Gut Reaction: Mets 2, Royals 0 (4/5/16)

It’s pretty simple – all the Mets have to do to defeat the Royals is start Noah Syndergaard. He combined with three relievers on a dominating outing, leading the Mets to their first win of the year, a 2-0 victory over Kansas City Tuesday afternoon.

  • The big difference in this game from the opener was the amount of strikeouts Mets pitchers tallied. In Sunday’s game, there were only three strikeouts by Mets pitchers and today it was 12.
  • Syndergaard allowed a leadoff triple but battled back to strike out the side in the first inning. He finished with 9 Ks in 6 IP.
  • The Mets got their first homer of the season as Neil Walker pulled a ball right down the RF line scoring Yoenis Cespedes, who walked, for the game’s only runs.
  • Jeurys Familia shook off the memory of last year’s World Series performance to retire the side in order in the 9th, fanning a batter.
  • Jim Henderson and Addison Reed each pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Henderson looked really good, hitting 97 with his fastball. A healthy and effective Henderson would ease a lot of concern over the bullpen.
  • Mets have two days off before returning to action Friday, when they host the Phillies.

14 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 2, Royals 0 (4/5/16)

  1. April 5, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    An effective Henderson would be nice, but this pen could just as easily be good as it could be bad even without him. Reed and Bastardo aren’t lockdown, but they’re not bad choices as setup men. Robles is raw, but could be an interesting piece. Blevins is aces against lefties and swingman Verrett is proven to have better numbers in longer outings with rest in between. If those pieces come together with Henderson, Sandy could have saved a lot of money by not signing Cespedes with such a complete pitching staff.

    • April 6, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      Sure, if Reed and Bastardo hit their upside.

      But it’s important to remember that prior to the 2015 season, Bastardo was traded for a guy who got lit up in the minors and during the year, Reed was sent to the minors. Bastardo had a very good year in 2015 and Reed was good for the Mets in the regular season. But consistency hasn’t been either pitcher’s calling card and just assuming we’re going to get good results from both of them seems optimistic.

      Henderson doesn’t have much of a track record of being in the majors and healthy. And to make it worse, he hasn’t been those things since 2013. But the 2012-13 Henderson put up better rate numbers than any two consecutive seasons of either Bastardo or Reed. If you guaranteed me healthy seasons from all three pitchers, I’d wager on Henderson being the best of the lot. If only there were such guarantees…

      • April 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        With relievers, it’s important to have options, and the Mets have that. Bastardo, Reed, Blevins, Henderson and Robles give the club some wiggle room as they attempt to hand the baton from the starter to the closer.

        It’s like in retail, when you start out with the assumption that 10% of your goods will be stolen or destroyed. You build that loss into the equation. Will a couple of these guys have bad periods, maybe complete failures? Sure, very probably. Fortunately the Mets seem to have enough guys with proven success to assume the inverse, that several should have really solid stretches.

        I hope Henderson stays healthy. He looked real good yesterday.

        • April 6, 2016 at 1:37 pm

          Ideally, with your primary relievers, you’d have more certainty with regards to performance, assuming health, than the Mets have with either Bastardo or Reed.

          In 2014, the Pirates got great performances from Melancon, Watson and Hughes out of their pen, with each of these under 30 pitchers throwing 64+ IP with an ERA under 2. They may not have expected a repeat great performance from each but they had a reasonable expectation to get good performance from those guys in 2015 if they stayed healthy. And they got exactly that, with Hughes having the worst ERA at 2.28

          Having those three meant they were playing the “hope for the best/see what sticks” with the bottom half of their pen. And that’s how they got a great season out of Bastardo.

          The Mets are playing that game with the top half of their bullpen. There’s no reason it can’t work. But for the $11 million the team’s paying Bastaro and Reed, I’d prefer more certainty there. Hopefully the Mets can be next year where the Pirates were coming into 2015.

  2. Jim OMalley
    April 5, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Wouldn’t the Mets lucking into a top flight season by Henderson be just insane?

  3. Metsense
    April 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Three perfect innings from the bullpen is the most encouraging sign.Henderson to Reed to Familia could be a solid back end. It looked that way yesterday.
    Wright must have heard the opening day Chatter that he wouldn’t steal one base all season. He stole two.
    Walker fit in nicely by hitting the home run that scored all the runs in the game. He is a good offensive player.
    Syndergaard with that effective slider makes him scary good. I believe he will emerge as the ace of the staff.
    Mike Koehler, I know you didn’t mean it like it was printed, but the object is to win games not save money. If the budget is reasonable, like it is, then the fans deserve a dominant team while the owner deserves to make his profit.

  4. James Preller
    April 6, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I don’t have the time to get into the details today — and maybe the ship has already sailed — but I grumble at all the talk of Familia’s three blown saves and his poor WS performance.

    In my view, that’s where TC mismanaged the WS, with his horrible handling of Familia, where he failed to give the Mets closer clean save opportunities.

    To me, Familia was on fire, the Mets own version of Mariano, and I saw him as the key to the WS. There’s no way that Torre would have hesitated to bring in his ace reliever the way that TC kept Familia in the pen. He deviated from his established handling of the Mets closer, kept putting him in less-than-optimal situations.

    Jeurys was not great. But the way he was handled was the bigger problem. Our prime late-game asset was mismanaged.

    • Name
      April 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      I don’t think you’re really concerned about the management by TC. That’s how closers are used in the postseason.

      Instead, i think what you’re really angry at is the narrative written by the reporters and the fact that Familia shoulders a lot of the blame when, there are other guys who can and should be held responsible as well.

      As you stated below, Familia entered a few times with a bunch of messes. He doesn’t clean up the messes, and so people blame him.
      But what about the people who made the mess in the first place or the events that take place earlier? Compared to the blame that Familia gets, they often get significantly less blame.
      Clippard retires 2 of the 4 batters in game 1 and just 1 of 3 in game 4, but in the papers he’ll probably get just one or two sentences written about him.
      Harvey is the one who puts two men on base that Familia allows to score. Those runs are charged the Harvey on the books, but in the minds of fans and writers, they’re charged to Familia.
      And let’s not forget the fact that’s only one side of the game. As Brian has stated many many times (most of which have ignored), the offense did not do their job either. But because the writers make up their mind to write about the failures of Familia and ignore the offense, that’s the kind of narrative that gets ingrained in the fans as well.

      • James Preller
        April 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

        Thank you for explaining my feelings to me, but I meant what I wrote (though I think much of what you said is true).

        TC blew it with Familia and it could have turned out differently if he had treated our stud closer with more respect. G1 was fine. G3 was insane, particularly as it reportedly made TC worry about Familia’s ability to go long in G4. Instead, he let Clippard walk two in a row. And with G5, Familia needed to come in after the leadoff walk.

        On G5, and Harvey, I think TC blew it not by letting Harvey go back out, but by the way he handled it, completely disrupting Harvey’s rhythm and mindset. You’re out, what?!, oh, wait, you’re in. I don’t believe it helped Matt’s mental preparation. When Matt ran out of the dugout to the mound in the 9th — flat-out ran — I thought, “Uh oh.” After the leadoff walk, well, the Mets had a great closer warmed up and ready in the pen.

        Last season, Familia was the Mets Rivera. He was the man. But he was not handled well in the WS.

        I’m not really mad at Tyler Clippard, and more disappointed that the manager did not have a feel at the time for the way Clippard was throwing. All of us had worried by that point, after the back injury. TC never adjusted.

        All of this comes from a fan who generally does not howl about TC’s in-game decisions. I’m not howling now, in fact. But when I see the narrative that puts all the blame on Familia — three blown saves — and none of it on the manager . . . sigh. The WS of 2015 feels like a lost opportunity to me. Even with the complete failure of the bats, they had a realistic shot at it.

        • Name
          April 8, 2016 at 12:02 am

          “TC blew it with Familia and it could have turned out differently if he had treated our stud closer with more respect. ”

          I still disagree. The name of the game is not to maximize your closer’s stats and perception. While his usage may not have been your way (and probably not mine either), i think they were in most part defensible, especially in the context of the postseason.

          “G3 was insane, particularly as it reportedly made TC worry about Familia’s ability to go long in G4.”

          It was defensible to use him in G3. He wasn’t used in G2, there was an off day between 2 and 3. Not using him in g3 would have meant 3 days rest going into 4. Of Familia’s 76 regular season appearances, 59 were with 2 days rest or less. He ended up throwing 11 pitches and i think it’s reasonable to assume he wouldn’t have let him thrown an insane amount

          “Instead, he let Clippard walk two in a row.” (G4)

          And what does that have to with Familia? Were you expecting him to go 2 innings that game? Doesn’t that go against your “not setting him up for success” mantra? Plus, he had a perfect inning the day before. If Clippard fucks up then blame Clippard.

          “On G5, and Harvey, I think TC blew it not by letting Harvey go back out, but by the way he handled it, completely disrupting Harvey’s rhythm and mindset. You’re out, what?!, oh, wait, you’re in. I don’t believe it helped Matt’s mental preparation. ”

          Really? Let’s ignore the point that you’re not even in the dugout and we have very little clue what’s really going on, but these are supposed to be professionals and getting your emotions/mindset intact is part of the game… I think most fans would have done what TC had done, and the fact is that Harvey didn’t get the job done. But like i said earlier, i think you’re too much focused on the fact Familia gets the blame instead of Harvey and you seem to be taking it out on the manager.

          I’m the opposite of you. I’m usually the one that does howl about TC’s in-game decisions, but in this case I dont think his actions were the main reason the Mets lost the WS.
          If you really think that bad managing can cause a team to lose 2/3 games out of 5, then that means over a course of 162 game season that the manager is can responsible for losing 60-80 games a year?

  5. James Preller
    April 6, 2016 at 9:45 am

    On Familia, we also see TC’s misguided faith in Tyler Clippard, who by that time had established that he was “not right” physically.

    In Game One, Familia entered in 8th inning with two outs, two men on (put on by Clippard), asked to get a four-out save. He blew it with the Gordan HR. Fair enough.

    In Game Three, TC uses Familia to pitch 9th in 9-3 win. A huge deviation from the norm.

    In Game Four, a game lost by Clippard, Familia enters in 8th after Clippard walks two consecutive batters. On the first batter he faced, E4. Again, a rough situation for the Mets closer. He wasn’t perfect, and unfortunately he was put into a situation where he needed to be just that.

    In Game Five, again TC deviates from the norm, fails to put the Mets closer in the best situation to succeed. Allows Harvey to walk a batter and then, amazingly, allows Harvey to give up a double before finally going to the team’s stud closer. Familia records three ground ball outs . . . and yet history shows it as a “blown save.”

    He wasn’t used the right way, and yet none of the blame for his “poor” WS seems to go to the manager who spit the bit in those tough situations.

    • April 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Speaking for myself, I questioned the bullpen usage in two of the three Gut Reactions I wrote during the World Series. The one I didn’t was G2, the one they lost, 7-1. Collins certainly deserves blame.

      While acknowledging that he was not used correctly, Familia was unable to come up with a strikeout when he needed one and allowed three inherited runners to score, two in G4 and one in G5. Did Rivera allow 3 inherited runners to score in his 24 World Series games? I don’t know, maybe he did.

      • April 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

        Yes about 3 RISP scoring, but in fairness there was an E4 that was a huge factor in G4 and the guy scored in G5 on two slowly hit outs to the infield. Unfortunately our 3B has a rag arm and our 1B panicked. But statistically, it goes down as a blown save. Three batters and three groundball outs!

        I’m saying that much of the detail, and all of the nuance, is lost in the narrative that talks about Familia redeeming himself, about failures and blown saves, etc.

        He wasn’t great, and he never did get that big strikeout. But Collins was worse. I truly believe it all could have played out differently — with the NY Mets winning the 2015 World Series — if Familia had been used properly. He gave up that HR in G1, it’s true, and it shook Terry’s faith. Collins second-guessed himself after that, like a kid taking a multiple choice exam for which he didn’t study.

  6. Eraff
    April 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I have never seen a 95 MPH Slider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: