Mets, Failed Trades, and Jon Niese

When he’s not preoccupied with the birth of his child, Jon Niese puts in some really good work. Yesterday he allowed one earned run on six hits in six innings of work, walking one and striking out six. He did all that he could for the Mets to win that game. Short of holding an umbrella over Jeurys Familia’s head during the ninth inning, I’m not sure Niese could have done anything more to bring a series win yesterday. Of course, Terry Collins is a genius and decides to rest his closer 44 minutes during a rain delay, then allow that same closer to return and try to finish out the game for some meaningless stat.

I feel like I’ve reached a new low with this franchise. Really? That’s your brilliant plan? After hearing all the ridiculous particulars of why the Mets backed out of the Carlos Gomez trade (money being one of those reasons that I’m completely willing to believe and not his hip), I wasn’t sure it could get worse. No. Instead of just losing like normal teams do, the Mets blow yesterday’s game in epic fashion, making people on Twitter pray for more rain so the Mets would win based on some long forgotten rule. Now, of course, the Mets will trade Zack Wheeler for a far inferior talent in Jay Bruce because they have to make up for the debacle that occurred with Gomez. Apparently the Astros didn’t have any concerns about his hip. You know what I have to wake up to on ESPN this morning? A smiling, happy group of Astros.

They just swept the Angels. You know why? Because they actually make logical moves.

This has been a horrible week to be a Mets fan. First, the team loses Jenrry Mejia for an entire year because he was busted using PEDs again. It gets better. He was busted using the same drug he was caught using the first time, and he was caught using this drug while he was serving the original suspension. What? Who does that? You’re just ready to double down on that? Then, the Mets make a few moves that totally make sense, but apparently for this franchise, there’s an incessant need to screw things up because they WON a trade with the Brewers for Carlos Gomez, which made Wilmer Flores into a damn joke across the internet. No, seriously, great job Mets brass for allowing that kid to suffer in view of millions. The best way to attract free agents and endear yourself to fans across the world is to humiliate one of your own.

If I’m Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Lucas Duda I’m taking note and looking for the first door out of Flushing. What the hell is that all about? I apologize for the cursing. I’m sorry. This really was one of the worst things I’ve seen this franchise do, and there was no call for it. Even if the Mets wanted to re-sign him this offseason, do you think Daniel Murphy is coming back?

Then, yesterday’s game happened. I was ready for anything honestly. I was ready for a 15-0 pasting that was well deserved. I was also ready for a 7-1 win by the Mets. A feel good victory heading into an important three game series with the Nats. What do the Mets do? They blow a 7-1 lead in two innings to a team that scores about as well as the Mets do. I was so angry following that game that I had to walk around. I wanted to leave work at that point, taking a few hours of vacation just to get out of there. Then there’s a long rain delay (again), so I have to sit and live through the coughed up lead until three hours later.

I would rather go back to the days of drinking, gamboling, and firecrackers than the debacle that is this franchise right now. I’m not one prone to overreaction. I don’t go on social media and make fun of this team. The Mets get enough bad press and jokes made at their expense from jerks out there that it doesn’t need my voice added to that sort of easy, selective targeting.

If the Mets trade Wheeler for Bruce I think I’m taking a break from the team for a while. I’ll just go back to writing about the Nats. The move makes some sense. I don’t even necessarily dislike the trade. They could have had Carlos Gomez. Seriously, they WON that trade. Gomez is a stud in centerfield, a guy who can rake, and an alpha. He may not be playing the same as he was in 2013-14, but he’s a gigantic leap forward from what the team has in place right now, and my only concern with that trade was if he and Juan Lagares could coexist in the outfield together. Forget Michael Cuddyer. He can sit and turn into the batting coach for all I care. An outfield with Gomez and Lagares is tracking balls down. I had flashbacks to the nightmare that was the Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron experiment, but I thought it could work.

No. The Mets, obviously concerned that something positive might happen, decided to pull the deal, and the no-trade became so public with the Brewers, Scott Boras, and Gomez all spreading stories and rumors like spurned ex-lovers. It was personal. That’s even better. Without any real Mets response, the no-trade becomes a gigantic joke, and it’s egg on the Mets face again.

So, to make a move to rectify the move you unmade, the team is going to panic and trade Wheeler for an inferior player or probably Yoenis Cespedes. Why not? He fits the mold of players that won’t be around after this offseason. Cespedes went 3-for-5 with his 18th homer yesterday. It’s time to pounce while his bat’s hot. For that matter, why not just trade for Justin Upton? If it happened during the second rain delay yesterday, would he have been able to bat again for the Mets in the bottom of the ninth?

Anyway, as to Niese, you can read all of that below.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for the Mets starting pitcher for yesterday’s game. The tables and charts don’t exactly tell the entire story of last night’s pitching performance. These are just numbers, not stories, and each start is its own individual story. I like to think of these charts as the footnotes at the bottom of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. They’re not essential to making sense of the story’s narrative flow, but it definitely adds to the story’s richness if you understand the political and religious climates of late nineteenth century Ireland. In other words, it’s one thing to know that a thing occurred in a linear fashion, but it’s best to gain a deeper understanding as to why those events occurred.

Pitch Type Thrown Percentage
Changeup 16 18.4
Curveball 15 17.2
Cutter 22 25.3
Fourseam 7 8.04
Two-seam 27 31.03

Jon Niese Pitches by Type

Here’s a breakdown of pitch outcomes:

Outcome Changeup Curveball Cutter Fourseam Two Seam
Ball 6 7 1 1 13
Called Strike 3 3 10 1 4
Swinging Strike 2 1 2 2 2
Foul 1 2 4 2 2
In play, no out 0 0 2 0 3
In play, out(s) 4 2 2 1 2
In play, run(s) 0 0 1 0 0

Jon Niese Pitches by Outcome


Pitch Type Min (mph) Mean (mph) Max (mph)
Changeup 80 82.99 85.9
Curveball 73.3 75.03 76.5
Cutter 84 86.5 88.1
Fourseam 87.4 89.6 91
Two-seam 86.7 88.95 90.6

Jon Niese Pitch Velocities

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type:

20150730_JN_StancePitch Location by Batter

By pitch type:

150730_JN_PitchLocationsPitch Location by Pitch Type


MLB Daily Heat Check

Here you’ll find information regarding the pitchers that light up the radar gun each and every night. I’ve listed for both starters and relievers the top five by average velocity and the pitchers that threw the hardest single pitch. It doesn’t equate to quality of an outing or take into consideration the end result of the pitch (sometimes really, really good fastballs go a long way), but it’s fun. For the charts below, I’m tracking fourseam fastballs.

Pitcher Name Team Pitch Type Avg. Start Speed (mph)
Carlos Martinez St. Louis FF 96.8
Carlos Carrasco Cleveland FF 95.3
Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs FF 94.4
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee FF 94.3
Max Scherzer Nationals FF 93.7

Starters Top Five Fastballs by Average (MPH)

The five fastest pitches by starting speed all belong to Carlos Martinez. But, Chris Sale showed up on the list with the ninth hardest thrown pitch at 98.

The relievers are listed below:

Pitcher Name Team Pitch Type Start Speed
Ken Giles Phillies FF 99.5
Jeurys Familia Mets FF 99
Kelvin Herrera Royals FF 98.5
Dellin Betances Yankees FF 97.6
Craig Kimbrel Padres FF 97.4

Relievers Top Five Fastballs by Average (MPH)

Like the starters above, one man dominated the top six spots. Ken Giles threw the hardest fourseamer of the night at 101.3. He topped 100 four times. Kelvin Herrera nearly hit 100, coming in at 99.8 and good for seventh in our list.

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