Tagged in: New York Mets

Jon Lester makes Washington Nationals debut 2 weeks after surgery

Jon Lester was back on a mound Thursday, wearing a Washington Nationals uniform while facing opposing batters for the first time in spring training and striking out a couple during his two innings, less than two weeks after surgery to remove a parathyroid gland.

“Baseball, for me, is an escape. I come to the field, I’ve got stuff I need to do. I forget about this,” Lester said, pointing the scar on the front of his throat, after Washington’s 3-1 exhibition victory versus the New York Mets at Port St. Lucia, Florida.

“So you dive into that routine,” the 37-year-old left-hander said.

Wearing a red Nationals No. 34 uniform, Bryce Harper’s old number, along with a green hat the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Lester permitted one run and one hit while throwing 31 pitches, 21 for strikes.

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He went to 0-2 counts on each of the first three Mets hitters, getting the first two out before walking J.D. Davis and giving up a first-pitch RBI double to James McCann. Then Lester pitched a 1-2-3 second inning, and that was that.

His operation was March 5 for hyperparathyroidism, which can affect the amount of calcium levels in the bloodstream and lead to someone tiring easily.

Lester said he had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night.

“Regardless of the surgery, there was still excitement leading up to this day. New team. … I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous,” said Lester, who signed as a free agent with Washington for one year and $5 million after six seasons and one World Series title with the Chicago Cubs. “I had the butterflies, which is always good.”

Another important takeaway: Lester thinks he’ll “be in a good position” to be ready when the regular season starts April 1.

Manager Dave Martinez agreed, figuring Lester should be up to about 75 pitches after three more exhibition starts.

“We’ll see how he gets up tomorrow,” Martinez said. “But I think he’s on the right track.”

Lester took it as a good sign that his changeup worked well. That’s usually the last pitch that gets into gear. “It’s definitely been a point of emphasis, as far as in my bullpens and just really playing catch with it,” Lester said.

“So it was nice to see the results, the couple swing and misses, out in front, and got maybe a couple foul balls on it.”

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner staying on 2-year, $34M deal

Third baseman Justin Turner is staying put with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he revealed Saturday on Twitter.

Turner’s deal is for two years and $34 million guaranteed, and it includes a club option for a third year, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Turner, 36, became a free agent when his four-year, $64 million contract expired following the Dodgers’ World Series triumph in October. A member of the Dodgers since 2014, Turner is the longest-tenured position player on the team and the third longest overall, behind Clayton Kershaw (2008) and Kenley Jansen (2010).

Turner was a journeyman for the first half of his major league career. He was non-tendered by the New York Mets in December 2013, went unsigned for the next two months and then agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers. At 29, he started to establish himself among the game’s most productive third basemen.

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Turner batted .297/.378/.508 from 2015 to 2019, accumulating 105 homers, 147 doubles and 21.9 FanGraphs wins above replacement in 645 regular-season games.

He made an All-Star team, concluded within the top 10 in National League MVP voting on two occasions and set the tone for the Dodgers’ hitting philosophy as their most consistent performer.

Along the way, Turner contributed several memorable postseason moments, most notably his walk-off home run versus the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the 2017 NL Championship Series. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, he ranks first in Dodgers postseason history in hits (79), home runs (12), runs (40) and RBIs (41).

His crowning achievement finally came last season, when Turner — a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in Lakewood, California, and identifies Kirk Gibson’s famous pinch-hit home run in the 1988 World Series as his first baseball memory — helped lead the franchise to its first championship in more than 30 years.

Turner posted a 1.066 OPS in six World Series games versus the Tampa Bay Rays, but his career highlight became tarnished after Major League Baseball informed the Dodgers in the late stages of the eventual clincher that Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.

Turner, the Dodgers’ player rep, was removed to start the eighth inning of Game 6 and wasn’t on the field to celebrate the final out. But he broke protocol and reentered the field to take pictures with the World Series trophy and was seen around teammates without a mask, drawing the ire of MLB officials and rampant criticism from people throughout the country. MLB ultimately decided not to discipline him.

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New York Mets acquire Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland Indians

Francisco Lindor is moving to a new city and team that is willing to meet his salary demands.

The four-time All-Star shortstop — and one of baseball’s best all-around players — was traded Thursday by the Cleveland Indians along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets, who have a new owner willing to spend at baseball’s highest levels.

“They did not come cheaply,” Mets president Sandy Alderson stated. “What we’re trying to do is create a new reality rather than deal with perception.”

The cash-strapped Indians sent Lindor and Carrasco to the Mets for infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene — a move Cleveland hopes will keep it competitive and capable of ending baseball’s longest World Series title drought.

Dealing Lindor, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, was inevitable for the midmarket Indians, who are unable to compete financially with MLB’s big spenders and dropped roughly $30 million in dealing two prominent players and fan favorites.

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“These are people we care about, not just players, and guys that loved the organization and have great memories here,” said Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, who said he was in tears when he spoke with Lindor and Carrasco. “Trades like this are really tough. But it’s the right thing to do.”

For the Mets, landing Lindor is a home run and another major move by hedge fund owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families and has pledged to increase spending.

The 27-year-old Lindor can affect the game with his bat, glove and legs.

A two-time Gold Glove winner, he’s a career .285 hitter and has averaged 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 steals in his six major league seasons — all with the Indians, who drafted him in 2011 and developed him.

He has also been the face of the Indians franchise, with an infectious smile and joy for playing that has made him one of Cleveland’s most popular athletes. But he’s gone now, leaving the Indians without their best player and the team’s fans grumbling about owner Paul Dolan.

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MLB owners approve New York Mets sale to Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen’s bid to buy the New York Mets was accepted by Major League Baseball’s Ownership Committee, all but assuring the hedge fund titan will be the team’s new owner, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Ownership Committee, chaired by Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting, reviewed the vetting of Cohen and details of the proposed transaction, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the matter is private.

MLB refused to comment.

The next step in the process is a review by the commissioner’s Executive Council, after which the proposed sale will be voted on by a full slate of owners.

Cohen needs 23 votes for approval.

The final vote may take place soon after the World Series. Also on the Ownership Committee are Chicago White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Chris Ilitch of the Detroit Tigers, Paul Dolan of the Cleveland Indians and Fred Wilpon of the Mets. Wilpon likely had to recuse himself.  Cohen met virtually with the Ownership Committee weeks ago.

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Cohen, who already holds an 8% stake in the Mets, has agreed to pay a record $2.42 billion for the team he grew up rooted for as a kid on Long Island.

Under terms of the deal Cohen will hold a 95% stake in the team. The current owners, the Katz and Wilpon families, will keep 5%.

Cohen will assume control of a franchise that even in a non-COVID season loses at least $50 million annually.

That said, with a net worth of more than $10 billion, according to Bloomberg, Cohen has the resources to sustain annual losses while still investing in players.

His facility to finance the purchase without investors was key in his winning an auction that included Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and a group led by former big-league Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez.

The sellers gained control of the Mets for $391 million in 2002. Cohen has already said he would name former Mets executive Sandy Alderson as the team’s president once approved.

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Noah Syndergaard to have Tommy John surgery from torn UCL

The New York Mets have lost an important member of their vaunted rotation for the 2020 campaign. Hard-throwing righty Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will have Tommy John surgery, the Mets confirmed Tuesday. Syndergaard, 27, will have surgery on Thursday, the team stated.

“After experiencing discomfort in his elbow before Spring Training was suspended due to the pandemic, Noah and our health and performance department have been in constant contact,” GM Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement.

“Based on the persistence of his symptoms, Noah underwent a physical examination and MRI that revealed the ligament tear. A second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed the diagnosis and the recommendation for surgery. 

“Noah is an incredibly hard worker and a tremendous talent,” Van Wagenen added. “While this is unfortunate, we have no doubt that Noah will be able to return to full strength and continue to be an integral part of our Championship pursuits in the future.”

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Before his elbow began acting up, Syndergaard appeared in three Grapefruit League matches this spring and looked healthy.

He allowed four runs (three earned) in eight innings while striking out 11 and walking zero. There were no indications his ulnar collateral ligament was about to give out.

Syndergaard is among the most obviously talented pitchers in the game. He throws in the upper-90s with ease and has an array of dastardly secondary pitches. Despite that, he mustered only a 4.28 ERA in 2019 and has a 3.73 ERA in 352 innings the last two seasons combined, numbers that are merely good rather than great.

Syndergaard is the latest big-name pitcher to require Tommy John surgery this spring. Red Sox ace Chris Sale, Yankees righty Luis Severino, Giants righty Tyler Beede, Padres setup man Andres Munoz, and Tigers prospect Joey Wentz have all needed their elbows rebuilt in recent weeks.

Tommy John surgeries typically peak in February and March as pitchers raise their throwing.

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New York Mets vs Washington Nationals

New York Mets vs Washington Nationals

In series-opening MLB action on Monday from Nationals Park, we’ve got game one between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals.
It’s a strong pitching matchup on Monday when the Washington Nationals host the New York Mets at 7:05PM ET.

Monday: RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 2.08) vs. RHP Joe Ross (6-4, 3.11), 7:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.64) vs. TBA, 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 3.29) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (8-5, 3.52), 7:05 p.m. ET

The Mets have Noah Syndergaard on the mound to face Joe Ross of the Nationals. According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, this game is considered even, as both the Mets and Nationals are listed with odds of -105 to win. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 7 runs.

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The Mets are coming off a weekend series against the Braves. New York dropped the first game but came back to win Friday and Saturday. In the Sunday finale, the Mets lost 5-2.
As for the Nationals, they just finished up against the Brewers. Washington lost the first two games, running their losing streak to seven games. In the Sunday finale, Washington eked out a 3-2 win.
For Monday’s game, the Mets will be bringing out right-hander Noah

Syndergaard. In his 15 games (14 starts) this year, Syndergaard has managed a nice 2.08 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP in 91 innings. There was some concern about Syndergaard’s elbow following his last start, but an MRI showed no damage and he’s been deemed healthy.
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The Mets have some pretty solid swingers in their order. Asdrubal Cabrera has 71 hits with 30 runs, eight homers and 24 RBI. Cabrera got a day off Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes has a team-high 18 homers with 45 RBI, 70 hits and 39 runs. Neil Walker isn’t far behind on 65 hits with 40 runs, 14 homers and 30 RBI.

Over on the Nationals’ side, we’ll be seeing right-hander Joe Ross. Over 14 starts this year, Ross has managed a 6-4 record with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 84 innings of work. In his last start against L.A., Ross gave up seven hits and two earned in 6.1 innings for a no-decision.

The Washington hitters have some potency as well. Daniel Murphy has been electric this year on 98 hits with 42 runs, 12 homers and 48 RBI. Wilson Ramos has 76 hits with 30 runs, 12 homers and 41 RBI. Ramos got the day off Sunday. Anthony Rendon has hit 70 times with 45 runs and 26 RBI thus far.

The Mets are 23-4 in their last 27 Monday games, and 35-16 in their last 51 game ones of a series. New York is also 4-0 in Syndergaard’s last four game ones of a series, and 4-0 in Syndergaard’s last four starts overall.
As for the Nationals, they’re 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games, and 6-1 in their last seven home games. Washington is also 6-0 in their last six against the National League East, and 1-7 in their last seven overall.

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New York Mets vs Kansas City Royals

 New York Mets vs Kansas City RoyalsThe World Series has arrived and the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets battle for the title.

Game 1 of the best-of-seven series will be played at Kauffman Stadium and will be on October 27, 2015.

The match will start at 8:07 PM ET.

Those two teams will be the Kansas City Royals making their second straight World Series appearance as the American Leaguerepresentative and the New York Mets representing the National League for the first time since 2000. The Mets haven’t won a championship since 1986 while the Royals haven’t won since 1985.

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These two teams had some different routes to this Fall Classic, however. The Mets made quick work of the Cubs in the NLCScompleting the four-game sweep, while the Royals had a little bit more work to do disposing of the Blue Jays, but ultimately got it done in six-games.

This is the first World Series ever that at least one of the teams is not one of the original 16 franchises.

Both of these teams have a significant amount of time off before this series gets going on Tuesday, so it will be interesting to see how these teams respond. Most of the champagne should have worn off by Tuesday. The Mets last played on Wednesday while the Royals last played Friday.

With the American League winning the All Star Game, they will have home field advantage which means games one, two, six* and seven* will be played in Kansas City while games three, four, and five* will be played at Citi Field in New York. (* if necessary). All games start at 8:00 p.m. EST

Game 1, Oct. 27: New York at Kansas City
Game 2, Oct. 28: New York at Kansas City
Game 3, Oct. 30: Kansas City at New York
Game 4, Oct. 31: Kansas City at New York
Game 5, Nov. 1: Kansas City at New York
Game 6, Nov. 3: New York at Kansas City
Game 7, Nov. 4: New York at Kansas City

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Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets

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The National League Championship Series is set: the Chicago Cubs v the Chicago Cubs of New York.

The Cubs were the only team to win their division series, and even better, they beat their hated rivals, the Cardinals, who were the only 100-win team in baseball this year. They bashed their way to their first NLCS berth since 2003, hitting 10 home runs in the final three games of their series, including a postseason-record six in their 8-6 game three win, after being shut out in game one.

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After finishing third in the National League Central, the Cubs had the privilege of eliminating both of the two teams that finished ahead of them, the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. With their game-four win at Wrigley Field, the Cubs clinched a postseason series on their home turf for the first time in the franchise’s history, which is incredible considering they’ve been playing since 1876.

 

Both the Cubs and the Mets enter the NLCS on a wave of momentum, overcoming opponents previous editions of themselves would have been easily bested by. The Cubs put away the St Louis Cardinals, their longtime nemesis, in four games and did it in style. They won a game in St Louis to put the fear of God into (the already wholesome and God-fearing!) Cardinals fans, and then didn’t even let the series return to St Louis.

 

The Mets’ NLDS victory was no less perception-busting. New York’s lesser-loved baseball franchise was a nice story this season, but a team whose success felt as much a function of the NL East’s malfunction as it was their own talent at hitting, catching and throwing orbs.

 

So now we have Cubs-Mets for the National League championship. It’s a dream series for MLB.

Here is the complete schedule for the NLCS:

  • Game 1: Saturday, October 17th, at Citi Field
  • Game 2: Sunday, October 18th, at Citi Field
  • Game 3: Tuesday, October 20th, at Wrigley Field
  • Game 4: Wednesday, October 21st, at Wrigley Field
  • Game 5: Thursday, October 22nd, at Wrigley Field (if necessary)
  • Game 6: Saturday, October 24th, at Citi Field (if necessary)
  • Game 7: Sunday, October 25th, at Citi Field (if necessary)

 

 

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Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

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Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 4.31) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (5-15, 3.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Logan Verrett* (1-0, 1.91) vs. RHP Matt Wisler (5-8, 5.63), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon* (14-12, 4.15) vs. RHP Williams Perez (6-6, 5.16), 7:10 p.m. ET

The Atlanta Braves travel to New York to face the New York Mets in a 3-game series with the NL East division leaders. The Mets lost 2 games in a row this weekend to their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees. The Mets had a 9.5 game lead in the NL East a week ago, but the Washington Nationals have slimmed their deficit in the division to 6 games with less than two weeks left, coming off a sweep of the Miami Marlins.

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New York (84-65) holds a six-game lead over Washington atop the NL East despite having dropped four of five after Sunday’s 11-2 loss to the Yankees. Barring a collapse, the Mets will make their first postseason appearance since 2006

The Braves (60-90), though, are coming off a weekend sweep of Philadelphia after three consecutive 2-1 wins. A.J. Pierzynski singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth Sunday after Julio Teheran was solid for 8 1-3.

Atlanta hasn’t won four straight since July 1-4.

Atlanta may be out of playoff contention, but can play the role of spoiler against their perennial divisional rivals during this series. It would serve the Braves well to end the season on a good note after all of their struggles in the second half of 2015. With the Mets having cooled off a bit since they swept the Atlanta Braves in a four-game series at Turner Field last weekend, a little revenge may be in order.

New York swept a four-game series in Atlanta when the clubs last faced each other Sept. 10-13. The Mets have won five of the six matchups at Citi Field.

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New York Yankees at New York Mets

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(espn.go.com)- The last time the New York Mets and New York Yankees met this late in the season, it was in the 2000 World Series.

There’s a possibility they could meet in the Fall Classic this year.

The Mets will host this weekend series, with the red-hot Yoenis Cespedes getting his first taste of this rivalry Friday night.

This is the latest regular-season edition of the Subway Series, and there is plenty at stake for both teams. The Mets (83-63) have a comfortable NL East lead over Washington while the Yankees hold the AL’s top wild card as they try to catch first-place Toronto in the East.

“A lot’s been made of this weekend coming up,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It’s now here so now we’ve got to get ready for it.

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The Yankees (80-65) won’t have Alex Rodriguez in the lineup this weekend, with no designated hitter at Citi Field. They took two of three at home in April from the Mets, who did not have Cespedes.

Acquired July 31 from Detroit, Cespedes has become one of baseball’s biggest stories. He has 17 homers and 42 RBI in 43 games with the Mets, giving him totals of 35 and 103.

The slugger has gone consecutive games without a homer after connecting nine times in 13 games to start the month. The Mets are seeking to avoid their first three-game losing streak since Aug. 14-16.

The Mets lineup will also look different to the Yankees since David Wright andTravis d’Arnaud were out with injuries for the April series and Juan Uribe had yet to be acquired.

Collins compared facing the Yankees to his club’s three-game sweep at Washington last week that gave the Mets a commanding division lead.

“We need to approach it like it’s the Washington Nationals walking in here,” he said. “Look, it’s a game we’ve got to go play, we’re playing for something big, they are too. It’s very similar to when we played the Nationals.”

The Yankees will start Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.40 ERA) on four days’ rest for the fifth time and second occasion in a row after giving him extra rest through most of the year. Tanaka improved to 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last four outings after seven innings of four-hit ball in Sunday’s 5-0 victory over the Blue Jays.

“He’s throwing the ball extremely well,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We checked with him to see how he was, he said he felt good and that’s why we’re doing it. I know he hasn’t done it a lot but we need him to pitch well for us.”

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.97 ERA in seven career interleague starts including a four-hitter in a 4-0 road win over the Mets last year. Cespedes is 3 for 10 against him.

This will be a special outing for Steven Matz (3-0, 1.88), a Long Island native who grew up rooting for the Mets. He’ll make his fifth start, third since returning off the disabled list and first in interleague play.

The left-hander allowed one run in five innings last Friday to earn a 5-1 victory at Atlanta.

He’ll face an offense with some slumping hitters.

Brian McCann is hitting .194 in his last 10 games and Chase Headley is at .179 in his last 15. Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury each are hitting .204 since the All-Star break to rank among baseball’s worst batters.

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