Mets slug three homers in win 6-4 over Diamondbacks, and David Stearns is in the fold
Ronny Mauricio's first career homer sailed 440 feet, and Pete Alonso and Francisco Álvarez continued to tally homers to their ledgers in the win
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The powered their way to a 6-4 win over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday (Box)
Ronny Mauricio hit a 440 foot bomb for his first career homer, and both Pete Alonso (44) and Francisco Álvarez (23) hit homers
José Buttó gave the Mets another strong outing - he allowed just a run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings
The Mets bulllpen made things interesting for the Mets - Grant Hartwig and Sam Coonrod combined to allow three runs before Adam Ottavino had to come in and bail them out for the game’s final five outs
The Mets are now 5-5 in September 24-60 when the opponent scores first, 33-39 in 1 or 2 run games, 56-2 when leading after 8 innings, 16-14 against the NL West, 31-21 when hitting two or more homers, 45-19 when scoring five or more runs, and 24-30 since the All-Star Game
Meet the new boss… 💪
The Mets agreed to a five-year contract with David Stearns to become their next president of baseball operations (Story)
Stearns, who was a Met fan growing up, served as an intern for the Mets under former GM Omar Minaya
Stearns went on to work in the commissioners office and was centrally focused on negotiating that term’s collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA
Went on to Cleveland as a co-director of baseball operations in 2011 and then became the assistant GM for the Astros in 2012
Stearns went onto become the GM of the Brewers after the 2015 season and was promoted to president of baseball operations in 2019
Stearns graduated from Harvard University in 2007 with a degree in political science
The club will not officially announce Stearns is joining the organization until after the season
Roster Moves 🗞️
RHP Sean Reid-Foley (lat strain) placed on the injured list
RHP Reed Garrett recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
INF Luis Guillorme’s rehab assignment transferred to Double-A Binghamton
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (66-78) vs. Diamondbacks (76-70)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: LHP Joey Lucchesi (2-0, 3.54 ERA) vs. RHP Zac Gallen (15-7, 3.31 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Thoughts on the David Stearns hire and what it means in the immediate term, José Buttó and more… ✍️
The Mets did a number of things particularly well on Tuesday, as they won their day both on and off the field. Such days have seemed so rare for this club in 2023, which seems so remarkable to me.
Where we were in March to where we are today - it seems like that was eons ago.
Still, the day started off with the news that Steve Cohen had finally found is president of baseball operations or his white whale of sorts when multiple reports surfaced he had hired David Stearns for the role.
On paper, this seems like cinderella’s glass slipper fitting perfectly for the Mets. Stearns is from New York, grew up a Met fan and worked in the Mets front office as an intern, so his career is coming full circle.
Reality maybe a little different as there’s a lot of organization building for him to do starting pretty much right now. They’ve let go of a lot of front office personnel, and those that have remained can be fairly questioned and challenged for their decision making over the last 365 days or so as well, including that of GM Billy Eppler and on-field manager Buck Showalter.
Now, I don’t expect either to be fired. Rather, it’s fair to wonder how both truly feel about having a high profile boss installed above them with an unquestionable tidal wave of change coming to them over the next three months. There will be different people, different thinkers, different philosophies as Steve Cohen attempts to further modernize the Mets to make them a perennially competitive destination in a new world of baseball. It’s a top-down and bottom-up need with the Mets, who are (inexplicably) pacing towards 85-90 losses with a record payroll on the books.
Will Eppler and Showalter be receptive? They’ll say all of the right things in public of course because, well, what choice do they have? Can’t rip your boss at the office, right?
We will see how this all shakes out, presumably shortly after the season concludes.
There were more good things that happened for the Mets on Tuesday, not to mention the fact they played the role of spoiler in the Diamondbacks quest for a playoff spot and time running out on the regular season.
It started with José Buttó who put forth a second straight encouraging start for the Mets. He did walk three but his pitch and strike quality was excellent, particularly with his change-up which had a consistent fade towards the bottom edges of the strike zone.
An ability to throw strikes has always been a concern with Buttó. He had a 1.63 WHIP in the minors this past season and a 5.93 ERA to show for that lack of control. But that command has been there in his last two starts here for the Mets and last night was a good test of his stuff against a youthful and athletic lineup.
He’s going to keep getting looks down the stretch as the Mets evaluate all of these options among Buttó, Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi for the back of whatever this rotation will look like five months from now. The Mets don’t need all of them to stick, but it would be nice if 1-2 proved their worth for them over this stretch of spring training games in August and September.
So far, Buttó, Lucchesi and Megill to me have been the ones who have made the final race.
Meanwhile, the Mets put on another power display at the plate last night. Pete Alonso might literally have destroyed a baseball on his line drive homer to left. Ronny Mauricio hit his first career homer out of sight into the Coca-Cola corner, and Francisco Álvarez got in on the action with a solo shot to left.
It’s funny - the team has hit 190 homers this season, 100 of which have come at Citi Field. This after last season when the Mets didn’t hit a lot of homers outside of Alonso and Francisco Lindor and the club’s overall production being down from a year ago. I’d be curious to learn what the philosophical adjustment has been midstream for this offense. Brandon Nimmo has offered some hints into what is going on with his willful sacrifice of OBP for SLG, and while I don’t think that’s a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone, it has certainly resulted in an uptick in extra-base power for this club.
I do think a change in personnel has helped promote philosophical change as these are different players with different skills now. It’s just been a fascinating transition for the club. They obviously need more pieces to deepen this lineup again and presumably they’ll be looking for more athletic solutions to surround Lindor, Alonso, Mauricio, Álvarez, Nimmo, Mauricio, and Jeff McNeil with this winter.
Here’s another interesting thing - those seven players really aren’t a bad starting point for Stearns and Eppler this winter, either, especially when it’s fair to bet McNeil will bounce back in 2024.
Around the League 🚩
Matt Olson hit his 51st home run and eighth in his last 10 games as the Braves edged the Phillies 7-6 in Philadelphia
The Rangers ascended to the second wild card spot with a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays, but Max Scherzer exited his start early with a triceps problem
The Mariners shut the Angels out 8-0 to move into the third wild card spot in the American League
The Cubs promoted former Mets prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong to the big leagues, but fell to the Rockies 6-4
The Reds edged the Tigers 6-5 to move to within one game of the third wild card following Arizona’s loss to the Mets