The Yankees and Mets both had important weekend series before the All-Star Game. What happened between the Yankees and Indians and the Mets and Nationals will affect the baseball decisions going forward for the Mets and Yankees. The series between the front-running Nationals and the Mets revealed weaknesses for both teams. The Mets came into the series with momentum after taking care of business winning 7 out of 8 against the Cubs and Marlins. Their four scheduled pitchers were Colon, Verette (replacing Harvey), Syndergaard, and Matz. I could see the Mets winning three of four and at worse splitting the four games. Of course, it turned out that the Nationals won three out of four. Some of the points that I observed in Sunday’s finale were Papelbon as a closer for the Nationals needs to be replaced. Yes, he picked up the ninth inning save but the Mets hit the ball hard and suffered from the atom ball. Papelbon’s velocity is down to about 91 and he is very hittable. What Washington needs is the Yankees Chapman. Yes, Washington is a now team and should be willing to part with two very high prospects to get Chapman. As for the Yankees they have made it clear that for the right price Chapman could be gotten. The Yankees need top prospects as part of their rebuilding for the future. This trade makes all the sense in the world for both teams. The statement you never have enough starting pitchers applies to the Mets. With Harvey out and Wheeler questionable to return and Syndergaard’s tired arm, they need to get another starter. The other thing that stood out about the game was in the ninth inning with runners on base and two outs Terry Collins decided to let De Aza bat and put Loney in the on deck circle to bat for the next batter. What is Collins thinking? Da Aza is batting less than .180. Loney should have taken his bat back to the dugout because he had no chance of ever using it. Yes, De Aza struck out to end the game.
Now for the Yankee versus Indians series. The Yankees limped into their series against the division-leading Indians. Boy what a sloppy baseball game on Sunday. Two particular events come to mind. The Cleveland excellent shortstop Lindor with the infield in and the bases loaded had a ball hit right at him. He fielded the ball cleanly and then did not know what to do with the ball. In the end he threw the ball wildly to second base causing two runs to score leading to a Yankee big rally. There should be no thinking because with the infield in just throw the ball to the catcher. The second Little League screw-up was made by the Yankees number one pitcher Tanaka. With one out the ball was hit right back to him. Forgetting there was only one out he threw the ball to first instead of starting a double play. Language has nothing to do with the pitcher not knowing how many outs there are.
The Yankees are now a .500 team at 44-44. I think GM Cashman was hoping for an Indians sweep so he could become a seller. Winning 3 out of 4 keeps the Yankees thinking playoffs, even though they are currently competing with at least seven teams for the second wild card spot. The Yankees are clearly just a .500 club and in my opinion have very little chance of making the playoffs. A further Yankee headwind is their first 10 games in the second half are against the very good Orioles, Red Sox and Giants. The Cubs are another team that has shown interest in Chapman. Whether it’s the Nationals or the Cubs I encourage Cashman to trade Chapman. Cashman can always resign Chapman as a free agent next year. At 40 years old Beltran is having a season like he had 10 years ago and could also fetch a top prospect.
The Mets manager Terry Collins was out-managed by the Nationals Dusty Baker. The Yankee manager Joe Girardi used his bullpen effectively to win a series against a better Indians team