Plawecki, the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Purdue, hit a combined .309 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs between Binghamton and Las Vegas this season. He was at Citi Field on Monday receiving an award as the top performer for the B-Mets.
“We think it was just the flying that was going on -- the high altitude. That’s what causes it, mainly. It’s just the change in pressure and stuff like that. There’s no way to really pinpoint something like that.”
Plawecki opened his Triple-A career in a 2-for-23 rut, but ultimately had a .283 average with the 51s.
“Just like any level you go to, you have to make adjustments,” he said. “I got off to a little bit of a slow start in Las Vegas. I had to make an adjustment. I was swinging at some bad pitches too early -- just trying to do too much too soon. And whenever you’re trying to do too much you’re never going to do what you want to do.
“I just had to take a step back and focus on getting good pitches to hit. And, defensively, I just tried to have good relationships with my pitching staffs in Binghamton and Las Vegas, dealing with [Rafael] Montero, [Noah] Syndergaard. Dealing with all those guys was a lot of fun and makes my job a lot easier.”
Because of the Mets’ 40-man roster crunch, he was passed over for a September call-up and figures to open next season again at Triple-A.
“Absolutely I’d love to be up here. Who wouldn’t?” Plawecki said. “I’m just happy with another successful season and a healthy season. I was able to stay off the DL for the most part, besides the freak accident with the vertigo issue.”
Catcher Kevin Plawecki, at Citi Field on Monday to receive an award as the organization’s top performer during the first half with Binghamton, said Syndergaard had misleading statistics while going 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 26 regular-season starts with Las Vegas.
“We were trying to speed him up a little bit, just the tempo of the game a little bit. We were trying to work on that. And I think toward the end we got better with that. That’s not something you can change overnight, just to go up there and be quick on the mound. It’s a matter of doing it in the game outing after outing. And I think we got a lot better with that.”
What impresses Plawecki most about the 6-foot-6 Syndergaard?
“He throws 98 to 100 mph,” Plawecki said. “That’s one thing. He’s got a lot of tools. He’s a big dude on the mound. He’s got a great presence on the mound. He’s got an unbelievable curveball, a great changeup. When he’s able to locate that stuff and able to command those pitches, he’s really hard to hit. And it makes my job a lot easier back there when he’s on his game like that.”
DeGrom matched a modern-day major league record by striking out the first eight Miami Marlins batters and took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning. He ended up with a no-decision, however, as the Mets twice squandered two-run leads and lost, 6-5, Monday at Citi Field.
Jeurys Familia, whose 20 holds are a franchise rookie record, surrendered a two-run single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the eighth as the Marlins pulled even at 5.
Jenrry Mejia, entering with two outs in the eighth, allowed an inherited run to score on Jeff Mathis' go-ahead RBI single later in the frame.
The Mets (72-79) dropped two games behind the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins (73-76) for third place in the NL East. The Mets must go 9-2 the rest of the way to avoid their sixth straight losing season.
DeGrom is now 8-6 with a 2.68 ERA through 21 career starts.
He finished with 13 strikeouts -- the most by a Met since Matt Harvey achieved the same total on June 18, 2013 against the Atlanta Braves.
Newly installed No. 3 hitter Travis d'Arnaud had produced a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run bottom of the seventh as the Mets took a 5-3 lead.
Nursing a 2-0 lead a half-inning earlier, deGrom surrendered a two-run single to ex-Met Jordany Valdespin and sacrifice fly to pinch hitter Reed Johnson. The three-run frame snapped deGrom’s streak without allowing an earned run at 28 innings.
It was the longest streak by a rookie in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous record-holder John Maine had gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006. Overall, it was the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season, trailing only efforts by Clayton Kershaw (41.0 IP without an earned run), Burke Badenhop (32.1 IP), Wade Davis (30.2 IP) and Kelvin Herrera (29.2 IP).
Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart broke up deGrom’s game-opening string of strikeouts at eight with an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield with two outs in the top of the third. DeGrom matched Jim Deshaies of the 1986 Houston Astros for the modern-day record for consecutive Ks to open a game. Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He had six straight strikeouts to open a game in 1980 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldo (6-11, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.
NEW YORK -- Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom has a new bullet point for his NL Rookie of the Year résumé.
DeGrom struck out the first eight Miami Marlins batters he faced on Monday night, tying the modern-day major league record to open a game. Jim Deshaies with the Houston Astros struck out the first eight Los Angeles Dodgers he faced in 1986.
Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He opened a 1980 game against the Philadelphia Phillies with six straight strikeouts.
DeGrom finished with 13 strikeouts over 7 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, but earned a no-decision in the Mets' 6-5 loss in Miami.
DeGrom's streak ended when the No. 9 batter, opposing pitcher Jarred Cosart, produced an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield. Because Cosart arrived from the American League's Astros at the trading deadline, the hit came in only his 17th career major league at-bat. Cosart had only 15 at-bats in his entire minor-league career.
DeGrom, who was fully aware he had struck out the first eight batters, said he thought Cosart would take to drive up his pitch count.
"I threw ball one, so I thought maybe he'd take the next one," deGrom said. "I threw it right down the middle. I was trying to go outside corner and I just left it over the middle."
Nimmo produced 10 homers while hitting .278 and producing a .394 on-base percentage between St. Lucie and Binghamton this season.
He was honored at Citi Field on Monday as the top performer with the Florida State League club in 2014.
“Did you see his batting practice today?” Alderson asked. “There was a lot more man there than there was a year and a half ago. He’s continued to be a very good player across the board. I think the two things I take away from his season: No. 1, he’s continued to exercise great judgment at the plate. But I think the last half of the season he’s also demonstrated a lot more power and turned on the ball more consistently. So he’s continued to do well what he’s done in the past and he’s starting to develop the kind of power that we like to see in an outfielder.”
Said Nimmo: “Obviously I’m older, and that makes a big difference. But I do think the offseason and the training we put in and the nutrition, I think all of that came into what you saw this year -- a little bit more power, a little bit more body control, better swing. I am a lot stronger than I was a year ago. It’s helped me out a ton.”
The 23-year-old Reynolds, who primarily has been used at shortstop, hit a combined .343 with six homers, 61 RBIs and 20 steals and had a .405 on-base percentage while splitting the season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
Reynolds, like catcher Kevin Plawecki, was selected out of college in the 2012 draft. As a result, they do not need to be added to the 40-man roster this winter. And the Mets did not want to tie up roster spots for the duo given the organization already will not be able to protect all of the Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects it would like to shield.
“We’ve got a lot of good players in the minor-league system right now,” Sandy Alderson said. “We’ve got probably more eligible for the Rule 5 draft than we can protect. So we’ve got to be a little bit selective. They’ve come a long way in a short period of time. It is a positive and, ultimately, administratively it’s a little bit of a negative.”
Reynolds -- who was honored at Citi Field on Monday as the top performer with Las Vegas -- is not a gifted shortstop range-wise, but a Mets official said he has displayed passable lateral mobility.
Playing on the hard infield in Las Vegas certainly provides a test for any young infielder.
“It’s quick. It’s really fast,” Reynolds said. “It makes you have to be ready early. You may not play on that fast on an infield in the big leagues, but it definitely prepares you for the balls coming at you a lot harder in the big leagues.”
Reynolds batted only .226 in 433 at-bats at Class A St. Lucie in 2013. He attributes the 117-point leap in average to a disciplined approach.
“I was trying to go to right-center with the fastball,” Reynolds said. “That way, I could recognize off-speed a lot better. I tried to do that every single day and it really helped out.”
Reynolds indicated he understood getting bypassed for the September call-up.
“That’s how this game works,” he said. “You can’t really get down on yourself because of that. I kind of figured something like that was going to happen. I’m not mad about it at all. It’s all a business decision. … I’m just trying to put pressure on them to make a move. I think I did a good job of that this year.”
Matz took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in the clinching Game 3 of the Eastern League Championship Series as Double-A Binghamton won its first title in 20 years.
“It was pretty awesome,” Matz said. “The best feeling was just feeling how I could just command all of my pitches. Some days you’re just going to have it like that. That was the perfect day to have it -- in the championship game. I just felt really confident out there.”
Said Sandy Alderson, who was in attendance for the clincher in Binghamton: “You don’t see a left-hander sitting 93-94 mph consistently with the assortment of pitches that he has. He was great this season. He’s very definitely on the short list at this point.”
This time, Matz allowed a pair of one-out singles in the eighth and was pulled with his pitch count at 105. He received a no-decision when a runner inherited by Hansel Robles scored. An inning later, the B-Mets posted a walk-off 2-1 win on Jayce Boyd’s RBI double.
“It was like 5,000 or 6,000 people -- standing room only. They were in it from pitch one,” B-Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo said about Friday’s clincher. “Matz, obviously, absolutely did amazing. He was hitting on all cylinders that night. He really gave us a chance. We made the game exciting at the end, but we got that clutch hit that you need to win championships.”
Asked if he would have been allowed to continue had he not allowed the singles, Matz said: “I don’t know. No one said anything. No one talked to me. I just kept on going back out there.”
Overall, Matz went a combined 10-9 with a 2.24 ERA in 24 starts for Class A St. Lucie and Binghamton. The Stony Brook native’s biggest strides have come with his curveball.
“Definitely my curveball has come a long way from last year,” Matz said. “I feel a lot more confident throwing it early in the count and putting hitters away with it when I’m ahead in the count. It’s almost like I can have two gears with it now, versus last year I was just flipping it in there and hoping for the best. Now I’m starting to have a little confidence in it.”
Matz is on the 40-man roster. Still, with him having logged 34 more regular-season innings than 2013, there was no thought of a September call-up after Binghamton’s season ended -- especially since Matz missed two years after getting drafted because of a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Asked if he had anything left to polish, Matz said: “The fastball command can always get better. The breaking ball can always get better. The changeup, too. Everything just needs a little bit more polish. And learning how to pitch hitters and set them up, and knowing which hitters I’m facing, would help me as well.”
The Mets are very deep in starting pitching. So if Matz is not used in an offseason trade, he likely is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open next season.
Still, Alderson said, Matz will be on the “short list” of candidates vying for a major league rotation spot in spring training. There is no real consideration of shifting him to the bullpen to introduce him to the majors.
“I think we’d be reluctant to put him in the pen,” Alderson said. “I mean, it’s a possibility, but you try to go into the season eight or nine deep with starting pitching that you can rely on. He would certainly be in that mix at this point. Taking him out of that mix so that he’s not lengthened out and not ready to go if something were to happen, as it always does, it’s unlikely.”
The Wilpons have an option on Alderson’s original four-year guaranteed deal that is expiring this year. Collins already is under contract for 2015.
“There probably will be an announcement, but closer to the end of the season, if not the end of the season,” Alderson said.
Alderson reiterated past statements that he is pleased with Collins. The GM added that the evaluation of Collins is complete and will not be swayed by the remaining 12 games.
“I think Terry has done a fine job this season,” the GM said. “I think we’ve improved in a lot of areas. We’ve seen growth in our young players, particularly in the pitching -- both in the rotation and the bullpen. That’s been well-managed. I think we’re positioned well for 2015.”
As for this weekend’s chat in Atlanta, Alderson said about the planned topics: “It will be one of several conversations we have involving not just Terry but others as well.”
Alderson noted it is ownership’s call on him remaining.
“I’d like to be back, but I’m trying not to anticipate anything," he said. "There are too many vagaries in the game.”
Harvey's 2014 workload concluded with a simulated game on the main mound at Citi Field on Monday afternoon, general manager Sandy Alderson said.
During the session, the Mets put a radar gun on Harvey for the first time since he underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. Harvey was reaching 95 mph "pretty consistently," Alderson said, even though the right-hander was not throwing at 100 percent.
When Harvey arrives for spring training, his routine will be on par with other starting pitchers, Alderson said. Harvey already has mentioned that he expects to be on the mound Opening Day at Citi Field, facing the Washington Nationals.
"Everything we were trying to accomplish this season has been accomplished," Alderson said. "From our standpoint, we want to make sure he was physically back to a level that would ensure he wasn't behind in spring training. And then, secondly, he needed to be back to a state mentally where he felt comfortable going into next season and the uncertainty has been eliminated. We feel we're at that point.
Black will refrain from throwing for five to six days. He then will test the shoulder, although Alderson noted that does not mean he necessarily will get in another game this season.
Alderson said the rotator-cuff issue is being attributed to fatigue and is unrelated to the herniated disk in Black's neck, according to doctors.
Black's velocity has sagged in each of his last two relief appearances.
"It's conceivable he won't pitch again this season, but we're not shutting him down completely," Alderson said. "It's possible that with a little bit of rest he'll be able to pitch again. He won't pitch if it puts him in jeopardy in any way. But we're not in the business of just shutting people down."
Travis d'Arnaud bats third for the first time in his major league career.
Juan Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Wilmer Flores, ss
Curtis Granderson, rf
Dilson Herrera, 2b
Matt den Dekker, lf
Jacob deGrom, rhp
Christian Yelich, lf
Donovan Solano, 2b
Casey McGehee, 3b
Marcell Ozuna, cf
Justin Bour, 1b
Adeiny Hechavarria, ss
Jordany Valdespin, rf
Jeff Mathis, c
Jarred Cosart, rhp
Hefner indicated on Facebook that he flew to Pensacola, Fla., on Sunday to be examined by Dr. James Andrews.
"New CT scan and X-rays showed no healing," Hefner wrote. "Will continue to rest for a few more weeks. Surgery is likely, but not definite. Clarity will come soon."
Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Jarred Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez this series.
Monday: RHP Jacob deGrom (8-6, 2.62) vs. RHP Jarred Cosart (13-9, 3.70), 7:10 p.m. ET
Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-11, 4.29), 7:10 p.m. ET
Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (7-7, 3.80) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-6, 2.81), 7:10 p.m. ET
Marlins short hops
• Giancarlo Stanton's MVP-caliber season is not necessarily over. Stanton, who was struck in the face with an 88 mph pitch from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers on Thursday, is due to have stitches removed on Tuesday. He suffered facial fractures and lost teeth in the beaning.
“We'll probably know a little more on Tuesday,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond told reporters. “For me, knowing G, and the kind of guy he is, he's going to want to come back and play. But we'll see if that's even a possibility."
Stanton, 24, leads the National League in homers with 37 -- seven ahead of runner-up Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs. For now, Stanton has a league-leading 105 RBIs. That’s two ahead of the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez.
• Jarred Cosart is 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA in seven starts since joining the Marlins. He arrived in a July 31 trade that included outfielder Jake Marisnick and a 2015 compensation pick going to the Houston Astros.
• Jordany Valdespin returns to Queens as a visitor for the first time. Valdespin is hitting .216 (19-for-88) with three homers and eight RBIs since a promotion from Triple-A New Orleans. Valdespin is tied with Jonny Gomes and Scott Hairston for the most pinch-hit homers in the majors since the start of the 2012 season (seven).
• Outfielder Christian Yelich lost a streak of 27 straight games reaching base on Thursday. It had been tied with Freddie Freeman and Hunter Pence for the longest active streak in the majors.
• Outfielder Marcell Ozuna homered in four straight games last week.
• Miami has scored a combined 10 runs in its past five games. And that’s with producing five runs Sunday at Philadelphia to snap a four-game losing streak.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom continues his NL Rookie if the Year campaign on Monday night.
FIRST PITCH: Time to reel in the Miami Marlins!
Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year campaign continues Monday as the Mets open a three-game series against the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins at Citi Field. Stanton, an MVP candidate, suffered facial fractures when he was struck with an 88 mph pitch from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers on Thursday.
The Marlins (72-76) are a game ahead of the Mets (72-78) for third place in the NL East. For the record, the Mets are 7½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot with 12 games remaining.
DeGrom (8-6, 2.62 ERA) opposes right-hander Jarred Cosart (13-9, 3.70), who was acquired on July 31 in a deal that sent outfielder Jake Marisnick to the Houston Astros.
Since allowing six runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings at St. Louis on June 16 to drop to 0-4, deGrom has posted a 1.77 ERA, .210 opponent batting average and 0.996 WHIP in 13 starts.
Pregame, the Mets will honor their Sterling Award winners, including Stony Brook, Long Island, native Steven Matz as pitcher of the year and Dilson Herrera as position player of the year. Matz took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Friday in Double-A Binghamton’s Eastern League championship clincher against Richmond.
Also due to be honored Monday as top performers at their respective minor-league levels:
Las Vegas -- Matt Reynolds, ss
Binghamton -- Kevin Plawecki, c
St. Lucie -- Brandon Nimmo, of
Savannah -- Dario Alvarez, lhp and Akeel Morris, rhp
Kingsport -- Vicente Lupo, of
Brooklyn -- Marcos Molina, rhp
Gulf Coast League -- John Mora, of
Dominican Summer League 1 -- Ali Sanchez, c
Dominican Summer League 2 -- Walter Rasquin, c
Monday’s news reports:
• Wilson Ramos delivered a two-run homer against Jonathon Niese to break a scoreless tie in the seventh and the Nationals beat the Mets, 3-0, Sunday. The Mets officially were eliminated from the NL East race.
The Nats have won 14 of their last 15 games at Citi Field and have out-homered the Mets 35-7 in Queens during that span.
Washington has homered in 15 straight games at Citi Field, the longest streak ever by a team at the ballpark, including the Mets. The Atlanta Braves rank second, having homered in 11 straight games at the Queens stadium from April 2012 through May 2013. The Mets’ longest streak is nine straight games with a Citi Field homer, which came June 15-July 9 of this season.
The Mets went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Sunday and hit .176 (6-for-34) in those situations during the four-game series.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Journal, Record and at MLB.com.
Left-handed reliever Dana Eveland is being sent home to California because he has inflammation in his pitching elbow and will not pitch against this season.
Matt den Dekker had a pinch-hit infield single Sunday in his first plate appearance since being hit on the top of the left hand with a pitch last Tuesday.
Read more on Black in the Post and Record.
• Critic Phil Mushnick in the Post is not a fan of Jenrry Mejia's “fisherman” save celebration against the Nats. Writes Mushnick:
Terry Collins is trying to convince Jenrry Mejia that his exaggerated, self-absorbed, attention-starved, post-save fool-dancing -- even after nearly blowing a save -- is unprofessional. Let me give it a shot: Jenrry, you look like a fool.
• Joe Lemire in the Journal notes that Zack Wheeler, deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are part of a select group of lefty-hitting right-handed pitchers. That exposes their right arms while standing in the batter’s box. Wheeler and deGrom actually are natural righty hitters.
• Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin recaps the B-Mets’ title.
BIRTHDAYS: Former reliever Satoru Komiyama turns 49.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets activate Steven Matz, Matt Reynolds and Kevin Plawecki while they are in town for the Sterling Award presentation?
NYC Bound!! pic.twitter.com/A2hWiqHR6n— Enrique Hernandez (@kikehndez) September 14, 2014