October Confidential: Mets

Rival players offer inside look at facing the NL champions

October Confidential: Mets

How do you beat the Mets? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the National League champions.

Jacob deGrom
"He's got 96 or 97 [mph] that he can throw in and out. He's got backdoor cutters, inside cutters and changeups. I think his changeup is his fourth pitch against left-handers. The Mets have guys that look the same, but they're not the same. You think they all throw 95-97, and you get them back-to-back, so you should get used to them. But they've all got something to neutralize certain hitters. I think deGrom's cutter has put him over the top and everything is down in the zone. He seldom makes mistakes up in the zone with anything. If you're going to get him, it's going to be early in the count when he's just trying to get ahead."
-- NL East first baseman

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

"His fastball plays harder than it says on the board. It already says it is thrown pretty hard, but he gets so far out in front. He's basically letting the ball go at the grass at 95, 97, 98 sometimes. It gets on you so much faster, that makes all of his offspeed stuff play better, because you're trying to get to that heater. I bet he's a top three pitcher in the National League. I think he's the ace of their staff."
-- NL East outfielder

Matt Harvey
"With that fastball, he can neutralize anybody, whether he's facing right-handers or left-handers. He's obviously got the curveball to go with it. He comes after you and he's a bulldog. He's not going to get beat with his secondary pitches. He's going to get beat with his best."
-- NL East first baseman

"He's going to pitch with his fastball and try to elevate to put you away. He mixes in a couple offspeed pitches, but he pitches off of that heavy fastball. If you fall behind, you're in trouble because he knows how to elevate. He's good at making people chase at high fastballs."
-- NL East shortstop

Noah Syndergaard
"He's got 98 and 99. It doesn't really move that much, but it's coming in with late life. I think he can work on his breaking ball a little more, but he's got the 88-91 mph changeup and he threw three or four good ones to me. He would start them on the plate outside and they would just fall off the table. He got me to strike out on one of those. I think the changeup is his second-best pitch. Once he works on his breaking ball, he's going to be right up there with Harvey and deGrom."
-- NL East first baseman

Bartolo Colon
"You know he's not going to walk you, and the one thing you can guarantee is he's going to throw you his fastball. You will see a couple changeups, but mainly you're going to see four-seam and two-seam. He's like a big little kid out there having fun and doing what he loves. He's got the whole city behind him now. They love him. They were making fun of him early and now they love him. It's just crazy to see how that whole thing has shifted. Now, instead of being fat, he's sexy. When I faced him early in my career, he had that overpowering fastball. Now, he relies on deception and moving the ball. He's trying to hit his spots, because he knows if he misses over the middle of the plate, he's going to be in trouble."
-- NL East outfielder

Jeurys Familia
"He throws 99 mph split-finger fastballs, pretty much. He's a tough at-bat. His ball moves so much. He's able to command it this year. Last year, he would fall behind in counts and not be able to command his fastball as well. This year, he's able to do that. He's added a split and a slider."
-- NL East outfielder

"Everything comes out hard and you really don't know what it's doing until it gets halfway there. He's so big and tall and massive. When he's out there on the mound, he looks like a giant. He's got that split and that slider. Everything is coming at you hard, so you better get that front foot ready."
-- NL East outfielder

Yoenis Cespedes
"I've attacked him with show-me sliders and then sinkers down in the zone for the rest of the at-bat. Anything offspeed in the zone, he seems to be getting to pretty well. Anything elevated fastball-wise, he's just all over. If you can get him thinking offspeed and then throw something hard, then I think that's the only way you can pitch. He's going to take the first pitch if he's never seen you before. So, if in that situation, you could try to attack him early and then make him chase late. He's the one guy in the lineup that you can't let beat you. I'd rather go at anyone else in that lineup than him."
-- NL East reliever

"He's a true five-tool player. He can really do it all, especially since coming over in that trade, he's been unbelievable for them. He might be the best player in baseball since he came over in that trade. He's helped them out tremendously. He's changed the outlook of that lineup and made them a way better team."
-- NL East outfielder

Travis d'Arnaud
"I try to throw him sinkers in and cutters down and away. I feel like he's a good mistake hitter. He's shown he can go deep if you leave something out over the middle of the plate. But he does a good job of getting to the ball inside. I think he's a pull-pop guy. So, I'd pitch him away in big situations. You don't want to give him a chance to turn on something inside. He'll also chase up in the zone."
-- NL East starting pitcher

David Wright
"He seems to hit everyone really well. He's got a good swing for up and away and anything coming into him. You can pitch him with anything down, even middle down, because that ball away, he can take the other way. The ball middle, he'll miss because he thinks that he can pull it. The one sinking down in the middle, he thinks he can pull it and he'll pull it right to the shortstop."
-- NL East reliever

Lucas Duda
"Duda is a tough out. You can't duplicate your pitches. You don't want to double up too often. You want to mix and match. You can't just stay one side of the plate on him. You have to go in on him occasionally, and sometimes show him in to get him out away."
-- NL East reliever

Daniel Murphy
"[He] has crowded the plate lately. He's gotten closer to the dish. You have to mix him up. I think you can jam him up now that he's gotten closer to the plate. But because he's now closer to the plate, he's covering the outside pitch much better now."
-- NL East reliever

Michael Conforto
"I don't know how many days he has in the league, but he's a powerful hitter. I like to throw him mostly away, because I feel he's a guy who is trying to pull the ball. But I threw a backdoor cutter that he lined hard to left field. So, he looks like he's got pure power to both gaps and he's a tough out. I think you can throw him down and away and up and away. Just like with any hitter, there are some holes you can attack."
-- NL East starting pitcher

Wilmer Flores
"He can hit some homers, and he seems to do it in big spots. He's been good for them. I think they're probably happy they got to keep him instead of trading him away in that deal [that fell through with Milwaukee]."
-- NL East outfielder