New York Mets

Sandy Alderson Talks About Matz Spur Issue

 

 

Alderson-e1428582548829Here in DC, we had a chance to chat with Sandy Alderson on the Steven Matz situation. The bottom line is the Mets will watch him closely pushing his scheduled start to Thursday at Citifield vs the Cubs. Here is that chat:

 

62816 Sandy on Matz Situation

 

After we chatted with Sandy we got some reaction from Steven Matz:

6-28-16 Matz Raw

 

 

 


Mets Take The Series In DC Behind Matz and Familia

 

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For the first time in his career, Steven Matz faced the Washington Nationals and they got a first-hand view of why this southpaw will make life very difficult for them in 2016 and beyond. He is super talented but what I like most about him is a 2 word phrase- NEVER AFRAID.

That was best illustrated in the 8th inning as he faced Bryce Harper with the game on the line and fell behind the reigning MVP 2-0. No problem-Matz threw a strike and then induced him to hit an inning ending groundout completing 8 innings of scoreless baseball in the rubber game of this 3 game set in DC.

He is now 11-1 in 14 regular season games as a major league pitcher and after that disastrous first start of the season his ERA has dipped to an attractive 2.36.  He is 7-1 on the season leading all major league rookies in that category. But more than that it is his quiet confidence that he brings to the mound that is so impressive. "I think in NY he has fallen under the radar", says Met third basemen David Wright, "but make no mistake-this guy can be so dominant on the hill."

This has been a very interesting 3 days for this team-losing Lucas Duda followed by the Matt Harvey hysteria of yesterday but Matz seemed to calm down all those choppy waters with an outstanding performance against a very talented Washington National lineup.

The Mets now sit even in the loss column with the Nats but upon further review (yes that is now a baseball term) they have played far more games inside the division than the Mets. The reigning NL champs have played 21 games inside the division while the Nats have played 31. In fact, Dusty Baker's squad has not played one game against the NL West all season while the Mets have already played 14 versus that division.

To me the message is clear: despite the inconsistencies of Matt Harvey, this Met pitching staff is loaded and by the way, armed with the best closer in the National League in Jeurys Familia. To me that is gloom and doom for the rest of the league even the Chicago Cubs who after a great start, everyone has anointed as the team to beat. That's hard for me to fathom since the Mets swept them in the NLCS in 2015. That's why we play the games.  

For now, the Mets go home to celebrate the 86 championship team this weekend and at the same time, show the baseball world that very much like that team of 30 years ago, this 2016 team has home run bats coupled with the deepest pitching staff in baseball.  

 


Matt Harvey Just Making Things Harder For Himself

 

 

Those of you who follow me know I am the first to give the player EVENuudzbqeegyh2w4vef9q6025sRY benefit of the doubt because I respect their talent level and understand dealing with the media could be a tough task. But Matt Harvey not talking to the media is wrong on so many levels.

Forget about us--we will always pull an audible and get quotes from others but this is so unfair to his fellow Met teammates. Kevin Plawecki was forced to answer questions and by the look on his face you can see he was perturbed. And not because of any reason other than he had no idea how Harvey wanted him to answer the questions. But he did it because he is a good foot soldier.

I have covered this team for over 30 years and have interviewed Met pitchers after their toughest moments-like Doc Gooden & Ron Darling  after the 88 NLCS or Johan Santana as he struggled to stay on the mound or John Franco after a tough blown save and every time they faced the music.  The answers were not profound or dramatic but they did what they had to do. They answered the questions so their fellow teammates were not forced to be put in an impossible position.

They also did it so the fans who follow them day after day can hear from them and lets not forget--ultimately the fans pay the salaries of these players by both attending the games and watching on SNY. It is just a part of the job and one that honestly most players fulfill even if they are not in love with doing it on a day by day basis.

Just ask Jeurys Familia.  He stood by his locker after the World Series taking questions about 3 blown saves and afterwards I asked him how tough that was. He said, "Rich you can't just talk after great times--you guys are just doing your jobs."

I believe in giving players every benefit of the doubt but after a secretive workout on Saturday (although some of us watched it)and this latest incident I am sure Met players are not happy. That is why to me he does not need to apologize to anyone but his teammates. In the media, we are used to this at times but I am wondering if there will be a fallout in the Met clubhouse which has such a solid foundation.

This is an incident Harvey can solve immediately. He merely needs to ask himself what would our Captain David Wright do and as #5 has struggled through the early season, he has never ducked a tough question EVER. That's all I'm saying.

 

 

 

 


Wright And Colon Power The Mets To A Win In DC

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The Mets took the field tonight knowing Lucas Duda would be out a minimum of 4-6 weeks but being around this team for the last year or so I can safely tell you these are the moments they always find a way to win.

This group of 25 players relishes these moments when the baseball world thinks the floor the Mets stand on is ready to collapse. On this night Bartolo Colon gave Terry Collins 7 innings of one run ball while David Wright crushed a three run homer which catalyzed a 5 run inning that gave the Mets the lead for good. Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker added home runs as the Mets went back to back in home runs for the 7th time this season in a 7-1 win over the Nats.

But more importantly, the Mets have now won 4 in a row since dropping 2 of 3 to the Nats in CitiField once again proving resilience is this team's middle name. Before the game in the Met clubhouse, you could sense a purpose knowing despite the fact this is still an early season series, these 3 games do have more significance than a typical May game would have.

Game 2 of this series will also have the world watching the Mets as Matt Harvey takes the mound trying to get his confidence back and put the Mets into first place in the NL East with a win. Again, I want to reiterate that this team always rises to the moment and I expect #33 to do just that because this ballpark which had been a den of heartache for the Mets has suddenly become their home away from home as the Mets have won 4 straight games here dating back to last season.

And to add fuel to the fire-the 7 Line will be here so that simply means Nationals Park could become CitiField South in short order. Should be another interesting game in the nation's capital.

 

 

 


Neil Walker

Today in Port St Lucie, I had the chance to talk with the new Met Second Basemen Neil Walker who I am sure Met fans are going to gravitate to immediately. This guy is a very good player who has the knack of hitting in the clutch. I watched him play the Mets while he was a Pittsburgh Pirate and he has a great run producing bat coupled with an outstanding knowledge of the game. Defensively, he will be an upgrade for the Mets and he is already fitting in well with this team.

 

 

In our conversation, we talked about:

  • How Clint Hurdle and Terry Collins are such similar managers.
  • He is so glad he no longer has to face Met Pitchers
  • He believes preparation is the key to success
  • Knows this Met clubhouse is a special group
  • Andrew McCutchen  and what he learned from him

Here is that conversation:

30816 Coutinho With Walker

 


A Conversation With The New Met Second Basemen

Neil WalkerToday in Port St Lucie, I had the chance to talk with the new Met Second Basemen Neil Walker who I am sure Met fans are going to gravitate to immediately. This guy is a very good player who has the knack of hitting in the clutch. I watched him play the Mets while he was a Pittsburgh Pirate and he has a great run producing bat coupled with an outstanding knowledge of the game. Defensively, he will be an upgrade for the Mets and he is already fitting in well with this team.

In our conversation, we talked about:

 

  • How Clint Hurdle and Terry Collins are such similar managers.
  • He is so glad he no longer has to face Met Pitchers
  • He believes preparation is the key to success
  • Knows this Met clubhouse is a special group
  • Andrew McCutchen  and what he learned from him

 

Here is that interview:

30816 Coutinho With Walker

 

 


A Conversation With Curtis Granderson

Download (2)Today In Port St Lucie I had a chance to talk with Mets rightfielder Curtis Granderson who chatted with me about a plethora of topics including the expectations we all have about the 2016 Mets. He also chatted about dealing with the NY media and the respect he has for David Wright. If fact, he compared David Wright as a captain to Yankees captain Derek Jeter saying both have very similar personalities. Here is that interview:

 

30716Coutinho With Granderson