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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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Bruced Feelings

Thirty-thousand of us were dying to be hypocrites Tuesday night. We wanted to pull one of those dazzling Asdrubal Cabrera spinoramas in our souls, execute a spectacular turn of sentiment and roar for the stranger at whom we’d been directing our derision loudly or slyly every time we saw him. Some of us preached and practiced patience, but patience, like the battery in your phone, can run low. It needs a charge. So did any of the pitches Julio Teheran delivered to Jay Bruce in the bottom of the sixth. Put a charge into one, Jay. You’ll see what a renewable resource our faith in you can be. You’ll feel it. You’ll never forget it.

It was 2-1, Braves. There were two out. Bruce was battling his erstwhile Red ass off. Ball one. Foul. Ball two. Another foul. Then another. Then ball three. A couple more fouls. I don’t remember which one clanked off the right field upper deck, but I do remember thinking that if he’d hit that in Cincinnati for Cincinnati, it would have been fair.

Nothing’s been fair for Bruce since he became a Met. He was a country mouse contentedly piling up slices of pasteurized RBIs in relative private. He was leading the National League in a traditional prestige category. It wasn’t helping the Reds and it wasn’t impressing the statsnoscenti, but it looked good on the back of a baseball card.

Then he was asked to craft some semblance of what he did for Cincy in New York, transferred midseason from a team wallowing at the bottom of its division to one clinging to a strand of Wild Card hope. It was getting late for the Mets. Jay Bruce could help them make up time and make up ground.

Bruce has indeed been on the Mets as the Mets have forged forward in their race. Bruce’s presence has been mostly coincidental. It’s become impossible to hide his lack of productivity. He was already 0-for-2 on the night and he didn’t contribute on defense when a ball fell between him and Curtis Granderson in right-center. The center fielder is a right fielder. The right fielder is still new to the terrain. Nobody called it. One run that was going to score anyway had the ball been caught scored, but no outs were made, which led to an additional baserunner and a second run. The Mets trailed, 2-1, in great part because Curtis and Jay didn’t want to step on each other’s toes.

It was Granderson’s responsibility. It was Bruce’s catch. Or it would have been had he caught it.

You could forgive Curtis. Curtis has a track record here. Curtis has won games for us. Jay has earned demerits. We could erase a whole bunch of them if this epic at-bat against the terroristic Teheran went where we wanted it to go. We could embrace Bruce if he could work through all those fouls and lean into a pitch and put it on the scoreboard. It’s usually folly to request a home run as opposed to “just get good wood on it,” but this is Jay Bruce, New York Met, we were trying to get behind. We needed airtight motivation.

We got a grounder to first on the ninth pitch. Third out of the inning, umpteenth out in the Met career of a lost soul who’s nice-guyness is neither in dispute nor of surpassing relevance. Nice guys often finish first or at least with one of the two best non-first place records in the National League. We’re rooting for a passel of nice guys who return our affection by now and then coming through for us.

We’re still waiting on Jay Bruce to be a part of that. We’re just not doing it very patiently anymore.

Next time Jay Bruce was due up, he was disappeared from the on-deck circle. We saw Eric Campbell instead. Eric Campbell used to be Jay Bruce to us, except without the bulging portfolio. We usually cringed at the sight of Eric Campbell. C’mon Terry, we begged during difficult swaths of 2015 and 2016, don’t you have somebody better than Soup? At this juncture of ’16, when so much is on the line and we’ve barely noticed the continued proximity of Eric Campbell to the rest of the Mets, we have bigger fish to fillet. How can we deride the use of Eric Campbell against a lefty when the guy he’s replacing in the critical eighth inning of the crucial 151st game of the year is Jay Bruce?

It may have been the gutsiest move Terry Collins has made in six seasons of managing the Mets. Or it may have been as logical as any of hundreds we don’t give second thought to. Collins has seen Campbell succeed against lefty pitching. He hasn’t seen much of that from Bruce.

The sixth should have been Jay’s redemption inning. Nine pitches. Good swing after good swing until a completely ineffectual swing. The eighth was no longer about Jay Bruce breaking loose. We had been down, 5-1, and about as dead in the game as we were in the season a month ago. But the pulse stirred. A one-out walk to Cabrera, whose face should be on currency because he’s so money. Yoenis Cespedes was grazed by a pitch. Granderson, who again proved he is more than a fleeting defensive communications miscue, doubled, scoring Asdrubal and sending Yo to third. Folk hero T.J. Rivera’s sac fly sent Cespedes home. The Mets, out of it, are in it. It’s 5-3.

In 506 — where we had moved in an effort to escape the divebombing gnats of 505; instead we encountered additional gnats plus a kid who just discovered Thunderstix — the scenario for which Rob Emproto and I had braced when we considered the lineup was at hand. “This is gonna come down to Bruce,” we told each other. Our projection had come to pass. Yikes.

No, not yikes. Soup. Soup instead of Bruce. All I could think was, boy, do we miss Wilmer Flores. Yet I held out hope for Campbell because a) he just became a papa, and that’s usually worth one feelgood hit; b) some number exists proving he smacks the bejeesus out of the ball even if he rarely gets on base as a result; and c) if you’re going to be grateful to be spared any more Jay Bruce, you’d better get behind his replacement.

Campbell had himself a seven-pitch at-bat versus Ian Krol. It didn’t run as long as Bruce’s in the sixth against Teheran, but it ended better: a sharp single into left, scoring Granderson. Now it was 5-4 and anything was possible…even Kevin Plawecki batting for James Loney.

Boy, do we really miss Wilmer Flores. Some games Terry seems to have any number of viable options ready to deploy. Some games his basket of deployables is disconcertingly shallow.

Pinch-hitting fever had taken hold and was spreading like a tarpulin. Plawecki got good wood on the ball. Such good wood that it was hit too hard for Adonis Garcia to handle at third. After Garcia had yet again been a three-run pain in our rear, he owed us something. The ball caromed into left field. Soup poured it on and raced to third. We had two on, two out and Travis d’Arnaud due up.

Travis d’Arnaud is the Jay Bruce of catchers. His agent can use that in contract negotiations, but it’s not a compliment. I would have welcomed another substitution right then and there. Krol was still on the mound. I would have taken my chances with Matt Reynolds. We were no longer standing still for hitters who couldn’t hit (Bruce at all, Loney against lefties), so why stop? Granted, as fans we reflexively model what Lily Tomlin said about children’s stated aspirations, which is that if we all became what we wanted to be when we grew up and managers did what we incessantly demand, we’d live in a world filled with nothing but firemen, cowboys, nurses, ballerinas and pinch-hitters.

Nobody subbed for d’Arnaud. Travis got lousy wood on the ball and grounded out to short.

Eventually, despite everything that went wrong, the Mets got the game to exactly the spot we wanted it once there were two out in the bottom of the ninth: a runner on, Cespedes up as the winning run. He struck out. Nobody booed, and only one crank in the men’s room line was heard to dismiss his entire 2016 with “he’s had a shit year.” Cespedes can be forgiven. He, like Granderson, has a track record here.

Afterwards, as the Mets positioned themselves to drop into a three-way tie with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two National League Wild Card berths, Terry did his best Laurence Olivier rending fabric from his garment in the remake of The Jazz Singer as he explained how saddened he was by having to prevent his ostensible marquee right fielder from batting for himself in the most pressing game situation the Mets encountered all night. “It’s one of the worst things you can do as a manager, to pinch-hit for a star,” Collins emoted, “especially one of the elite power hitters in the game.” The manager then praised his elite star power hitter for stepping aside like a pro.

It was, to date, the highlight of Jay Bruce’s Met career.

49 comments to Bruced Feelings

  • Greg Mitchell

    From the Bruce defenders we will now hear “he hit a loud foul” and d’Arnaud is “banged up” (though not on an injury report for three months). I hope we are still in it next week and not looking at next year and cringing.

  • David Hernandez

    Look I never wanted Bruce here but the guy is a complete chump. Yeah putting up stats in cow country in a tiny ballpark eating up lobbed in pitches as your team is trailing 8-2 in the 7th but this is a pennant race u country hick. There’s a reason why there’s a song if you can make it here you can make it anywhere and he can’t cut the mustard here. He is an absolute joke and if we didn’t trade for his clown behind maybe we wouldn’t have a 36 year old trying to play center.
    ESPN ran a stat and he literally is the worst hitter in MLB since August 2.
    176 batting average
    544 ops that is atrocious
    289 slugging percentage

    He has less rbis for the mets than 2 pitchers one of them being Adam wainwright

  • Matt in Richmond

    This is a team game. It’s not about one or two guys. It is extremely rare for an entire lineup to be cooking at the same time. When a team is going well, it covers for the guys that are struggling. When a team starts to scuffle, it magnifies whoever the punching bag(s) du jour happen(s) to be.

    I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t understand what would motivate supposed fans of a team to seem to delight in one of their players scuffling. It is a foreign notion to me…particularly when said player is by all reports a standout human being. A family man, a humanitarian, and a philanthropist in the mold of Curtis Granderson. From a purely baseball perspective, it is illogical in the extreme to suppose that Mr. Bruce is suddenly a worthless player. This is a man who at age 29 (prime time for a baseball player) is a 2 time top 10 MVP, 3 time All Star, and just THIS YEAR was having his best season ever. His struggles are confounding, but the sensible outlook I would think would be to support him and hope he comes out of it. The Mets would clearly be a more formidable team with a productive Bruce. New Yorkers aren’t known for their patience though. Beltran nearly got booed out of town and to this day there are some (idiots) who call him a bust.

    Similarly it is short sighted to write off d’Arnaud. Last year at this time he was a crucial element of our late season run. Few probably know that he had the 2nd highest slugging percentage among catchers in ALL OF BASEBALL last year. Whether it is tinkering with his swing or hitting 8th in the lineup or some unknown malady, he clearly hasn’t been the same most of this year. But this is baseball folks. The greatest of all time have been humbled.

    Rather than metaphorically dump on guys, I will spend the remainder of this season rooting for every single player wearing the blue and orange. They have already accomplished so much this year. I remain confident that they will make their way to the postseason, at which point it becomes a crapshoot, but no matter what is in store for them and for us, it has been a pleasure.

    • Greg Mitchell

      You are wrong–we all root for the players to succeed, even the ones (especially the ones) who have sucked. But that doesn’t keep some o us from actually recognizing longterm failure as predictive of likely continuing, based on track record. For the 10th time–Bruce is a .230 hitter for three years who is also a poor fielder and his good first 2/5s of season was bound to be balanced by terrible 2nd half (and in tougher park). He has reverted to his norm. He was also a bad fit for a team which needed a CF. As some of us said at time acquired –and in July 2015.

      • Greg, dial it back a bit please.

      • Matt in Richmond

        I’m sorry, I hate to have to keep commenting on this, but it is patently false to say he has reverted to his norm. I will repeat all of the FACTS that I previously posted. He is a 2 time top 10 MVP, 3 time ALL STAR, he was leading the league in RBIs at the time of acquisition and he is 29 years old, in other words, right in his prime. One can certainly find fault with aspects of his game. I for one have never been a huge fan, and it’s strange that I’m so often in the role of defending him, but the extreme nature of some of the comments and the flat out falsehoods I see and hear deserve retort.

        • Crawford

          Matt, I like your perspective on the Bruce situation. As a Mets fan, I’m disappointed in how he’s been performing since he was obtained but I can’t help but imagine the pressure that’s building up inside him as this slump continues. The guy is a much better hitter than he’s been showing. Unfortunately, he won’t get much sympathy at the ballpark until the tide starts to turn. Let’s hope he ends the year on a positive note…

        • Richie Nitro

          Forget all his credentials. Some guys just lose it when they come to New York.

          See: Jason Bay.

    • Pete In Iowa

      “Delight in one of their players scuffling”??? I’m afraid that is WAY off base. We’re anguished, suffering, disgusted, frustrated, peed off, distressed and restless. But, we are NOT delighted!
      We are Met fans, first and foremost. I never go out on a limb and speak for all of us, but in this case I will make an exception. True Met fans NEVER delight in seeing our players scuffling. All of the above adjectives I have listed may apply, but not “delight”.

      • Matt in Richmond

        Pete, I didn’t like saying that, and I know it’s not you and not most. There is a nihilistic sort of fan out there who decides they don’t like a certain player and appears to revel in their misfortune. It makes them feel smart or something, I don’t know.

  • eric1973

    Among the “basket of deployables,” “half of those” have gotten us to this point. Poor Jay Bruce. There appears to be no solution.

    If we’re going to lose this thing, that began on Monday. If we are going to win it, it begins tonight.

  • Dave

    Matt – I agree that we are not a patient people. But even if we were, or those of us who break the mold and occasionally are, it’s September 21 and we’re in a 3-way tie for a playoff spot. It simply isn’t time to be talking about patience. I’m sure that Jay Bruce is a good bloke and truly wants to help the Mets win. But he’s had every chance, and this is (in theory) a results-based environment. I don’t know if Mets fans are delighting in booing him, they’re frustrated as hell. I know he is too, but all we can do with our frustration is voice it.

    And same for d’Arnaud. Sandy had best go find a catcher this winter, because he already has trouble staying on the field, now he isn’t hitting when he is, and we already know he can’t throw out his grandmother.

  • kdbart

    Jay Bruce. Quite reminiscent of Carlos Beltran 2005. Yes, the numbers are worse but Carlos was booed quite often that season. He bounced back quite well in 2006.

    As for d’Arnaud, I do believe the ship has sailed on him and he will be moved this off season. Injured too often and when he’s played this season, he’s been quite awful. Hasn’t hit a homer since August 12th. Hasn’t had an extra base or an RBI since August 26th. Over 50 PAs ago and that’s his only RBI since August 12th. That’s 1 RBI in his last 80+ PAs.

  • 9th string catcher

    TDA sure doesn’t look like the answer here. I think TC is playing it right – he doesn’t have an offensive solution beyond the plate. One thing that is certain – Bruce is not helping anyone being in the lineup, and it’s time to stop trotting him out there. So much of this game is psychological; he’s not going to stop pressing and pitchers will continue to exploit that.

    DeAza has earned playing time and can save runs in center field. Run him and conforto out there the rest of the year. At least you would be improved defensively and have some more speed in the lineup. It’s nothing personal – time to win some games.

  • Matt in Richmond

    d’Arnaud has a caught stealing percentage of 22. That is not good, but here is a partial list of who it’s better than: Nick Hundley, G Soto, Miguel Montero, K Suzuki, Hank Conger, F Cervelli, B Wilson, Russel Martin, Tyler Flowers. That is just some of the many who have fared worse than Travis and is not some cherry picked list. They all have substantial attempts and all are more or less respected catchers with regular playing time. I’m not trying to prove Travis is some expert at throwing out runners but just providing some perspective. Fans tend to get awful near sighted and once fixated on an idea (like that Trav is the worst) have a difficult time seeing the reality, which is that he is far from the worst. I’m not even factoring in the pitcher’s role in his numbers, which is substantial.

    As for his hitting, again, perspective is called for. I know sports is a world where “what have you done for me lately” tends to reign supreme, but it shouldn’t always. When you are talking about a young player, at a premium position, where talent is uber thin, patience should be exercised. I’m going to repeat myself from earlier, because I don’t think many of you are grasping the significance: Trav had the 2nd highest slugging percentage among catchers in ALL OF BASEBALL one year ago. Why is everyone so certain that the version we are seeing right now is the real one and not the one from one short year ago? Have you not seen the endless parade of athletes who have an off season only to bounce back? It happens so often they have an award for it! I am not guaranteeing anything as guarantees are silly. I am talking about logic and percentages. There is enough likelihood that Trav has a bounce back in him based on his age and pedigree that I would be loathe to write him off.

    In a sense, the same goes for Bruce. The caveat there is that yes, I agree we don’t have time to be all that patient. However, it’s not as if we have tons of superior options. As I’ve stated previously, I’m in favor of searching for the hot hand and Bruce losing some ABs here and there (particularly vs lefties). The fact remains though (and it is a fact) that his upside is demonstrably higher than anyone else we have to use in his role right now. It would be self defeating to give up on him. We are better with him performing at his career norm as a regular part of this team. I found it fascinating listening to Ron and Keith debating last night if TC should pinch hit for Jay. Keith was pro, Ron (as thoughtful and intelligent an observer of baseball as you can find) was con. Know what? They were both right. Keith was right that in the moment a pinch hitter gave us a better chance to win that game. Ron was right in taking the long view and recognizing how vital Bruce is to our future success. Great stuff.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Jesus, you are citing some of the worst catchers in baseball to defend Travis’s throwing. Yeah, and Bruce has hit better than some (not all) of our pitchers lately.

      • Matt in Richmond

        Greg, Travis doesn’t need me to defend him. I pointed out 9 catchers who have worse percentages than Trav (and there are more) to lend some perspective. It seems to be an accepted fact by many that he is the worst throwing catcher in the game, when the stats show he is closer to the middle than the bottom. And really? Martin, Cervelli, Suzuki, Montero are the worst in baseball? These are respected veteran catchers. A further point I am trying to illustrate is that superb starting catchers don’t just grow on trees. It is the scarcest position in the game…all the more reason to not prematurely give up on someone with the pedigree of Trav…one season removed from playing at an elite level.

        • Greg Mitchell

          There are many, many, respected “veteran” catchers who are poor throwers. Need we mention Piazza? Posada was also below average most years. McCann almost always. The fact they can hit doesn’t obscure face they are weak throwers. And unlike d’Arnaud this year, they all at least hit.

          • Matt in Richmond

            Of course we needn’t mention Piazza. He perennially had the worst numbers in the league. d’Arnaud isn’t even remotely in his category. McCann has had numerous down offensive years. I don’t know who the rest of the “they” are. Again, I’m simply demonstrating with facts that d’Arnaud isn’t nearly as bad as he is often characterized. My point remains unassailed.

  • Dave R.

    I don’t think any of us are saying D’Arnaud can’t have a bounce-back year, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll have a bounce-back week or two weeks. He hasn’t had an RBI since August 26. That’s mind-boggling. Of course, they have no good options.

    As for Bruce, he’s become an automatic out, but I do agree that the Mets’ only chance to go far in the playoffs is for him to get hot. That being said, I think Collins did the right thing last night.

    I know this is beginning to sound like a broken record, but three starters out, missing their first baseman, second baseman and third baseman, RF can’t hit, catcher can’t hit. Tied for the wild card (and actually ahead of the Giants on the tiebreaker).

    Every night I say out loud, “How is this team still in it?” So I’m going to try to force myself to enjoy this because losing to the Braves 5-4 on Sept. 20 when you’re in a playoff race beats the hell out of beating the Braves 5-4 on Sept. 20 when the season is over.

  • Mikey

    I’ve seen enough of Bruce for now–give him a week off, or more if his replacement is hitting. last night after TJ Rivera hit a single in the 2nd inning, Bruce followed with a first pitch can of corn. then James Loney singles. Travis flies out, and we eventually fail to score

    that play where the ball landed in between Curtis and Bruce was so painful to watch. that should never happen in the major leagues.

    I didn’t quite get why Cabrera wasn’t pulled immediately after straining his knee. you have Matt Reynolds on the bench

  • mookie4ever

    The game was blacked out where I am on vacation, so I could only follow online at mlb and Twitter. Couldn’t believe my eyes with the pinch hitters in the 8th, Soup and then Plaw of all people coming through. I really thought to myself, it’s going to be another game they pluck from the jaws of defeat, how exciting would that be. But I guess there can’t be a miracle every single night. So proud that they fought back and showed once again there’s no quit in this team.

    BUT, it’s Sept 21st and what’s left of the New York Mets are tied for the 1st WC spot! THERE’S our miracle after this nightmare season of surgeries, slumps and slow starts. It’s still all right there for the taking. I still have faith in our boys. Ya Gotta Believe!

    I wasn’t happy to read that Bruce went right down into the clubhouse instead of supporting his teammates in the dugout, but I guess he’s only human, probably had to punch or break something. Seems he has finally learned something about NY – it’s best to do that in private. Thought his postgame comments were very professional, though. I am rooting for him and/or Mikey to turn it around, don’t care which, as long as we win some ballgames. LGM

    • Greg Mitchell

      Bruce claimed post-game that “everyone in the clubhouse” wants him up in every situation. Want to finance a private poll and find out?

      • Rob E.

        Clubhouses don’t benefit by turning on each other. Everybody in that clubhouse has failed at some point. Bruce had a terrible game last night…so did Cespedes. So did d’Arnaud. So did Blevins. Syndergaard did the night before. The TEAM can’t just throw guys off the island like fans can.

  • Gil

    Gsellman looked good.
    Yo needs to connect on one, even if its an oppo single.

    (beads of sweat form on the forehead)

  • mookie4ever

    Greg, haha, I heard that too and it did sound like that. But hopefully he meant every player feels that way about himself. And it better be true or they don’t belong in MLB.

    Gil – agreed. Hope he takes the next offered day off to rest that quad.

  • Steve K

    Re-posted from the previous game’s friend (with minor edits):

    This game represents just another example of TC being a step behind. Gsellman has had difficulty the third time through the order. You had Freddy Freeman due up fourth in the 6th inning, Mets up 1-0.

    But, he has no lefty warming up in time to face Freeman?

    And, leaves in Gsellman after he walked Freeman?

    Earlier this month, it was not being aware enough to pinch-run for Wilmer. Last night, his delay in removing a starter who had reached the end of his rope proved costly.

    While I applaud how he has held the team together, and has them playing hard, these repeated strategic errors are frustrating to watch.

    Or, is it just me? :)

    • Rob E.

      It’s a fair point that you can’t say you had no time to get someone warmed up when you have 15 guys in the bullpen. That was short-sighted. That being said, Gsellman was cruising, and even in the sixth he wasn’t getting smacked around. And if that relatively routine flyball is caught he probably makes it through the sixth. As for Freeman, Gsellman had struck him out the first two times up, so I can understand letting him take another shot. Also, the lefties that were eventually brought in didn’t do the job either. If Smoker or Blevins came in and Freeman doubles, the criticism becomes “why did he take out Gsellman so quick.” I don’t have a problem with what was done strategically.

      Frustrating game, but it was the bullpen that put it too far out of reach in the seventh.

      • Jacobs27

        Rob, You may be right about the reverse criticism, but I wouldn’t bet on it. It is such a rare occurrence that Terry Collins takes a starting pitcher too soon. Even if Blevins or Smoker blows it, as both eventually did, it’s really hard to criticize that move in the 6th inning against Freeman, whatever the results. In any case, I think it would be wrong to criticize it.

  • Rochester John

    “Basket of deployables”!!!

    Greg, you da man!

  • LeClerc

    Easier said than done department:

    Dear Bart – No gopher balls tonight please.

    Dear Mets Offense – Ryan Weber may be a fine young fellow – but tonight it’s your task to make him chopped liver.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Looking back over the years at the trades the Mets have made for established position players, there is a truly mixed bag. Piazza, Delgado and Cespedes are examples of good ones, while Alomar and Vaughn are players who didn’t even come close to what was on the back of their baseball cards. So far, Jay Bruce belongs with Roberto and Mo.

  • Pete In Iowa

    “Travis d’Arnaud is the Jay Bruce of catchers.”
    What a great line Greg. Only problem is, I wish it were true. Truth is, he’s nowhere near as good as Bruce is. Never was and never will be. There, I said it!!
    At the very least (last night’s flub excepted of course) Bruce is an adequate, perhaps even slightly better than average, right fielder. D’arNO has never been and never will be an adequate big league catcher. And it’s not just his throwing, which is bad enough on its own. Over the years when he’s actually been on the field, I’ve seen him let pitches which weren’t in the dirt get by when HE HAD THEM IN HIS GLOVE. Also, there have been many, many times where he gets lazy sliding to his right, dropping to his knees and blocking a ball as well. And he’s what, a career 240 hitter? Puhleeze!!
    It pains me to say this about one of our own, but it’s the truth. I’d be relieved to see Plawecki/Rivera behind the plate most of the rest of the way and next year and beyond as well.
    Thank God Thor was included in the Dickey trade.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Okay, your opinion is clear and duly noted. A few facts. He is closer to the middle of the league than the bottom when it comes to caught stealing percentage. This catching a staff that is clearly one of the worst ever at holding runners on. He is one season removed from being 2nd among all catchers in slugging percentage. 2nd! That doesn’t happen by accident. Catcher is the toughest position to find talent in baseball. We should all be terrified of letting him go too soon only to watch him develop into the All Star that he has long been predicted to be. What exactly do you suppose we will replace him with? Who are these wonderful catchers who are beating on our door?

      • Pete In Iowa

        As I said above, I would be happy with a combo of Plawecki/Rivera. Don’t see how that could be any worse.
        My take on being a fan is simple — while I mostly like and always hope for the best with our players, I don’t look at them as treasured family pets. Quite simply, they are ball players who play for my team – nothing more, nothing less. Either they produce and help us win or they don’t. Period. If they don’t produce a better option must be found and/or tried. After all, that is how a winning team is constructed — on results, not hope.
        In D’ArNO’s case, he has played in parts of four seasons and has posted a career .245/.309/.394 slash line, which also happens to be his 162 game average. These are numbers he put up while healthy (so injuries are no excuse). I could accept those kind of numbers after four years for an ELITE defensive catcher, which he most certainly is not (and, as I stated above, throwing is not his only shortcoming). His fantastic season to which you refer (last year), he played in all of 67 games – a very small sample indeed. And as stated, he only played well in late August/September, an even smaller sample size. In my view, given what he’s done over 275 games in four years, is a much better indication of what he is, rather than a two month sample from his only good partial season.
        In addition, in the postseason (on the heels of his “good” season) he posted a slash line of .182/.193/.364.
        Sorry, I don’t see any real upside here. I don’t see any All-Star potential given what he’s posted in his career and he wasn’t exactly Mr. October last season. I’ve been a Met fan my whole life, and I ain’t getting any younger. I want players who produce now — that’s all. It’s time to move on from D’Arnaud.

        • Matt in Richmond

          I see. So he gets no credit for his elite performance last season because the sample size is too small, but it’s fair to denigrate his postseason numbers when the sample size is even smaller? By the way, your notions of his defensive shortcomings are opinions, not established facts. I’ve often heard it said by pitchers past and present, that he is one of the very best at stealing strikes with his soft hands and ability to frame pitches, and he has demonstrated remarkable acumen at working with young pitchers.

          Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you and many others seem to be under the impression that .300 hitting, power laden, defensive wizard catchers grow on trees. The reality is there are very few catchers putting up numbers anyone would want to boast about, and fewer still that possess both excellent defensive and offensive skills.

          • Pete In Iowa

            Certainly, how I view a players performance is all opinion. However, a career slash line is an indisputable fact.
            You can give him all the credit in the world for his good two months, I have no problem with that. All I am saying is that I don’t place so much stock in that flash in the pan when evaluating what a player’s expected long-term performance will be. I’ll take career numbers as a reasonable indicator.
            My reference to his post-season numbers was meant to show, in his one and only shot at the post-season in his career, he didn’t perform even to his weak career standards.

  • Greg Mitchell

    6-1 Rockies over Cards in the 3rd.

    Arenado now has 128 RBIs and can field a little.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Except against the Mets where he looked dazed and confused. Let’s go ROX!!!!!

  • Eric

    I’m nervous.

    Last night’s game was the 1st game since the Mets run to the top of the WC standings started that they failed to get back on track after a loss. Worse, the other WC contenders won, and against NL front runners to boot.

    I don’t know how these offensively challenged, broken down, leftover patchwork Mets have won as much as they have this past month, so I can’t predict whether the team will pull itself back up now. They might get back on track tonight and finish out the season winning the games they need to win. Or this might be marked as the point where the August-September hot streak ran its course and the broken down team finally broke and slid out of the WC race. No idea.

    The margin for error is too thin – that fly ball needed to be caught. Who could have foreseen that not pinch running for Flores might end up costing the Mets the WC game.

    I know only the Mets are in the WC race today and there are 11 games to find out. I guess just see what happens tonight.

  • GroteFan

    Trust me I am wrong on most trades, but I am more frustrated with the front office in trading for Jay Bruce then the trade itself which I was opposed to.
    A 10 minute dive into some of the details of this guys performance would show that the first half of a this year while although not a fluke, but well outside the norm.
    Been a mets fan since ’71 so this all started with Jim Fregosi. Nothing new here.

  • eric1973

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always liked TDA. The past few years, we won a lot of games after he came off the DL.
    He frames pitches like nobody’s business, and gets some strikes that are undeserved.

    Not ready to give up on him yet.

  • Steve K

    There is NO EXCUSE to be swept TWICE at home by a second-division team like the Braves.

    And, I don’t want to hear they should have won if not for Ces being robbed of the HR. They NEVER should have been in position to NEED to come from behind.

    Why does the offense stall after putting up two runs after two batters in the first? Same old same old same old.

    How can TC take out Reed to play “lefty-lefty” matchup? Yet another game where a move of his cost them. If not for his mistakes, Mets would be up at least 2 games in the w/card race. And, don’t get me started on this team’s slumbering against inferior opponents. Dbacks. Padres. Dbacks again. Braves. Unmotivated players can be traced back the manager not getting his message across.

    I don’t mean to seem like a disloyal fan – I’m not – but I’m glad I’m going away this weekend and will miss most of the Phillies series. Right now this team is just too frustrating to watch.

    • skoonix

      You most certainly are not “disloyal” you are logical and breathing. TC made SO many stupid moves tonight. But the biggest was taking Reed out. He has been great against lefties as well and even Keith and Ronnie said no way should Reed come out. But there is TC who has to be one of the worst in-game managers I have ever seen. And then he has Plawecki pinch hit with the bases loaded and the game on the line! Is Plawecki hitting maybe .170? I just don’t believe that a good, loyal mets fan is just supposed to sit quietly while this team chokes and implodes. And look, I so did not want Bruce brought here but once he was, of course I and every Met fan was cheering for him to produce. Not in my worst fever dream could I ever imagine he would suck as bad as he does in a Met uniform. TC should give Nimmo a few starts in RF. It can’t hurt. This loss really hurt – quite a gut punch. Yes, it looks like SF and STL lost as well but that’s not the point – how wonderful it would have been to be up a FULL game instead of a three way tie. I hate to say this but IF we do not make the post season, at least it’ll make it easier to fire Collins at the end of the season.

  • […] the nine Met runs, making almost all the difference in what became a 9-8 victory that obscured the frustration and heartbreak that defined the two previous evenings at Citi Field and made a person overlook […]