* As Dorothy said, “I don’t think the Mets offense is in
Kansas Colorado anymore.”
* Oh, wait. Problem solved. The Mets brain trust just DFA’d Omar Quintanilla. I am shocked — shocked, I tell you — that it didn’t work out. And I am reminded once again of that legendary line uttered by Governor William J. Le Petomane in “Blazing Saddles,” after Hedley Lamarr informs him of a situation in the frontier town of Rock Ridge:
We’ve got to protect our phoney baloney jobs!
* Can somebody please tell the Mets announcers to stop using the word “schneid” five times every telecast. It’s not that great a word.
* Lost in the Mets miserable Saturday night massacre in Colorado was a textbook use of bench player Bobby Abreu, who on the whole is being used correctly. He pinch-hit for Tejada (after an extremely dumb switch by the Rockies, replacing Logan with Hawkins) in the 9th inning. Abreu doubled and scored the go-ahead run (in the person of PR Eric Young Jr. on Juan Lagaras’ two-out RBI single). That’s twice this year when Lagares put the Mets ahead with late-game heroices only to see the closer blow the game. It’s tempting to tell Juan not to bother. You know, just a quick phone call from the bullpen:
Reliever: “Hi, Juan. I’m calling from the bullpen.”
Reliever: “Look, you are probably thinking about more late-game heroics, maybe trying to win the game with a clutch hit.”
Lagares: “Yes. I’m coming up to bat next inning. I can’t wait to swing the bat and perhaps help the team win the game.”
Reliever: “Yeah, about that. Me and the guys, see, we’re thinking that would put us in a pretty uncomfortable position. You know, like it’s up to us to try to SAVE ANOTHER GAME. Do we look like life guards to you? You think it’s so easy? Suddenly – bam, home run! — and we’re the goats! So our message is, Juan, you need to take that bat and shove it up your –”
* Hitting in the 7-spot in the Mets lineup has gotta be a very tough place to be. Behind you, Ruben Tejada and the pitcher. That is, garbage. Very tough for Travis d’Arnaud to get a good pitch to hit. I wonder how he’d fare in a more optimal spot with some protection. However, there’s really no solution to this dilemma short of acquiring a real, major-league caliber shortstop. And we all know that’s impossible.
* Let’s not be fooled by the slash line. All numbers are not equal in baseball, which is a situational sport. Ruben Tejada’s slash line does not begin to tell the story of his terribleness: .182/.302/.207. Somewhere out there, there’s a fan saying, “Hey, the OBP isn’t too bad.” And he’d be wrong. Tejada leads the Mets in walks with 14. Among batters with at least 25 ABs, Ruben’s BB/PA leads the club by a huge margin:
- Tejada: .149 BB/PA
- Granderson: .116 BB/PA
- E. Young: .115 BB/PA
Batting before the Mets’ hitless (to date) #9 spot, Ruben has received 5 IBB and countless pitch-arounds. Not because he’s a threat — 2 doubles and 21 K’s in 82 ABs — but that he’s slightly more of a threat that the hitless guy behind him. His walks are largely not earned; they are given. I don’t know which is more criminal (or just plain lazy): Starting Ruben Tejada as your SS, or having Omar Quintanilla as Plan B.
* “Too bad nobody could see this coming,” said no one, ever.
* Welcome, Wilmer Flores, backup shortstop who nobody seems to think can play the position. I hope there’s a plan for this guy.
* Observation: I bet Juan Lagares’ defensive stats will go down this year, solely as a result of the quality outfielders to his left and right. Many times I’ve seen Young and Granderson catch balls that Lagares could have easily caught. A few times it’s felt like he’s giving way to the vets. Statistically, Juan’s going to have less PO’s . . . his dWAR will suffer . . . and it’s not going to mean a thing.
* Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth are neck-and-neck for the team lead in saves, with two each. Dice-K for closer! Or maybe Jenrry Mejia! Or maybe Vic Black! Or . . . or . . . or . . . WILMER FLORES!
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid!
* I don’t believe the Mets can continue with Daniel Murphy at 2B. He can’t field, there’s no range whatsoever. I like this player a lot — I really do — and he brings a grit and competitiveness that is in short supply in Flushing — but I don’t think the team, as constituted, can give up that much defense up the middle. That is my sad conclusion; he’s got to go, especially sharing that side with immobile Lucas Duda. Defense matters. I hate myself for typing that, Murph.
* Nice to see Zach Wheeler throw well in Miami. He needed that one. Nice, too, to see Familia throw darts.
* Team slash line for home games at Citi: .192/.277/.301. Yes, tough park. But opponents slash line is .250/.314/.377. Somehow the Mets are 8-8 across those 16 home games. Amazin!
* Do you recall the circumstances of David Wright’s only HR this season? I do. It was in the first game of the season, in the 10th inning, with the Mets trailing 9-5. There was a runner on base, two outs, and a LHP on the mound. Given the lead, and Granderson on-deck, Matt Williams did not bother to make the switch. He kept Jerry Blevens on the mound. David took the LOOGY deep, but it almost could have been called defensive indifference. And so far, that’s been it from David. As my mom says, “He’s due.”
* In case you missed it, Yunel Escobar struck out on a 4-2 pitch and even Instant Reply couldn’t get it right. Hiiiilllll-larious. Hat tip, Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk.
* I thought Collins game-management in the 8th — after Duda’s single, bunting Recker (yuck), pinch-hitting Abreu for Tejada, then pinch-hitting Satin for the pitcher was horrendous. He burned three guys, pointlessly. The play there, IMO, was to let Recker hit (yes, and risk the DP), bunt Tejada (the one thing he can actually do), then pinch-hit Abreu for the pitcher with Juan Lagares on deck for protection. Bringing up Josh Satin against RHP Koehler and his fabulous curveball had almost no chance of succeeding. As I texted Mike, Omar Quintanilla had a better shot of getting a hit in that spot. “Slim” being better than “none,” you see.
* Mets were 15-11 not too long ago. Which reminds me of a song . . .