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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Nothing vs. Something

Terry Collins could have removed Rafael Montero at several junctures of his outing against the Washington Nationals Monday night, which speaks to what seems to be Terry’s managing philosophy: a preference to do nothing versus an inclination to do something. Montero wasn’t in the game very long by conventional measures (though it felt like hours). When you’re around for only one-and-two-thirds innings, you wouldn’t think there are multiple inflection points.

Montero was the epitome of Didn’t Have It from jump at Nationals Park. It doesn’t reflect well on the former phenom, but it happens, particularly to a No. 5 starter who was in nobody’s plans until a few weeks ago, and who displayed, at best, flashes of adequacy until Monday. Monday he had problems with the strike zone, both when he was missing it and finding it.

Still, the young pitcher (not quite 26, even after all these years) persevered across a nightmarish first inning. He was fooling nobody, retiring nobody, yet escaped with merely two runs surrendered. The Mets were down only 2-1. What a break in the midst of this improbable playoff spurt. Gabriel Ynoa was fully warmed and we could start almost fresh in the second. “Cut your losses” was never a more apt phrase from which to take heed. The gods were smiling upon us.

Collins told the gods to wipe that smirk off their faces. Despite Montero showing next to nothing, and despite the perfect exit opportunity presenting itself when the pitcher’s spot came up in the top of the second with two on and two out and a Shriners convention worth of pinch-hitters milling in the dugout, Collins did what he tends to do in these situations.

Nothing. He let Montero bat. Montero struck out. Then he came out to pitch the top of the second, and the gods told us to go screw ourselves. Rafael was hit hard and often. Opposing starter Mat Latos homered to lead off. After generating two outs in the air, Daniel Murphy doubled (Daniel Murphy is the reincarnation of Turner Field). An intentional walk to Bryce Harper was issued because you can’t let Bryce Harper beat you…not when Anthony Rendon can. And he did, with a three-run bomb that ended Montero’s night and, presumably, his tenure as a Met starting pitcher, at least for what’s left of 2016.

Sixty pitches, fourteen batters, six runs, five outs. It began badly, it kept getting worse. What was Collins waiting for?

Terry didn’t offer much of an explanation afterwards beyond he hoped the kid would find a way out of whatever was plaguing him, a concept that played better in the first several Septembers of Collins’s managerial stay here than it does in this one. If a, say, Chris Schwinden went “splat” on the mound, it would be frustrating, but it would also be 2011. Nothing was doing anyway. Monday night, the Mets were attempting to push the Cardinals further behind them and the pull the Giants significantly closer to them. That was the idea. It didn’t quite work out.

The Cardinals lost. The Giants lost. The baseball gods took a modicum of pity on us after Terry rejected their assistance in what became an 8-1 blowout. He could’ve removed Montero at 2-1, or 3-1. He could’ve summoned Ynoa. Ynoa would have…well, we don’t know’a. Gabriel walked the first batter he saw when he finally got the call after Rendon’s homer, pitched a spotless third, then gave up a couple of runs in the fourth. There’s a saying that the most popular person in any NFL city is the second-string quarterback. New York’s a baseball town, and we love whoever Terry Collins doesn’t use when we want him used. That guy can never do any wrong.

Collins can do wrong, and he did Monday night. There’s no pretending his faith in Montero wasn’t misplaced. Dents appear in every manager’s armor. Terry’s suit needs to be taken to the silversmith to have Monday’s crease taken out.

This is generally what Terry does. He does nothing if at all possible. If that sounds like an insult, it is not intended as such. There is something to be said sometimes, perhaps ofttimes, for leaving things be. Maybe not when your emergencyesque starter is melting down. Maybe not when the potential tying run is being carried by someone who just took his molasses pill. Maybe not at lots of moments when keen foresight or legitimate hindsight suggests otherwise.

But probably more than we realize. Dancing with them what brung ya lends an air of stability to a chaotic endeavor. It’s an easier sell competing for the postseason than it is trying to hold on to fourth place, but the Mets have gotten this far this year with Terry doing a little more nothing than we might like. They got very far last year on the strength of trusting his players long enough for it to pay off. The itchy telephone fingers that would have exchanged Jacob deGrom for Noah Syndergaard in Game Five of the 2015 NLDS could not be blamed for going through tube after tube of Lanacane. But Terry stuck with deGrom, despite the trouble he was courting early at Dodger Stadium, and not too many innings later, the Mets were in the NLCS.

That’s an extreme anecdotal example, but it seemed typical of Terry. Now and then, panic is advisable. Probably not too often, however, not when you’re responsible for the emotional care and feeding of 25 professionals who are more talented than we can imagine yet likely more insecure than they let on. It’s a combustible mix in any clubhouse and a major league manager has to be a master chemist. Mix and match lineups. Mix and match personalities. Mix and match the philosophical with the strategic with the tactical. Mix and match a merry-go-round of outfielders who have bobbed up and down all season long. Mix and match the struggling starter who might give you sufficient length and maybe momentum if he can just get out of the second with the fresh long reliever who might rescue you just in time when the starter seemingly obviously can’t.

Every move that isn’t made but doesn’t go wrong generally goes uncommented upon; it’s just business as usual. The moves that aren’t made that blow up by dint of their not being made are the fodder that feeds our “I knew it!” instinct. So are the moves that implode. Enough goes awry in the course of 162 games to make simultaneous cases against doing nothing, doing something, doing anything. All of it can and will make a manager look bad on occasion, especially the occasion of a September when everything is magnified.

It’s difficult to not turn every misstep into a recall referendum on managerial competence, just as it’s easy to not notice when things are rolling along as we like. We blame the manager because we can imagine we’d make the right move. His job is more accessible than seeing ourselves throwing the right pitch or laying off the wrong pitch. I couldn’t get out Anthony Rendon. I couldn’t get out Mat Latos. I could tell Dan Warthen to get on the horn to Ricky Bones and send Gabriel Ynoa in from the bullpen. In theory, I could. In theory, we all could.

We’re fans. We’re entitled to our opinions. We’re better off informing them as much as we can before we release them into the atmosphere. My opinion is Terry should have taken Montero out after the first inning, whether his spot in the order came up in the second or not. My opinion is also that the starting pitcher depth chart is in tatters and sooner or later it was gonna show (it showed on a night that the Mets scored one lone run off Latos and three relievers, so maybe we’re going nuts over naught). Hopefully deGrom returns eventually, and in the interim somebody else can throw five effective innings. There are myriad options on the roster, none of them optimal. All are better than Montero at this point, but even Terry acknowledged that tacitly after Monday night’s game.

You can’t always do nothing, no matter how appealing that sounds.

66 comments to Nothing vs. Something

  • LeClerc

    My arm-chair manager’s view on last night’s meltdown:

    Top of the second – two on, two out – behind one run – Montero (0 for 16 in his MLB career) due up. He’s an out. By letting him “hit”, you are conceding the inning. By pinch-hitting you’re given a chance to move the line along, tie the game, or take the lead.

    But you pass on that to give Montero an opportunity to redeem himself. He immediately throws a gopher ball to the opposing pitcher. Now you’re down 3-1 – but your position players are not yet demoralized. Somehow you still have faith in Montero. And you still have faith with two Nats on, and Anthony Rendon at bat. Montero struck Rendon out in the now long gone first inning. Could Rendon be thinking “fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice…,” Pitch down the middle, Bam. Going, going, going…, The Montero redemption project Gone.

    18 games to go. Spring training is over. Player development time is over. It’s time to win. LGM

  • Eric

    Glass half full, everyone else lost so no ground lost. Glass half empty, everyone else lost but no ground gained.

    If the Mets lose out on the WC game, Collins’s mistakes will be magnified and picked at. That being said, leaving Montero in to bat then start the 2nd inning didn’t bother me as much as not pinch running for Flores with the potential winning run in the 8th. That was the obvious move at the time, and Flores and his hot bat are still out as the fall-out from the manager (and bench coach) error.

    Giving Montero a chance to recover his start is consistent with Collins’s MO of giving his players a chance to work their way through trouble when they’re off their game. Gsellman and Lugo have also worked their way through trouble. As well, the game might well have been the last chance for Montero to make it in a Mets uniform and, if so, Collins made sure Montero’s last chance was a fair chance.

    However, like Harvey going out for the 9th inning in game 5 WS and staying in for one batter too long, an extra handful of rope is one thing, two or three extra handfuls of rope is another matter. Sending out Harvey was justifiable, leaving him in too long was a mistake. I didn’t mind Montero batting in the top of the 2nd and starting the bottom of the 2nd. Keeping him in long enough to give up 4 more runs was too much rope.

  • Mart in Richmond

    I can’t remember ever disagreeing with you so strenuously. Remove the starter down 2-1 in the first game of the series? That would be doing something alright. That would be panicking. Panicking is contagious. It tends to snowball. Sure, there is a time to pull out all the stops and make desperate moves. Yesterday wasn’t it…:and it wouldn’t have helped anyway.

    Im glad you attempted to clarify that you didn’t intend your characterization of him to be pejorative, but you must know that’s how a lot of people are going to interpret it. A manager that feels the heat and starts pressing all the buttons at once is a weak manager. I was thinking of Sunday’s game. Lugo had given up a homer and 4 straight hits. The bullpen was cranking. I’m quite certain that many managers would have yanked a starter as young and inexperienced as Seth in that moment, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism that would be sure to come if he couldn’t get out of that jam. He did, and pitched 2 more innings to boot. That’s a huge confidence booster for Seth, and 2+ innings he saved our bullpen.

    • Lugo earned the confidence. Montero hadn’t. When Rafael went out for the second, I said (and tweeted) I hope I’m wrong. Wish I was. Even when Rendon came up, I thought, well, he got him in the first, maybe this is the turning point in our direction.

      Besides the track record, the pitch count is what got me. No way Rafael was going to last more than four innings after the first.

      I’m usually in the “leave him in” camp, whoever him (he) happens to be. Last night I wasn’t.

      • Matt in Richmond

        That’s fair enough, but my point wasn’t to compare Lugo and Montero, but the situations and their potential fallout. Maybe you wouldn’t have said a peep, but i know for a fact that TC would have gotten ripped had Lugo given up a grand slam or even just another 2 or 3 runs. TC had the guts to stick with him, and it paid off in spades. I wouldn’t say Montero has earned the same leash, but then again, I’m not sure of any pitcher that I would recommend pulling down 2-1 after one inning. Frankly, if your confidence in him is that low than he shouldn’t be starting.

    • Jacobs27

      Pinch-hitting for Montero or otherwise lifting him earlier isn’t necessarily a move of panic. I would view it as a pro-active move. It’s taking advantage of an offensive opportunity and of the lee-way expanded September rosters give you to not let a crucial game get out of hand. At a different point in the season, managing by the hope Montero rights the ship despite very strong indications to the contrary would be more defensible. Here, I think the move was, “all right, let’s not mess around here. Montero doesn’t have it, I’m gonna find someone in the bullpen who does while this game is still winnable.”

      Maybe part of the difference is philosophical. I’d rather go down on the moves I did make than on the moves I didn’t. Or the ones I made too late.

    • crackers8199

      i think those who think removing montero in the second inning would have been a “panic” move need to be reminded that there are 37 guys (literally) on the active roster right now. THIRTY-SEVEN!

      it would have been a “panic” move in june…NOT in september. period, end of story.

  • Sorry to barge in, but I just had to make some edits in last night’s comments, so I’m barging in.

    For the millionth time, do not personalize arguments, bait others, or do related stuff you all have been asked not to do.

    A couple of you are now day-to-day and risking the commenter’s DL.

  • Marc

    I am pretty hard on Terry, somewhat often, but I truly cant put last night on him… He knew that this was Montero’s final audition in a new york Mets uniform. He gave the kid EVERY LAST chance he possibly could, to get out of the jam, and potentially land a job in the organization for next year. as someone pointed out, you dont want to go to your pen in the first inning of game 1 against your arch rival. that puts you in a precarious predicament, especially when you have another unproven kid pitching in 2 days. Terry wanted to hold off going to the pen as long as he could. Also, you could see with some of Monteros pitches that he had good stuff, just was lacking command to go after hitters. he had good heat and movement, he was just scared of being hit And you know what? at the end of the day, it is not terrys fault that his surging lineup could only muster one sacrifice fly against Latos and crew. The biggest thing i took away from last night is Terry is loyal, and really gave Montero as long of a leash as he could. To take the kid out of the game after 1 inning and 2 runs would also be far too catastrophic for his growth and confidence. But in the end, we have probably seen the last of the Montero Project. Thankfully, everyone around us lost, and we gave up no ground.

  • kdbart

    Yeah, lets turn it over to Ynoa. A pitcher who in his previous 3 outings had given up 6 earned runs in 1 and a 1/3 innings. Montero was bad but the alternative at that point had been pitching far worse. He was between a rock and a hard place and really had no good option.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    I had mixed emotions about letting Montero hit in the 2nd. The pinch hitter would have had a 70% chance of failure and the score was only 2-1, so maybe Montero figures it out in the bottom of the inning.

    After the Latos home run, Montero got the next 2 guys out and then Murphy hits a double. I would have had him pitch to Harper. If he gets him out the inning is over. If Harper gets on Montero is gone.

    It’s all water under the bridge. No amount of Monday morning quarterbacking is going to change the outcome or the fact that our guys didn’t hit.

    Off topic, did anyone else notice that when Keith introduced the Nats defense, he called Wilson Ramos a former Met? Just how many Advils did Keith take?

    • Keith was confused. Ramos is a partial Met owner, in tandem with Murphy. (He was probably thinking of Jesus Flores, who they took from us in the Rule 5 draft.)

      “Monday morning quarterbacking” — can we get a baseball cliche going to mean the same thing? Perhaps “Kiner’s Korner Kibitzing”?

      • Left Coast Jerry

        I think “Kiner’s Corner Kvetching” might be more accurate. I could forgive Keith’s error if he was looking through the broken camera lens, but that didn’t happen till later in the game.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Again, the point is Montero wouldn’t even be on the roster (after bombing at AAA and sent to AA, for god’s sake) if Sandy had picked up a major league starter in August. Someone asked the other day, well, who? As everyone knows, the many teams not in contention are all too eager to move older, competent 4th or 5th starters to dump payroll.

    One of them might have worked out well, or poorly. Most likely he would have given you a couple of keep-you-in-game starts by now and managed to maybe hurl 6 innings, saving some pen. It was clear near end of August that Wheeler was done, not to mention Niese, and Matz was heading for trouble, and even concerns about Noah and deGrom by then. Already two minor leaguers in rotation at that point so would seem a no-brainer to pick up a major league starter probably for almost nothing, just taking on salary, as per norm. Now we face likely 2 or more starts by a Ynoa or a Gilmartin. And there is certainly no guarantee that big surprises Lugo and Gsellman will keep pitching okay as teams get better line on them.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Sandy made a multitude of moves, nearly all of which panned out…some spectacularly so. Acquiring players isn’t an Easter egg hunt.

      • Greg Mitchell

        Like Bruce and Niese,right?

        • Rob E.

          You can’t complain about Alderson NOT going out and getting “pitchers” while at the same time complaining because he DID go out and get an All-Star who has under-performed. YES, Jay Bruce was an ALL-STAR in 2016. No GM has the luxury of knowing who will come up big or who will slump. I don’t understand the source of the criticism…it’s never the player, only the GM or manager. You hope the GM and manager are taking their best shots, but at some point the player has to perform, too.

    • Dave

      He may have tried to make such a trade, and either other teams were asking a king’s ransom, or there was no one available who was of any interest. I’m sure that for every trade actually made, 20 more are discussed. I’m kind of glad he didn’t, say, trade an Amed Rosario for one of the Aaron Harangs of the world.

      • Matt in Richmond

        Exactly Dave

      • I’d love an Aaron Harang right now, pending the price, which I doubt would be a top prospect. As recently noted, John Candelaria came for essentially nothing. We sent Frank Tanana to a nearby baseball enterprise and accepted Kenny Greer in return. It can be done, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the bushes aren’t being beaten after the way Rafael was last night.

        • Dave

          Yeah, admittedly citing Rosario was an exaggerated example for the sake of emphasis. For all we know Alderson’s working the phones right now…time, as it always does, will tell.

          • This was not the year of Danny Muno. Went out and got Loney. Went out and got Reyes. Even Ruggiano, whom some of us (like me) ignorantly rolled our eyes at. Plugged holes. Holding out hope he’s got one more cork in his pocket.

        • dmg

          we seem to forget — alderson did get niese back. that didn’t work out so well (though we offloaded bastardo, no small grenade) but he wasn’t blind to the need for a veteran who could soak up innings.

      • Greg Mitchell

        Never have to give up a top prospect, or generally any prospect, for that kind of older veteran rental in August.

  • eric1973

    We have the schedule on our side, so I’ll take us starting now, against those two teams.

    I was never a Wally guy.
    I was a John Stearns guy. Never really understood how he could not get a shot.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Anyone know what the gameplan is now for the rotation? Obviously we keep hoping for the return of Jake and/or Matz, but if that doesn’t happen, then what?

  • Dave

    I’m cutting Terry slack, for the following reasons: even though there are now approximately 49 pitchers in the Mets’ bullpen, exactly zero of them have proven themselves to be shutdown long relievers. “Why leave Montero in when you’ve got Gilmartin/Verrett/Ynoa warmed up?” is not the most convincing argument in the world. They’ve gotten this far really without a reliable long man out there. Reason number two, which while it’s less frequent now, is still pretty familiar to all of us, and that’s that if Montero had settled down and held the Nats scoreless after the 1st inning, Mets still would have lost because, well, they didn’t have their hitting shoes on last night.

    Funny game, this. Mets play a horrible game, Cards lose, Giants lose, no harm, no foul. Everybody gets to start all over again tonight.

    Sad how far down Montero has fallen though. He was originally the 3rd guy after Harvey and Wheeler (of course, they haven’t exactly worked out as expected). But he was especially supposed to be a pinpoint control guy. Now he can barely throw a strike. He’ll be someone else’s non-roster invite next spring. Some guys peak early.

  • Gil

    Wally on at 2 on WFAN, Keith at 4.

    Montero to the minors, please. I don’t need to see anymore!

    Turn the page. Lets take the series.

  • GroteFan

    Full Disclosure-I think Terry Collins is about the worst manager in baseball now that Matt Williams is gone.
    While people may evangelize that the Mets are in the mix because of the manager, I look at it differently. I find that again the Mets have under achieved, and he continues to put his players in positions to fail.
    Look at the National League Landscape. There are a significant amount of teams that plain out stink.
    Phils 64-80
    Braves 56-88
    Milwaukee 64-80
    Reds 61-82
    Rox 69-75
    Padres 60-84
    D Backs 59-84
    The Mets should be in this position just by rolling out the bats and balls, but TC curious style continues to leave the team a step or two behind.
    Sure you can argue how he pinch hits, runs or ruins pitchers, but the more concerning problem is he admits that he is just not anticipating what could happen.
    Exhibit A is last night–if you watched the first inning, you knew Montero had nothing-why not pull him when you had him come up to bat? Terry seems to think it is April instead of September 12th.
    Agreed that we didn’t have Darren Oliver out there as the long man, but we knew Montero had nothing and TC proves he cannot adjust.
    I still believe the guy must have pictures of Terry and Jeff to keep his job.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Problem is, the only possible way to support such an audacious claim would be if we had the best or at least nearly the best roster in all of baseball. I mean, to make the WS, come within a couple of blown saves of winning it, then come back the next year and be on the verge of the playoffs again? With as big an anchor as WORST MANAGER IN BASEBALL as you claim, around your neck. Your personnel would have to be truly impressive….

      But, barely any All Star caliber performances…essentially Familia and Yo and that’s it. And Yo has missed significant time and been hobbled much of the rest of the time. Best pitcher coast to coast Bartolo Colon? I mean, props to Big Sexy, but if he’s leading your staff in wins, you have some issues. Next best Thor…he’s had a very nice year, but still had some mid season hiccups and has been giving up steals at a record pace. Nobody in contention for MVP. Nobody in contention for batting title. Nobody in contention for leading the league in any significant categories (other than JF and saves). Nobody is winning any gold gloves. This is not a dominant team. This is a team that has had horrible luck and been held together with baling wire duct tape and spit. And a manager who doesn’t panic and doesn’t look for scapegoats. His players love him and respect him and fight for him.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Also, in citing how “well” the Mets have done with injuries people fail to note that SF and St. Louis also clobbered by injuries and poor performances and weren’t that strong to begin with. And, in fact, Walker and Cabrera, and then Reyes, and even Flores (if you look at HRs and RBIs) all over-performed based on expectations. But again: forget that, and just look at the competition. If Mets miss playoffs, some may say, “well, it’s amazing we got that close.” Others might complain, “God, those other teams were very weak and our team (and/or GM and manager) didn’t do enough when the playoffs were there for the taking.”

  • Pete In Iowa

    Spot on Greg.
    Given the position we are in, I am of the opinion that every game has to be approached as an elimination game ESPECIALLY when you have 37 guys at your disposal to pinch hit or relieve. Sure, some have opined that since both SF & StL lost last night, we didn’t lose any ground. While that is certainly true, we did lose something every bit as precious — one of 19 chances to WIN a game and GAIN ground. How good would a win last night have looked after those SF & StL losses??!!
    An 8-1 final may seem like a lost cause, of course. However, when the score was 2-1 and 3-1, it seems to me better options were left to sit around for a situation later in the game which never presented itself. Utilizing those better options may not have worked, but with the worst option being utilized, the game was effectively decided before the 2nd frame was completed.
    Over the past couple of seasons, Montero has consistently shown he can’t be trusted. Flopping in his first ML stint, then developing a mysterious shoulder ailment, then dropping down to AA and finally a veritable base on balls machine in his two previous starts.
    Sure, let’s leave him in. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Matt in Richmond

      As others have noted, the options were Ynoa, Gilmartin and Verrett. Not exactly lights out choices. And yeah, it wouldn’t have mattered even if they did miraculously come in and completely shut the Nats down. Bats never showed last night.

      • Pete In Iowa

        Given Montero’s bleak track record as I noted above, it seems to me that Gilmartin, Verrett or yes, even Ynoa all would have been BETTER options.
        And who’s to say the bats would have behaved in the exact same manner if the game was, say, 3-1 after 2 innings rather than 6-1?

  • open the gates

    I haven’t been dumping on TC lately, but yeah, he dropped the ball this time. At this point in the season, post-rotation expansion, there were a bunch of warm bodies that could have stepped in for Montero while the game was still winnable. Especially since Montero isn’t much more than a warm body these days himself. When I heard earlier this year that he had dropped down to AA, I figured the next time I saw him in the NY metro area would be as a Northern Leaguer. The Schwinden comparison was dead on.

  • dmg

    the zen buddhist distillation of what you’re describing is best phrased “don’t just do something, sit there!”
    used to be i could not stand tc’s in-game managing, so obvious an impediment to the team’s won-loss record. up until last year i could cite at least 10 games a season in which his moves or nonmoves cost the team wins.
    last year seemed to be a breakthrough for him — he had learned not to be quite so predictable (a la playing for one run and giving away outs by trying to have a batter bunt the runner over, when the batter had no real history of successful bunting and the runner was lead of foot).
    but really, the mets’ last two losses, in a desperate wild-card chase that is running out of games, have been glaringly attributable to manager error. terry has to up his game too.

  • Dennis

    I love it when people say that Sandy should have acquired all of these anonymous players….a starter…..a reliever…..and infielder…..a 1st baseman. Of course that’s done without knowledge of who was available and at what price. He gets slammed for Bruce and Niese, but receives no credit for Reyes and Loney, not to mention the acquisitions of Cabrera and Walker in the offseason.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Just an addendum to my look-at-how-weak competition is before calling Mets run “amazing”–beyond Carlos Martinez the other four starters for Cards all have era around or over 4.50.

    Giants have two good starters but then Samardzija at 4.07 and Cain and Peavy over 5.50.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Cardinals lead the league in home runs and I think have a record or close to it for guys with double digit homers. Giants have multiple all stars that have been healthy all year.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Cards have only 3 position players with over 400
      ABs (and that’s why they have so many with double digit HRs). Mes have 4 with over 400 ABs.

      If you want to base it on HRs, even Flores would lead the Giants in that category–with Cabrera, Walker, Grandy and Cespedes together almost topping the entire Giants team.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Every team has flaws. Nats & Cubs obviously the most complete teams from start to finish. No team can match the Mets in number & severity of injuries to opening day starting position players AND front line pitchers. That we are in the position we are in is a testament to the players and management. [Edited. Please stop baiting people, either by name or via loftily non-specific phrasing.]

  • GroteFan

    The team is playing at a .528 clip in Terry’s 6th season at the helm, which included 4 seasons with win totals between 74 and 79. Now you can tell me he didn’t have the talent, and I can live with that. So you are saying he managed down to that talent? He couldn’t even sniff .500?
    The current version is 8 games over 500, despite having 119 of their 144 games started by guys named Thor, Harvey, Colon, Matz and Degrom, along with a back end of the bullpen with an all star like Familia and a guy bordering on an all star in Addison Reed as the 8th inning guy.
    Recognizing that we had a disproportionate amount of injuries this year, to ask this team to be 8 games above .500 is not a significant lift…..especially considering the terrible competition in the league.
    IMO-Terry drags the team down, not lifts it up, and I believe his record reflects that.

    • Rob E.

      By the same token, Harvey was 4-10, and 6 of 8 starting position players have been on the DL. Duda and Wright have missed almost the whole year. Two of the backups (Flores & Reyes) also hit the DL. Conforto played his way to Vegas.

      I don’t see how you expected Terry Collins to LIFT this team with the guys he had available to him. I don’t see what he could have done differently (in a broader sense, not the Flores/Montero issues of this past week), and I don’t see all the games supposedly “lost” by Terry Collins.

      These last two years have been marvelous. How much a manager is responsible for in this day and age is a worthy debate, but jeez, the guy was in the last World Series, he’s sitting is a playoff spot if the season ended today, and yet the fan perception is overwhelmingly negative. It sure didn’t take long for us to turn into Yankee fans, did it?

      • kdbart

        Plus, he’s gotten almost nothing offensively from the catching position all season long and Granderson, until recently, has had one of the worse seasons ever with RISP.

    • Matt in Richmond

      [Edited. Matt, stop baiting people. Right now.]

  • Rob E.

    I see the obvious nature of the criticism here, but I’m going to disagree with you Greg, because of the variables here. First off, Lugo has pitched well, Gsellman has been OK, and Montero has been shaky, but they did win the first two games he started. My point is that you have three guys here that can turn into a pumpkin at any time (and the stench of Syndergaard’s AZ meltdown not completely gone). If they still had Matz & deGrom where you think you can get those innings back in other starts, different story. But not having those guys, I can understand Collins not wanting to get into the bullpen that early in what was a 3-1 game.

    Secondly, yesterday’s game was not terribly different from the game Montero pitched last week in Cincinnati that they won. He was wild but he avoided giving up the backbreaking hit, and the Mets offense was better (though they were losing when Montero left). Yesterday Latos was shaky in the second inning and they let him off the hook. If they score a run there, and Montero doesn’t give up the HR to Rendon….big ifs, yet shades of difference between yesterday and the Reds game.

    It was an obvious miscalculation now in light of Rendon’s BOMB (and it was a BOMB), and I’m sure Montero has played himself off this team, but I can understand Collins just hoping for him to get them to the middle of the game close. And Montero was one batter away from possibly doing that.

  • Luis

    14-4 gets the Mets in the playoffs wi 90 wins..MAY take fewer, but 90 will guarantee it..I think :-)

  • LeClerc

    Two hours before tonight’s game time.

    Request to the brain trust in the dugout:

    Please press Noah to hold base runners on. A walk or a single to Trea Turner can’t become a triple. Crafty old Dusty Baker intends to run on Syndergaard at every opportunity. Don’t let the one weakness of an otherwise dominating young pitcher be the difference in this game.

  • Can de Grom and Matz be fused into one healthy pitcher, and soon?

  • eric1973

    I’ll fuse deGrom and Colon to get “Jake and the Fat Man.”

  • 9th string

    Holy crap, what a finish. TJ!

  • Paul Schwartz

    Can we cut Terry a break. Everyone was ticked off I’m sure that he started T.J. over Kelly tonight. Seems like that worked pretty good.

  • 9th string

    And some gutsy relief choices in the 10th.

  • mikeL

    faith v. fear at its best last night!
    was shruggingly accepting a loss while trying very hard to imagine familia avoiding the walk-off.
    two magical balls in play for the tie.
    and what a win! the WC race tightened, but the mets are stil on the inside!
    LGM and more suspense!

  • Steve K

    The momentum of last night’s game turned back toward the Mets in the bottom of the ninth. Nationals had tied the game, had 1st and 2nd, none out, and Mets looked shaky in the field. Credit Famila and the infield defense for keeping them in the game. (And yes, credit Terry for sticking with Familia. :) )

    Nats had to feel frustrated, and Mets as if they were given a second life. Sort of like a football team who ties the game on a last-minute drive, only to have the extra point blocked.

    I give props, as well, to tenth-inning heroes TJ Rivera, Salas, and Blevins.

    What could have been the worst loss of the year turned into one of the best wins. LGM!

  • Jacobs27

    That Blevins strike out of Murphy to end it was a thing of beauty.

  • Mikey

    yeah it’s almost like Terry made up for his blunder the night before by playing a “hunch” that worked beautifully. so good on Terry for that. And good for TJ…really happy for that kid. He seems like the kind of hitter that could drive opposing teams nuts and that the Mets lack–a good contact and RBI guy. the real test is, does he play the hot hand today and let TJ face another righty? He has to, right?

    and I gotta say this….I’ve seen quite enough of Jay Bruce. let him ride the pine for the rest of the month….he’s batting .190 as a Met with 11 RBI in a month and a half, when he was leading the NL in RBI when he came here. Conforto cannot possibly be worse at this point.

    finally….I’ve also seen quite enough of Daniel Murphy. hitting safely in all 18 games against the Mets which will no doubt be 19 after today? that’s ridiculous. in a year when Bryce Harper has become Jay Bruce, Daniel Murphy has become Bryce Harper. I don’t have a problem with us letting him go (though I didn’t like it at the time), but of course he went and signed with our bitter rival so he can torment us for years.

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