Category: Pittsburgh Pirates

Mets reacquire Jon Niese

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The New York Mets reacquired left-handed pitcher Jon Niese from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo.

You could look at this trade as a swapping of two players who weren’t exactly fitting in on their new teams. Niese has struggled in his first season with the Pirates, so much so his General Manager publicly regretted the acquisition of Niese and he was regulated to the bullpen. Niese’s ERA had ballooned all the way to 5.13 in 18 starts for the Pirates, and since his move to the bullpen he has only allowed 2 earned runs in 8.1 innings, which equates to a 2.16 ERA. Niese pitched well in the bullpen for the Mets during the postseason last season, and I wouldn’t be opposed to using him out of the pen. I think Logan Verrett has pitched well in the fifth spot and shouldn’t be sent to the bullpen unless something drastic happens over his next couple of starts.

Bastardo has flat out struggled during his tenure with the Mets this season. Bastardo signed a two-year $12 million deal in the offseason with the Mets after a dominant season with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Expected to be a weapon out of the Mets bullpen, Bastardo severely underperformed dating all the way back to Spring Training when he was constantly getting lit up by the opposition. The 30-year old reliever will go back to Pittsburgh with a 4.74 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched this season.

Mets Tidbits:

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  • Noah Syndergaard threw off flat ground prior to tonight’s game and reportedly felt fine. That is certainly good news for the Mets, as Syndergaard is now scheduled to throw a bullpen session sometime tomorrow afternoon. Throwing off flat ground successfully is a huge step for the 23-year old flamethrower, as he is now cleared to be able to throw off a mound for the first time since his arm fatigue injury last Friday night. Syndergaard is currently on schedule to start Tuesday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.
  • Despite taking early batting practice this afternoon, Yoenis Cespedes remains out of the starting lineup while he battles a lingering quadriceps injury. Cespedes, who was originally injured last Friday night, can still not fully run the bases and there is still no timetable as to when he will return to the starting lineup. Fortunately for the Mets they have plenty of outfield depth, but the Mets can’t afford to go a long stretch without their best player offensively. As for now we will continue to monitor Cespedes’ condition and consider him day-to-day.
  • Former Met and current Pirates pitcher Jon Niese was put on blast by his current GM Neal Huntington earlier today during a radio station interview. Huntington was asked about his offseason swap of Neil Walker for Jon Niese and openly admitted to regretting making the trade for Niese. He stated,”In hindsight, maybe the two fringe prospects and trying to figure out where to reallocate the money might have been a better return [for Walker],” Huntington told the radio station. “That’s where the results take us. … Given the thinness of the starting pitching market, given the dollars that we had available, we felt that was our best return, and it has not played out that way.” Yikes. Niese is currently on the trade block for the Pirates and has been demoted to the bullpen. The 29-year old lefty holds a 7-6 record with a 5.13 ERA over 18 starts this season.

Final Recap: Pirates 4 – Mets 0

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The Pittsburgh Pirates (33-31) defeated the New York Mets (34-29) tonight by the final score of 4-0. For a full boxscore recap follow the link below…

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Game Notes:

  • Despite being hung with the loss Jacob deGrom pitched a solid game tonight only allowing 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings pitched. DeGrom struck out 9 and walked 1. His lone mistake was a 2-run home run allowed to Jung Ho Kang.
  • Matt Reynolds was 1-3 and accounted for the Mets only extra base hit of the evening, a double in the bottom of the 9th.
  • The Mets only had 3 hits on the evening.
  • Starling Marte hit a 2-run home run off Jim Henderson in the top of the 8th.

Well tonight the Pirates continued where they left off in dominating the Mets, as the Mets dropped their tenth game out of their past eleven played against the Pirates. The Pirates came into this series struggling, and you could not tell by the way they played tonight. You have to wonder if there is a psychological edge that the Pirates hold over the Mets, because the Mets have simply had no answer it seems besides once over the last eleven games played. While the offense is struggling due to missing a couple of key pieces, tonight’s regulars were simply chewed up by Pirates starter Jameson Taillion on the evening, as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. The Mets will face two struggling starting pitchers over the next two days, including Juan Nicasio who shut the Mets down last Tuesday. The way the offense is producing and the way the Pirates have handled the Mets, it’s tough to be optimistic the rest of this series. 

Right now simply put the Mets are a wounded bunch. It feels eerily similar to last June with how the offense is sputtering and injuries are taking a toll on the roster. Unfortunately the Mets are going to have to fight their way out of this as there is no saving grace coming their way in the way of another impact bat currently. The team is going to have to get healthy, but for now they need to start playing with a chip on their shoulder like the defending National Champions that they are. The offense needs to find ways to get creative to score runs as well, as many of our fears have come to light as to what the Mets offense would look like when they don’t hit home runs. This offense is still talented enough to be putting enough runs on the board and they need to figure out ways to do that before it gets uglier than it already has. 

  • The Mets will play the second game of their three game series with the Pirates tomorrow evening with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm et. You can watch tomorrow’s game on SNY.
  • Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.00 ERA) will face the Pirates for the second start in a row and square off with struggling Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke (5-4, 5.38 ERA).

Lineups & Game Notes: Pirates vs. Mets 7:10 pm et.

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Pittsburgh Pirates (32-31):

1. John Jaso (L) 1B
2. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
3. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
4. Starling Marte (R) LF
5. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
6. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
7. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
8. Chris Stewart (R) C
9. Jameson Taillon (R) P

SP: Jameson Taillon RHP (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

New York Mets (34-28):

1. Alejandro De Aza (L) LF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF
5. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B
6. Wilmer Flores (R) 3B
7. James Loney (L) 1B
8. Kevin Plawecki (R) C
9. Jacob deGrom (L) P

SP: Jacob deGrom (3-2, 2.80 ERA)

Tonight’s game can be seen on SNY.

Game Notes:

PIRATES-METS NOTES: The Mets are 3-7 in their last 10 home games vs. the Pirates dating back to 2013…The Mets are 1-9 in their last 10 games against the Pirates, winning their last match-up on June 8 at PNC Park… The Mets went 0-6 vs. Pittsburgh in 2015.

AN OFF DAY IS A GOOD DAY: The Mets 8-0 after a scheduled off day this year and have scored an average of 6 runs in those eight wins.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: New York begins an eight-game homestand tonight… The Mets are 14-8 in their last 22 games at Citi Field and 15-12 at home overall this season.

FAMILIA RESULTS: Jeurys Familia has 21 saves, the most in the majors… Is 21-21 in save opportunities in 2016…Familia has saved 37 consecutive games in the regular season dating to August 1, 2015, extending a franchise-record…It is the second-longest active streak in the major leagues (Arizona’s Brad Ziegler has saved 41 straight opportunities)…Familia’s 21 consecutive saves to open the season is the second-longest streak to open a season in franchise history (Armando Benitez 24 in 2001 holds the record).

DEGROMINATION: Since his major league debut on May 15, 2014, deGrom’s 2.64 ERA  is the fourth-best mark in the major leagues…He is 13-7 with a 1.90 ERA) in 30 starts at Citi Field…His 1.92 home ERA is the third-lowest in the majors since 2014 among pitchers with at least 150 innings.

DEGROM VS. PIRATES: DeGrom is facing Pittsburgh in back-to-back starts and has never beaten the Pirates…In three career starts, he is 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA with 17 strikeouts and eight walks…He has never pitched more than 6.2 innings against Pittsburgh.

GO WITH THE FLO: Wilmer Flores is hitting .406 (13-32) with three runs scored, three doubles and three RBI in 10 games since replacing David Wright as the starting third baseman…He has a .459 OBP in that span.

THE GRANDYMAN IS HOT: Curtis Granderson has three homers, four RBI, one double, one triple, five runs scored and is hitting .320 (8-25) with a .414 OBP since June 7…Granderson’s next leadoff homer will set the franchise mark, as he is tied with Jose Reyes with 16 leadoff home runs.

METS VS. TAILLON: Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon will face the Mets in back-to-back starts which also marks his second career major league start…He was involved in a no decision in his last start on June 8 while pitching 6 innings, and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits…He walked 2 and struck out 3…Taillon is ranked as the 4th best prospect in the Pirates system and was taken 2nd overall in the 2010 MLB Draft…Notable numbers against Taillon are provided below…

  • Yoenis Cespedes: .333 (1-3)
  • Asdrubal Cabrera: .333 (1-3), 1 2B
  • James Loney: .333 (1-3), 1 K
  • Alejandro De Aza: .000 (0-2), K

Lineups & Game Notes: Mets vs. Pirates 7:05 pm et.

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New York Mets (31-26):

1. Alejandro De Aza (L) RF
2. Michael Conforto (L) LF
3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF
4. Neil Walker (S) 2B
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
7. Ty Kelly (S) 3B
8. Rene Rivera (R) C
9. Noah Syndergaard (L) P

SP: Noah Syndergaard RHP (6-2, 1.91 ERA)

Pittsburgh Pirates (32-26):

1. John Jaso (L) 1B
2. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
3. Gregory Polanco (L) LF
4. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
5. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Matt Joyce (L) RF
8. Sean Rodriguez (R) SS
9. Jameson Taillon (R) P

SP: Jameson Taillon RHP (ML debut)

Tonight’s game can be seen on SNY.

Game Notes:

METS-PIRATES NOTES: The Mets are 2-10 in their last 12 games at PNC Park…New York is 21-29 all-time at PNC, which opened in 2001…The Mets have lost nine straight games to the Pirates dating back to June 29, 2014, the nine consecutive losses is the most in team history to Pittsburgh…The Mets were swept twice by the Pirates last year, May 22-25, at PNC Park and August 14-16 at Citi Field.

OFFENSIVE OFFENSE: New York has scored two or fewer runs in seven of its last 10 games…The Mets have scored two runs in their last 27 innings.

FOUR IS THE KEY: The Mets are 23-5 when they score four or more runs and 8-21 when they score three or fewer.

STRONG PITCHING: The Mets rank second in the majors with a 3.15 team ERA…The staff has allowed the fewest homers (43) and has issued 137 walks, tied for the fewest in the majors…New York has 497 strikeouts, ranking eighth in the majors.

MIGHTY THOR: Syndergaard is third in the majors with a 1.91 ERA, behind Clayton Kershaw (1.46) and Jake Arrieta (1.80)… He is second in the majors with 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings behind Jose Fernandez (13.3) and third in the majors with 1.3 walks per nine innings…Syndergaard is sixth in the majors with 90 strikeouts and seventh in the majors with a 1.90 ERA at night.

ROAD WARRIOR: Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five road starts this year…His 1.85 road ERA ranks seventh in the National League…He has allowed two or fewer runs in each of the five starts.

FLAMETHROWER: According to FanGraphs, Syndergaard averages the fastest fastball (98.1), slider (91.5) and change-up (89.9) this year.

THOR VS. PIRATES: Has faced Pittsburgh once in his career, his third career start on May 22, 2015…Went 6 innings giving up four runs, one earned, on six hits…Struck out five and walked none…Was his second career loss…Had his first career hit off of Gerrit Cole (singled to right field in the sixth inning).

Mets drop two in a row, swept by Pirates.

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The New York Mets (31-26) were swept in a doubleheader today by the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-26) with both games ending in the result of 3-1. The Mets have now dropped nine straight games to the Pirates and will look to avoid being swept by the Pirates tomorrow evening for the third series in a row. Continue reading

Lineups & Game Notes: Mets vs. Pirates (Game 1) 4:05 pm et.

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New York Mets (31-24):

1. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF
4. Neil Walker (S) 2B
5. Wilmer Flores (R) 3B
6. James Loney (L) 1B
7. Michael Conforto (L) LF
8. Rene Rivera (R) C
9. Steven Matz (R) P

SP: Steven Matz LHP (7-1, 2.60 ERA)

Pittsburgh Pirates (30-26):

1. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
2. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
3. David Freese (R) 1B
4. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
5. Starling Marte (R) LF
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
9. Jonathon Niese (L) P

SP: Jon Niese LHP (5-2, 4.36 ERA)

Today’s game can be seen on SNY.

Game Notes:

METS-PIRATES NOTES: The Mets are 2-8 in their last 10 games at PNC Park…New York is 21-27 all-time at PNC, which opened in 2001…The Mets went 0-6 vs. the Pirates last year… It was the first time in team history they were swept in a season series by Pittsburgh…New York has lost seven straight to the Pirates dating back to June 29, 2014.

DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: The last time the Mets played the Pirates in a doubleheader was September 19, 2004 in Pittsburgh… The Mets lost both games, losing Game 1, 1-0 and falling in Game 2, 6-1…The last time the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Pirates was July 30, 1996, winning 5-4 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2…The Mets played one doubleheader last year, losing both games (3-1 & 2-0) to Washington on October 3 at Citi Field.

 

FOUR OR MORE: The Mets are 23-5 when they score four or more runs and 8-19 when they score three or fewer.

HOMECOMING: Pittsburgh native and member of the Pirates from 2009-2015, Neil Walker returns to PNC Park tonight… Walker hit .279 with 83 doubles, 42 homers and 199 RBI in 421 career games at PNC Park.

FAMILIAR ENEMY: LHP Jonathon Niese will start tonight for Pittsburgh…Niese was drafted by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2005 draft and he went 61-61 with a 3.91 ERA from 2008- 2015 with the Mets.

OTHER METS-PIRATES TIES: Mets Manager Terry Collins was a coach on Pittsburgh’s staff from 1992-1993…Antonio Bastardo pitched for the Pirates last year, going 4-1 with 2.98 ERA in 66 games…Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle played with the Mets in 1983, 1985 and 1987.

MAGNIFICENT MATZ: Steven Matz is 11-1 in 15 regular season games in the majors…he has never faced the Pirates in his career…Matz has won seven straight decisions, as he is 7-0 with a 1.51 ERA over eight starts during that stretch…Matz has issued nine walks and struck out 52…The last Met to win seven or more consecutive decisions was R.A. Dickey (April 25-July 19, 2012), who won 11 straight.

STRONG PITCHING: The Mets rank second in the majors with a 3.14 team ERA…The staff has allowed 42 homers, tied for the second- fewest in the majors…They have issued 132 walks, the fewest in the majors and have 476 strikeouts, ranking 10th in the majors.

WATCH OUT PIRATES: Asdrubal Cabrera will be playing his first games at PNC Park in his career and is 10-31 (.323) vs. Pittsburgh in eight career games but all of those games came at home as a member with Washington and Cleveland…James Loney is batting .322 (48-149) vs. the Pirates in his career and he has hit in six straight games vs. Pittsburgh dating to August 14, 2012 (.478, 11-23) with one homer and five RBI’s.

METS VS. NIESE: This is the first time Jon Niese will be facing his former team, but notable current Mets numbers against the 29-year old lefty are provided below…

Curtis Granderson: .333 (3-9), 3 K
Neil Walker: .154 (2-13), 2 RBI, 4 K
James Loney: .143 (1-7), 1 K
Asdrubal Cabrera: .000 (0-3)
Rene Rivera: .000 (0-3), 2 K

Should Mets sign Pedro Alvarez?

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Pedro Alvarez to the Mets? It may not sound as outlandish as it seems. Truth be told, the slugging first baseman is still on the free agent market looking for a home. As Opening Night is quickly approaching, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Mets to kick the tires on the 29-year-old slugger. Continue reading