How was your day?
Here's what happened to the New York Mets:
• It was confirmed that Neil Walker, who left Wednesday's game because of a leg injury suffered trying to beat out a bunt, suffered a partially torn hamstring and will miss a month or so.
• The club revealed Noah Syndergaard's injured right lat isn't healing as quickly as hoped and his timetable has been pushed back to a late August return.
At least Mr. Met hasn't flipped off anybody in a couple of weeks.
With a 30-35 record, it's looking more and more like a mess of a season. Unlike the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets don't have the luxury of a mediocre division, so their wild-card hopes depend on one of the NL West teams coming back to the pack. So what can the Mets do to salvage the season? A few ideas:
1. Explore trades for Jay Bruce
He's having a good season at .266/.332/.541 with 17 home runs and solid defensive metrics, reclaiming some of the trade value he had lost after a poor second half with the Mets last year. Since he's a free agent and unlikely to be in the Mets' plans for 2018, see what you can get for him.
2. Explore trades for Lucas Duda
Hitting .245/.345/.550, Duda could be an enticing pickup for a contender like the Houston Astros, where Duda would be an upgrade at first base or DH. Duda is also a free agent and is already 31, so isn't a guaranteed re-sign in the offseason, especially with Dominic Smith hitting .318/.370/.464 at Las Vegas. (Smith's power remains a question mark, but if you want Duda as a stopgap for another season, you can always re-sign him.)
3. Call up Amed Rosario
The 21-year-old shortstop is hitting .333/.374/.496 at Las Vegas, which sounds better than it is -- everybody hits at Las Vegas. Still, with Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL, Jose Reyes is playing shortstop and hitting .184 with below-average defense. If Reyes were hitting, I'd understand keeping Rosario down in Triple-A, but at this point just call the kid up and give him experience for 2018.
4. Play Wilmer Flores every day
He's playing now because of all the injuries, but let's see if he can hit right-handed pitching if he plays every day at third base.
5. Find out if Michael Conforto is a center fielder
With Yoenis Cespedes' injuries, Conforto has played mostly left field. Once he returns from his current sore back, he's probably the default center fielder with Lagares out. But why not just leave him there the rest of the way? With Bruce and Curtis Granderson both free agents, the Mets could always slide Conforto to right field in 2018, but if he can play center, you open up your options.
Hey, it's another long home run! Keon Broxton crushed the second-longest home run of 2017, a StatCast estimate of 489 feet:
But that wasn't even the biggest home run of the game, because Eric Thames hit a two-run, two-out homer in the top of the ninth off Seung-Hwan Oh to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 6-4 victory. Is it time to consider that the Brewers could actually win the division? They took three of four from the Cards in this series, a huge result on the road. The odds still seem long, because the Chicago Cubs still have the edge -- on paper -- in talent, but it's time for them to prove they have the talent on the field.
The other note from this game was the two scoreless and hitless frames from Josh Hader in his third big league appearance. Maybe the team's top starting pitcher prospect, Hader had really struggled at Triple-A Colorado Springs with 31 walks and 14 home runs in 52 innings. Desperate for bullpen help, they're giving Hader a chance in relief. He consistently hit 94-95 mph on Thursday, topping out at 96. He also walked two batters with no strikeouts, and while one outing isn't proof of anything, there's no denying he could be a power lefty in middle relief.
The best thing on Thursday
The Cleveland Indians beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-5 -- Rich Hill continues to run up ridiculous pitch counts, throwing 105 pitches in four innings -- as Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5. Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco made a little artwork of Ramirez, complete with sunglasses:
Chris Sale is awesome even in defeat
So Sale and Philadelphia Phillies rookie Nick Pivetta hooked up a neat pitcher's duel: a scoreless game into the eighth. Pivetta went seven with nine strikeouts, and Sale went back out in the bottom of the eighth, only to lose 1-0 on Ty Kelly's pinch-hit double. He finished with a 10-strikeout complete game as he "fell" to 8-3. But he could easily be undefeated:
Chris Sale has three "losses" this season:— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) June 16, 2017
7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 K
8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 10 K
8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K
Of course, he also "won" a game in which he gave up six runs (one of only seven such wins the entire season). Anyway, his insane season continues: 136 strikeouts in 99 innings, on pace for now for 334 strikeouts in 243 innings. Your MLB leaders in strikeout rate (starters):
1. Sale, 35.2 percent
2. Max Scherzer, 35.1 percent
3. Robbie Ray, 32.4 percent
4. Chris Archer, 30.0 percent
5. Zack Greinke, 29.1 percent
Buster Posey homers, hurts ankle. In a wild game in Colorado, Posey homered off Scott Oberg in the seventh inning but hobbled around the bases and limped down the dugout steps as he was removed from the game. Yes, that's the kind of season it has been for the San Francisco Giants. Keep your eyes open for injury updates.
Maybe baseball will bring us together
Well, this was interesting
The congressional game outdrew the MLB games today in Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago. https://t.co/pWqBtpJheR— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) June 16, 2017