Tom Verducci on how today’s bullpens have changed the way baseball is played

Jenrry Mejia (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Jenrry Mejia will return next month from his suspension – but will he provide enough of a boost to turn the Mets’ bullpen into a team strength? (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Tom Verducci has an interesting take on how bullpens are changing the way Major League Baseball is played.

The in-game race in baseball no longer is to take pitches, grind out at-bats to wear down the starting pitcher to drive him from the game and get into the opposing bullpen. The race is to get an early lead. Getting into a bullpen—where the ERA drops by more than half a run and the batting average drops by almost 20 points—is not preferable.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson doesn’t subscribe to this belief – he wants to build his team around a rotation of power starting pitchers, with hitters who walk a lot and “hunt strikes.” His bullpen is an afterthought.

I wonder if the Mets might be better served this year by trying to upgrade that bullpen (beyond the boost they should get when Jenrry Mejia returns from his suspension next month) than trying to force a trade for a hitter that might not be there.

It’s not Thor’s Day, but here are some Noah Syndergaard cards to look at

The New York Mets fell below the .500 mark tonight and are 3.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in second place in the National League East after managing just two hits over eight innings against journeyman Jimmy Nelson.

The team isn’t hitting, which is hardly a surprise when they are forced to field a lineup that includes more members of the Las Vegas 51s Opening Day lineup than players they’d counted on to perform. To no one’s surprise, the Mets are not a good fielding team… and errors, mental or physical, always loom larger when you’re not scoring runs. And the bullpen is faltering… again, not a surprise considering how many pitchers the Mets were counting on have been hurt or suspended.

That all adds up to a team that is not very fun to watch right now. I don’t even want to imagine how frustrating things are for the Mets players.

The one bright spot for the 2015 Mets is a core of young pitchers who could be part of a wonderful future in Queens. My friend Greg added to my Noah Syndergaard baseball card collection this week with a few autographs and a mini refractor from one of last year’s Bowman sets.

Noah-Syndergaard

N-Syndergaard-cards

Thanks, Greg. Hopefully one day soon, the Mets will put together a better team to go with their rotation of potential future aces.

A look at the Mets Museum

A few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to wander around Citi Field before a Mets vs. Phillies game. My first stop was the Mets Museum.

I was initially disappointed that there seemed to be less “stuff” on display than in previous years, but I think the 2015 setup actually represents the best balance between the different eras of Mets history that they’ve had since it opened.

You’ve got Ed Kranepool’s contract from 1973 on display along with one of Rusty Staub‘s bats, one of Darryl Strawberry‘s batting helmets, Mike Hampton‘s 2000 World Series cap, Endy Chavez‘s jersey from the 2006 NLCS game that made him famous and Juan Lagares‘ Gold Glove Award.

While it would be nice to see more of an effort to use the artifacts to illustrate a timeline of Mets history, I can see why the staff members don’t bother. The items are almost all on loan from collectors (or sometimes the players themselves) and will only be on display for one year.

I recommend a visit the next time you are at Citi Field.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Staten Island ‘Direwolves’ to play Hudson Valley ‘Lannisters’ on Aug. 8

You have no idea how much I want to go see the Staten Island Yankees Direwolves play the Hudson Valley Renegades Lannisters on August 8.

In one of the best minor league promotions of the year, the Staten Island Yankees will hold “Meet George R.R. Martin Night,” giving fans a chance to meet the A Game of Thrones author who will be signing autographs for about an hour. The S.I. Yankees will be playing as the “Direwolves” that night, wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity. Their opponent, the Hudson Valley Renegades, will be playing as the Lannisters and will also be wearing special jerseys.

The first 2,500 fans will receive a Staten Island Direwolves cap, and fans will be able to see a real wolf from Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. There will undoubtedly be a bunch of other fun activities going on throughout the night too.

0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors

No Hits DSCN4171

A week ago tonight, I was on the 7 train coming home from seeing my first major league no-hitter. I wrote about watchiing that game and the only other no-hitter I’ve seen live at my new personal blog, www.paulhadsall.com.

While it wasn’t a good way to start a homestand, the Mets rebounded nicely. Let’s hope they continue to play well and take advantage of opponents’ mistakes when they hit the road.