The National League East has proven through the start of the season that it will be one of the most interesting divisions to watch throughout this baseball season. There were four teams within 3 1/2 games of first place entering Wednesday with a lot to sort out and the fifth team surprising some with its competitive start.
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Outside of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets have received little consistency from their rotation this season. Steven Matz will look to change that when he opens the team's four-game series tonight in Milwaukee, starting an 8:10 ET game opposite Brewers right-hander Zach Davies. Matz has pitched into the sixth inning just once in eight starts.
Earlier this month, Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland created a minor stir when he called out Noah Syndergaard's relative lack of big league accomplishments, in quotes that appeared in the New York Post. Eiland's contention was that at age 25, for all the hype that surrounds him, Syndergaard remains an unfinished product. When asked Wednesday if that same line of thinking applies to Jacob deGrom, Mets manager Mickey Callaway offered a full-throated disagreement.
The roots of Seth Lugo's scoreless-innings streak -- a career-high 14 innings and counting entering Wednesday's play -- are not much different than the origins of his success as a big league pitcher. Lugo is throwing his curveball early and often, generating whiffs and soft contact seemingly at will.
About four and a half hours before their game against the Marlins on Tuesday, the Mets agreed to terms on a one-year deal to bring Jose Bautista to Flushing, adding some right-handed thump -- albeit 37-year-old thump -- to a lineup in obvious need of it. The Mets just so happened to be facing a left-handed pitcher that night, creating an ideal situation for their newest player.
The Mets' acquisition of Jose Bautista on Tuesday, and their promise of playing time to him, was an open acknowledgement of a withering lineup. Since the start of May, only one big league club has scored fewer runs per game than the Mets. Perhaps Bautista, even at age 37, could fix that.
When the Mets acquired Devin Mesoraco from the Reds earlier this month, they indicated that Mesoraco's health history -- two hip surgeries and a shoulder operation, among other maladies -- would prevent him from playing every day. But Mesoraco has started most games at catcher for the Mets, largely because he has performed so well.
Who do the Mets have in the pipeline? Get scouting reports, video, stats, projected ETAs and more for New York's Top 30 Prospects on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch.
Bautista was a Met in '04 ... and didn't realize it
Jason Vargas, whose turn in the rotation was skipped last time out, went five innings and struck out a season-high seven batters as the Mets extended their win streak to four. Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double was the lone run given up by Rule 5 Draft pick Elieser Hernandez, who pitched five innings of one-run ball for the second straight start.
Although Jose Reyes endured a poor start to last season, by mid-May he was already making up for it, well on his way to a productive campaign. This year, that rebound has not occurred. Reyes is in an 0-for-8 slide and is 2-for-22 in May. Combined with his 0-for-20 skid to open the season, Reyes is batting just .132 with a .367 OPS.
Asdrubal Cabrera's pinch-hit, go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning lifted the Mets to a 4-1 win over the D-backs, capping their first sweep of at least three games at Citi Field since 2016. Amed Rosario followed the blast with his second homer of the game, connecting on his first two jacks this season. The late rally helped seal a win for Noah Syndergaard, who struck out seven in seven innings, and Robert Gsellman earned his first save by recording the last five outs.
Amed Rosario entered Sunday's game in an 0-for-11 funk, with just three extra-base hits in his last 21 games. But he broke out with solo homers in the sixth and seventh innings of the Mets' 4-1 win over the D-backs, his first home runs since last August.
Shortly after the Mets learned last week that Juan Lagares will miss the rest of this season due to a torn toe ligament in his left foot, team officials gathered to discuss their options. Beyond the Mets' top three healthy outfielders, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo, their depth chart consisted of Phillip Evans and Wilmer Flores -- both infielders by trade, despite their recent dabblings in the outfield. At Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets do not boast any high-level outfield prospects.
Hernandez impressed by diving play from Mets' ballboy
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.
The Mets finally have a winning streak. The Force is with them. Wilmer Flores lofted a sacrifice fly to left field with none out in the ninth to give the Mets a 5-4 walk-off victory over the D-backs on Saturday on Star Wars Night at Citi Field. It is the first time the club has won consecutive games since April 13. Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco clubbed two-run homers for the Mets, while Paul Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy went deep for Arizona.
Mets third baseman Todd Frazier said on Saturday that he will need to go on a Minor League rehab assignment before he is ready to return from the 10-day disabled list, and he isn't sure when he will be ready to start one. Frazier has been on the shelf since May 8 with a strained left hamstring.
Jacob deGrom matched his career high with 13 strikeouts Friday, allowing one run in seven innings in his first unabbreviated start of the month. Michael Conforto also matched a career best with four hits -- including a pair of RBI knocks against D-backs starter Zack Godley. Jake Lamb plated Arizona's only run with an RBI double in his return from the DL.
The signs of Michael Conforto's renaissance began surfacing early this month for the Mets, who finally started receiving some production from their All-Star outfielder. But the sample size remained small. Manager Mickey Callaway feared that this week, with two off-days and two consecutive games against left-handed pitchers, might disjoint Conforto's quest for consistency.
Regardless what the future still holds, injuries will always define Juan Lagares' Mets career. Never has Lagares, the Mets' Gold Glove center fielder, enjoyed a full, healthy big league season. This year, he did not come particularly close. Lagares is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing a ligament in the big toe of his left foot, the Mets announced Friday.
Michael Conforto came over to take a photo, which was almost more than Callie Quinn could bear. Noah Syndergaard's presence elicited a gasp. Jerry Blevins approached asking for her hand for a dance.
The National League East has been one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with four teams posting winning records through roughly one quarter of the season. MLB.com this week looks back and ahead at the season's quarter point.
Blevins announces new son with stylish photo
When the Mets walked off the field on April 13, winners of nine straight, they knew they could not continue playing with such gusto forever. Defeats would come. Bad streaks were inevitable. But even the foremost pessimists among them could hardly have envisioned this: the Mets' 12-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday ensured they will go five full weeks without winning consecutive games.
More than two dozen individuals scattered across the field in the third inning of the Blue Jays' 12-1 win over the Mets on Wednesday, none of them players. Buzzing around the infield dirt, members of Citi Field's grounds crew hauled rakes and bags of Diamond Dry, working frantically to eliminate the puddles that seemed to grow larger by the minute.
An offseason focused on flexibility and injury prevention did not allow Yoenis Cespedes to avoid the disabled list. Following days of consideration, the Mets opted Wednesday to place Cespedes on the 10-day DL with a strained right hip flexor, retroactive to Monday. Cespedes will be eligible to return May 24.
Stop me if you've heard this one: It's a long season in baseball, which is another reason it is the best season (and one with more plot twists than "Billions"). You know what a long season really is in baseball? A month.
Mets install hot dog roller in vacant locker
Noah Syndergaard plated the Mets' first two runs and struck out seven over five innings to lead New York in a rout over the Blue Jays. Juan Lagares had four hits and three RBIs and Devin Mesoraco homered and scored four runs for New York. Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia was on the hook for six runs, and Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run single for Toronto.
Watch Thor baffle Jays with 98-mph sinker
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.
Before arriving at Citizens Bank Park this weekend, Mickey Callaway and his coaches met to discuss not only their pregame procedures in light of last week's lineup card snafu, but also their overall processes as a team.Self-evaluating, Callaway tweaked things here and there in hopes of helping the Mets snap out of their May malaise. But when it came time to make a significant in-game decision, Callaway pulled the wrong string.
MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.
Given a second inning, Jacob deGrom says, "I would like to think I'd have figured it out." The Mets simply were not going to give him the chance -- not after the Phillies worked 20 fouls off him in the first inning Sunday, forcing him to throw 45 pitches in the first inning of the Mets' 4-2 loss.
In the hours before Sunday's series finale against the Phillies, Mets hitters walked back and forth from the batting cage, toting pink lumber with them. Taking their usual pregame hacks in the cage, the Mets worked to grow accustomed to the pink bats that have become a Mother's Day tradition.
When catcher Devin Mesoraco was traded to the Mets this week, he undertook a "72-hour crash course on Mets pitchers."
Michael Conforto and Devin Mesoraco hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to erase Jake Arrieta's 7 1/3 shutout innings and lift the Mets over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Odubel Herrera's first-inning solo shot had been the game's only run before Hector Neris blew his second save in less than a week.
Save the glossy magazine covers for Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper, for Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes, for Freddie Freeman and Jake Arrieta.
The Mets' struggles have descended beyond mere hitting slumps and pitching slumps at this point, even beyond simple wins and losses. A sliver of the absurd played into their undoing Wednesday, when the Mets batted out of order en route to a 2-1, 10th-inning loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Confusion reigned in the first inning Wednesday at Great American Ball Park, where the Mets batted out of order in their game against the Reds.