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.

Paul DeJong Becomes Latest Mets Killer in Torturous Weekend at Citi Field

I don’t want to spend days writing this article, so I’ll try to keep it mostly about the last four days. Please keep in mind that being a Mets fan is really about much more. Years of suffering. Frustration with the owners. Incompetence throughout their organization. It all ties together. That’s the backdrop. Every frustrating loss and stupid decision brings anger that stems from so much past aggravation. On to the microcosm that was this most recent series.

We start with Thursday. Paul DeJong connected against Mets ace Jacob deGrom for a sixth-inning home run that erased the 2-1 Mets lead. I don’t remember anything like what this guy has done. Sure, there were guys who did damage over the years. Chipper Jones had a long career. He is a HOF player. Numerous Phillies have played well against the Mets. Guys like Pat Burrell. DeJong plays for St. Louis. Although they used to be in the NL East, that was over 25 years ago. St. Louis is no longer a division foe.

There was an article written on Friday asking what was wrong with DeJong, and this was after his home run on Thursday night. I don’t think people are asking this question today. More on him later. The Mets held a 4-2 lead after 8. What followed was so incredibly Mets. A rain delay was about to begin. The Mets pleaded for umpires to let them continue playing. If that game had been called right there, it’s a Mets victory. They would be credited with a win in 8 innings. One can only assume that they were unaware of the rule or situation. St. Louis rallied to tie the score. Play was then paused with the score tied. This means that the game was suspended. Typical foolishness. One more note from Thursday. Mets catcher Wilson Ramos learned that his wife was pregnant when she held up a sign just before he came up to bat. Ramos struck out. Maybe wait until after the game next time.

Friday night began with the resumption of Thursday’s debacle. I was hoping for a quick win by scoring in the ninth inning. That did not happen. The Mets went quietly. Mets manager Mickey Callaway decided to bring back closer Edwin Diaz for another inning. After all, it was a different night. What could go wrong? Diaz promptly allowed a single and stolen base. DeJong singled in a run. Of course he did. The Mets were again quickly retired, and DeJong had again hurt the Mets. It was two days of frustration for one loss. Their closer had cost them twice. However, there was plenty more to come. It was only 6:30. Their scheduled game had not even started yet.

Kevin Clancy of Barstool Sports tweeted that he was upset about first baseman Pete Alonso’s actions the night before. This led to a spat between the men that did not capture the real issue. I don’t really know how to use an analogy, but it makes no sense to campaign for continuing when your team is ahead and would win if play was stopped for a rain delay before getting called for the night. It’s about not knowing rules. Alonso tweeted about having confidence in teammates. The whole thing is ridiculous. I wanted to throw out a basketball comparison, but forget it. There is so much more to cover. The night was not even an hour old at this point.

On to the scheduled part of Friday’s disaster. The Mets rallied back and claimed a 5-4 lead after trailing 4-1. Fan favorite (sarcasm) Jeurys Familia took the mound. His second pitch was deposited over the left field wall by DeJong. Familia remained in and allowed three more runs. His ERA is now 6.91, as Dexter Fowler also took him deep. St. Louis prevailed 9-5.

Saturday featured embarrassing comments by Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets GM did not seem alarmed by his team’s play. They were 33-34 entering Thursday’s series opener, but Brodie claimed that the Mets were “right where we wanted to be.” After building an 8-3 lead, the Mets held on for dear life and won 8-7 by throwing out a pitcher at home plate following another shaky outing by Diaz. Starter Noah Syndergaard departed with a strained right hamstring. He has been placed on the injured list. They finally won, and it felt like a loss. There were major trades Saturday. Anthony Davis went to the Lakers. In baseball, Seattle traded Edwin Encarnacion to the Yankees. SNY tweeted those two moves, but put the Mets getting Brooks Pounders from Cleveland with those deals. Above it. This team continuously finds new ways to be a joke. With press conferences. In tweets. As if their play was not bad enough.

Sunday wrapped up the weekend series in agonizing fashion. A starting pitcher left with an injury for the second time in less than 24 hours, and once again it was a Met. Jason Vargas came out with a cramp. He was hitting. Perhaps there will be a DH in the NL soon. Most teams would improve their lineup. Only the Mets would lose some of their best hitters. St. Louis pulled out a 4-3 win despite being outhit 10-3. Chris Flexen fell to 0-3. I still have not forgiven this guy for blowing a game against Milwaukee in the 18th inning earlier this season. Familia was up in the bullpen during today’s game. It looked like they would need him at some point. Especially after Vargas came out early on. Callaway actually found a worse pitcher to use in Flexen. St. Louis went ahead on a home run by none other than DeJong. Entering Sunday, he ranked first in slugging percentage (.788) among all Major Leaguers with 85 plate appearances against the Mets. He left slugging .807 at Citi Field. In his 20 career games against the Mets, DeJong has nine home runs and a 1.200 OPS. That is the highest all time for anyone with a minimum of 80 plate appearances facing the Mets. At Citi Field, he has six homers in 11 games.

The Mets head to Atlanta for a series against the surging Braves before continuing on against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. After four in Chicago, the Mets will travel to Philadelphia for four more games. Sounds like a fun road trip. Enjoy it. 


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.

The Astros Beat The Athletics On The Weirdest Play In Baseball History

What did I just watch? The Astros beat the A’s on an Alex Bregman hit that went about three feet. All the catcher had to do was relax and let Bregman come to him. He can’t go backwards to the plate. Instead, he played a game of hot potato and the Astros won. There are crazy endings, and then there are sad endings. I don’t even have a word to describe that ending. Weird? One-in-a-million? Then again, the Astros once won on a pop fly that went five feet.

If you play for the A’s, do you even bother showing up to the next game? If I’m Commissioner Rob Manfred, I am suspending the entire A’s organization for one game. You can’t have three foot hits winning baseball games. Also, if I’m the commissioner, I’m investigating the Astros for sorcery and magic. It’s impossible to win two games the way they did without casting a spell on the opposing team. Not on my watch!

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.

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.

Derek Jeter Vs. Marlins Man Is the Rivalry Of The Century


SB Nation – Derek Jeter and the Marlins held a season ticket holder town hall on Tuesday night to hear concerns about the team and hopefully assuage any fears that this rebuild is a complete sham that won’t actually turn the team around and is only to save money (it is). Media was invited, but wasn’t allowed to record any of the proceedings or take photos.

It’s a good thing, then, that the mania that ensued once Marlins Man took the mic could be perfectly construed through Tweets. No audio or video needed to witness this mess.

Apparently, Marlins Man (the guy that sits behind home plate and takes pictures with fans) is fed up with this new ownership group and was voicing his displeasure before Jeter even arrived. But after Jeter got there and Marlins Man stepped up to the hot mic, it was the beginning of a wild ride.

Beginning of a wild ride? You could say that again.

To quote Apollo Creed,

After skipping out on the Winter Meetings, Derek Jeter decided to hold a town hall meeting with the people that his decision making affect the most, season ticket holders. Obviously, there were a lot of concerns from fans about all of the recent moves that Jeter has made with his “clean house” mentality. I’m obviously a little biased because Jeter is my favorite player of all-time, but even if you don’t agree with his mindset, Jeter still has to explain himself and answer questions about his decision making. It took longer than expected, but at least he faced the music with his own fans that drive a big portion of the revenue.

When you talk about Marlins season ticket holders, the line starts with Marlins Man #Humble #ForTheTroops. Say what you want about him, there is not one person that has marketed the Marlins more than Marlins Man. Marlins Man has an in-your-face, “look at me” style of marketing while Jeter is the silent assassin. Clearly, these two were going to butt heads but I didn’t expect it to turn out like it did. Derek Jeter vs. Marlins Man could be the rivalry of the century.

Watch this video to see Marlins Man talking to Jeter 

Marlins Man with the “shooters shoots” mentality. Asking to throw out the first pitch at a game is such a cocky move that I think I respect it. Asking Jeter to ride in the Marlinsmobile is a stretch though. Derek Jeter, 5 time World Champion and man who stays out of the public eye, is going to parade around in the Marlinsmobile? I actually think Marlins Man has a better chance at throwing out the first pitch than Jeter getting in that car.

Derek Jeter vs. Marlins Man. It’s a crazy statement because never in my wildest dreams would I think those two would ever interact. Credit to Derek Jeter for having this town hall meeting. It sounded like he answered questions for over 90 minutes so despite skipping out on prior events, Jeter made it a point to explain his rationale to the fans. You know what, I have to give credit to Marlins Man, too. He’s a season ticket holder and ridiculous as it sounds, he’s the most important Marlins fan alive right now. Whether its talking to fans like myself at ballparks or voicing his opinion to Derek Jeter, Marlins Man doesn’t change for anyone.

If that was Round 1, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Round 2.