My own personal ranking of fans who take losing the hardest:
1. Mets fans
2. Dodgers fans when they lose to the Giants
3. Everyone else
30. Padres fans
You can imagine the apocalyptic nature in Queens, Long Island and from the 22 Mets fans who live in the Bronx due to the way the team is playing right now. After falling 8-2 to the Braves on Wednesday, they've lost nine of 10 to drop to 8-12, nobody except Noah Syndergaard can pitch, Jose Reyes has inflicted the entire lineup with Lyme disease, manager Terry Collins needs to be sent on a camping trip to Poughkeepsie, the front office is clueless, and, for the love of god, please call up Amed Rosario.
Otherwise, Mets fans aren't panicking at all.
Luckily, I'm here to help.
1. They're hitting .208 (last in the National League) and averaging 4.05 runs per game (ninth in the NL). The offense has been bad, but hasn't been 1962-Mets bad. There's talent here. The big drain has been Reyes, hitting .114 with as many RBIs as you and me. It's only 70 at-bats, however, and he was moderately productive last season. One solution would be to call up Rosario, the 21-year-old hitting .397 at Triple-A Las Vegas, but I think it's too soon for Rosario, who hasn't homered there (and everyone hits at Vegas). Patience. Instead, make a pitch for Mike Moustakas from the Royals. If Reyes is still hitting under .200 in a month, then you give Rosario a chance.
2. Free Michael Conforto. He's finally managed to get some at-bats due to various injuries and is hitting .325/.396/.650 in 40 at-bats. I don't love the idea of him in center field, but he's made five starts there, and if that's the only way to get him into the lineup, so be it. His defensive metrics have actually been pretty good in his career, although that's mostly in the corners. Still, he's probably not any worse than Curtis Granderson out there.
3. Don't be afraid to ride the starters a little harder. Yes, that's right. Look, they're either going to get hurt or they're not going to get hurt. The rotation is the guts of this team, and now that we're heading into May with the weather warming up, it's time to stretch them out. They've had six starts of seven innings (and none longer) and just five of 100 pitches. The more you force Collins to rely on Fernando Salas, the more likely you are to lose. I'm not advocating for 120 pitches, but getting even another inning two or three times through a rotation turn helps ease the burden on the bullpen.
4. Stop using Fernando Salas.
5. Leave Robert Gsellman alone. OK, he was awful Wednesday, at least in the first inning, when he went walk, single, walk, single, single, throwing error (his own), double. Without a caught stealing, the five-run inning would have been even worse. Gsellman blamed the inning on a mechanical issue, saying he was flying open and losing command. He's a young pitcher. It happens. The 23-year-old also got nickel-and-dimed a bit. Two of the hits were ground balls, including a weird half-swing from Matt Kemp, and the double from Tyler Flowers was an excuse-me soft line drive just over first base. The walks are bad, but it seems Gsellman has had some bad luck in the hit department. He's going to be fine.
Or maybe there's a simple fix:
Maybe Gsellman should grow his beard back— Mets Daddy (@MetsDaddy2013) April 27, 2017
So, take a deep breath, Mets fans. Let everyone get healthy. The lineup is better than this. Turn Thor loose and keep Collins away from Conforto. It's a long season, my friends.
The Orioles find a way. Seems like we say that a lot, don't we? Well, this happened:
Seth Smith with the Little League home run! The throw at the end was from left fielder Shane Peterson, and I have no idea whether he can actually throw or not, but that will go down as the worst throw of the season, bouncing a toss to Evan Longoria from like 30 feet away. Anyway, the Orioles beat the Rays 5-4 in 11 innings on a walk-off walk to Smith, who isn't a conventional leadoff hitter with his lack of speed but is hitting .263/.378/.526 and setting the table for the guys behind him. He's another one of those quiet pickups -- the O's got him for Yovani Gallardo -- that looks like it will pay dividends.
Mickey's kid is back. One of the feel-good stories this month has been Michael Brantley's strong start for the Indians after the shoulder issues that wiped out his 2016. He's up to .318 with a .561 slugging percentage with his current 10-game hitting streak that included two hits and three RBIs in a 7-6 victory over the Astros.
This is the Michael Brantley I remember watching in 2015. He's incredible when he's right. One of my favorite hitters to watch.— Chris Cwik (@Chris_Cwik) April 26, 2017
Play of the day. It's OK, you can admit it. You like these Yankees. You especially love this left tackle of a right fielder in Aaron Judge. Maybe he'll hit a 550-foot home run someday. On his 25th birthday, big No. 99 not only belted his seventh home run but also did this:
On a cold, gray night in Boston, Luis Severino was also superb, with seven scoreless innings in the 3-1 win over the Red Sox as Aroldis Chapman escaped a one-out, two-on jam. If Severino keeps this up, the Yankees absolutely will stay in the race in the American League East.
Quick thoughts ... The Giants are so banged up in the outfield they called up Mike Morse as they try to dial up 2014. Morse appeared done as a major leaguer after the Pirates cut him early last season and nobody picked him. So what happens? Morse pinch hits in the eighth against Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez and hits a game-tying home run. Of course he did. ... James Paxton has four scoreless outings in five starts and should be in line for AL Pitcher of the Month honors. The Mariners hope those good starts continue after putting Felix Hernandez and Mitch Haniger on the disabled list. ... Congrats to South African native Gift Ngoepe and his debut for the Pirates, becoming the first player from Africa in the majors. He singled in his first at-bat. He's not really a prospect -- he hit .217 last year at Triple-A -- but this is his ninth season in the Pirates organization, and he is a reminder that baseball teams need to search the globe for talent. ... The Phillies climbed over .500 with their fifth consecutive win as Maikel Franco hit a grand slam. ... Eric Thames did not homer. ... What would Bryce Harper hit if he played 81 home games at Coors Field? He went 4-for-4 to raise his average to .432. Eight players have hit .400 in April since 2010 (minimum 75 plate appearances), including Aledmys Diaz last season.