Discover more from Just Mets
Justin Verlander pitched well enough, but he couldn't save Mets from embarrassing sweep
And why Buck Showalter should have watched most of Thursday's game from the clubhouse TV
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets lost to the Tigers again on Thursday afternoon, this time 2-0 (Box)
The loss was already the Mets 6th shutout defeat of 2023
Justin Verlander made his first Mets start and went five innings, allowing back to back first inning solo home runs but nothing else
New York managed just three singles against Eduardo Rodriguez and Alex Lange
Brandon Nimmo inexcusably was thrown out trying to steal 2nd base with one out and the Mets down 2-0 in the 9th inning
Jeff McNeil was rung up on a 3-2 pitch well below the strike zone and instantly become vocally incensed with home plate umpire Adam Beck
Roster Moves 🗞️
RHP José Butto optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
RHP John Curtiss optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
LHP Zach Muckenhirn optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Dominic Leone signed as a free-agent and added to Major League roster
RHP Justin Verlander activated from the 15-day injured list
C Omar Narvaez transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (16-16) vs Rockies (12-20)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2023 debut) vs RHP Kodai Senga (3-1, 4.15 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Should Buck Showalter have gotten run yesterday?✍🏻
Mets’ manager Buck Showalter is 66-years-old and arguably his most valuable attribute is his ability to remain calm and collected, and maintain a don’t get too high, don’t get too low attitude. This can be incredibly important over the course of a grueling six-month baseball season.
To me, however, there are certain situations and games when a deviation from one’s typical character and demeanor is needed.
Showalter has managed over 3,200 games in the big leagues and has been ejected from only 33 of them—and none since taking the helm in Queens a year ago. But I felt like the second inning on Thursday in Detroit was screaming for Buck to finally utilize the only motivational tactic he hasn’t yet attempted in New York.
After being knocked on their heels yet again by the Tigers, the Mets came up in the top of the second down 2-0. With one out, Tommy Pham laced a single to left that brought Jeff McNeil to the plate as the tying run. After initially falling behind in the count, McNeil battled, and eventually took a 3-2 pitch that was well below the strike zone.
He quickly tossed his bat and started heading to first base, but there was just one problem. Home plate umpire Adam Beck had inexplicably deemed the full count offering a strike and punched McNeil out.
This understandably drew a visceral reaction from McNeil, whom the hot mics were able to pick up cursing at Beck in disbelief. Showalter came out to take up the discussion while McNeil reluctantly retreated to the dugout, but his argument was halfhearted at best. The Mets should have had two men on and a runner in scoring position and been able to put a little bit of pressure on starter Eduardo Rodriguez. Instead, just a couple pitches later Pham was caught stealing 2nd base and the inning was over.
In the bottom half of the inning another Met took exception to a ruling from Beck.
Leading off the Detroit second, Eric Haase swung and just barely tipped a Justin Verlander two-strike offering. Rookie catcher Francisco Alvarez was adamant that he held on to the tip and it should have been ruled strike three. Beck ruled the ball to have hit the dirt first, and outright refused to ask first base umpire Dan Iassogna for help despite Alvarez downright begging him to do so.
At this point, despite it understandably not being his style and personality, I truly thought Showalter should’ve come out and absolutely flipped his lid.
Heading into Thursday afternoon, the Mets had lost eight of their last ten contests, and have noticeably been pressing and playing too tight as they try to pull themselves out of this disappointing skid. Too often of late they’ve looked lifeless and lethargic, fallen behind early, and not played with an iota of energy. Such was the case again on Thursday.
Seeing their manager defend his players ferociously would not only have further exemplified how much he supports them. It would have indisputably given the Mets a shot of energy and adrenaline, and perhaps provided added incentive to compete harder for the remainder of the afternoon.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say Showalter’s non-confrontational personality is the reason the Mets lost, or why they’ve been losing lately in general. As has been discussed in depth on this platform, this team has several large issues which are not going away that have been leading to poor play.
But every so often a club needs an entertaining meltdown from their manager to serve as a kick in the ass, and if yesterday’s poor umpiring wasn’t enough to push Showalter over the edge I don’t think anything will.
Around the League 🚩
Nationals outfielder Alex Call hit a walk-off home run to defeat the Cubs
Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson both homered for the Orioles as Baltimore outslugged the Royals 13-10
Matt Olson crushed his 9th homer in the Braves 6-3 win in Miami
George Kirby fired seven strong innings to help the Mariners outlast the A’s 5-3
The A’s designated former Met Jeurys Familia for assignment