Mets shutdown by the Twins 5-2, Kodai Senga's impressive outing, and a note about David Stearns
The Mets were held to just two runs on four hits in Minneapolis on Friday night.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets lost to the Twins 5-2 at Target Field on Friday night (Box)
Kodai Senga had to battle through six innings but pitched well overall, allowing just two runs on four hits with four walks
Pete Alonso accounted for the club’s only extra-base hit around three other hits on the night
Sean Reid-Foley relieved Senga and immediately allowed three runs to score in the seventh inning
Former future Met Carlos Correa went 2-for-3 with a solo home run against his former future club
The Mets are now 14-10 in series openers on the road, 2-62 when trailing after seven innings, 12-51 when scoring three or fewer runs, 11-53 when scoring five or more runs, and 22-28 since the All-Star Game
Francisco Lindor is the Mets nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award
Injury Updates 🏥
Luis Guillorme (calf strain) went 0-for-3 in his first game of his rehab assignment with Single-A Brooklyn on Friday
Prospect Watch 🔎
INF Danny Mendick (Triple-A Syracuse): 4-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
OF Jett Williams (no. 3 prospect, Single-A Brooklyn): 2-for-4, 2B
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (64-76) vs. Twins (74-67)
Where: Target Field — Minneapolis, MN
Starting pitchers: LHP David Peterson (3-7, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (3-7, 4.73 ERA)
When: 2:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Let’s talk first about Kodai Senga, then David Stearns and the Mets… ✍️
Kodai Senga was really impressive last night.
Not so much because he was superb out there. He was far from that. He didn’t have a whole lot of command with anything coming out of his hand, yet he was able to put forth one of those grinding-like efforts where he was able to successfully battle through a difficult Twins lineup for six effective innings.
Yes, he was helped by a phenomenal play from Tim Locastro in left field which helped save a run in the fourth. And yes, he was able to pull a rabbit out of his hat while on the ropes again in the fifth by inducing a 6-4-3 double play.
But the good ones tend to have these kinds of things happen for them too, don’t they?
When the Mets signed Senga during the winter, questions were abound about how Senga’s game would translate to the big leagues and what kind of adjustment period he would need in order to become an effective big league pitcher.
All of those questions were answered and quickly with Senga. And it’s because he answered them himself with his performance and obvious ability to adapt to change in both conditions and competition.
Sure, there are scientific reasons why Senga has been so good this season. The ghost fork is ridiculously hard to hit and he has great fastball velocity and movement.
But it’s also the person and both his personality and professionalism which has helped him become one of the better pitchers in the game almost immediately as a big league rookie. He has shown no fear out there, he never wavers, never wears any emotion on his face, seemingly learns and adapts from start-to-start both from the positive and negative experiences, and clearly has already learned how to deal with days where he isn’t at his best and against playoff contenders at that.
Friday night was all of that for Senga, which to me not only puts him alongside the likes of Corbin Carroll for a rookie of the year nod, but also in the Cy Young conversation in the National League as well.
He had already earned his big league stripes. But last night he got to put them on with that gritty performance.
Now, onto David Stearns…
Look, I think this is would be as big and as important a hire the Mets could possibly make. His track record in Milwaukee speaks for itself, he’s young, energetic, hungry and has all the brains and tools the modern professional sports franchise needs at the top of the food chain.
And yes, he’s from New York, grew up a Met fan and all of that fun stuff. He would have that in common with his boss (and a lot of us for that matter), should he be hired.
But, as is always the case around here, people tend to get excited by the sexiness of the name and what he or she has done in the past elsewhere, and don’t often realize that was in the past and not the present and it doesn’t mean it’s going to translate well, or at all with the Mets.
The Mets are a different animal seemingly from every other franchise in the industry. It’s partially self-induced because of poor decision making and poor analysis, but it’s also the market they’re in and this perpetual desire to be like the last great dynasty in the game rather than developing their own way and own identity.
Right? After all, we keep reading about Mr. Cohen’s desire to be more like the Dodgers. In the past, they were supposed to be emulating the Braves, and damn it, why couldn’t the Mets be more like the Yankees (back from 1995-2010)?
And, just when they think they’ve done all of that, something bad happens and it all falls apart, back to square one.
They’re always trying to be like their big brother instead of just designing their own path of success. That’s the Mets, that’s just the way it’s always been. And it’s a big reason why they’ve been waiting for a third World Championship for nearly 40 years.
If the Mets do hire Stearns, it would be a landmark move. No question about it. But the future of the franchise isn’t going to be about Stearns as much as it’s going to be about who Stearns surrounds himself with.
The point is, it takes a crew to run a ship. The captain is just the one giving the orders and driving the strategy. And he has to find that crew from scouting to analytics and from player development all the way up to the big league field staff.
Oh, and then he has to draft, develop and/or acquire the players to actually play baseball. That doesn’t all happen in one off-season.
As you all know, we have seen countless big name executives come and go here with no trip up the Canyon of Heroes to show for it. Whatever Mr. Cohen does with this hire, I trust it will be a good one (and probably expensive, because what doesn’t Mr. Cohen do for this franchise which isn’t expensive?) but then it will be about time and patience. The new president - whether it’s Stearns or some other person - is going to have to make some difficult and often unpopular decisions which may seem like one step forward, two steps backwards. There will be mistakes and missteps too which he will have to account for.
But as I think I’ve said a million times over the last 15 years about the Mets, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The problem is, we are still waiting for this franchise to break that ground.
Around the League 🚩
Zac Gallen and the Diamondbacks shut the Cubs out 1-0 at Wrigley Field on Friday - Chicago remained three games behind the Brewers for the lead in the NL Central, but are now just two games ahead of Arizona and 2.5 games ahead of the Marlins in the Wild Card race
The Marlins edged the Phillies 3-2 in CBP thanks in part to a pinch hit, game-tying two run home run from Jesus Sánchez in the sixth inning
The Rangers free fall continued on Friday, this time against Oakland with an 8-2 home loss - Texas is now 1.5 games out of the AL Wild Card race and three games behind the Astros in the AL West
The Giants scored all nine of their runs in innings 6-8 last night against the Rockies, edging Colorado 9-8 to keep to within 2.5 games of a Wild Card spot. Wilmer Flores, JD Davis, Mitch Haniger and Blake Sabol all homered for San Francisco