For much of the season the Mets played decent baseball. More significantly, though, they played fundamentally sound, team-oriented baseball and there weren’t any typical-for-the-Mets stories of discord and strife. In a decade or so when Mets fans routinely found their palm to their face for some damn reason or another, it has been a remarkably facepalm-free year.
At least until recently. The Mets, losers of six straight, are skidding and yesterday some frustration was on display:
Tim Byrdak jawed at Josh Thole and then shared his displeasure further with pitching coach Dan Warthen after giving up a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche with a fastball he didn’t want to throw in the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field — their sixth straight defeat.
Terry Collins wasn’t pleased with it and, after the game, made noises about “seeing a different team” in the next ten days. Whether that means he’s gonna shape his men up or ship some of them out remains to be seen.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.