Gut Reaction: Reds 14, Mets 4 (8/29/17)

In a season full of lows, it is often hard to find the deepest depths of that despair. Injury ridden and beaten down, the Mets limped into Cincinnati hoping to face a Reds team just as lowly as they were. What they found instead may have been their lowest point of the season, coming by virtue of a 14-4 loss to the Reds. It started with a poor starting performance by Chris Flexen, who dropped to 3-3 on the season. He blew up in the first inning, where he allowed an RBI single and a grand slam after walking a few batters. After that, he settled down until the fifth, where he allowed two more runs and was subsequently yanked. His final stat line was 4.2 innings pitched, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits, four walks and four strikeouts.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Mets were able to muster three runs off of the highest ERA for a team across the MLB. Their runs came curtsey of a first inning Asdrubal Cabrera double and a sixth inning two run single by Dom Smith. The Mets had ten hits on the evening, with Jose Reyes, Brandon Nimmo, Wilmer Flores, Amed Rosario, and Flexen each contributing one hit. Cabrera and Smith each had two hits. My Guy Reaction is that if the Mets want to take this series from the Reds, they will need to cash in on run scoring opportunities.

They will also need to have better contributions from their bullpen. While the trio of Josh Smoker, Jeruys Familia, and yes, Kevin Plawecki each allowed no earned runs in their appearances, Chasen Bradford really dropped the ball in his. Bradford recorded no outs and allowed seven runs, four of them being earned. The Mets will attempt to tie the series tomorrow night, when Rafael Montero takes the hill in Cincinnati at 7:10.

12 comments for “Gut Reaction: Reds 14, Mets 4 (8/29/17)

  1. TexasGusCC
    August 30, 2017 at 12:16 am

    The overreaction to allowing Matt Bowman to be taken by the Cardinals was protecting Flexen because he could throw 96 at AA. This kid, literally a kid, wasn’t ready. So, thus they have to use him when injuries strike because he was on the 40-man already. We need a GM in touch with the rest of baseball.

  2. Jimmy P
    August 30, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I’ll say it again: I find it bats**t crazy that Flores is at 3B and Cabrera at 2B.

    We definitively know that Wilmer can’t play third.

    We know that Cabrera can — and that he is an option for the position next season.

    At 2B, Mets currently can pick from Cecchini, Reyes, Rosario (maybe), and Flores. None of those four can handle 3B.

    Why is this so hard?

    • Eraff
      August 30, 2017 at 10:00 am

      This tells me that Droobs is being Marketed at 2b…he certainly showed he can play there. If he’s still around on sept 1, I expect different pairings

  3. Metsense
    August 30, 2017 at 8:13 am

    It is difficult to win ball games when 20 times during the season the starting pitching has given up at least three runs in the first inning. This team desperately needs starting pitching if they want to compete for a 2018 playoff spot.
    It would be an ideal time to switch Cabrera and Flores in the infield.
    It would be an ideal time to play Taijeron over Reyes in the outfield.
    Both Cabrera and Reyes should not be in the 2018 plans.
    Plawecki with another good game and he got his ERA down ahead of Wilk and Gilmartin. Get do the Plawecki band wagon now while seats are still available.

  4. Chris F
    August 30, 2017 at 8:13 am

    In my eye the most athletic positions are middle IF, CF, and 3B. These also correspond to high IQ positions. Given Flores has neither I can’t see trotting him out for any of them. The game speeds up and he breaks down.

    But what a nightmare. Flexen development being damaged by this grotesque misuse. I don’t care who is pitching in AAA, they have to come up.

    • Jimmy P
      August 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I don’t see Flexen as being damaged at all. He’s getting an opportunity to learn, to succeed and fail. This may be the only chance he gets. Next year he needs to pitch in the minors. I see him as a fringe prospect at best. He’s cannon fodder and another guy who’s afraid to throw strikes.

    • Jimmy P
      August 30, 2017 at 8:46 am

      I recall when my friend interviewed Edgardo Alfonzo about 4 years ago, he asked about Flores. At the time, Sandy was suddenly floating the insane idea that Wilmer could play SS. While recognizing that Wilmer had defensive issues, and was not a SS, Edgardo stated that his best position was 2B.

      I know it’s become a popular thing to say — and agree that it’s true in the NFL and NBA — but the idea of the game “speeding up” in baseball strikes me as pretty ludicrous. I’m not buying it.

      My question is whether Wilmer can play 2B at a Jeff Kent/Daniel Murphy level of competence. The Mets have so many, many holes to fill in 2018, I’ll be really sad if they just throw Jose Reyes out there.

      Why do I think that Sandy will return the entire Mets infield in 2018? Minus Duda and Walker, of course, but plus Rosario and Smith.

      • Chris F
        August 30, 2017 at 9:33 am

        I think Flores best IF position is 1B. After that, I agree it is 2B. He does not belong left of 2B for any reason. That said, 4 years ago Flores had more “promise”. Weve see a lot of him since.

        As far as the game speeding up, I disagree. Both errors he made last night were under stress with a fast baserunner in play. When the game is fast around him, he cannot set properly and be careful to make a play. We saw that on the throw to 2B with Hamilton running. The fielding errors was on a fast hit ball requiring him make the play and hold a Hamilton, again. Both times the speed of the game were very much in play. When he is rushed, the errors pile in. Anyone that has played the game at any level knows that feeling….even if the speeding up is in the mind.

        • Jimmy P
          August 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm

          Maybe I misstated my objection to the cliche.

          I’m not saying that speed doesn’t matter.

          I just don’t believe that the game particularly “speeds up” at the major league level. Yet we hear that all the time, especially from Terry. Meanwhile, I’m watching the slowest game on earth getting slower by the month.

          Since Little League, there have been fast runners putting pressure on infielders. It’s nothing new. But I do agree that Flores is weak enough that it can be a problem at times. That said, he also seems to have issues when he has too much time, when the game “slows down.”

          I think he’s a weak defender at 3B in every situation.

          On the “promise” issue, which you put in quotes, I think Wilmer has delivered on his promise and actually raised the stakes. He’s only 25 and yet all he does is get better at the plate. Can he hit .300? Can he reach 25 HRs? I think both are possible.

          You know what people don’t talk about with Wilmer? That kid is effing tough. Beneath that babyface exterior, and the tears of that famous game in 2015, he’s a kid who has faced down every obstacle imaginable. He’s been benched, put in terrible situations, yanked around — here, play SS; here, play 1B; here, grab some pine — and all he has done is go out and perform to the best of his ability. The numbers keep getting better. He’s a quietly determined athlete who believes in himself even when no one else around him seems to. I respect Wilmer. He’s shown more grit than just about anybody else on the New York Mets.

          • TexasGusCC
            August 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm

            I love you Jimmy.

            You said it better than I ever did. I call it passion, and Flores has it more than most, if not more than all. I really believe that he will literally run through a wall to win a game, in the Lenny Dykstra mode, and never makes a situational mistake offensively. He is willing to give himself up depending on the situation and that is why he always has a lower BABIP than actual average, because he gives himself up. That is what winning teams need and that’s why I keep wanting to see him excel.

            And Jimmy, please don’t take our disagreements personally. šŸ™‚

          • Chris F
            August 30, 2017 at 3:47 pm

            Sorry, you guys can have all the peaches ‘n’ cream with Flores you want. Unfortunately, he really has not improved. His numbers at the plate are the best when he is a bench guy, not an every day player. As he gets less time, the numbers get better. With regard to him facing down obstacles, what choice does he have? Fight or quit. Sure, I give him credit for fighting, yet we see nothing in his development as a complete player. How someone with so little baseball acumen besides being an unclassify-able hitter (hes not and average guy, hes not an on base guy, hes not a power guy…but pretty good blending) can get so much interest simply mystifies me. He’s shown he is a terrible baseball player. In >1500 PAs he has an accumulated 0.4 bWAR. Take that for what its worth.

  5. Eraff
    August 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Flores needs to “Play where it Ain’t bein’ Hit”……and that’s the next logical progression in this entire Shift Dynamic. “Shift Side IF…Non-Shift Side IF”.

    “Trust Your Stuff” is the big hurdle for any Rookie Pitcher…certainly one with as little exposure as Flexen. He keeps rolling out there and battling…he’s not “damaged”. He’s not getting beat on His Stuff…it’s all about pitching in Pitchers counts, and surrending HR’s with no men on base versus lots of base runners.

    I’m impressed by Flexen–he gets his ass kicked for first inning runs, then comes right back to battle. I think the Stuff can play in the mid and back of a rotation..He’s 22!

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