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Todd Frazier apologizes to Jacob deGrom because Mets didn’t provide run support again

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Earlier, Craig wrote about yet another great start from Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom that went to waste against the Braves on Wednesday afternoon. deGrom allowed only one run on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings, but took the loss as the Mets fell 2-0 and were limited to a measly two hits on the afternoon. deGrom is now 4-2 with a league-best 1.55 ERA over 14 starts.

While deGrom has been the pitcher of record, the Mets have scored a total of 31 runs across his 14 starts, an average of 2.2 runs of support per start. He has received two or fewer runs of support in seven of his last eight starts.

deGrom’s lack of run support sticks out because he has pitched so well but hasn’t been rewarded with the W’s, which are sadly still relevant when fans and pundits discuss the best pitchers in the game. As a result, Todd Frazier felt bad enough to apologize to deGrom after Wednesday afternoon’s loss, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Frazier said, “I told [deGrom] after the game: ‘Dude, I am sorry.’ I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know why we’re not producing for him.”

As Puma points out, it’s not just deGrom the Mets’ offense isn’t backing. The club has scored two runs or fewer in nine of its last 11 games. Unsurprisingly, the club has lost nine of its last 11 games.

Frazier didn’t have to apologize to deGrom because it’s not like the club is choosing not to score runs for him. They’re just not hitting and the team has had to deal with injuries to key players like Yoenis Cespedes. But deGrom can be affected materially from the lack of run support as it may have an affect on whether or not he’s an All-Star and whether or not he’s a Cy Young winner, both of which could also affect how much money he makes going forward. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. Frazier, who’s been through arbitration and free agency, almost certainly understands this and that’s why he chose to apologize to deGrom.

The Giants are winning but they’re still gonna sell

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The state of baseball in general, the state of the National League in particular and the state of the San Francisco Giants as a competitor are conspiring to create what seems like at least a mildly absurd situation.

The Giants, a veteran-laden team that, as recently as this past offseason but definitely within the past couple of years, were at least talking about being on a win-now footing, just swept a four-game series, have won five straight games and have won 12 of 14 to pull themselves to within two and a half games of a playoff spot.

Yet, that’s all for temporary show, because they’re about to sell off. At least according to Jeff Passan at ESPN. Giants president Farhan Zaidi tried to push back on that in a radio interview yesterday, denying that the club has foreclosed the possibility of a postseason push, but I’m not really buying that and I don’t think most people are.

On one level it makes sense to ignore the recent surge and forge on with a rebuild. Sure, the Giants are winning but they’re not exactly good. They’re two and a half out of the Wild Card, but there are many teams ahead of them. There’s a lot of reason to think that they’re playing in good fortune right now and that that, rather than finding some extra gear of sustainable better play, is what’s to credit. Hot streaks can happen at any time but the trade deadline only comes once a year. When you have the best starter available in Madison Bumgarner and the best reliever available in Will Smith, you gotta make those deals. That’s what I’d probably do if I ran the Giants and I think that that’s, wisely, what Zaidi will do.

Still, it’s an odd look, less for the Giants specifically than for baseball as a whole. We may in an era of cheap front offices who don’t like to contend if it means spending money, but it’s unfair to paint the Giants with that brush. They’ve spent money and acquired talent and have done whatever they can to extend their 2010-2014 mini-dynasty a few more years and in doing so they’ve made a lot of fans happy. That team has pretty much reached the end and, even in an earlier, more competitive era, they’d not be properly criticized for starting in on a rebuild. Heck, they’d be excused if they had done it a year or two earlier, frankly.

But, because so many teams have punted on improving themselves, these aging Giants are at least superficially competitive. As such, when they do sell off in the coming days, it’ll look to some like they’re waving a white flag or something when they’re not really doing that. I mean, the Rockies and the Pirates, among other teams, should be much better than they are but didn’t seem all that interested in improving, thereby helping the Giants look better, right? It’s less a knock on the Giants for rebuilding when they’re within striking distance of the playoffs than it is on the rest of the league for allowing a team like the Giants to be within striking distance of a playoff spot.

But that’s where we are right now. An insanely competitive Wild Card race from teams that, on the whole, are rather unconcerned with being competitive. What a time to be a baseball fan.