped to the plate and ripped one towards the hole on the right side. An unlikely defensive hero, Lucas Duda, snagged the ball and was able to turn a tremendous double play with the help of David Wright to finish things off.
Hat tip to all the fans in attendance, they made this even more fun to watch from the comfort of my living room. You could feel the intensity coming through the TV when The 7 Line Army could be heard going at it with The Bleacher Creatures. The tension brought about in the bottom of the ninth was as good as it gets, as long as you don’t mind developing an ulcer or two. Fans in attendance got their money’s worth and we were all given a reminder of how truly special the Subway Series is. I can’t wait to get out to Citi field myself on Thursday.
Reilly Rant: This goes for both the Mets and Yankees, PLEASE, stop wearing those two-tone hats. Stick with your traditional caps, the classic look is always the right look. No need to be wearing a hat that Lids will be selling for half price on their racks by summers end.
In what was an otherwise abysmal weekend in Colorado, the Mets were able to avoid being swept with a win on Sunday. Dillon Gee led the way, pitching 6+ scoreless innings in the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field.
The Mets came into Colorado riding high, going 15-11 in the opening month of the season. After exciting the fan base with their early play, things quickly changed against the Rockies. The first two games of the series were a complete wash, as the Rockies offense dominated Mets pitching and the bats went cold. In game three, the Mets offense came to life, but the pitching continued to struggle. After Juan Lagares put the Mets ahead by one run late, Kyle Farnsworth blew the save opportunity as the Mets suffered a crushing loss.
This made Sundays game all the more important. It wasn’t just that the Mets lost those three games, but how they lost them. Someone needed to step up and stop the bleeding, cue Dillon Gee. With yesterdays win, he improved to 3-1 on the year with a 2.51 ERA. The starting pitching has been the Mets strength, but do they have a real ace on this team? This rotation has been strong across the board, but none of them have taken that next level of dominating the competition. There isn’t anything wrong with that as long as they keep winning, that’s all that really matters. But when it comes time to win that one game when the Mets really need it, who is that arm going to be? Gee is making a case that he is that guy. Continue reading
A few days ago, Mike Puma offended the Mets with his article poking fun at Bartolo Colons’ weight. The NY Post ran one of their attention grabbing headlines ‘Lardball!’ to go along with Puma’s piece.
His first paragraph included the excerpt:
“If the umpires searched Bartolo Colon’s neck for a foreign substance on Thursday, chances are they only would have found peanut butter.”
This was Puma’s way of taking out two birds with one stone, as he made light of the Michael Pineda pine tar incident and Colon’s appetite in one. Although Puma is responsible for the article, I hope the team is aware that he more than likely didn’t make the headline. Those are normally done by an editor after reviewing the piece. So there is more than one culprit here, just trying to be fair to Puma, who has been held solely responsible.
Once the piece was made public, and was received with more laughs than disgust, The Mets came together and took a stand against this kind of reporting. Following the game that day, the entire Mets roster was absent from the clubhouse and refused to speak to the media until Puma left the room. Upon his departure, the team quickly returned and spoke to the remaining reporters on hand. Continue reading
Bartolo Colon is a role model to every beer bellied man around the world. With every start he makes, every fan shakes their head in disbelief that he is a professional athlete. Colon look like a guy that belongs in the PBA, not the MLB. Nonetheless, he continues to prove us all wrong as he continues to succeed.
The best part about watching this 40-year-old beer league lookalike, is his carefree attitude on the mound. He simply stands there and throws his pitch moments after the batter steps in the box. No wasted time here. When a batter steps out to tie his shoe, redo his gloves, take a million practice swings, etc – What does Colon do? He throws the ball up in the ball and plays catch with himself to kill time. Gotta love it. Continue reading
The Mets have set their Opening Day roster and there were few surprises. Notably names who won their battles to earn a spot on this roster are Gonzalez German, Andrew Brown, Omar Quintanilla and Jenrry Mejia.
When Vic Black was demoted earlier this week, it was made pretty clear that German would earn the last spot in the bullpen. German doesn’t exactly do much for me, and will probably spend most of his time in mop up roles and in the middle innings. Assuming Black will eventually turn things around in AAA, German will have to produce to keep his spot on this team.
Brown and Quintanilla are two players I am most disappointed to see on this roster. It’s not that I overly dislike these guys, but we have all seen what these two are capable of and it’s not impressive. Neither has ever produced at a high level and both are questionable big league players. Eric Campbell and Anthony Seratelli would have been my choices to win these battles. Neither are spring chickens themselves, it’s not like they had to be sent to AAA to play every day and gain more experience. They are what they are and both could have provided new energy to this roster. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of both of these guys promoted sooner rather than later.
The biggest surprised would probably be Mejia, who beat out Dice-K for the final spot in the rotation. It seemed as though the Mets would start the season with the veteran Dice-K, especially once his $100k bonus was picked up. But the Mets made what many felt was the right decision and went with the young option. They both had a nice spring training, but the Mets need to see what exactly they have with Mejia. This isn’t his first time rodeo, he has been up and down now for a few years, spending time in both the rotation and bullpen. Putting him in the rotation gives him a real opportunity as a starter and allows the front office to make a final decision on where his future is best suited.
Here is the complete Opening Day roster:
Eric Young Jr.