Gut Reaction: Pirates 5, Mets 3 (6/27/18)

The entire Mets season was played out in microcosm in this maddening loss to Pittsburgh. Manager Mickey Callaway was outmaneuvered by Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle, the bullpen failed and there simply was not enough offense.

Zack Wheeler started for the Mets and was absolutely stellar through seven innings. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven, keeping the Pirates off the board. The Mets had built a 3-0 lead on a clutch double from Jose Bautista in third and a follow up single by Asdrubal Cabrera. Wilmer Flores added a home run in the sixth. With Wheeler cruising, it sure looked like the Mets could notch consecutive wins, consecutive wins at home and take a series, all for the first time in a long time. It sure didn’t turn out that way.

Robert Gsellman relieved Wheeler in the eighth and wasn’t up to the task. Starling Marte led off with a pinch double. He promptly stole third. Austin Meadows brought him home with a long fly to center. Josh Bell then hit a hard single up the middle and Callaway got out the hook. Young Tim Peterson came on and continued his dazzling bullpen work, retiring Josh Harrison on five pitches and striking out Colin Moran on four. Here’s where Callaway got outfoxed.

To start the bottom of the eighth, Hurdle double-switched his closer, Filipe Vazquez into the game, with David Freese taking over third base, trailing 3-1. After Vazquez got out of the inning surrendering only a single to Cabrera, this thinking became crystal clear. Jeurys Familia came in to close out the game — having thrown 23 pitches the night before — and promptly gave up three straight singles to make it a 3-2 game. Jordy Mercer walked to load the bases. About two batters too late, Callaway came out to get Familia. Anthony Swarzak came on shut it down, but gave up a single to Freese — see what happened, there? — to give the Pirates the lead. Bell added an icing-on-the-cake sacrifice fly. Oh, and just for good measure, with two outs, Callaway elected to pitch to Harrison, batting in front of Vazquez, rather than intentionally walking him to face a man who had had all of one at bat in his career.

Day off tomorrow — so we can scream into the closet again, presumably — before the team heads to sunny South Beach.

22 comments for “Gut Reaction: Pirates 5, Mets 3 (6/27/18)

  1. June 27, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Not one of Mickey’s better efforts tonight.

  2. Michael
    June 27, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Callaway outmaneuvered? Good Lord a little league coach could do better. From what I have seen he is incompetent. I just realized he has never managed before—-just a pitching coach.

  3. Chris F
    June 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    It is time. Everyone must go. There is no value in retaining anyone. Thats right anyone.

    The depth of the problem this team has is staggering. The only way out is new faces outside the lines and inside the lines. Sure, if you take the Braves approach then you franchise a star…deGrom I suppose, but sit him down like Sandy did with DWright and say “you are our leader.” Give him 25×5 = $125M. If he bites great, if not…see ya. Everyone else, yes everyone else, is available. This team is not a *reload* away from anything. We have had the benefit of deGrom. We cant win behind him. The team is deficient at 1B, 2B, SS, C, 3B, CF, pen, and SP. I like Conforto and Nimmo as corner OF, and maybe you look at franchising Conforto instead of deGrom, but he is not Freddy Freeman. The rebuild that *needs* to happen is gonna look like the Braves and Phillies and Astros and Cubs and…

    The Mets are 32-46. They have won two of their last 21 series. They’re winless in their last 11 series.

  4. June 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    As brilliant as Wheeler(who has turned a corner this month), was that’s how stupid Mickey was today. Familia threw nearly 30 pitches yesterday and is coming off a shoulder injury so he really shouldn’t have pitched today. Peterson bailed Gsellman and threw nine pitches in the eighth and his lineup spot wasn’t coming up anytime soon so might as well send him out for the ninth.

    Wheeler had a tremendous June as he was a hard luck loser at times and wasn’t supported by the offense or bullpen this month.

    Rough games for Conforto and Nimmo and Nimmo’s strike out rate is closing in on 30% but I’ll give him a break for today coming off an injury. That Frazier at bat in the ninth was just brutal it’s a 2-0 count hey buddy take a strike and then get to hitting.

    Brutal loss in a brutal season with an over his head manager playing a big part.

  5. Mike Walczak
    June 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    It will be a big battle in Miami. The battle for last place.

    Callaway just keeps making too many mistakes. If the Mets lose 90-100 games and with a new GM, there is a real chance that Callaway gets the hook. Or who knows, maybe he gets the boot before the end of the year.

    This loss stings, but it is no surprise.

    I love the graphic.

  6. Chris F
    June 28, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Who do the Mets align best with for a blockbuster?

    Dodgers? Yankees? Red Sox? An NL East team? Cards?
    How about the Brewers?

    deGrom and (insert lesser player/prospect here) ___Dom Smith____

    in exchange for:
    Freddy Peralta (SP)
    Josh Hader (RP) or Corbin Burnes (SP)
    Keston Hiura (2B)
    Lucas Erceg (3B)
    Brett Phillips (CF)

    I just think its time to consider every option possible on the forward path.

    • AJV
      June 28, 2018 at 1:51 am

      Nah, I’d hold onto the better pitcher, who also happens to be healthier over the years. Syndergaard has the makings of a primadonna, if he can come back and rebuild value till July 31 he should be the one to go.

      Wait it out and everyone root for the Rockies, our literal perfect trade partner if they feel they have a shot. Their deficiency is in SP and the BP. If Familia can also build some value we have the perfect package to send them. They also happen to have the #7 prospect in baseball and he is blocked at literally every position he plays well. Not to mention he sits on the cusp of coming up, with his numbers at AA very good. They also have a good set of pitching prospects in Lambert and Pint, one of which might be a nice second piece. Then a few lower level prospects to even it out.

      Fact is, they won’t unload everyone and they won’t have to. If a deal like this got made we have 2 players primed to be ML ready by the end of this season if not beginning of next year. Rodgers is supposed to be a difference maker in a lineup. They have Alonso at AAA, Dunn at AA, and I’m willing to bet Gimenez and/or Peterson finish the year in AA. Throw those 4 in with the ones from the deal that’s possibly 6 additions to the ML club during next season from our farm, at the latest probably 2020.

      Also just to point out you overstate our issues, we have 4 guys that can easily battle for 1B in Smith, Alonso, Flores, and even TJ Rivera(when healthy). One will turn out to be sufficient if not two of them in a platoon. Gimenez is years younger than his competition and putting up a solid season in A+, I think 2B will be solved with him sooner than you think. 3B is a problem, and needs to be addressed via trade (see the scouts opinions on Rodgers defense, they have him able to handle 3B). They aren’t going away from Rosario at SS yet, that would be silly having it on the list is pointless. We have issues at starting catcher and CF for positions that should be solved in FA. The SP hasn’t been awful, between Matz and Wheeler they have pitched decently. DeGrom is an ace. Matz looks like a good 3. Wheeler is a 4/5 but has upside of a 3. The pen needs obvious help. A closer and another arm, though I think Swarzak will rebound.

      A rebuild is pointless, they have decent core, they need to make better FA decisions, picking up 2 pen arms, a quality SP, CF, and a C. Combine that with a smart trade of Syndergaard and it would complete a decent retool with a lot of talent on the farm in the upper levels. Leaving us competitive for 19/20 and on.

    • Mike Walczak
      June 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

      I think the Mets will line up with the team that offers the biggest haul. It will be interesting to see what happens by the trade deadline. Some teams may feel that they have enough and some teams are going to get antsy to pull the trigger on a deal to go all in this season.

      If they do trade deGrom or Syndergaard, I just pray that they get a really good haul with good prospects that who can fill multiple holes. deGrom is older, but I will be more willing to trade Syndergaard, who is more fragile.

      • June 28, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        Yes. This. I hope for a great haul from a contender, but I am old enough to remember the Scott Kazmir fiasco, so I remain slightly skeptical.

        • AJV
          June 28, 2018 at 2:18 pm

          I remember the Kazmir trade as well, and they screwed that all up. Also a reversal of sorts, we got fleeced for a less than stellar pitcher. This situation is slightly different with one of the two aces to move from our end.

          My hope is to match up with one of the teams with better ML ready talent for a quick retool. Keeping one of our aces doesn’t set us back too far. Dodgers perennially contend with Kershaw as the sole ace and a mostly decent rotation behind him. If a Thor trade can bring us a few ML ready pieces, then a quick turnaround would be fairly simple.

  7. footballhead
    June 28, 2018 at 6:34 am

    David”s point about Callaway’s (and Collins) inflexibility about bullpen usage is so maddening. My take is that if you have a reliever (Peterson); who’s doing the job, why take them out? Once Peterson was pulled for Familia to start the ninth; and Familia let the first two men get on, I shut down my computer and went to bed. I knew what the ending would be.

    • Pete In Iowa
      June 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Oh footballhead, I’m thinking your name implies you just don’t understand the intricacies of managing a bullpen. It’s simple really…
      Keep pulling guys who are effective until you find a guy who will blow it. Happens every.single.night in the big leagues. Mickey is no different than the other 29 managers.
      It’s one of the ways the game has changed.

  8. Pete In Iowa
    June 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I really like Peterson. Not a high “velo” guy who has obviously mastered the art of pitching. Mixing speeds and location.
    Looks like he could be a keeper for a while.

  9. Name
    June 28, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Noah – debuted May 2015 – under contract until 2021, is viewed as a guy the Mets should look to trade, while

    Conforto, debuted July 2015, only 3 months after Noah – under contract until 2021, is viewed a guy the Mets should build around.

    Doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. Perhaps it’s because one spent a lot more time in the Met system and thus feels like old news? Fanbase scared of building around pitching now? Anyone have any other theories?

    • Aging Bull
      June 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      It could be that folks think that Noah would bring back more value and I’d have to agree. That said, I would not want to trade him. I would keep JDG, Noah, and Conforto. That gives us little MLB proven talent for a blockbuster trade, I realize. But I bet that Familia would bring back some value if he can have a good month and Callaway uses him correctly. Matz and Wheeler are valuable given how they’ve pitched recently.
      Injuries have made their FA signings look terrible (Ces, Bruce, Vargas) but as I recall, the consensus was that these were considered good signings at the time. If they were healthy and producing, there would be a different narrative for the season. FWIW, I was completely against signing Cabrera and thank god we did sign him. They are in a really tough spot and they need someone who can take the long view on recovery. Which of the three man GM committee would be the best eventual replacement for Sandy (with all due respect)? Has time passed Omar by?

    • June 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Seems like the fan base parroting what they read in MSM and hear on talk radio and not applying any critical thinking.

      I sent you an email.

      • Aging Bull
        June 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

        You may be right about the parroting and I am probably guilty of that too. Speaking for myself, I liked all three signings (Ces, Bruce and Vargas) and thought that with all that depth, we’d contend for the WC if not the East. Oh well…

        Have not received email.

    • AJV
      June 28, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Noah has spent the last 2 seasons battling injuries and has hardly played. For all it’s worth Conforto played the majority of last year and has been decent this season. Moving Noah makes far more sense.

  10. Steevy
    June 28, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t trust the people in charge to make any major moves.

  11. MattyMets
    June 29, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I would listen, but unless someone really blows our doors off, I’d be inclined to lock up Thor and JDG long term. I feel the same way about Matz, Wheeler, Nimmo, Rosario, Conforto, Lugo, and Gsellman. Get what you can for the veterans. This is a core of talented, still cost-controlled players that can be built around. We need a free agency do-over and a good offseason where we add a big bat and retool the bullpen. Despite all the injuries, does anyone think we’d be battling the Marlins for last place if, instead of Bruce, Frazier, Vargas, Reyes and Swarzak we brought in Eric Hosmer, Dee Gordon, Jonathan Lucroy, Tony Watson and Francisco Liriano?

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