Mets takeaways from Tuesday's 14-3 loss to Phillies, including Matz's meltdown

 sny.tv  4/17/2019 2:33:17 AM 

Mets fall hard to Phillies, 14-3 00:01:11
Steven Matz was shelled and the defense struggled as the Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 14-3, on Tuesday night.

Absolutely nothing went right for the Mets on Tuesday. Steven Matz was roughed up for eight runs before he could even record an out as the Mets fell to the Phillies in a 14-3 loss at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score

Six things to know about Tuesday's game

1) Matz had nothing going for him, allowing eight runs, six earned, on four hits, a walk and hit batsman, including two home runs without getting a single out before he was pulled from the game. The Phillies tacked on two more against Drew Gagnon in relief before the inning finally ended with the Mets in a 10-0 hole. 

2) Matz was not the only culprit for the 10-run first inning. Amed Rosario committed two errors in the inning, including one that allowed leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen to reach base and another that preceded a Maikel Franco three-run home run that made it 8-0. 

3) Jeff McNeil also had a hiccup in the field in the first inning, missing a line drive in left field on J.T. Realmuto's second at-bat of the inning. McNeil was charged with an error on his throw back to the infield, which allowed Realmuto to reach third base. He did continue to deliver at the plate, though, collecting two hits, including a double, to bring his average to .418 

4) Michael Conforto and Wilson Ramos both hit solo homers for the Mets. It was Conforto's fourth of the season and Ramos' first as a Met. 

5) Brandon Nimmo left the game in the first at the same time as Matz with stiffness in his neck. There was no specific play that appeared to cause the injury.  

6) Gagnon and Paul Sewald deserve some credit for saving the rest of the Mets bullpen for the rubber game on Wednesday. Gagnon may have allowed six runs, but he threw 5.1 innings while Sewald tossed 2.2 innings in relief. 

Highlights

Video: Michael Conforto goes deep in Philly

Video: Wilson Ramos gets the Mets on the board

Video: Pete Alonso with a catch and a flip

What's next

The Mets and Phillies play the rubber game of the series when RHP Zack Wheeler takes the mound opposite RHP Jake Arrieta on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

RELATED: Steven Matz knocked out of game in first inning >> Read More

HARPER: Brandon Nimmo leaves game vs. Phillies with stiff neck >> Read More

RELATED: Here's what happened Monday in Mets Land >> Read More

Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)
Jed Lowrie (Mark Flamini, SNY)

Jed Lowrie, who has been out with a capsule sprain in his left knee since the start of Spring Training, is heading down to Port St. Lucie to go through the next step in his rehab process, Mickey Callaway said Wednesday.

Lowrie will take live batting practice on Friday and Saturday, according to Callaway. There's no schedule yet regarding when Lowrie will be able to go on a rehab assignment since he essentially didn't have a Spring Training.

Jul 31, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jacob Rhame (35) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Jul 31, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jacob Rhame (35) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Drew Gagnon, who was on short rest, came in to Tuesday night's game after Steven Matz failed to get an out. Gagnon allowed five runs, but saved the Mets' bullpen by eating up 5.1 innings. His reward? A demotion to Triple-A Syracuse.

The demotion isn't an indictment on Gagnon, though. It's a move being made out of necessity in order for the Mets to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. And that fresh arm is Jacob Rhame.

Rhame, 26, has struggled so far this season for Syracuse, posting a 9.53 ERA and 1.58 WHIP while walking five and striking out seven in 5.2 innings (six appearances).

Apr 16, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery (4) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports (John Geliebter)
Apr 16, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery (4) rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports (John Geliebter)

The Mets (10-7, second place in the NL East, 0.5 game back of first place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. on SNY. 

Here's what went down on Tuesday in case you missed it...

In the Mets' ugly 14-3 loss to the Phillies, Steven Matz couldn't record an out and the team made four errors >> Read more

Matz tries to shake off bad day 00:01:09
Mickey Callaway, Steven Matz, and Brandon Nimmo talk about a bad night in Philadelphia for the Mets, as they fell 14-3 to the Phillies.

Steven Matz just did not have it Tuesday night. 

The Mets southpaw was roughed up for eight runs in the first inning and was taken out of the game before recording an out in a 14-3 loss to the Phillies. 

Amed Rosario committed two errors behind Matz, which included allowing leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen on base to jump-start the inning. 

Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) runs the bases before scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) runs the bases before scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

In a disastrous first inning for the Mets at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night, Brandon Nimmo left the game with a stiff neck, the team announced. Juan Lagares replaced Nimmo in center field.

As Steven Matz was finally relieved after an awful start, Nimmo also made his way to the dugout with Mets head trainer Brian Chicklo.

Nimmo said after the game that he had been battling soreness all day leading up to the game. 

The Mets were put in a giant hole early on against the Phillies on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the bats from trying to cut into the deficit. 

Michael Conforto was one of those players, as he launched an opposite field solo shot in the top of the third. It was his fourth homer of the season. 

An inning before Conforto went deep, Wilson Ramos got the Mets on the board with a solo homer himself. It was his first home run as a Met, and only his second extra-base hit of the year...

Jun 27, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 27, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts in the dugout during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets brought back Jeurys Familia to be a key cog in their bullpen, but the right-handed reliever has not quite lived up to his end of the deal early in the season. 

Familia struggled again on Monday night, allowing four baserunners to reach on three walks and a single in 2/3 of an inning, and allowing the Phillies to tie the game at 6. 

Yet Mets manager Mickey Callaway remains optimistic about his setup man, who has allowed six runs in 8.1 innings this season and nine walks.

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (10-6, first place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-6, second place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.

Mets Notes

The Mets picked up a big extra-inning win last night in Philadelphia. They have now won four of their last six games. ...The Mets have 10 or more hits in each of their last four games. ...Edwin Diaz collected his sixth save of the season, which ranks fourth in the MLB and second in the National League. ...Michael Conforto has gone deep in three of his last six games. ...Pete Alonso has reached base safely in eight straight starts. 

Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Brodie Van Wagenen (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

If the Mets are going to be this careful about protecting Edwin Diaz, refusing to use him in the highest of high-leverage eighth-inning spots Monday night against the Phillies, then there's only one way to justify such caution:

Go sign Craig Kimbrel. And do it quickly before someone else does.

It's the obvious take, I know, and it might make for a touchy situation as to who gets the ninth inning if the Mets actually were to sign him.

As the Mets' bullpen struggles, they have remained in touch with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel. Here's the latest...

April 16, 1:57 PM:

Kimbrel is moving "closer" to making a decision on where he will sign, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, who adds that there is currently no clear favorite. 

Morosi adds that the seriousness of the Brewers' pursuit could be tied to the health and performance of reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who is rehabbing in Triple-A. 

Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

As Jason Vargas struggles, the Mets have remained in touch with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Here's the latest...

April 16, 1:27 PM:

The Padres are interested in Keuchel and other free agent starting pitchers, but GM A.J. Preller suggested San Diego will likely not make a big move until after the MLB Draft in June, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports

If the Padres truly aren't going to make a big move until June, it's hard to see them being a serious suitor for Keuchel, who has been throwing 95-pitch simulated games every five days to prepare for the season. 

Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz follows through on a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eleventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz follows through on a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eleventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

The Mets (10-6, first place in the NL East, 0.5 game up on second place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Monday in case you missed it...

In the Mets' wild 11-inning win over the Phillies, Edwin Diaz was held back until the save situation and proceeded to blow the heart of Philadelphia's order away >> Read more

Edwin, Mickey, Brodie talk role 00:01:19
New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, manager Mickey Callaway and GM Brodie Van Wagenen discuss why Diaz wasn't used in high leverage situation.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway defended his decision not to use Edwin Diaz in a pivotal eighth-inning spot after Monday's 11-inning win over the Phillies, saying he wouldn't use his closer for a four-out save unless it was the playoffs.

Callaway said the Mets wouldn't have Diaz, who has a 1.35 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings this season, pitch more than one inning or enter in a tie game on the road.

After Jeurys Familia pitched into a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the eighth in a 6-5 game, Callaway turned to Robert Gsellman instead of Diaz to try to escape the jam. Gsellman then walked in the game-tying run on four pitches to blow the save.

Mets prevail in 11 innings 00:01:28
The Mets capitalized on a Phillies error in the 11th inning, scoring the eventual winning run in a see-saw affair, 7-6

Michael Conforto drove in the game-winning run on an error in the 11th inning as the Mets overcame a blown eighth-inning lead to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score

Seven things to know about Monday's game

1) Conforto's two-out liner off Rhys Hoskins' glove trickled into shallow right field, allowing Juan Lagares to score from second base ahead of Cesar Hernandez's off-line throw to break a 6-6 tie.

2) Edwin Diaz, who did not enter the game for a four-out save in the eighth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the 11th as the Mets snapped a two-game losing streak.

 (Rob Schumacher)
(Rob Schumacher)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As someone who was forced to retire from his sport while still an elite athlete due to spine-related injuries, few people in the universe could relate to Tiger Woods' winning the Masters on Sunday quite like David Wright

As such Wright had planned his Sunday afternoon/evening to make sure he was in front of his TV at home in Virginia. 

Only he hadn't planned on the tournament organizers moving tee times up several hours to avoid late-day rain. So as Tiger was teeing off at 9:20 a.m., Wright and his wife, Molly, were getting ready to take their two young daughters to see Paw Patrol Live, a sold-out event the girls had been talking about for weeks. 

Cano drives in a pair 00:00:18
Robinson Cano rips a two-run double off Aaron Nola to put the Mets ahead, 5-3

On Jackie Robinson Day, Robinson Cano, who was named after Robinson, ripped a two-run double Monday night in the fourth inning against the Phillies to give the Mets a 5-3 lead at the time. 

Apr 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 4, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets (9-6, second place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-5, first place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.

Mets Notes

The Mets, along with the rest of MLB, will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Monday by having every player and coach wear No. 42. ... Michael Conforto, batting cleanup, has reached base safely at least twice in 12 games this season -- second-best in the majors -- and faces a Phillies team whom he has homered in three of his last five games against. ... Brandon Nimmo is again in the leadoff spot as he enters the game having reached base safely in the last seven straight games. 

Stream the Mets live

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Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Keon Broxton (23) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Keon Broxton (23) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Doug Williams and Andy Martino "Make your Monday" with an all-new Shea Anything podcast -- the first of a new regular weekly delivery every Monday from now on!

This week, they provide an alternate reason for Jacob deGrom's recent struggles, you'll know all about speed variance by the end of the show. They also drop updates on starting rotation options for the Mets, and the ongoing mystery of where Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel will eventually pitch this season.

Click below to listen...

New York Mets' Drew Gagnon delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)
New York Mets' Drew Gagnon delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (AP)

The Mets added some depth to their bullpen on Monday and recalled right-handed releiver Drew Gagnon and optioned infielder Luis Guillorme to Triple-A Syracuse. 

Gagnon, a starter in Triple-A, is 1-0 and has allowed one earned run in 10.2 innings -- a 0.82 ERA -- and nine hits in two starts this season. 

He gives the Mets a long-man in the bullpen after Corey Oswalt was exhausted on Saturday entering in relief of Jason Vargas, who managed just 1/3 of an inning. Oswalt was optioned back to Triple-A the following day for Paul Sewald

A general view at First Data Field (Jasen Vinlove)
A general view at First Data Field (Jasen Vinlove)

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Mets' top prospects (their MLB.com Mets Top 10 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.

Andres Gimenez, SS, Double-A Binghamton (No. 2) -- ETA 2020

The 20-year-old Gimenez -- who is the Mets' No. 2 prospect by default (MLB.com has not yet removed Pete Alonso's No. 1 prospect status)  -- is viewed by most minor league experts as one of the best 50 or so prospects in baseball. Gimenez has been one of the youngest players in each league he's played in during his climb to Double-A. He hit .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases in 85 games last season for High-A St. Lucie before being promoted to Double-A, where he has opened this season with three hits in 18 at-bats spanning three games. Binghamton has had eight of their last nine games either postponed or suspended, so Gimenez and his teammates haven't had a chance to do much since April 7.

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The names may look familiar but the stats certainly don't as these two frontline starters enter tonight's Mets-Phillies series opener with a combined ERA of over 10.

Granted, it is just April 15, with both stud right-handers only three starts deep into the campaign, but from a betting perspective, it makes you wonder if the struggles will continue.

Tipping Pitches or Speed Issues? 00:01:37
On the Shea Anything podcast, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss Jacob deGrom's recent struggles, tipping pitches, and speed variances.

Our first order of business on Monday morning was to find out if Jacob deGrom is tipping pitches. In each of his past two starts, opposing hitters have looked oddly comfortable -- and since deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, this activates our natural curiosity.

On the national telecast during Sunday night's loss in Atlanta, analyst Alex Rodriguez appeared to be hinting that deGrom was tipping, when he said after Josh Donaldson's fifth inning home run that it was "Almost like he knew what was coming -- 109 (exit) velocity on 2-2 fastball in is way too good off a guy like deGrom."

Checking with several veteran evaluators Monday, none saw any signs of tipping -- although one noted that A-Rod, along with Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora and Shawn Green, was among the best in his generation at spotting it. It's possible that he noticed something that escaped other scouts, and even the Braves.

But that aside, tipping doesn't appear to be the issue.

Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom began the 2019 season by firing 13 scoreless innings over his first two starts and looking like he had somehow gotten better than he was in 2018 during his Cy Young campaign. Since then, things have not gone well.

DeGrom gave up six runs on eight hits (including three homers) while walking one and striking out three in just 4.0 innings on April 9 against the Twins at Citi Field. On Sunday night against the Braves in Atlanta, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (including two homers) in 5.0 innings. While he struck out nine, he also walked four -- an alarming number for someone who walked just 1.9 batters per 9 in 2018.

That deGrom has allowed five homers over his last two starts is also startling when you consider the fact that he allowed just 10 homers all of last season...

Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) singles to drive in a run against the New York Mets during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (9-6, second place in the NL East, 0.5 game back of first place Phillies) face the Phillies in Philadelphia on Monday at 7:05 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Sunday in case you missed it...

In the Mets' loss to the Braves, Jacob deGrom didn't look like himself for the second-straight start -- allowing three runs on five hits (including two homers) >> Read more

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after walking a batter against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom reacts after walking a batter against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway doesn't think RHP Jacob deGrom is tipping his pitches after deGrom struggled in his second straight start.

"I haven't seen anything like that," Callaway said after Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. "You start to wonder sometimes when they're taking better swings than they normally do, and fouling pitches off is something you look for when they may be tipping, but we're not seeing anything from the dugout."

deGrom loses 2nd straight start 00:01:03
Jacob deGrom lost for the second straight time as the Braves clubbed three home runs, beating the Mets 7-3

Jacob deGrom labored through five innings and the Mets' offense left 10 runners on base as they lost to the Atlanta Braves 7-3 on Sunday at SunTrust Park. >> Box score

Six things to know about Sunday's game

1) DeGrom (2-2) allowed three runs, five hits, four walks and nine strikeouts in five innings, tying a season high with 114 pitches but only in five innings. After going 2-0 with 13 shutout innings in his first two outings of the season, deGrom has allowed nine runs and 13 hits in his last nine innings across two starts.

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen during the MLB annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen during the MLB annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets LHP Jason Vargas has a 14.21 ERA after allowing four runs in 1/3 of an inning on Saturday. New York's bullpen ranks 27th with a 6.18 ERA.

And even though starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel and reliever Craig Kimbrel are still free agents, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said he isn't tempted to make a run at either.

"I don't think we operate in the world of temptation," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said before Sunday's game against the Braves. "We like the guys we have here. We'll always monitor ways to get better, but we like the guys we have, including Jason Vargas."

Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets Brandon Nimmo (9) gets high fives after scoring against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (9-5, first place in NL East) face the Braves (8-6, third place in NL East) on Sunday night as the teams conclude a four-game set at 7:08 p.m.

Mets Notes

After batting eighth Friday and starting Saturday on the bench, Brandon Nimmo returns to the leadoff spot for the Mets. A slow start to the season prompted the move down the lineup, but he was 3-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI on Friday. ... Jeff McNeil had batted first during the last two games. He'll hit sixth on Sunday and play in left field. ... Michael Conforto entered the series hot at the dish, has cooled off a tad with a 2-for-10 showing in Atlanta. He has drawn four walks over three games, though.

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Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (right) talks with catcher Wilson Ramos (left) near the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Jason Vargas isn't going anywhere -- for now. 

Mets manager Mickey Callaway declared that the embattled lefty will stay in the rotation and make his next start Saturday in St. Louis.

"We've got to get Vargas on a roll," Callaway said Sunday before the team's game in Atlanta. 

Pete Alonso (SNY)
Pete Alonso (SNY)

Pete Alonso's cruise missile in Atlanta Thursday night was the talk of the baseball world for a couple of days, from Bobby Valentine comparing it to the "most incredible" home run he ever saw Mike Piazza hit, to a scout saying "I think it might have landed in Augusta" if the ball hadn't splashed into the scenic water-backdrop high above the center field wall.

For Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous, however, it was nothing new, even if it did result in a barrage of some 30 text messages on his phone while he was scouting a high school game in Florida.

"My phone blew up from my area scouts," Tanous said Friday. "We get excited when one of our guys does something like that. I saw it later on the highlights, and it was quite a shot, but I've seen it before. I saw him hit them like that in college. He's a scary dude."

Mar 31, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Jay Bruce (32) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)
Mar 31, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Jay Bruce (32) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)

The Mets have reshaped their roster over the last year and change, saying goodbye to some familiar faces (some beloved, some not) in the process. Every week, we'll take a look at how some of those former Mets are performing with their new teams...

Wilmer Flores, Diamondbacks

Flores is struggling in Arizona, hitting just .200/.256/.275 with zero homers and three doubles in 40 at-bats over 12 games. He's been slumping especially badly since April 6, with just three hits in 20 at-bats.

 (MICHAEL MADRID)
(MICHAEL MADRID)

With the Mets playing a night game in Atlanta, and The Masters' start time moved up a couple of hours due to impending thunderstorms, Mets players had time to take in Tiger Woods' win on Sunday.

Woods captured his 15th major title -- his first such win since 2008 -- and his fifth green jacket at Augusta National. The course is approximately 160 miles from SunTrust Park, where the Mets will wrap up a four-game set against the Braves.

Todd Frazier and Robinson Cano were among members of the Mets to tweet out their congratulations.

Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Mets left-hander Jason Vargas was so bad on Saturday night against the Braves that manager Mickey Callaway seemed to be at a loss after the game while explaining what went wrong.

"He's just not getting outs at this point," Callaway said. "That's really all I can say."

Callaway said more, though, noting that the Mets might skip Vargas' next start and that the Mets "have to have other options" when it comes to the No. 5 spot in the rotation 

Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

A day after he was clobbered by the Braves during a relief appearance, the Mets have sent Corey Oswalt to Triple-A Syracuse.

Oswalt was replaced on the roster by Triple-A reliever Paul Sewald, who has tossed 5.1 scoreless innings in four appearances for Syracuse this season.

In relief of Jason Vargas on Saturday night, Oswalt allowed five runs on six hits (including a mammoth homer to Nick Markakis) while walking four and striking out two in 2.2 innings. 

As of April 5, the Mets were still in touch with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrelaccording to SNY's Andy Martino. Now, Kimbrel's price tag -- which was reportedly a ridiculous six-years and more than $100 million earlier this offseason-- has reportedly dropped considerably. 

The 31-year-old Kimbrel is now open to signing a deal similar to ones signed by Wade Davis ($52 million for three years) and Zack Britton ($39 million for three years), reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

With Jason Vargas unable to get ous -- Mickey Callaway's words -- and his future in the rotation up in the air, it can be argued that the Mets' bigger need right now is Dallas Keuchel.

The Amazin' Life: From WY to NJ! 00:02:00
On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Todd Frazier tries to give teammate Brandon Nimmo some New Jersey style!

On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Todd Frazier tries to give teammate Brandon Nimmo some New Jersey style!

Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) hits a RBI double against the New York Mets in the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (22) hits a RBI double against the New York Mets in the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The Mets (9-5, first place in the NL East, 0.5 game up on second place Phillies) face the Braves in Atlanta on Sunday at 7:08 p.m. 

Here's what went down on Saturday, in case you missed it...

In the Mets' loss to the Braves, Jason Vargas was so abysmal that he lasted just 1/3 of an inning before Mickey Callaway had to go to his bullpen >> Read more

Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

Braves pound out 13 hits in win 00:01:36
Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas comment on Vargas? poor outing after he failed to get out of the first inning in the loss to the Braves

If the Mets have serious designs on competing for a World Series, the stated goal by rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, they can't possibly plan on having Jason Vargas be their fifth starter the rest of the season.

After Vargas' latest debacle, in which he recorded just one out, was pulled after six batters and allowed four runs on two hits and three walks while throwing just 17 of his 36 pitches for strikes, it will be difficult for the Mets to justify even sending the lefty out for one more start.

"He's just not getting outs at this point," Mickey Callaway said of Vargas. "That's really all I can say."

Braves rout Mets 00:00:54
Mets starter Jason Vargas failed to get out of the first inning as the Braves pounded out 13 hits in an 11-7 rout of the Mets.

The Mets had terrible pitching performances that cost them in an 11-7 loss to the Braves Saturday night. >> Box score

Six things to know about Saturday's game...

1) The calls from fans for the Mets to sign Dallas Keuchel will only grow louder if Jason Vargas keeps this up. Vargas faced just six batters before Mickey Callaway had no choice but to pull him from the game. It went like this for Vargas, who was charged with four earned runs: Single, walk, flyout, single, walk, walk. Vargas threw 36 pitches, 19 of which were balls. He was replaced by Corey Oswalt with the Mets down 2-0, and Oswalt allowed two inherited runners to score before inducing an inning-ending double play. Vargas has now allowed 10 earned runs in 6.1 innings this season across two starts and one relief appearance. With an off day coming up on Thursday, Vargas likely will have his next turn skipped. Callaway, meanwhile, was ejected after yanking Vargas, presumably for arguing balls and strikes.

 (Dolly Faibyshev)
(Dolly Faibyshev)

SNY broadcasting analyst Ron Darling announced that he will be taking a temporary medical leave following Saturday's Mets game against the Braves. 

Doctors have been monitoring Darling over the last few months and tests revealed a mass on his chest. 

Darling is scheduled for a medical procedure next week. The doctors have told him that if there are no complications he should be back in the booth alongside Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez next month. 

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three run homer in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso celebrates in the dugout after hitting a three run homer in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (9-4, first place in NL East) face the Braves (7-6, third place in NL East) on Saturday night in Atlanta at 7:20 p.m. on SNY.

Mets Notes

The Mets have won three games in a row for the second time this season and have the best winning percentage (.692) in the National League. ... The Mets are 23-12 in their last 35 games in Atlanta. ... Jason Vargas has a 2.72 ERA over his last nine starts (49.2 innings) dating back to Aug. 14, 2018. ... All six of Pete Alonso's homers have come off relievers in the seventh inning or later. 

Apr 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) in the dugout during game against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 10, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) in the dugout during game against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robinson Cano has started his Mets career hitting just .182/.237/.327 with two homers in 13 games (59 plate appearances). Cano is 36 years old, owed a lot of money over the next five seasons, and coming off a PED suspesnsion. Even though the sample size is incredibly small, it's time to worry. Right? 

Not so fast.

Here's three reasons why...

 (DALE ZANINE)
(DALE ZANINE)

The Mets (9-4, first place in the NL East, 0.5 game up on second place Phillies) face the Braves in Atlanta on Saturday night at 7:20 p.m. on SNY.

Here's what went down on Friday, in case you missed it...

In the Mets' win over the Braves, Zack Wheeler shook off his first two disastrous starts to fire 6.0 innings of two-run ball as his fastball topped out at 101 MPH. And Brandon Nimmo continued to emerge from his early-season slump >> Read more

Callaway talks beating Braves 00:01:17
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway talks how crucial a win this was because it allowed some guys to have a day to rest up.

Brandon Nimmo's ability to get on base saw him start the season as the Mets' leadoff hitter, but he's been struggling so much that Mickey Callaway dropped him to eighth in the order Friday night against the Braves, with Jeff McNeil leading off and Amed Rosario hitting second -- Pete Alonso didn't start.

One game doesn't mean he's out of the woods, but a turnaround has to start somewhere, and Nimmo responded with a big night in the Mets' 6-2 win, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a heads-up bunt in the fourth which set up a four-run inning. The homer in the second inning put the Mets up 2-1.

But it was the bunt that had Callaway raving after the game. Keon Broxton led the fourth inning off with a walk, and after Broxton stole second base, Nimmo laid down a bunt with the Braves' defensive setup giving it to him. It was a perfect bunt and Nimmo reaching on a base hit was never in doubt.

Mets down Braves again 00:00:58
New York Mets took their second game in a row against the Braves and kicked off their scoring with Brandon Nimmo's 2-run home run.

The Mets are staying hot down in Atlanta, as they took down the Braves, 6-2, on Friday night. >> Box score

Six things to know about Friday's game...

1) Zack Wheeler had a much better outing this time out, as he was strong through six innings. He walked a couple in the first, but managed to only leave with one run scored. Overall, he allowed two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out eight over that span. 

Nimmo blasts 2-run HR 00:00:14
New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo launches a 2-run home run to give the Mets the lead in the 2nd inning against the Braves.

Brandon Nimmo was dropped to eighth in the order Friday amid his struggles at the plate, but he responded by hitting a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Mets a 2-1 lead in Atlanta.

New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario and outfielder Keon Broxton react after defeating the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario and outfielder Keon Broxton react after defeating the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets and Braves continue their series on Friday night in Atlanta at 7:20 p.m. on SNY. 

Mets Notes

After their 6-3 win over the Braves last night, the Mets own the best winning percentage in the National League (.667). They also moved their road record this season to 6-1. ...Pete Alonso isn't in the lineup tonight, but manager Mickey Callaway said it was a scheduled day off for the rookie. Alonso smashed the hardest-hit home run to dead center field last night at 118.3 mph. That is tied for ninth in the hardest-hit homers ever recorded in the Statcast era. He also leads the league in home runs, RBI (13) and batting average (.667) after the sixth inning. 

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