Tag Archive for Max Scherzer

SHaMeful

Not to put too fine a point on it but September pretty much sucks far for the SHaMs, with patsies beating us up and the Braves still winning and we’re not in first place anymore, at least not alone and at least until the first half of what had better be a sweep today in Pittsburgh, or else.

Max Scherzer is on the disabled list, veteran lefty Alex Claudio has joined the group and Yoan Lopez is back as the 29th Man. How silly is that? Baseball should have smaller rosters, at least smaller active ones like hockey does. 25 guys, dress 22 or 23. Doubleheader, switch between games.

I get it, there’s something in the player’s union for this. These easy to beat Mets put me in a bad mood.

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Mountains of Geese

Here we go again.

The Schwinden-of-the-Moment is Bryce Montes de Oca, a name even more distinctive than the guy he succeeded numerically, Rob Zastryzny. Translated, the name Montes de Oca means “Mountains of Goose” which if you’re feeling optimistic could suggest Bryce could be a bigger version of Rich “Goose” Gossage, a Hall of Fame reliever who like Montes de Oca, throws hard.

Bryce as you may have seen is a giant of a guy, listed at 6-foot-7, 265, and he fired a few 100-mph pitches last night. He’s also not just any brute but the valedictorian of his Kansas high school and a U of Missouri product who at one time was rated a top-100 draft guy but whom the Mets got in the 9th round of the 2018 draft because he’d had a ton of injuries including a Tommy John so he was something of a Powerball lottery pick.

Montes de Oca, whose father was born in Cuba, is the third guy to wear 63 this year, after the Polish duo of Zastryzny and Thomas Szapucki were spit out. He’s been more walkable than hittable over his minor league career and everything but his uni number looks promising if he improve his control. Were it up to me I’d issue Montes de Oca a more intimidating number, like 98 or something, so as to avoid the Fate of Schwindens.

Montes de Oca got the call when Trevor May caught COVID. The other September call-ups are Deven Marrero (again) and Adonis Medina (again). Medina didn’t have much last night. Let’s hope Max Scherzer is OK.

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Sucker Punched

Nothing to be alarmed about, but now I have a different reason for temporary spotty availability. But while I’ve got the chance to say it I was shocked the Mets didn’t do any more at the trade deadline and underwhelmed with what they did but that it appears to be working so well shows how little I knew, and not for the first time. The takeaway as I see is Billy Eppler and Steve Cohen’s hedge-funded baseball geniuses might know more than me and I should trust them now, or we’ll find out I was right along but now I don’t want to right now.

I never thought Contreras, even as he fit one need rather nicely, being a catcher who could hit, was quite the right solution (catchers are hard to break in the best of circumstances and with Alvarez en route, foolish to put those kinds of expectation on him in the moment). It also tells us the Mets had seen enough of the each of nearly every opening-day best-case-scenario options at DH (Robbie Cano, Dom Smith and JD Davis), have all three failed given the shots they had; but also they saw none of the temp-depth guys (Inciarte, Jankowski, Blankenhorn, Lee, Plummer) belong here at least now.

Plus Tyler Naquin was the last of the three Reds I might have taken soonest (Luis Castillo and Tommy Pham were available too, no surprise).

And that they had a lot more faith in me of the following:

We’d see Jacob deGrom ever again.

That Trevor May would ever resurface. Maybe even Tylor Megill.

That the problem with Drew Smith wasn’t, as I’d suspected, part of the bad luck all around the night Max Scherzer called for the trainer and walked off the mound, when it appeared all Smith could do to resist an inappropriate thing on on a baseball field with 30,000 watching with one of the three Sports Illustrated swimsuit models throwing out a ceremonial first pitch right there between home plate the pitcher’s mound (she seemed to be considering it is all I’d say as a body language interpreter in the Promenade that night). Instead it was some kind of injury, only the kind of injury that makes you give up way too many home runs.

So that’s also why we have Mychal Givens in the bullpen, along with May, and deGrom is in the rotation but I missed most of the game. Givens is a guy whom I know Buck trusted, so you have to think he asked for it too and though so and I’m beginning to definitely trust in Buck. Like Megill, Givens’ first name seems spelled wrong too.

Quick wrapup for these Mets who are unpredictable in all the right ways and went sneaky-smart at the deadline when balls-out was the seeming call to action.

Naquin is hitting the crap out of the ball in 25. Givens is No. 60. Darin Ruf (who seems to spell his first AND last names improperly) was assigned 28 and platooning with Babe Ruth Vogelbach at 32. That Davis-Ruf trade was also a straight-up Uni-Swap and I think the Mets paid more for him and for Vogelbach as I liked Holderman and Davis but I’m not arguing with results.

That was a magical win over Atlanta last night, in a magical year, and they did it while the Braves did seemingly did so much more to prepare. I watched the game last night and wanted nothing more that to be there. That was something, and I was at the Wednesday night Yankees game.

Someday I’ll tell that story.

 

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The Buck Starts Here

Count me among the majority for once: I was very much behind the Mets’ pursuit of Buck Showalter as manager and was pleased if not terribly surprised to hear the club reeled him in. One thing these recent Mets clubs have been missing is a presence as a manager; we last experienced it in Terry. Plus you can be assured Buck won’t go around many losing games by being out-strategized by the other guy. And if he can light a fire beneath underachievers like McNeil and Smith, that’ll be a bonus.

Buck managed the Yankees and Diamondbacks and Rangers while wearing No. 11; and the Orioles with No. 26, which he wore as a tribute to late predecessor Johnny Oates. No word yet on what Buck will wear under his jacket.

As relayed a few weeks ago, the arrivals of Mark Cahna, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte and Max Scherzer shook things up a little. McNeil is now listed in No. 1, his third issue since 68 and 6. Escobar takes 10, which has gone more than a decade without a player occupant. Marte is taking over No. 6, Cahna gets 19. That belonged most recently to Showalter’s inexperienced predecessor. Scherzer gets 21, which I’ve always kind of liked for a pitcher.

 

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Max Power

Hello from the most active offseason since Omar Minaya reeled in Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez.

You are no doubt in receipt of reports today that the Mets have reached a massive 3-year deal with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer after making successful bids late last week for veterans Starling Marte, Mark Cahna and Eduardo Escobar. And with trades, relief-pitching, depth deals and a new manager still ahead, that’s a mighty heavy workload for newly arrived GM, Billy Eppler.

Scherzer has worn 31 in Washington and in LA, but with Mike Piazza having taken that out of the Mets’ rotation, we’re tentatively anticipating he’ll take it up a notch the 32. That figure belonged most recently to Aaron Loup, who departed to Anaheim on a free-agent deal following Noah Syndergaard, who made the very same move.

Syndergaard’s departure marks the final end to a durable, multipronged trade chain dating back to Tim Bogar, who debuted with the Mets in 1993, was traded to Houston for Luis Lopez, who went to Milwaukee for Bill Pulsipher, who went to Arizona for Lenny Harris, who went to Milwaukee for Jeromy Burnitz, whose trade to Los Angeles yielded Victor Diaz, who was traded to Texas for catcher Mike Nickeas, who was sent to Toronto in the Syndergaard trade.

Noah departs as the Mets’ all-time leader in winning-percentage and strikeouts among Guys Who Wore 34. He was three wins short of Mike Pelfrey for the victory title.

Marte is a sports-car enthusiast (true story: I met his car-dealer at a convention in Las Vegas) who looks to take over center field duties as Brandon Nimmo slides over to left field and Canha takes over in right. Marte has worn No. 6 with Pittsburgh and Miami and No. 2 with Oakland and Arizona. One or both could be available depending on whether change-ofscenery trade candidates Dom Smith and Jeff McNeil survive Eppler’s dealmaking in the weeks ahead. Cahna has worn 20 with Oakland and will need a new issue. Escobar, a switch-hitting infielder who looks likely to take a role similar to Jonathan Villar last season, has worn 5 most often in his career and so encounters a retired number in New York. Scientists project he could wind up in 7 here.

More to come!!

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