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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Articles tagged: New York Mets

Noah Syndergaard reveals big reason for leaving Mets

Noah Syndergaard in the dugout

May 14, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) looks on from the dugout during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard passed on the opportunity to return to the New York Mets in the offseason, opting to sign a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels instead. On Friday, Syndergaard gave an intriguing insight into his reasons for doing so.

Syndergaard, since traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, admitted he was wary about having to pitch in New York while getting his velocity back after Tommy John surgery and other subsequent elbow issues. Syndergaard said his “big fear” was that any velocity issues would be magnified in the New York media market.

Syndergaard routinely approached triple digits with his fastball while pitching for the Mets prior to his injury. That is no longer the case now, understandably, and his fastball has averaged 94 MPH this season.

On the surface, this may look to some like Syndergaard trying to dodge the pressure of pitching in New York. That ultimately does not seem to be the issue, though. Syndergaard was prepared for a season where he would need to get his velocity back after elbow issues, and wanted to do it without the scrutiny of playing for the Mets.

On the other hand, Syndergaard’s departure from New York did not seem to be amicable, and he even took some shots at the Mets on social media this season. Those bridges are probably burned now.

Video: Daniel Vogelbach goes viral for hilarious walk-up song

Daniel Vogelbach using "Milkshake" by Kelis as his walk-up music.

New York Mets DH Daniel Vogelbach has become a fan favorite in recent weeks, and that popularity likely grew during Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Vogelbach to the Mets in July for pitcher Colin Holderman.

Vogelbach served as the DH and batted fifth during the Mets’ 10-2 win over the Reds on Wednesday, and went viral for his walk-up song choice.

The 29-year-old had five at-bats, and strolled up to the plate with the famous song “Milkshake” by Kelis blaring throughout Citi Field each time.

The image of the 270-pound Vogelbach walking up to that song was a sight to see. Take a look here.

What makes Vogelbach’s decision to choose this song so funny? The song has to do with what makes a woman stand out from others, particularly with her physical appearance. Vogelbach using the song likely shows how willing he is to make fun of and embrace his heavy physique.

There is another reason why Vogelbach went with “Milkshake” as his walk-up song. The Mets celebrated Women’s Day at Citi Field on Wednesday, and multiple players chose songs by female artists to walk out to. Shortstop Fransisco Lindor opted for “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs, while first baseman Pete Alonso went with “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks.

Vogelbach told reporters that he chose “Milkshake” at the encouragement of his teammates, but that using the song for his walk-up music was just a one-time thing.

The former All-Star has provided a boost to a Mets lineup that was in need of some more production from the DH spot. In 14 games with the team entering Wednesday, Vogelbach was hitting .333 with 13 hits, including two home runs and seven RBI. On Wednesday, Vogelbach went 2-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored.

Keith Hernandez draws attention for funny zinger about Phillies

Keith Hernandez explaining why he hates calling Mets games against the Phillies.

Beloved New York Mets color commentator Keith Hernandez drew attention on Tuesday for a funny zinger he delivered about the Philadelphia Phillies.

During the SNY broadcast of Tuesday’s game between the Mets and Cincinnati Reds, play-by-play man Gary Cohen was going through the Mets’ schedule for the next few weeks. Hernandez said that he will miss this weekend’s Phillies series because he will be in St. Louis for a celebration of the 40th anniversary of his 1982 World Series-winning Cardinals team. When Cohen asked him about what his excuse was for next week’s Phillies series, Hernandez took a pretty brutal shot at the Mets’ division rival.

“I’ve expressed to our front office at SNY that I hate doing Phillie games,” Hernandez said. “They never seem to disappoint. As far as fundamentally, defensively, the Phillies have always been just not up to it.”

Credit to Hernandez for coming up with the zinger on the spot.

Hernandez did admit that the Phillies were hot right now. Cohen mentioned that SNY could still try to fit Hernandez in for the series, to which Hernandez replied, “Don’t hold your breath.”

As Hernandez said, the Phillies are on a hot streak at the moment. Entering Tuesday, Philadelphia had won five straight games and was 10-1 in their last 11 games. At 60-48, the Phillies were a game up on the San Diego Padres for the second National League Wild Card spot prior to Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins.

Perhaps the Phillies will use Hernandez’s slight as motivation for their six games against the Mets in the next 12 days. Phillies fans are already all over Hernandez over the remark.

Braves’ Spencer Strider makes bold statement about Mets

Spencer Strider delivering a pitch

Jun 21, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (65) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves on Sunday for the fourth time in five games, but one Atlanta player certainly did not seem too impressed by the NL East leaders.

Braves rookie pitcher Spencer Strider, the losing pitcher in Sunday’s 5-2 Mets victory, chalked his opponent’s offensive output up to “a lot of luck” and “weird hits.” Strider concluded by suggesting the Mets’ luck could turn against them in October.

Strider is likely frustrated by Pete Alonso’s key RBI double in the third, which was a sharp ground ball down the third base line that hit the bag and deflected into the outfield. However, that inning was capped off by a line drive double up the gap by Mark Canha that was not lucky in any sense of the word.

This is a pretty bold thing to say about a Mets team that is 70-39 and sits 6.5 games in front of Atlanta after Sunday’s contest. It also looks a bit silly coming from Strider after he gave up six hits and four earned runs in just 2.2 innings of work in the series finale, no matter how they came. Teams that put the ball in play can sometimes get breaks, and the Mets were able to take advantage of some against Atlanta.

The other problem with Strider’s logic is simple. Even if the Mets offense cools off a bit, any team facing them in the playoffs will have to find a way past Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation. deGrom has barely pitched in 2022 and they still boast the second-best team ERA in the league. There is nothing lucky about that. If those two perform to their capabilities, their own ball boys might be the only ones capable of stopping them.

Video: Mets ball boy commits big blunder

A ball boy runs across

A New York Mets ball boy inadvertently invited the wrath of Max Scherzer on Saturday night.

Scherzer pitched a dominant 7 innings, striking out 11 in his Mets’ 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a doubleheader. Scherzer was getting set to face Travis d’Arnau to start the fifth when he was interrupted.

An overzealous Mets ball boy ran across the field behind the umpire to clear the on-deck circle. That caused Scherzer to stop his motion just as he was on his way to delivering a pitch.

“Oh crap!” the Braves’ announcer said.

What terrible timing by the ball boy. What was he thinking? Just about the last person whom you want to interrupt in the middle of an inning is Scherzer. He was asking for trouble.

Video: Mets broadcast goes ‘Kill Bill’ after hit-by-pitch

Buck Showalter unhappy

The New York Mets have been among the teams in MLB hit by the most pitches this season, and another hit-by-pitch during Friday’s 9-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves provided an opportunity for the Mets broadcast to break out a new special effect.

With the Braves up 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning and one out, Atlanta starter Ian Anderson threw a pitch that just missed hitting Pete Alonso in the face. After Alonso got up from the ground, the SNY broadcast switched to a close-up of Mets manager Buck Showalter glaring out from the dugout.

While Showalter was on camera, the screen went red and slowly zoomed in on the manager’s face as the infamous Ironside Siren sound from the movies “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” played for close to 10 seconds. The siren was sampled from the intro to Quincy Jones’ theme song for the 1967 film “Ironside.”

In the two “Kill Bill” movies, the siren is played whenever Uma Thurman’s character, “the Bride,” sees someone who has wronged her. The siren indicates that there will be trouble ahead.

Thurman’s character would takes matters into her own hands in a violent manner, but Showalter and the Mets have not often retaliated.

SNY may have been playing off of Showalter’s probable frustration with the number of his players who have been hit this season. The Mets led the majors entering Friday with 70 hit-by-pitches, five more than the second-place Cincinnati Reds.

While Alonso was fortunate that the ball just missed him on Friday, he was hit in the face during Opening Day on April 7 against the Washington Nationals. The following day, Mets shortstop Fransisco Lindor was also hit in the face. That scary hit-by-pitch resulted in a wild brawl (see video here).

New York Mets’ trade deadline acquisitions all fit the same theme

Buck Showalter in the dugout

Apr 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) walks the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets did not seem to do a whole lot ahead of Tuesday’s MLB non-waiver trade deadline. But a closer look at their moves reveals their acquisitions all fit the same theme.

The Mets acquired Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin and Darin Ruf ahead of this year’s deadline. None of the three players have stats that would blow you away. But if you look at their splits, that’s where the difference is notable.

Vogelbach is batting just .236 with a .790 OPS this season. He has a .415 OPS against lefties. However, the left-handed hitter has a .918 OPS against right-handers.

Ruf is batting .216 with a .701 OPS this season. Against right-handers, he has a .570 OPS. However, he has an .886 OPS against lefties this season.

Vogelbach and Ruf can form quite a platoon at DH, with Vogelbach crushing right-handed pitchers, and Ruf destroying lefties.

Naquin is batting .249 with a .752 OPS this season. He has a .518 OPS against lefties and .819 OPS against right-handers.

Naquin and Mark Canha wouldn’t form quite such a complementary tandem in left since both are better at hitting right-handed pitchers. However, Naquin is another nice DH and outfield option to have against right-handed pitchers.

Not only did the Mets add three players who are strong platoon players, but they also got Jacob deGrom back this week. His return to the team will likely be the best addition of all.

The Mets seem to be well set up for a playoff run this season.

Jacob deGrom gives significant update on Mets future

Jacob deGrom ready to throw

Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob deGrom is set to return to the mound for the New York Mets this week, but there remains the issue of his long-term future to sort out.

deGrom has the right to opt out of his current contract at the end of the season and enter free agency. Previously, the ace said he intended to do that, and he confirmed Sunday that his injury has not changed his thinking.

Under the terms of his current contract, deGrom would be owed $30.5 million in 2023 with a $32.5 million team option for 2024.

Some may have felt that after missing roughly a year with an injury, deGrom’s free agent status may be tarnished. If he finishes the season healthy and strong, there is no reason to believe he could not exceed his current deal on the open market. In fact, there may be one team already thinking about trying to sign him.

Mets reportedly set Jacob deGrom return date

Jacob deGrom ready to throw

Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are finally set to send Jacob deGrom to the mound at the MLB level.

deGrom, who has not pitched in the Major Leagues in over a year, is set to start Tuesday’s game against Washington, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The Mets plan to initially keep deGrom on a strict pitch count, but envision any restrictions being eliminated by the end of the regular season.

In setting deGrom to start Tuesday, the Mets ensure that he and Max Scherzer will be able to function as a one-two punch atop their rotation. Scherzer is already slated to start Monday’s series opener.

deGrom’s return was already imminent after he joined the team for their weekend series against Miami.

The 34-year-old deGrom is coming back from a shoulder injury, which explains the Mets’ initial cautiousness with him. The two-time Cy Young winner was having a historic season in 2021 before the injury cut it short, having posted a 1.08 ERA through 15 starts before his campaign was ended prematurely.

Jacob deGrom takes big step towards return to Mets

Jacob deGrom ready to throw

Sep 3, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob deGrom has taken a big step towards his return to the New York Mets’ rotation.

DeGrom has joined the Mets in Miami for their three-game series against the Marlins this weekend. DeGrom previously had spent time in the minors doing rehab starts. He just made a start on Wednesday for Triple-A Syracuse.

Mets manager Buck Showalter has said that deGrom’s next start will be with the big league club. DeGrom’s season debut could come on Tuesday, Aug. 2 after the trade deadline passes.

After their three-game series against the Marlins, the Mets will visit the Nats for three games. That is most likely to be when deGrom returns.

The 34-year-old has not pitched in the majors this season but went 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA last season. The two-time former Cy Young Award winner would join a rotation featuring Max Scherzer, Taijuan Walker, Carlos Carrasco and Chris Bassitt. The Mets enter Friday with a 3-game lead on the Braves in the NL East.