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Mets Morning News: Criminal Matz-erminds

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

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MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Steven Matz struggled for a second straight start as the Mets fell to the Nationals 5-3 in a game that included a lengthy rain delay in the late innings. Matz surrendered five runs in three innings and dug the Mets a hole too deep to climb out of. Paul Sewald, Jeurys Familia, Dellin Betances, and Edwin Diaz combined to hold the Nationals at five runs, but Michael Conforto’s two-run shot in the fourth and an RBI single from Pete Alonso in the fifth represented the only runs for the Mets. This was not out of a lack of opportunities, but once again the Mets failed to cash in with runners on base, leading to another loss.

Choose Your Recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Daily News, ESPN, MLB.com, Newsday, NY Post

The Mets activated Billy Hamilton ahead of yesterday’s game.

But he reportedly did not want to take the train to join the Mets because he’s seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds.

The episode of E:60 about Pete Alonso’s journey to the big leagues and the difficulties he faced with bullying as a child will air this Sunday at 5:00pm ET.

The Mets are among teams testing facial recognition technology as a potential solution to letting fans back in the stands.

Jeff McNeil, Amed Rosario, and Robinson Cano all received MRIs prior to yeterday’s game. Cano was placed on the injured list with a Grade 2 adductor strain. McNeil and Rosario are both considered day-to-day.

Prior to hitting the IL, Robinson Cano was among the players in the majors with the most hard-hit balls of the 2020 season.

Between Cespedes opting out and losing Cano, McNeil, and Rosario from the lineup, the Mets’ roster is already in shambles, writes David Lennon of Newsday.

According to reports, Harris Blitzer Sports continues to look for minority owners in their bid to buy the Mets. Steve Cohen is still believed to be in the best position to buy the team, but there is no timetable yet for when the sale will be complete.

Around the National League East

The Marlins placed a long list of players on the injured list, but did not report any new positive tests yesterday for COVID-19. They resumed play in Baltimore and shut out the Orioles 4-0 in their return to action.

The Trece”—Spanish for thirteen—was the nickname given to the Marlins that remained after the coronavirus outbreak ravaged their roster. And they had to resort to things like pitching to mattresses. “I’m going to have to write a book after this one,” manager Don Mattingly said.

“It was very upsetting that we did everything right, and we were still the ones paying for it,” said Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen regarding the Marlins outbreak and other players breaking protocol.

The Braves trounced the Blue Jays 10-1, as Max Fried delivered a fantastic performance on the mound and Ronald Acuña Jr. and Austin Riley took care of things with the bat.

Fried stepped up and looked like an ace in the aftermath of Mike Soroka’s season-ending injury. Matt Snyder of CBS Sports takes a look at the starting pitching trade market and what the Braves may be able to do there to replace Soroka in the rotation.

Around Major League Baseball

Pending ownership approval, rosters will drop from 30 players to 28 players tomorrow, but will stay at 28 players for the remainder of the season rather than dropping again to 26 players as previously planned.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic criticized Rob Manfred for shifting the blame onto players during labor negotiations and praised later use of the word “we” to indicate a more cooperative tone.

Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated expressed similar sentiments in her piece regarding Manfred’s abdication of responsibility, saying that it is not players who need to “be better,” it is the Commissioner himself.

Teams should not shame players who choose to opt out, wrote Sheryl Ring for Beyond the Box Score.

Yadier Molina was among the Cardinals players who tested positive for COVID-19, he revealed on his Instagram yesterday.

Other Cardinals players among those who tested positive include Paul DeJong, Rangel Ravero, Edmundo Sosa, Junior Fernandez, and Kodi Whitley, who all gave consent to be identified.

A member of the Cardinals traveling party also informed the media of his positive test for their awareness of their own health and for contact tracing purposes.

But the Cardinals reported no new positive COVID-19 tests and will resume play Friday against the Cubs in St. Louis.

Top Padres prospect Luis Patiño will join their bullpen.

“The reality is it’s probably not really good news,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said regarding Roberto Osuna’s injury. There are reports that the reliever needs Tommy John surgery.

The MLB Field of Dreams Game has been postponed until 2021.

Joey Votto had some thoughts about the cardboard cutouts in the stands...and a suggestion.

Last night, Melanie Newman made history by becoming the first woman to call play-by-play in Orioles history. She also became the fourth active female game broadcaster in baseball.

In his first at-bat since becoming a father, Mike Trout hit a home run. Because of course he did.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

A Pod of Their Own officially launched our 2020 #Dollars4Dingers fundraiser by posting an article with information on how you can make a pledge to benefit local food banks for every Mets home run during the month of August.

Rob Wolff takes a look back at Walt Terrell’s days as a New York Met on a new episode of UnforMETable.

Steve Sypa gave us a detailed history of the Kingsport Mets as part of his Touring the Minors series.

Linda Surovich remembered Yoenis Cespedes’s greatest moments during his Mets career.

Chris McShane took a closer look at Jacob deGrom’s first three starts of the 2020 season and how the man has gotten even better at pitching somehow.

I wrote about the Mets’ bungling of the Yoenis Cespedes opt-out situation.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets fell to 12 games under .500 after losing a doubleheader to the Cardinals on this date in 1973. Of course, we all know about the improbable events that followed.