Houston Astros third baseman J.D. Davis bats during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Astros third baseman J.D. Davis bats during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has spoken repeatedly about eliminating the team's "ifs" for the 2019 season. Over the weekend, he executed a series of trades intended to do just that.

Time will tell if Van Wagenen and his evaluators chose the right players to acquire, or parted with a prospect who will develop into a productive major leaguer. But the GM's goal was to create contingency plans that will at least reduce the number of ifs on the roster.

Think of it this way: That lackluster "B" team that would play a day game after a night game, or on a random getaway day, or on the second game of a doubleheader, or when too many Mets were on the DL? Van Wagenen, having bolstered the "A" team with the likes of Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos, is trying to turn the Mets "B squad" into more of a "1A" with stronger bench and more options for manager Mickey Callaway.

Van Wagenen's aggressive overhaul of the farm system has also highlighted the strong influence of new assistant GM Adam Guttridge. Before coming to the Mets, Guttridge developed a projection system for minor leaguers; over the past few months, Van Wagenen has leaned on Guttridge's insights and model in determining which minor leaguers to trade.

For a new GM trying to decide which prospects are safest to move, this information has been essential. Again, only time will reveal whether the decisions prove wise. But the methodology employed by the Van Wagenen regime is becoming more clear.

Van Wagenen's inner circle also includes Omar Minaya, Allaird Baird and John Ricco. Those three are known quantities in baseball, but Guttridge, a lesser-known figure, is clearly making his own mark on the franchise.

Here is more detail about how the Mets intend to utilize their new players:

Corner infielder J.D. Davis

In terms of reducing ifs, the team sees Davis, acquired from Houston for infielder Luis Santana, catcher Scott Manea and outfielder Ross Adolph, as a hedge against first baseman Peter Alonso not being immediately ready to contribute, and as someone who can hit left-handed pitching.

The Mets targeted Davis early in the offseason for those reasons. If he succeeds, he can ultimately become an option to succeed Todd Frazier at third base.

Outfielder Keon Broxton

Broxton has many of the same skills as Juan Lagares, but with more power. Both are strong defenders, and both are right-handed hitters. In a perfect world, Lagares is healthy and able to play center field nearly every day. But that hasn't happened for much of his career, so Broxton -- along with spring training invitee Rajai Davis -- can serve as a hedge against the "if" of Lagares.

If both Broxton and Lagares are healthy, Callaway will have the option of using them both against left-handed pitching, or playing the hot hand on a given day. Again, it's about the attempt to turn a "B" team into a "1A" team.

Starting pitcher Walker Lockett

Lockett, acquired from Cleveland for Kevin Plawecki, serves as rotation depth. In a perfect world, he will begin the year at Triple-A, but the Mets see him as a player whose potential exceeds his current results, in part because he has pitched in the hitters' paradise of the Pacific Coast League.

Relief pitcher Hector Santiago

Santiago, signed to a minor-league deal, is another depth piece for the pitching staff.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Kevin Plawecki, Andy Martino
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Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws to the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

There was bound to be panic among Mets fans, no matter how the news was delivered that Jacob deGrom was going to get an MRI, but in retrospect it sure seemed the ballclub raised the panic level higher than necessary with what appeared to be some level of miscommunication.

After all, how could anyone not think the worst when Mickey Callaway announced Friday afternoon that deGrom was being scratched from his Saturday start, and heading back to New York for an MRI on his elbow -- immediately, it seemed.

Over the next hour or so, however, Brodie Van Wagenen released a statement providing important context, saying deGrom felt better after getting treatment from the medical staff on Friday, and wouldn't be getting that MRI until Monday, while staying with the team in St. Louis for the weekend series against the Cardinals.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, John Harper
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Mets edge Cards 00:01:21
Offense from Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso helped the Mets to early lead and they hung on for 5-4 win over the Cardinals.

After the news that Jacob deGrom will get an MRI on his elbow cast a pall over the Mets, they went out and defeated the Cardinals Friday night, 5-4. >> Box score

Six things to know about Friday's game...

1) Pete Alonso did another Pete Alonso thing in the sixth inning, crushing a solo home run 432 feet to center field with an exit velocity of 111.7 miles per hour. It turned out to be a huge homer as that put the Mets up 5-1, and their bullpen went on to give up three runs. Alonso finished 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. He now has seven homers and 18 RBI this season.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, St. Louis Cardinals
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New York Mets' Chris Flexen (64) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, July 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Chris Flexen (64) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday, July 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The Mets will call up RHP Chris Flexen from Triple-A Syracuse to start on Saturday in place of the injured Jacob deGrom, who is set to undergo an MRI Monday on his elbow

Flexen has made two starts in Triple-A so far, allowing seven earned runs in 12 innings. In his last outing he allowed five runs (two homers) in six innings on six hits and two walks.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Alonso HR 00:00:14
Pete Alonso hammers a line drive HR to straightaway center field to give the Mets a 5-1 lead

Pete Alonso has done it again, hammering a line-drive home run as the Mets beat the Cardinals on Friday night.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Gelbs talks deGrom injury 00:01:14
SNY's Steve Gelbs reports on the elbow discomfort that Jacob deGrom is experiencing and that he will return to NY for an MRI

The following is a statement sent via text from Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen. It echoes what we previously reported from other sources -- that the Mets are not particularly concerned about the injury.

"Jacob dealt with sickness over the last week and hasn't been able to conduct his normal routine between starts. As a result, he has been scratched from tomorrow's game. Additionally, Jacob experienced some mild soreness in his throwing arm over the last 24 hours. His arm felt significantly better following treatment with our health and performance staff today. Even so, Jacob will be evaluated by our medical team in New York on Monday in the abundance of caution.

"We will be placing Jacob on the IL retroactively to April 16th enabling him to return on Friday the 26th when we begin our series with the Brewers. We will make a corresponding roster move prior to tomorrow's game."

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Jacob deGrom to have MRI 00:00:34
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway described pitcher Jacob deGrom's elbow as 'barking' and he will head to NY to have and MRI.

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom is having his Saturday start pushed back because his elbow has been "barking" and will undergo an MRI, manager Mickey Callaway said before Friday's game. He'll get the MRI on Monday.

"DeGrom is going to be pushed back tomorrow, he's not gonna pitch," Callaway said. "He's been under the weather, his elbow is a little barky. We're gonna get him back to New York. Get him checked out, have an MRI, and go from there at this point."

DeGrom had initially been pushed back from Friday to Saturday due to strep throat. As far as the elbow issue, Callaway said he first started feeling it Friday...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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As the Mets' bullpen struggles, they have remained in touch with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel. Here's the latest...


April 19, 6:36 PM:

While Kiimbrel could have more motivated suitors than the Mets, the team has kept in touch with Kimbrel's camp and has not ruled out signing him, according to SNY's Andy Martino

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Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) and pitching coach Dave Eiland (58) and starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) talk on the mound against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) and pitching coach Dave Eiland (58) and starting pitcher Jason Vargas (44) talk on the mound against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets (10-8) begin a three-game series against the Cardinals (10-8) in St. Louis Friday at 8:15 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

Jason Vargas tries to right the ship as he takes the hill one day earlier than expected. He was moved up from Saturday originally because Jacob deGrom had strep throat, but on Friday Mickey Callaway said deGrom would be sent for an MRI on his "barking" elbow, meaning Vargas might have more job security in the short-term. ... The Mets have lost four of their last five games. ... Since 2009, the Mets have a 10-21 record in St. Louis. ... Jeff McNeil is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with runners in scoring position, tied for fifth-best in the National League. ... Brandon Nimmo remains out of the lineup with a stiff neck but should be available to pinch-hit.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, St. Louis Cardinals
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

As Jason Vargas takes the hill in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday night, the Mets will be scouting his potential replacement.

The Mets will be in hand in Buffalo as Gio Gonzalez -- who SNY's Andy Martino reported is "increasingly likely" to opt out of his deal with the Yankees on Saturday -- starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Martino added that the Mets seem more open to adding Gonzalez now than in the offseason, when they weren't interested.

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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The Amazin' Life: From WY to NJ! 00:02:00
On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Todd Frazier tries to give teammate Brandon Nimmo some New Jersey style!

On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Todd Frazier tries to give teammate Brandon Nimmo some New Jersey style!

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier
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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Gio Gonzalez appears increasingly likely to opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees on Saturday, according to multiple major league sources. If he does, the Mets could be more of a fit than they were in the offseason.

On Friday, Gonzalez switched agents from Scott Boras to CAA. The move was intended to set him up with representation that he felt more comfortable with, in the event that he would become a free agent again.

If Gonzalez requests his release from the Yankees on Saturday, per a clause in his contract, the team will have 48 hours to add him to the major league roster. With Domingo German pitching capably and CC Sabathia back from the injured list, there is no obvious spot for Gonzalez -- though the Yankees could promote him and either piggyback him with German or put in him their rotation, in order to retain control.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Jason Vargas, Andy Martino
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Apr 6, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; General view of Busch Stadium prior to the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports (William Purnell)
Apr 6, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; General view of Busch Stadium prior to the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports (William Purnell)

Some pitchers just evoke a certain type of emotion when you spot their name in a pitching matchup. In the case of Vargas -- as Mets fans unfortunately know all too well -- it could be anger. For a bettor, it might be a signal to instantly "fade," or bet against.

There's no question Vargas has been a disappointment since arriving in Flushing last year. After his latest dud, one that saw him record a mere one out last Saturday, the 36-year-old has now crafted a brutal 6.32 ERA in his 22 starts (and one relief appearance) with the Mets. Suffice to say, his days in the rotation could be numbered.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) watches the flight of his solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) watches the flight of his solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Pete Alonso has not wasted any time in making his mark with the Mets. 

The rookie first baseman has six home runs and 17 RBI with a slashline of .323/.413/.708 through the first 18 games of his career. 

He has even put himself in the same category as Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton with his 454-foot, 118.3 mph home run against the Braves on April 11 -- the ninth hardest hit ball ever recorded by Statcast and hardest ball hit by a player not named Judge or Stanton. 

Tags: Pete Alonso
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets began a 13-game stretch last week that included 10 games against the Phillies and Braves.

I believed the Mets would need to win at least six of those 10 games -- which would put them around 14-10 heading into their next homestand -- to avoid hitting the panic button too early.

To date, they have won just two of seven during this stretch, with three left against the Phillies, whom they will play at Citi Field after beginning a three-game series Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) after catching a line drive hit by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates second baseman Jeff McNeil (68) after catching a line drive hit by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Todd Frazier is continuing his slow crawl back to the Mets, with his rehab stint shifting to Triple-A Syracuse and his activation necessary by early next week unless he has a setback.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke earlier this week about Frazier's return, saying what was already known -- Frazier will not be the full-time starter at third base. Instead, he will split time there with J.D. Davis and -- when he isn't in the outfield -- Jeff McNeil.

The Mets have some choices to make when Frazier returns and are in for some really hard playing time choices when Jed Lowrie comes back. For now, the focus is on Frazier. Here's how things could shake out when he returns...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jacob Rhame, Jeff McNeil, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier
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Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

As Jason Vargas struggles, the Mets have remained in touch with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Here's the latest...


April 18, 12:14 PM:

Keuchel is open to signing a one-year deal and then "resetting," reports Jon Heyman of FanCred. It was reported by Ken Rosenthal on April 7 that Keuchel was open to a one-year deal worth more than the $17.9 million qualifying offer he rejected from the Astros or a longer-term deal at a lower average annual value.

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Apr 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets (10-8, second place in the NL East, 1.5 games back of first place Phillies) are off on Thursday. They begin a three-game series against the Cardinals on Friday in St. Louis. 

Here's what went down on Wednesday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Phillies, a late comeback fell short as New York lost its second straight and dropped the series to Philadelphia >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mets lose finale to Phillies 00:01:16
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway was happy with Zack Wheeler pitching deep against the Phillies and sees NL East being a dog fight.

Zack Wheeler took the mound Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia looking another solid start like his last one against the Braves. Overall, it was a good start by the hard-throwing righty, but a couple costly mistakes linger on his mind.

Wheeler had been cruising, as he allowed just one run in the second inning. But that changed when Scott Kingery launched an opposite field solo homer to push the Phillies lead to two. Then, just one inning later, Cesar Hernandez did the exact same as his teammate, taking a Wheeler pitch over the right field fence. 

That last solo homer was ultimately the winning run for the Phillies, who took the three-game series with the victory. Wheeler may have been satisfied with his overall performance, but not with those two pitches he made.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Zack Wheeler
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Jeff McNeil entered Wednesday hitting .418 (23-for-55) with five doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and a .484 on-base percentage, which was second-best in the National League and fourth-best in all of baseball. He notched two more hits on Wednesday, raising his triiple slash to .424/.485/.542.

"He's still still mostly under people's radars," a former MLB scout, now advisor to an NL team, told me earlier Wednesday. "Based on what he did last year, if he keeps this up, he won't be a secret for long."

In McNeil, I see a 27-year-old, old-school hitter with a unique story and unique bat that is destined to win multiple batting titles, the first of which could realistically happen this season.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom won't be making his scheduled start on Friday, as he is suffering from strep throat, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

In turn, the Mets will move Jason Vargas up one day and give him the ball to start the series with the Cardinals. And if deGrom isn't feeling healthy enough for the game on Saturday, the Mets could move up Steven Matz and have him pitch off short rest, per The Post's Mike Puma. Matz didn't even finish one inning in his start on Tuesday. 

DeGrom's last two starts haven't seen his normal dominance on the bump. After throwing a six-run dud to the Twins back on April 9, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (two homers) over five innings of work.

But deGrom must worry about his health before focusing on reversing the outcome of his last two outings. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas
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Mets lose series to Phillies 00:00:59
New York Mets had a shot in the 9th to possibly take the lead but fell short in the series finale to the Phillies.

It was a thriller in Philadelphia this afternoon, but the Mets came out on the losing end, 3-2, as the Phillies took the series. >> Box score

Six things to know about Wednesday's game...

1) Zack Wheeler started off the day cruising out in Philadelphia, but the long ball got to him later in the game. Holding on to a 1-0 deficit, Scott Kingery launched an opposite field homer in the fifth inning for his second of the series to make it 2-0. Then, one inning later, Cesar Hernandez took Wheeler deep as well to push the lead to three. Overall, Wheeler finished the day allowing three earned on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks as well. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Philadelphia Phillies, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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Apr 16, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) pitches a complete game shut out against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Apr 16, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Mike Minor (23) pitches a complete game shut out against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

It appears the Mets may look to the trade market to try to bolster their starting rotation.

They're showing strong interest in Rangers lefty Mike Minor, according to USA Today. But they aren't alone as the Phillies are also interested in the veteran, according to the report.

Minor threw a shutout against the Angels on Tuesday, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He's allowed just two runs in 23 innings over his last three starts.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is still dealing with soreness in his neck, he told reporters before Wednesday's game, and has taken a muscle relaxer to help.

Manager Mickey Callaway said he isn't too worried at this point about Nimmo -- who is sitting on Wednesday and will get an extra day of rest with the Mets off on Thursday. And Nimmo doesn't think the neck issue will lead to a stint on the injured list.

When the Mets took Steven Matz out of the game in the first inning on Tuesday night, Nimmo left with him -- walking to the dugout with Mets head trainer Brian Chicklo.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Danny Abriano
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Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil (6) doubles to score two runs against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil (6) doubles to score two runs against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (10-7, second place in NL East) face the Phillies (10-6, first place in NL East) on Wednesday in Philadelphia at 1:05 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

In the rubber game of this three-game set, the Mets will try to win their first series since April 1-3, when they swept the Marlins. Since then, they lost a series to the Nationals and split series with the Twins and Braves. ... Jeff McNeil takes the leadoff spot with Brandon Nimmo sitting because of a stiff neck. Keon Broxton draws the start in center. ... Travis d'Arnaud is behind the plate for the matinee after Wilson Ramos caught Tuesday night. ... The Mets' eight road wins are tied with Seattle for most in the majors.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Philadelphia Phillies, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)
Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)

Jed Lowrie, who has been out with a capsule sprain in his left knee since the start of Spring Training, is heading down to Port St. Lucie to go through the next step in his rehab process, Mickey Callaway said Wednesday.

Lowrie will take live batting practice on Friday and Saturday, according to Callaway. There's no schedule yet regarding when Lowrie will be able to go on a rehab assignment since he essentially didn't have a Spring Training.

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Jul 31, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jacob Rhame (35) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Jul 31, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jacob Rhame (35) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Drew Gagnon, who was on short rest, came in to Tuesday night's game after Steven Matz failed to get an out. Gagnon allowed five runs, but saved the Mets' bullpen by eating up 5.1 innings. His reward? A demotion to Triple-A Syracuse.

The demotion isn't an indictment on Gagnon, though. It's a move being made out of necessity in order for the Mets to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. And that fresh arm is Jacob Rhame.

Rhame, 26, has struggled so far this season for Syracuse, posting a 9.53 ERA and 1.58 WHIP while walking five and striking out seven in 5.2 innings (six appearances).

Tags: Jacob Rhame, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Apr 16, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery (4) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports (John Geliebter)
Apr 16, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery (4) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports (John Geliebter)

The Mets (10-7, second place in the NL East, 0.5 game back of first place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. on SNY. 

Here's what went down on Tuesday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' ugly 14-3 loss to the Phillies, Steven Matz couldn't record an out and the team made four errors >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Matz tries to shake off bad day 00:01:09
Mickey Callaway, Steven Matz, and Brandon Nimmo talk about a bad night in Philadelphia for the Mets, as they fell 14-3 to the Phillies.

Steven Matz just did not have it Tuesday night. 

The Mets southpaw was roughed up for eight runs in the first inning and was taken out of the game before recording an out in a 14-3 loss to the Phillies. 

Amed Rosario committed two errors behind Matz, which included allowing leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen on base to jump-start the inning. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Philadelphia Phillies, Steven Matz
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Mets fall hard to Phillies, 14-3 00:01:11
Steven Matz was shelled and the defense struggled as the Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 14-3, on Tuesday night.

Absolutely nothing went right for the Mets on Tuesday. Steven Matz was roughed up for eight runs before he could even record an out as the Mets fell to the Phillies in a 14-3 loss on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score

Six things to know about Tuesday's game

1) Matz had nothing going for him, allowing eight runs, six earned, on four hits, a walk and hit batsman, including two home runs without getting a single out before he was pulled from the game. The Phillies tacked on two more against Drew Gagnon in relief before the inning finally ended with the Mets in a 10-0 hole. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Philadelphia Phillies, Steven Matz, Wilson Ramos
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Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) runs the bases before scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) runs the bases before scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

In a disastrous first inning for the Mets at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night, Brandon Nimmo left the game with a stiff neck, the team announced. Juan Lagares replaced Nimmo in center field.

As Steven Matz was finally relieved after an awful start, Nimmo also made his way to the dugout with Mets head trainer Brian Chicklo.

Nimmo said after the game that he had been battling soreness all day leading up to the game. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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The Mets were put in a giant hole early on against the Phillies on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the bats from trying to cut into the deficit. 

Michael Conforto was one of those players, as he launched an opposite field solo shot in the top of the third. It was his fourth homer of the season. 

An inning before Conforto went deep, Wilson Ramos got the Mets on the board with a solo homer himself. It was his first home run as a Met, and only his second extra-base hit of the year...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos
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Jun 27, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 27, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets brought back Jeurys Familia to be a key cog in their bullpen, but the right-handed reliever has not quite lived up to his end of the deal early in the season. 

Familia struggled again on Monday night, allowing four baserunners to reach on three walks and a single in 2/3 of an inning, and allowing the Phillies to tie the game at 6. 

Yet Mets manager Mickey Callaway remains optimistic about his setup man, who has allowed six runs in 8.1 innings this season and nine walks.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (10-6, first place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-6, second place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.

Mets Notes

The Mets picked up a big extra-inning win last night in Philadelphia. They have now won four of their last six games. ...The Mets have 10 or more hits in each of their last four games. ...Edwin Diaz collected his sixth save of the season, which ranks fourth in the MLB and second in the National League. ...Michael Conforto has gone deep in three of his last six games. ...Pete Alonso has reached base safely in eight straight starts. 

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Steven Matz
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Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

If the Mets are going to be this careful about protecting Edwin Diaz, refusing to use him in the highest of high-leverage eighth-inning spots Monday night against the Phillies, then there's only one way to justify such caution:

Go sign Craig Kimbrel. And do it quickly before someone else does.

It's the obvious take, I know, and it might make for a touchy situation as to who gets the ninth inning if the Mets actually were to sign him.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, John Harper
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Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz follows through on a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eleventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz follows through on a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eleventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Mets (10-6, first place in the NL East, 0.5 game up on second place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Monday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' wild 11-inning win over the Phillies, Edwin Diaz was held back until the save situation and proceeded to blow the heart of Philadelphia's order away >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Juan Lagares, Luis Guillorme, Robert Gsellman, Danny Abriano
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Edwin, Mickey, Brodie talk role 00:01:19
New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, manager Mickey Callaway and GM Brodie Van Wagenen discuss why Diaz wasn't used in high leverage situation.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway defended his decision not to use Edwin Diaz in a pivotal eighth-inning spot after Monday's 11-inning win over the Phillies, saying he wouldn't use his closer for a four-out save unless it was the playoffs.

Callaway said the Mets wouldn't have Diaz, who has a 1.35 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings this season, pitch more than one inning or enter in a tie game on the road.

After Jeurys Familia pitched into a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the eighth in a 6-5 game, Callaway turned to Robert Gsellman instead of Diaz to try to escape the jam. Gsellman then walked in the game-tying run on four pitches to blow the save.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Philadelphia Phillies, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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Mets prevail in 11 innings 00:01:28
The Mets capitalized on a Phillies error in the 11th inning, scoring the eventual winning run in a see-saw affair, 7-6

Michael Conforto drove in the game-winning run on an error in the 11th inning as the Mets overcame a blown eighth-inning lead to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score

Seven things to know about Monday's game

1) Conforto's two-out liner off Rhys Hoskins' glove trickled into shallow right field, allowing Juan Lagares to score from second base ahead of Cesar Hernandez's off-line throw to break a 6-6 tie.

2) Edwin Diaz, who did not enter the game for a four-out save in the eighth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the 11th as the Mets snapped a two-game losing streak.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Philadelphia Phillies, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos
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 (Rob Schumacher)
(Rob Schumacher)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As someone who was forced to retire from his sport while still an elite athlete due to spine-related injuries, few people in the universe could relate to Tiger Woods' winning the Masters on Sunday quite like David Wright

As such Wright had planned his Sunday afternoon/evening to make sure he was in front of his TV at home in Virginia. 

Only he hadn't planned on the tournament organizers moving tee times up several hours to avoid late-day rain. So as Tiger was teeing off at 9:20 a.m., Wright and his wife, Molly, were getting ready to take their two young daughters to see Paw Patrol Live, a sold-out event the girls had been talking about for weeks. 

Tags: David Wright, John Harper
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Cano drives in a pair 00:00:18
Robinson Cano rips a two-run double off Aaron Nola to put the Mets ahead, 5-3

On Jackie Robinson Day, Robinson Cano, who was named after Robinson, ripped a two-run double Monday night in the fourth inning against the Phillies to give the Mets a 5-3 lead at the time. 

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Robinson Cano
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Apr 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets (9-6, second place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-5, first place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.

Mets Notes

The Mets, along with the rest of MLB, will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Monday by having every player and coach wear No. 42. ... Michael Conforto, batting cleanup, has reached base safely at least twice in 12 games this season -- second-best in the majors -- and faces a Phillies team whom he has homered in three of his last five games against. ... Brandon Nimmo is again in the leadoff spot as he enters the game having reached base safely in the last seven straight games. 

Stream the Mets live

Click here to follow via SNY Gameday

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Philadelphia Phillies
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Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Keon Broxton (23) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Keon Broxton (23) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The main Mets headlines continue to center around replacing Jason Vargas with Dallas Keuchel, and whether to sign Craig Kimbrel to beef up the bullpen.

Here are four under the radar stories worth noting...

1) Broxton is better than Lagares

Tags: Juan Lagares, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Matthew Cerrone
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Doug Williams and Andy Martino "Make your Monday" with an all-new Shea Anything podcast -- the first of a new regular weekly delivery every Monday from now on!

This week, they provide an alternate reason for Jacob deGrom's recent struggles, you'll know all about speed variance by the end of the show. They also drop updates on starting rotation options for the Mets, and the ongoing mystery of where Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel will eventually pitch this season.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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New York Mets' Drew Gagnon delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)
New York Mets' Drew Gagnon delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)

The Mets added some depth to their bullpen on Monday and recalled right-handed releiver Drew Gagnon and optioned infielder Luis Guillorme to Triple-A Syracuse. 

Gagnon, a starter in Triple-A, is 1-0 and has allowed one earned run in 10.2 innings -- a 0.82 ERA -- and nine hits in two starts this season. 

He gives the Mets a long-man in the bullpen after Corey Oswalt was exhausted on Saturday entering in relief of Jason Vargas, who managed just 1/3 of an inning. Oswalt was optioned back to Triple-A the following day for Paul Sewald

Tags: Luis Guillorme
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A general view at First Data Field (Jasen Vinlove)
A general view at First Data Field (Jasen Vinlove)

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Mets' top prospects (their MLB.com Mets Top 10 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.


Andres Gimenez, SS, Double-A Binghamton (No. 2) -- ETA 2020

The 20-year-old Gimenez -- who is the Mets' No. 2 prospect by default (MLB.com has not yet removed Pete Alonso's No. 1 prospect status)  -- is viewed by most minor league experts as one of the best 50 or so prospects in baseball. Gimenez has been one of the youngest players in each league he's played in during his climb to Double-A. He hit .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases in 85 games last season for High-A St. Lucie before being promoted to Double-A, where he has opened this season with three hits in 18 at-bats spanning three games. Binghamton has had eight of their last nine games either postponed or suspended, so Gimenez and his teammates haven't had a chance to do much since April 7.

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The names may look familiar but the stats certainly don't as these two frontline starters enter tonight's Mets-Phillies series opener with a combined ERA of over 10.

Granted, it is just April 15, with both stud right-handers only three starts deep into the campaign, but from a betting perspective, it makes you wonder if the struggles will continue.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Tipping Pitches or Speed Issues? 00:01:37
On the Shea Anything podcast, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss Jacob deGrom's recent struggles, tipping pitches, and speed variances.

Our first order of business on Monday morning was to find out if Jacob deGrom is tipping pitches. In each of his past two starts, opposing hitters have looked oddly comfortable -- and since deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, this activates our natural curiosity.

On the national telecast during Sunday night's loss in Atlanta, analyst Alex Rodriguez appeared to be hinting that deGrom was tipping, when he said after Josh Donaldson's fifth inning home run that it was "Almost like he knew what was coming -- 109 (exit) velocity on 2-2 fastball in is way too good off a guy like deGrom."

Checking with several veteran evaluators Monday, none saw any signs of tipping -- although one noted that A-Rod, along with Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora and Shawn Green, was among the best in his generation at spotting it. It's possible that he noticed something that escaped other scouts, and even the Braves.

But that aside, tipping doesn't appear to be the issue.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Andy Martino
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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom began the 2019 season by firing 13 scoreless innings over his first two starts and looking like he had somehow gotten better than he was in 2018 during his Cy Young campaign. Since then, things have not gone well.

DeGrom gave up six runs on eight hits (including three homers) while walking one and striking out three in just 4.0 innings on April 9 against the Twins at Citi Field. On Sunday night against the Braves in Atlanta, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (including two homers) in 5.0 innings. While he struck out nine, he also walked four -- an alarming number for someone who walked just 1.9 batters per 9 in 2018.

That deGrom has allowed five homers over his last two starts is also startling when you consider the fact that he allowed just 10 homers all of last season...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (9-6, second place in the NL East, 0.5 game back of first place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Monday at 7:05 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Sunday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' loss to the Braves, Jacob deGrom didn't look like himself for the second-straight start -- allowing three runs on five hits (including two homers) >> Read more

Tags: Jason Vargas, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after walking a batter against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after walking a batter against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway doesn't think RHP Jacob deGrom is tipping his pitches after deGrom struggled in his second straight start.

"I haven't seen anything like that," Callaway said after Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. "You start to wonder sometimes when they're taking better swings than they normally do, and fouling pitches off is something you look for when they may be tipping, but we're not seeing anything from the dugout."

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Jacob deGrom
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