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Mets Weekend Roundup (Games 4 and 5) April 11, 2016

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Yoenis Cespedes finally homered in the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Phillies. Cespedes’ home run chased starter Jeremy Hellickson in the bottom of the 6th inning, coming on Cespedes’ third plate appearance of the day. In the first four games of the season, Yoenis had 2 hits and 2 walks on 18 plate appearances, so his homer came on his 21st plate appearance of the season. Last year, Cespedes played 10 games in New York before homering, hitting .262 with a .279 OBP. For Detroit, Cespedes homered 18 times in 427 plate appearances for an average of 23.72 plate appearances per homer; his Mets numbers were significantly better, at 17 homers in 249 plate appearances, for one home run every 14.65 plate appearances. His BAbip in Detroit was .333; in New York last year, it was .306. Ces has never been an OBP guy, but his BAbip this year is .222, meaning he may be suffering more than would be expected from good defense by the Phillies and Royals. Still, even assuming last year’s New York stats were accurate, you’d expect a 20-PA homer-free streak with probability (1 – (17/249))20, or about 24.3%. My hunch is that Cespedes won’t reach last year’s numbers, but he’ll probably nail 30 home runs this year.

Over the weekend, Bartolo Colon took a tough loss, in both the common and technical senses, when he pitched a 6-inning, 7-K, 1-run ballgame for a game score of 65. Colon pitched to a game score of 65 or better 11 times in 2015, recording a 7-2 record. The Phillies bullpen did not collapse as predicted, meaning that giving up one run was enough to lose the game. Phillies starter Vincent Velasquez outpitched Colon, and the bullpen just held up enough.

Steven Matz starts tonight’s game against the Marlins’ Jarred Cosart. Matz and Cosart faced off last year in September; Tyler Clippard blew the save. Current Marlins are 4-17 against Matz for a .267/.353/.467 line; current Mets slash .264/.349/.472 against Cosart. Cosart was chased after 4 2/3 last time. The Marlins bullpen has pitched to a respectable 3.89 ERA this season and closer A.J. Ramos has converted his only save, so the Mets need to score early and often to get this one under control.

Don Kelly is currently hitting .286/.500/.286 for AAA New Orleans and is unavailable from the bullpen.

The Phillies’ Bullpen Is Truly Wretched (Mets Game 4 Preview) April 9, 2016

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Yesterday’s Mets home opener was joyous – Jacob deGrom‘s son decided to wait a little while longer, we got another masterful performance from Lazarus I Mean Jim Henderson, and Michael Conforto was firmly in Good Lucas Duda Mode. Besides, the Phillies had to go to their bullpen after 5+.

Despite a solid performance by young Jerad Eickhoff – in which he hit a double and scored one of two runs for Philadelphia – the Phillies starter ended up in trouble in the sixth when Duda doubled, Neil Walker singled him home, and Conforto doubled Walker home. Jim Henderson pitched a perfect seventh, and the Mets bullpen allowed only one run (unearned) after Peter Bourjos reached on an E5. Hansel Robles got a K, allowed Bourjos on, and then allowed a hit to Cesar Hernandez before Jerry Blevins came in to clean up lefty-batting Odubel Herrera and Hernandez on a double play. Antonio Bastardo finished the game with two strikeouts, allowing one single.

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA

Bartolo Colon takes the mound today. Photo: Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA

The Phillies bullpen has been awful this year, and this game is a microcosm of why. Eickhoff pitched well, but his bullpen couldn’t get a handle on it. Dalier Hinojosa got two outs and, despite a difficult at-bat, rule 5 draftee Daniel Stumpf finally recorded an out. In the seventh, James Russell got a single out, but allowed two walks and three singles; David Hernandez allowed another run before closing out the inning. This season, the Phillies’ starters have posted a 3.80 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP – both quite respectable, especially considering Charlie Morton‘s rough start. The bullpen, however, has pitched to a 12.66 ERA and a 2.44 WHIP, meaning for every inning pitched they allow almost three men to reach base.

Pete Mackanin has used Hinojosa in three of four games thus far, lefties Stumpf and Russell twice each, and Hinojosa and Hernandez three times. In those, Hinojosa and Russell each have one blown save. Stumpf is unproven but being used in relatively high-leverage situations, while Hector Neris is coming in in low-leverage situations despite having some of the best stats on the team. I recognize that Stumpf is young and being broken in – catcher Cameron Rupp came out and put his arm over Stumpf’s shoulder several times in yesterday’s game – but the Phillies seem to be treating his development as a goal that comes at the expense of the team.

Bartolo Colon starts tonight against the Phillies; current Phillies have hit .267/.301/.371 against Bartolo. Odubel Herrera is 4-13 against Colon, and a handful of Phillies are above the .300 mark. Meanwhile, the only Met starter Vincent Velasquez has faced is Alejandro De Aza, who is 1-2.

Bartolo’s stats against current Phillies:

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Howard 27 24 5 0 0 2 2 2 .208 .259 .458 .718
Darin Ruf 7 7 1 0 0 1 0 1 .143 .143 .571 .714
Carlos Ruiz 18 18 5 1 0 0 0 3 .278 .278 .333 .611
Cesar Hernandez 8 7 3 0 0 0 1 4 .429 .500 .429 .929
Emmanuel Burriss 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000
Andres Blanco 7 6 3 1 0 0 1 2 .500 .571 .667 1.238
Peter Bourjos 7 6 2 0 0 0 1 3 .333 .429 .333 .762
Odubel Herrera 13 13 4 0 0 0 0 3 .308 .308 .308 .615
Freddy Galvis 15 15 4 1 0 0 0 3 .267 .267 .333 .600
Jerad Eickhoff 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .250 .500
Cameron Rupp 10 10 2 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .200 .400
Maikel Franco 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Charlie Morton 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 123 116 31 3 0 3 6 25 .267 .301 .371 .672
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/9/2016.