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Mets Morning News: The one where we welcome back Wilmer

Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

The Mets opened up their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 3-1 win, thanks to another Cy Young-worthy effort by Jacob deGrom. Pete Alonso provided the power with two home runs to take back the major league lead, while Seth Lugo shut the door with two shutout innings. Wilmer Flores returned to Queens for the first time as a visitor and drove in the only Arizona run with a solo homer off deGrom.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Newsday, NY Post, Daily News, New York Times, and Bergen Record.

While his team took the loss, Flores had a wonderful homecoming. He received a tribute video and ovation prior to the game, winked at deGrom prior to his first at-bat, and then hit a home run in the fifth inning.

Noah Syndergaard was apparently none too pleased that he had to pitch to Wilson Ramos during his last start. According to a NY Post report, the right-hander confronted Mets’ brass after his outing to voice his displeasure with Ramos being the starting catcher on Sunday.

Despite the complaint, Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear they will not be accommodating his request, adding, “From our standpoint, we don’t have personal catchers.”

Tim Britton looks at how historically bad the Mets have been in deGrom’s starts, and asks how it could be possible. (Paywall alert)

Around the National League East

The Atlanta Braves bounced back from Sunday’s loss to easily handle the Philadelphia Phillies by a 7-2 score. They jumped on Aaron Nola early with two in the first and two in the second before adding three runs of insurance in the seventh. It was Atlanta’s tenth win in their last eleven games.

With the win, Atlanta’s magic number to clinch the division has shrunk to ten.

After a good weekend, the Phillies fell three games off the pace for the second Wild Card spot after falling to the Braves.

The Miami Marlins were bested 8-3 by the Milwaukee Brewers at home last night. It was Miami’s third loss in four games on this homestand.

Around Major League Baseball

After firing Dave Dombrowski late on Sunday/early Monday morning, the Boston Red Sox named four executives to take over for him in the interim. The four executives includes Raquel Ferreira, who is the highest-ranking woman ever in a baseball-ops position.

The Red Sox did not hold a press conference on the day after the surprising firing.

Jared Diamond examines what the Red Sox firing Dombrowski means, especially less than one year after he built a team that won a World Series title.

In some heartwarming Red Sox news, David “Big Papi” Ortiz returned to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch and was greeted with a warm ovation from the crowd.

The Chicago Cubs pummeled the San Diego Padres 10-2 last night at Petco Park. The Mets remain four back of the Wild Card leaders.

Despite the victory, the Cubs received some unfortunate news on superstar Javier Baez. While the UCL in his thumb remains intact, he is unlikely to play again during the regular season. The hope is that he can return for the playoffs with some rehab.

One day after dropping 21 runs on the Seattle Mariners, the Houston Astros put up 15 on the Oakland Athletics, including ten over the first two innings.

Astros’ rookie Yordan Alvarez became the first Astro to hit a home run into the right field upper deck. The only other player to do so prior to Alvarez was former Met Jeromy Burnitz back in 2000.

Jed Lowrie and Anthony Kay became the 1,380th and 1,381st players used during the 2019 MLB season, which is a new record that is unlikely to be broken given the rule changes addressing roster expansion that are taking effect during the 2020 season.

Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight asks whether Minor League Baseball is even necessary nowadays, given player development efforts off the field.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1969, the Mets clinched the first winning record in their franchise’s eight-year history. Tom Seaver tossed a complete game to help lift the Mets to a 7-1 victory over the Cubs. The win helped propel the Mets to their first ever National League East title.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Allison McCague brought you the latest position player and pitcher performance meter for the week. It was a mixed bag all around for the team on both sides.

I previewed the Mets’ series against the Diamondbacks, which includes the return of walk-off Wilmer.

A new episode of From Complex to Queens focuses on the Brooklyn Cyclones’ playoff run, among other things!

A reminder to join A Pod of Their Own on September 21 for the Dollars For Dingers meetup and raffle and Mikkeller Brewery.