Mets fire on all cylinders for once, rip Yankees 9-3 in the Bronx
Also, why can't the Mets walk and chew gum at the same time ahead of the trade deadline?
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets defeated the Yankees 9-3 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday (Box)
Justin Verlander gave the Mets six shutout innings to earn his fifth win of the season
Pete Alonso had a breakout game, slugging two home runs to go along with five RBI - it was his first multi-home run game since April 5
Francisco Lindor went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, and Jeff McNeil also contributed a multi-hit, three RBI night as well
The Mets are now 62-79 all-time in the Subway Series and 30-42 in 72 games in the Bronx, 24-31 on the road this season, and 30-6 when the starter goes at least six innings
Mets Trade Rumors 🤐
Justin Verlander is likely to invoke his no-trade clause should the Mets approach him about being traded (New York Post)
Omar Naravez would be open to being traded to get more playing time (New York Post)
Injury Updates 🏥
Francisco Álvarez was hit in the hand during Tuesday night’s game at Yankee Stadium. X-Rays were negative and he is day-to-day
Luis Guillorme has a grade 2 strain in his calf. The expected recovery time for this injury is 4-6 weeks
Who’s Hot 🔥
Pete Alonso has a five-game hitting streak, during which he has hit .474/.524/1.000 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and six RBI during that span
Justin Verlander has a 1.98 ERA over his last eight starts, a span of 50 innings
Over his last 10 games, Daniel Vogelbach is hitting .346/.393/.615 with a double, two home runs and six RBI
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (47-53) at Yankees (53-48)
Starting pitchers: LHP José Quintana (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. LHP Carlos Rodón (0-3, 7.36 ERA)
Where: Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
When: 7:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
How can the Mets make the most of this trade deadline market, for both the present and 2024? ✍️
First off, great game last night. For one day anyway, the Mets had it going on top to bottom (outside of their shaky yet, optional relief corps).
Pete Alonso has finally started to show some life after a really miserable couple of months at the plate (and in the field, too). The other day in Boston, Alonso began using the other side of the field, which is always a sign he is about to break out of a funk. Now, this one was certainly more massive, prolonged and team-impacting than any other slump in his career. But it’s not as if Alonso was going to hit .175 forever, right? Sure enough, his power has returned and this is the Pete Alonso we have come to enjoy over the last five years, and the Mets badly need. His two-homer, five RBI night paced the Mets, set a tone, and for me anyway, was a sigh of relief.
Justin Verlander was brilliant again as he continues to round into the form that earned him a Cy Young Award in 2022. He was fastball heavy although he threw a nasty combination of sliders and screwballs perfectly on the inside corner to left-handed hitters all night long, neutralizing their power and the short porch in the process. He’s found it after a really rough start to his Mets career, and certainly has instilled confidence he can still be a difference-making pitcher for the Mets now and at least over the next 365 days.
And it’s those next 365 days (or more, I suppose) I want to now center my discussion around.
Obviously, the Mets have stunk. Despite the good night, there’s no evidence to suggest this will continue. Maybe it will, but the forecast isn’t promising despite a forthcoming heavy home schedule. They have a very strong schedule ahead of them on top of it, and a 17.4% chance of making the playoffs as a result, per FanGraphs. So again, things aren’t looking great for the Mets.
But that doesn’t mean the Mets can’t at least try (I’ll get into what that means in a minute) while starting to think about 2024 at the same time, right?
The other day, Linda wrote that the Mets should sell, sell, sell. I agree with her - they should sell as many useful pieces in their lineup as they can who are set to become free agents and try and get something for them. I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility they will look to simply designate some players for assignment in August, especially those they are unable to trade in the next few days.
But that doesn’t mean the Mets shouldn’t begin to procure pieces for their 2024 roster now, much of which should be able to help them at least keep the team interesting over the next two months, if not give them a chance to at least contend for that third wild card spot.
I am not at all suggesting the Mets should try to trade for Shohei Ohtani or Juan Soto right now, or overpay for 2-3 relievers, or reconstruct the back of their rotation over a period of five days here. That’s not going to happen. But I do think there’s a path to at least starting to create some more certainty in those areas of the roster while doing the right thing and trimming off some of these dead leaves from the tree.
I was thinking about 2019 yesterday. The Mets started 40-50. At the trade deadline, they became buyers on the surface. Granted, they made a very strong run to the trade deadline, but it was still hard to trust that it would be sustained. So Brodie Van Wagenen decided to trade for Marcus Stroman, who had 1 1/2 years left of control left at the time plus the possibility of the player accepting a qualifying offer. While the move was certainly designed to help the Mets over the final two months of the season, it created certainty in the Mets rotation ahead of 2020, a well designed move which seemed like a safe bet at the time (we know what ultimately happened in 2020 and the behavioral issues in 2021, and of course that’s not the point!).
The point is, I think moves like this are out there for the Mets now, players they can acquire for some 10-15 prospects that can help reconstruct parts of their whole in 2024. Now, I’m not suggesting the Mets trade for Stroman at all, that’s just an example of what they can do, and probably ideas they need to consider since there is a ton of work to do with this roster before spring training next February., especially if the Mets intend to dive into the deep end of the pool again in free agency and go after Ohtani, Blake Snell, and others.
Keep in mind, this path includes retaining both Verlander and Max Scherzer.
Such moves would require the Mets taking some risks in dealing some of their prospects. Such moves would require creativity in their approach. They have proven they can be creative, evidenced by the contracts they gave to both Verlander and Scherzer, assuming a different kind of risk in Exchange for short-term commitments in the process. We also know money is not the factor, and that spending it wisely is. We also know this front office has yet to show such creativity or even a willingness to take risks in dealing their most precious currency, ie their prospects.
Can the Mets walk and chew gum at the same time?
Around the League 🚩
The Dodgers re-acquired Kike Hernandez from the Red Sox in exchange for relievers Nick Robertson and Justin Hagenman
Ahead of the trade deadline, the Cardinals and RHP Jordan Hicks are trying to work out a contract extension (Athletic)
The Rangers, Orioles, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Rays are all expressing some level of interest in trading for Shohei Ohtani (ESPN)
The Astros are pursuing bullpen options ahead of the trade deadline (Houston Chronicle)