Joey Backdoor’s Worst Bad Beats Of 2021: New York Mets Edition

Joey’s worst gambling beats from a painful 2021 New York Mets season.

Editor’s Note: Joey is back with another treat for fans of his gambling pain. This time, he rehashes an agonizing New York Metropolitans 2021 season which featured some of those excruciating gambling losses that make you want to quit the game for good — but Joey never dies.

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5. Mets-Phillies 4/30:

Philadelphia scored both of their runs on a passed ball that was strike three and should have been out three in the second inning. Pitcher Chase Anderson was the batter who struck out but reached base against Marcus Stroman. This game was a sign of things to come. Another Stroman game would be decided when pitchers were hitting. More on that later.

As for this night, the Mets fell 2-1. They were 1-14 with runners in scoring position. James McCann had three opportunities with a man on second or third. His double play with runners on the corners ended the sixth after Dom Smith’s RBI single had given New York a run and potentially some momentum. 

4. Pirates-Mets 7/11:

Pittsburgh overcame a 5-0 deficit and the lowly Pirates were able to hand the Mets a brutal loss at Shea Stadium. New York’s Seth Lugo and Trevor May, two regular late-inning options, were unavailable despite it being the league’s final day before an extended All-Star break (four days off). Typical 2021 garbage. As a result, closer Edwin Diaz entered earlier than usual. He was able to extinguish a rally in the eighth. Pittsburgh was one out away from defeat, but scored twice in the ninth. 

3. Mets-Pirates 7/17:

After falling behind 6-0, Pittsburgh scored 5 in the eighth inning to make it close. A Brandon Nimmo home run in the ninth provided some insurance. Edwin Diaz blew his second save in less than a week. Both were against Pittsburgh, as the teams played consecutive series against each other with just the All-Star break in between. He was one out away from finishing off a New York victory, but surrendered a grand slam.

Gary Thorne worked the series. 2021 gave him a chance to call Mets broadcasts for the first time in years. He had not called MLB games since the covid shutdown of 2020. It was not one of his finer moments. Thorne temporarily thought Edwin’s final pitch had been caught for a Mets win. Perhaps in part because of games being called with road announcers working remotely. It somehow made the meltdown even worse. 

2. Cardinals-Mets 9/14:

With their postseason hopes on life support, the Mets hosted St. Louis. Somehow, things seemed to be lining up for them on the scoreboard. One NL playoff contender after another left the door open. After squandering two leads, the Mets forced extra innings with a home run by Javier Baez. Francisco Lindor came up with the potential winning run on third base in the tenth. Lindor grounded into a double play. Kevin Pillar was tagged out near third following a rundown and after first baseman Paul Goldschmidt began an unlikely twin killing by stepping on first. St. Louis scored three times in the next inning to go up 7-4, but there was more pain to come.

The Mets pulled within a run. Manager Luis Rojas sent Albert Almora Jr. up to bat. Luis Guillorme, a better hitter, remained on the bench. A ground ball concluded matters, and pretty much ended any chance of the Mets playing postseason baseball (or any meaningful games) until 2022. This game marked my stadium return. First time back since before the pandemic. It took more than 4.5 hours to finally put everybody out of their misery. Rojas gave a ridiculous explanation about how he never considered Guillorme because a lefty was pitching. Almora Jr. had been hitting well under .200. Even against lefties. Guillorme’s numbers might not have been great, but they were not that bad.

1. Mets-Phillies 8/6:

I went with a run line bet of Mets +1.5. In the fourth inning, New York loaded the bases with nobody out. Genius Luis Rojas instructed pitcher Marcus Stroman, who can swing the bat, to take three pitches and go down looking. He was afraid of a ground ball double play, which likely would have plated a run. The next batter grounded into a double play, and the Mets failed to score any runs in the fourth. Stroman only pitched two more innings, and Philadelphia scored in the fifth. Their pitcher actually was allowed to swing. He singled in a run and broke the tie. You can’t make it up. One could even suggest that perhaps somebody should have come up to pinch-hit for Stroman if he wasn’t staying in for the long haul, but simply letting Stroman swing would have been the most logical move.

Edwin Diaz gave up a pair of runs in the eighth to blow my +1.5. A ninth inning Mets run left them short for both the game and my wager. Gary Thorne also called that series, and this was the opener. Joe Benigno would later say he knew his team had no chance after realizing that Thorne was working. Both of us were perplexed about Gary Cohen not working this crucial series, but I was a little less critical. Joe has a way with words and opinions. The Mets never recovered from this game. It set the tone for a series sweep. They lost their division lead on this night, and left town two games back less than 48 hours later. Just over one week later they had fallen to third place, and remained there for the season’s final seven weeks.

Joey Backdoor’s 2021 Bad Beats: Yankees Edition

The Yankees weren’t particularly kind to JBD’s wallet this year.

Editor’s Note (LordTreeSap): It’s the end of the year so that only means one thing for JBD, time to reflect on another painful year of bad beats leaving the king of Shop Rite in the red. He’s got so many in the pipeline to sift through that we’re going to hone in on just the New York Yankees (Never bet the locals every night folks) for now.

Stay posted for the rest of Joey’s bad beats in the coming days before the ball drops on Dec. 31.

5. Yankees-Tigers 5/28:

The Yanks were huge favorites with Gerrit Cole on the bump. A tenth inning run put the Yanks up 2-1. Aroldis Chapman was lifted after pitching a scoreless ninth. Aaron Boone opted to bring in Justin Wilson instead of letting Chapman close it out. Wilson retired two men, and was one strike away from securing the victory. Of course, there was a runner on second base to start the inning. Wilson allowed a home run, and Detroit won 3-2. This increased the struggling Wilson’s ERA to 6.08. 

4. Yankees-Orioles 9/16:

Once again it seemed like a Yankee reliever was on the verge of putting away an inferior opponent. Clay Holmes was one strike away from his first major league save. Holmes threw a wild pitch that got past catcher Gary Sanchez on a wet night.

Baltimore tied the game, and won it an inning later. Broadcaster John Sterling repeatedly expressed his frustrations before the game was even over, and the Yanks ended up falling in a meaningful late-season game that could have helped them secure a Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium. Closer Aroldis Chapman did not pitch because he was unavailable after working the previous three days.

3. Yankees-Red Sox 7/22:

Chad Green was an out away from saving a 3-1 victory at Fenway Park. Instead, he allowed a double that brought home two runs. The Yanks took a 4-3 lead in the tenth. Brooks Kriske came on to try and close things out. Kriske threw a record four wild pitches in his brief but disastrous stint, and Boston prevailed 5-4.

2. Yankees-Red Sox 7/25:

Domingo German tossed seven hitless innings. He allowed a hit to Boston’s first batter in the eighth, and was lifted after 93 pitches. A 4-0 lead for the Yanks quickly disappeared. Boston came away with a stunning 5-4 win. The Yankees had somehow suffered an even more painful loss than the bitter defeat just three days earlier. The common thread in numerous blown leads and heartbreaking defeats was Aaron Boone’s bullpen management. 

1. Angels-Yankees 6/30:

All appeared calm as the Yankees were ahead by four runs in the ninth inning. A pair of rain delays resulted in the contest concluding nearly six hours after first pitch. Aroldis Chapman walked three men before surrendering a grand slam to tie it up. Before the inning was over, seven Angels had scored. When the ballgame finally ended, a shocked and soaked bunch of diehard fans (albeit far less than the original crowd) had witnessed an 11-8 Angels victory. A 7-2 first inning lead had slipped away.

Pitcher Shohei Ohtani didn’t survive a rough opening frame, and what had been a celebration from about 7:30 until after midnight somehow turned into what felt like a funeral. The Angels made history. They became the first team since at least 1900 to give up seven runs in the first inning and then score seven in the ninth to win.

Mariano Rivera Becomes The First Player Unanimously Selected To Hall Of Fame

Finally, the baseball writers did the right thing. It took 75 BBWA elections, but it has finally happened. The first player ever to be inducted unanimously into the Baseball Hall of Fame is Mariano Rivera. No voters tried to make a statement by not voting for Mo. No voters were looking to see their name on the Internet. Mariano received 100% of the vote and I could not be happier.

It’s fitting that the last player to ever wear #42 will be the first player inducted Baseball Hall of Fame with 100% of the vote. Full disclosure, I am a Yankee fan and Mariano Rivera was one of my favorite players growing up. That being said, this accomplishment could not have happened to a better player and teammate. Universally loved, all of Mariano’s stats speak for themselves. I could break down all of Mo’s insane numbers, but there’s not enough time in the day.¬†Mo is the greatest closer to ever play baseball.

Congratulations, Mo.

A Quick Listen to Michael Kay’s Show Exposes His Lack of Baseball Knowledge

First let me say that I like Michael Kay personally. He seems like a nice guy. Definitely more down to Earth than Mike Francesa. I have seen¬†Kay at Siragusa’s restaurant hosting shows. Don La Greca has also been there, and La Greca taught me at CSB. That¬†stands for¬†Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Not to be confused with WFAN’s CMB. I think¬†Kay is a good baseball broadcaster. Since I’m a loyal WFAN listener, I almost never hear Kay’s show. Maybe I’ll catch a youtube clip or flip over during a commercial, but usually I’ll¬†go through music stations when I am driving and Francesa goes to break.

Anyway,¬†Friday¬†afternoon was different. I spent a few minutes waiting for¬†my friend as he prepared for his playoff softball game. The goofy¬†afternoon programs on ESPN do not¬†interest me. Dan Le Batard and his father, for example. I was not near a radio. Years ago I could have just flipped to YES for Mike. In this case, it would be Kay’s show, but I figured at least there would still be some local baseball talk. You would think that Kay knows more about the Yankees than Francesa.

We all know about the tweets making fun of Francesa’s program. Kay has tweeted about his show being better than Mike’s. I figured there was some truth to that. With three hosts, there should be at least one who can provide accurate information. Especially if they all tweet and have access to read tweets from other people. Francesa admits that he doesn’t even use the site properly, and Mike does not reply to others. I’m sure he does not read corrections.

With all that said, the topic was how either Boston or the Yankees will be forced to play a Wild Card game. Do fans remember that the Yankees were in a Wild Card game last year? They won it and went on to face Houston after beating Cleveland. Nevertheless, Kay could not recall when baseball began using their current format that features two teams per league in a one-game Wild Card. I knew that began in 2012, but so be it.

Then came the real disgrace. Kay claimed that baseball started the Wild Card in 1997. They started that years earlier. It would have been 1994. There was no postseason that year due to a strike. The 1995 Yankees played a classic series against Seattle after qualifying as the first American League Wild Card. Kay called those games. Soon, La Greca chimed in. Don stated that baseball went to the second Wild Card in 2012, and agreed that 1997 was when baseball began to have a Wild Card.

As for Peter Rosenberg, we know he is useless in terms of baseball knowledge. When somebody tries to do two or three things, they often struggle with all of them. Recently I saw an old interview with former wrestler Zeus. Rosenberg thought the steel cage match involving Zeus was at Survivor Series. Maybe he misspoke, but that’s what Rosenberg said. It was not. Sounded like a misunderstanding and basic lack of knowledge to me. Now I can confirm that he is terrible with both baseball knowledge¬†and wrestling history. Hopefully, his music knowledge is better. If not, make it 0-for-3.

Back to Kay. A caller suggested shortening the season to 154 games. Kay said owners wouldn’t give up money. He tried to calculate what percentage that would be. Since 8 times 20 is 160, about 5% of games (or 1/20) would be eliminated. His math was off. Kay thought the answer was 20 percent. After realizing that didn’t make sense, Kay guessed 2 percent instead.¬†Apparently, he figured a decimal point wasn’t in the right place. So, 20 became 2.0 for his final answer. It was kind of like listening to CMB. You start to wonder how much terrible radio you’re missing on a daily basis. If 30 minutes produces this many errors, imagine how much more is out there.

Previously I wrote daily blogs that were often centered around how bad Tony Paige was. I’m sure I could do something similar on either Kay or CMB. Hopefully, somebody will offer to pay me. I work cheap, and I’ll do a good job.

Jacob deGrom Continues To Pitch Gem After Gem And The Mets Still Lose

Time to take my Yankee cap off for a moment in order to briefly talk about the stud in Queens. Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball right now in my opinion. Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber might have better numbers in most categories, but their teams are significantly better than the Mets. It’s not even a debate. The Mets are like a high school team compared to the Nats and Indians. Imagine having to go out game after game and know if you give up a run, you’re screwed. That is exactly what has happened for deGrom this year. Today was no different. deGrom pitched 7 innings, giving up 1 earned run. The Mets had 2 hits and lost 2-0.

The 2018 Mets and Jacob deGrom, A haiku

deGrom pitches well.
Offense and bullpen blow it.
The Mets lose the game.

The following stats are real, but if you believe they are fake, I’m right there with you.

No further stats, your honor.

I can’t believe these numbers. I refuse to believe these numbers. deGrom has been deGrominant and the Mets refuse to pick up a bat and hit the ball. I feel bad at this point. deGrom is 29, in the prime of his career, and the Mets are taking his talent and flushing it down the drain.

I’m not saying the Mets have to trade him, but they’re doing a disservice to their team if they don’t at least bring his name up at the deadline. What sucks is that the best team to trade with is the evil empire, the New York Yankees. The Yankees need a starting pitcher. The Mets need young talent. The Mets have a dominant starting pitcher. The Yankees have an abundance of young talent. This trade is what’s best for business, but it will never happen in a million years. I don’t think I could swallow watching deGrom win a World Series with the Yanks if I were a Mets fan.

Until then, deGrom better go 1-2 on a water cooler before he goes insane.

Baseball Is A Better Place When The Yankees And Red Sox Are At The Top

Last night in the Bronx, the Yankees and Red Sox once again battled to the very end. After a few lead changes, the Yankees were down 1 run in the 8th inning when Brett Gardner stepped to the plate down 6-5 with two runners on and a chance to take the lead. Barfight Brett never goes down without a fight.

This was followed up with a Aaron Judge rocket that would make Elon Musk jealous.

The comeback kids in the Bronx did it again, winning their 17th (!) game in 18 tries. More importantly, they moved into 1st Place in the AL East despite Boston’s 17-2 start.

Everyone is claiming the rivalry is back on between the Yankees and Red Sox. They are not wrong for saying that. Ever since the Tyler Austin vs. Joe Kelly fight, the tension between the two clubs is as high as its been in almost a decade. The fact that they are the two best teams in baseball makes it even more special. This is a May series that feels like October baseball. It’s a special feeling .

My biggest takeaway from this series is that baseball is a better place when the Yankees and the Red Sox are at the top of the MLB. I hate Boston more than waking up for work on Monday, but I want them to be a good team every year so the rivalry is more intense. It’s always fun to beat Boston, but it’s not as fun if one team is competing for a playoff spot and the other is out of contention. Even if the Yankees were horrible, I’m sure Boston fans would share the same feeling that I do. Baseball is more fun when both teams are flying high.

You need the “love em or hate em” teams in every sport. It’s how you get casual viewers to care about a game where they usually would not have a rooting interest. Duke Basketball. Notre Dame and Alabama Football. The Patriots. The Warriors. The Yankees and Red Sox. It’s just as satisfying to see these teams lose as it is to see them win. Hating a team with a passion is a tale as old as time. It’s at the very basis of being a fan.

So here’s to the Yankees and Red Sox continuing to battle for supremacy the rest of the year. Something tells me these two teams might be playing in October. Buckle up.

Recapping a Wild Sunday of Baseball in New York

I had a feeling we were in for a crazy Sunday. It started with Jacob deGrom going on the disabled list. I finished my article late Saturday night because I knew there would likely be much more to review, and DeGrom getting pulled from his scheduled Monday start was a fitting way to begin an awful day. Yoenis Cespedes would exit Sunday’s contest. That left the team shorthanded later on. Noah Syndergaard went six. God forbid he pitched another inning. Syndergaard threw 95 pitches.

The Mets used two pitchers to get through three Colorado batters in the seventh. Then, Mickey Callaway proved that he’s an absolute moron. Hansel Robles, who has absolutely no business being on this team, was chosen to pitch. Starters should have been used before putting him in.

I actually started to backtrack on the Harvey move after finding out that Robles had replaced him. Hansel predictably allowed a home run that broke the tie. He even gave us his trademark. Robles points up to signal that it is a catchable ball when the batter cracks one that will leave the yard. Tomas Nido came up to bat as New York’s last hope. He struck out. His average dropped to .147. That was their bat coming off the bench.

As I mentioned, Cespedes coming out made a pathetic bench even worse. If you can’t have a decent bench, at least stock your bullpen better. When Robles comes into a 2-2 game as your third bullpen arm, something is not right. The guy should not be on this roster, but he is.

His appearance should mean either somebody is winning by double digits or every other option has been used. Callaway spoke about making moves for the long term. They just went 0-6 on their homestand. Even Stevie Wonder could see this team is in big trouble and desperately needed a win.

Meanwhile, an amazing game was going on in the Bronx. Domingo German pitched six hitless innings in his first major league start for the Yankees. German appears destined for greatness. Mike Clevinger tossed a gem as well. Cleveland finally broke through against Dellin Betances and Jonathan Holder. At 4-0, it looked like Cleveland was in control.

The Yankees rallied back to within 4-3 before the Indians narrowly escaped with their slim advantage going into the ninth. Neil Walker doubled home Aaron Hicks to tie it. Gleyber Torres blasted a home run, and it ended 7-4. My condolences if you had Indians plus 1.5, or under for that matter. No score through seven and 4-0 Indians when the Yankees came up in their half of the eighth. Both local teams were playing at home, and the games ended within seconds of each other. Talk about a fitting microcosm.

Cheer up Mets fans. P.J. Conlon takes the mound tonight for your boys. Should be another fun one.

Will The Yankees Ever Lose Again? My Column

15 wins in their last 16 games. Comeback victory after comeback victory. This team never says die. Will the Yankees ever lose again?

yankees schedule

The answer is no!

See you tomorrow, Boston.