Pedro Martinez was the pitcher to give up first inning runs today, allowing a one run double and a sacrifice fly. After that, he settled down nicely. Pedro ended up throwing six innings, scattering seven hits. He walked only one and struck out four.
Great outing by Pedro today. Can't ask for much more than that! Well done.
Five bullpen pitchers made appearances, and combined to throw three innings, allowing three hits and walking only one. Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Joe Smith and Brian Stokes all pitched, with only Stokes logging a full inning of work in the ninth. Feliciano, Smith, and Stokes each tallied one K.
Hey, look at that! Scoreless innings from the bullpen, and they hold the lead! I'm loving Stokes, even though he gave up two hits in the ninth. His fastball is hittable, but so far so good.
For the first time in a while, the Mets did not score a run in the first inning. Instead, they scored multiple times in multiple innings. A novel idea.
The Mets were homer happy early, as Carlos Beltran got the Mets on the board in the second with a solo home run to left field. In the third, Nick Evans connected for his first career home run, a solo shot to left. David Wright wanted to join the fun, as he smacked his own dinger right after Evans, also of the solo variety, to left.
I like the power explosion. Congrats to Evans on his first career homer!
The Mets added on in the seventh, getting RBI singles from Jose Reyes and Ryan Church, followed by a sac-fly by Beltran to account for all six runs.
Tacking on! Another novel concept. Don't be happy with the lead, this team needs to keep adding on with the state of this bullpen.
The Rest of the Story
Wright: 3-5, R, RBI
Reyes has an active 11 game hitting streak.
Game Ball: Pedro Martinez.
I'm not going to put a lot of stock into Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell. There seems to be too much hype behind them, and I don't think they're going to come up and have a huge impact on the team.
Guys like Al Reyes and Ricardo Rincon should help, simply because another arm in the bullpen cannot hurt at this time. It's a crap shoot in the pen right now, and Luis Ayala worked for a few games. Lightning in a bottle could be found anywhere. Hopefully one of these guys can be a lightning rod.
Marlon Anderson will be nice to have back, as long as he can recapture his pinch hitting prowess.
Don't look for a huge help from the September call-ups, but Niese will get the start on Tuesday against the Brewers. Maybe he could do something special against the streaking Brew-crew. Wouldn't that be nice?
Via The Good Phight:
The Phillies have released triple-A Lehigh Valley righthander Kris Benson. The Phillies signed Benson to a minor-league contract in Februrary with the idea that he could plug into the rotation sometime before June 1. But because of injuries, Benson progressed much more slowly than they had hoped. So the Phillies moved forward and acquired Joe Blanton before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, which eliminated the possibility that Benson would pitch in the Phillies rotation this season.
The Phillies have released triple-A Lehigh Valley righthander Kris Benson.
The Phillies signed Benson to a minor-league contract in Februrary with the idea that he could plug into the rotation sometime before June 1. But because of injuries, Benson progressed much more slowly than they had hoped. So the Phillies moved forward and acquired Joe Blanton before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, which eliminated the possibility that Benson would pitch in the Phillies rotation this season.
Mike Pelfrey pitched much better against the Fish this time around, but he, like the Mets, was unable to pull out a victory.
Pelfrey pitched six 2-3 innings, allowing six hits. He allowed two earned runs, walked two, and struck out five. He needed 116 pitches to get through the six plus innings. Pelfrey got into trouble in the sixth and allowed a bases loaded single to center field, allowing both runs to score against Pelfrey.
A good outing, much improved over his last few games against the team from Florida. Nothing special, but a decent outing from the big man.
Pedro Feliciano relieved Pelfrey, and allowed one hit and was promptly removed from the game. With two on and two out, Duaner Sanchez entered the game and struck out Jorge Cantu to end the threat. Sanchez came back out to start the eighth, and let up a solo home run to Mike Jacobs to tie up the game.
When will Jerry Manuel figure out that Sanchez has nothing left in the tank?
Brian Stokes pitched 2-3 of an inning, allowing a hit while striking out two. Aaron Heilman came in to work the ninth, and it did not go very well. He started it off with a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez, who was 0-12 against him previously. Heilman was then commanded to intentionally walk the next two batters, to load the bases with one out. He then walked Josh Willingham, forcing in the winning run.
Rough. I'm starting to feel bad for this guy. Nothing he does seems to work.
As usual, the Mets scored in the first, and then sparingly from there on out.
David Wright got the Mets on the board in the top of the first inning, absolutely mutiliating a ball to deep left field, scoring Luis Castillo.
That ball was dee-stroyed.
In the third inning, Castillo drove in Jose Reyes with a single to right center.
And that was it. That's all the Mets could do tonight. Seven hits and three walks, and they managed three runs.
The Rest of the Story
Castillo went 2-4, scoring once and driving in one.
Ryan Church took another ofer, going 0-3 with a walk and three strikeouts.
I've never seen a baseball game played in such wind. The box score states it was a 17 mph wind, but it looked a lot stronger than that.
Oh, and in the second inning, the benches cleared after Pelfrey plunked Cody Ross. Ross was not pleased, and as he walked towards first he was screaming and cursing at Pelfrey. Brian Schneider started pushing, as did Mike Jacobs. No one was ejected, and no punches were thrown. Seems like there is bad blood between these two teams.
Game Ball: David Wright.
He's a good hitter, with one of the sweetest swings in the game. He's unbelieveable in the field, making tough plays look like cans of corn. I've had to defend him time and time again, and the main argument against him is that he isn't "clutch" enough.
Last night was something different.
Two outs, top of the ninth, his team down by one. Oh, and the bases are loaded. This is the kind of stuff you dream of in your backyard as a kid.
Beltran, who was in a similar situation in the 2006 NLCS, wrote a different ending last night. First pitch swinging, Beltran crushed a pitch from Kevin Gregg deep to right field. I was shocked.
I was anticipating a ground ball through the hole, if anything. Maybe even a bloop to center. Beltran proved even one of his biggest fans wrong, as that ball was smashed. Bat, meet ball. Goodbye ball!
He may not be the most "clutch" in the league, but he came through huge last night for the Mets. He accounted for all five RBI, and without him, the Mets would have gone quietly into that good night.
Stellar on the basepath, even better on the field. He may not hit for average, but last night shut up a lot of people, at least until tonight.
Oliver Perez was almost on tonight. He ended his night throwing six innings, giving up only three hits. Unfortunately, he also walked five, as he was just a tad wild. He managed to strike out four. Perez allowed only two runs while on the bump, including a solo home run from Josh Willingham, which was one of the longest home runs I've ever seen hit at a Marlins home game.
Wildly effective, at it's finest. Not great, not bad. He kept his team in the game and that's all that matters.
Brian Stokes came in for the seventh, and threw a perfect inning.
I really like the way Stokes pitches. Can we pencil him in for the bullpen next season, or is it wayyyyy too soon?
Joe Smith got into a tad of trouble, as he walked one and allowed a hit, but was able to work out of the inning without an issue.
And here came the issues. Luis Ayala came in to close out the game with a three run lead. He ended up allowing four hits and two runs to score. He struck out one and was able to induce a ground ball with two outs and the tying runner on third base to end the game.
Seriously, when does Billy Wagner come back? This is getting scary. Very scary.
The Mets played the "book end" game tonight. They scored one in the first and were quiet again until the ninth inning.
In the first (of course) the Mets got on the board early with a Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly to deep center field, plating Jose Reyes.
Skip to the ninth, with Luis Castillo at the plate and two outs. Castillo singled, followed by a David Wright single. Carlos Delgado got plunked to load the bases down by run with two outs. Beltran came to the plate again, and cashed in with a grand slam deep to right field on the first pitch.
I almost hurt myself jumping up and down and screaming when he hit that. If you didn't see, get to a TV and watch what he did to that ball. He crushed it. Wow.
Thank goodness for Beltran. Without him, they would have been sunk.
The Rest of the Story
Beltran drove in all five runs for the Mets tonight.
The Cubs beat the Phillies again, and the Mets opened up a two game lead.
Reyes has an eight game hitting streak.
Game Ball: Carlos Beltran, easy.
The University of Miami (or 'Da U,' in local parlance) played a game here last night, and the field is absolutely ripped to shreds. Should make for an interesting night for the infielder's.I remember when I played soccer, I would hate to play on fields that overlapped. If the fields overlapped, the baseball field almost always took over the corner of the soccer field. It was very annoying, as the ball would just skip away as soon as you hit the sand of the infield.
Looks like the Mets errorless streak is going to come to an end tonight.
They've lost six of their last ten, but are still very much alive. The Mets have a critical stretch of games upcoming, with the next nine against the Marlins, Brewers and Phillies. As of now, I can see the Mets focusing more on Milwaukee and Philadelphia, over Florida.
The Mets could take two of three against the Marlins, or sweep them, but Mike Pelfrey will take the mound for one of the games and he is yet to beat the fish this season.
The Mets have only 28 games left, so each game is extremely crucial, especially with only a one game lead over the Phillies. Hopefully they focus on each game separately, and not look ahead to stronger teams like the Brew-crew and the hated Phillies.
How awkward does Mike Pelfrey look? That kid did take a big fall.
Go here to listen to the one and only Steve Somers read the Dr. Suess classic "Green Eggs & Ham."
Honestly, I've never laughed so hard in my life. Amazing.
Another thing to note, is the show "Playing For Peanuts" is now available for download.
I'm sure you caught a moment or two on SNY when you were waiting for Mets games, or something to that effects. Well, the director has made all the episodes available for free download on his site. This is a must-watch. A great documentary about an awesome subject. Please, if you love baseball and Wally Backman, check it out.
Below are the instructions:
1.) Go to playingforpeanuts.com/free
2.) Enter the Access Code: 6CJS9Z6GT2
3.) Enter your email address
4.) You will see 8 files. The first 5 files are video files from the first episode of Playing for Peanuts:
Episode #1 - Part 1
Episode #1 - Part 2
Episode #1 - Part 3
Episode #1 - Part 4
Episode #1 - Entire Episode
As you can see, Episode #1 is available in four video segments. If you prefer, you can also download the entire episode (note: it is a large file and will normally take 20 minutes or more to download).
The remaining 3 files are different versions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" that you've probably never heard before.
Ballgame Music - Loud
Ballgame Music - Acoustic Guitar
Ballgame Music - Irish
Should the New York Mets deal for Carl Pavano?
Are you crazy? Out of your mind? Hellbent on destruction? NO!
The $40 million man, has made one (1!) start this season, and fans want to deal for him?
My goodness gracious! Please, anyone who thought this was a good idea, turn in all your blue and orange apparel, your Mets fandom, your pride, your brain and go live in Antarctica. Forever.
In the words of a great comic book salesmen: Worst. Idea. Ever.
Yes, I admit it. I wear a plastic helmet. It's kind of close to what the first and third base coaches wear, but it's all black and all awesome and no padding.
And yes, I even wear it out to games, to the movies, and whenever I feel like having a little fun with the general public.
But recently, I've forgotten about it. I haven't been wearing it much, and I'm not sure why. But last night, I remembered. Last night I sprinted to my room, rummaged through my pile of stuff and emerged with the helmet. I placed that helmet on my head, and no sooner did I don the plastic hat, did Daniel Murphy rip a double to left field, bouncing once before hitting the fence, and watching Carlos Beltran come around to put the Mets up by one.
The helmet has powers. And I will be wearing her more often.
I'm sorry for not wearing the cap lately, but the Mets have done well in it's absence. Now, down the stretch, the Mets may need all the help they can get. And I shall do my part with the helmet.
Now I just need a nickname for it and we'll all be set.
Deglado has gone on a tear, as Wallace Matthews points out, almost exactly to the date of the firing of Willie Randolph. For once, I can't fully disagree with what Matthews said, as it's is based on actual fact (somewhat). Matthews believes Delgado and Randolph were not the best of buds, so...Delgado purposely stunk it up? While that may be a bit outlandish, one cannot deny the numbers.
Since July 27, ten days after Maunel took over, Delgado has hit more home runs and driven in more RBI than anyone in the national league. Pretty scary stat.
I attribute Delgado's resurgence to his patience at the plate and the use of his diary, a crucial item that was missing for the better part of the beginning of the year. Apparently, Delgado had forgotten his diary at home on his kitchen table. When his wife finally went home again, she picked it up and brought it back to him. And the results are on the field.
As of now, I firmly believe in bringing Carlos Delgado back for another year. Otherwise, the Mets will either have to take a chance on Mike Carp, move Daniel Murphy to first (which wouldn't be such a bad idea) or break out the checkbook, or two, to try and sign Mark Teixeira.
While the Mets are working out Delgado's option, they should really be focusing on giving Manuel a contract for a few more years. He knows what to do with his players and the media, and can manage a team and a bullpen. I love him, the players seem to love him, and it makes sense for everyone involved.
Omar Minaya, get it done.
I thought it was going to be a disaster night, a disaster outing for Johan Santana. I was pretty wrong, I guess. Santana got off to a rocky start, surrendering a two-run home run in the first inning to Ryan Howard. In the second, he let up a solo shot to Jayson Werth.
I honestly thought it was going downhill from there. But Santana did not falter. He ended pitching six innings, allowing only those three runs on six hits. He did struggle with his control, as he walked three batters, but still struck out six. Through his time on the bump, Santana had to throw 106 pitches, only 67 of which were strikes.
I even wrote a post about Santana after the first two innings. Good thing he recovered and pitched admirably for the next four innings. Well done, Johan. He will not be praised, but he earned his keep.
Brian Stokes pitched the seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out two. Pedro Feliciano and Joe Smith split the 8th, working a perfect frame. Luis Ayala worked the ninth for his second save of the year.
Can you believe it?! Dance in the streets! The bullpen was handed a deficit and it turned into a lead! Where can I sign up for that?
Well done by those four. They bounced back from last night's loss and pitched like it never happened.
The story of tonight was Carlos Delgado and a resurgence from the bats.
Delgado drove in the first run of the game with a single to right, chasing in Jose Reyes.
Delgado put up the second Mets run with a solo home run deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep to right field in the sixth inning.
Delgado drove in the third Mets run, himself, with another solo home run in the eighth inning. That Delgado blast tied the game for the Mets. They then got two runners on for Daniel Murphy. Murphy was 0-for his last-16, ended that stretch, lacing a double to right field that plated Beltran. Brian Schneider added a single to left, driving in two more in the Mets three-run eighth.
The Mets scored after the third inning? Seriously, WHAT?
Great job by Delgado. He loves that park, so much.
The Rest of the Story
Stokes earned his first win as a Met.
Reyes, Delgado and Beltran each picked up three hits.
David Wright went 0-5 with 2 K's.
Game Ball: Carlos Delgado.
It's awful that Johan is having a bad start tonight, but he's pitched so well over the last month or more. He's due for a mediocre, or even bad, start. It's going to happen.
It's just too bad if this holds up, or gets worse, fans will be all over Johan for "not coming through when the team needs him." Not like he's put up some pretty baffling starts and not gotten wins from them in the past.
Hopefully it will be a reversal of fortunes tonight, but only time will tell.
Also, Ramon Castro has landed on the DL with a strained hamstring. Robinson Cancel has been called up in his place.
Update, 4:52: Argenis Reyes, as predicted, is heading to the minors. He will be called up after he spends time in the minors, I believe 10 days.
95% Yes, 5% No.
Fitting that the poll closed right about the 7th inning of last night's game. I wonder how much different it would be if everyone voted today.
I guess the fans are a confident bunch. I also think the Mets will be playing baseball in the postseason. Last night notwithstanding, the Mets have still put together a spectacular second half, bullpen troubles and all.
One half game back with 29 to play? They have a shot.
New poll: Who is the Mets MVP in 2008?
According to The Providence Journal, the Mets will welcome the Red Sox for a two-game exhibition series at the new Citi Field during the last week of spring training.
The article states that the series would probably take place on April 3-4, as the Mets will open the season on the road before returning to their new digs for the April 14 home opener against the Padres.
This is weird. Very weird. It's their new stadium, new home, a huge step forward for the organization, and they're going to open it with an exhibition game?
Is this a move to get the players somewhat accustomed to how the field and stadium plays? Maybe. It just doesn't make sense. Wouldn't you want your first game, a meaningful game, to be played in the new stadium to open it up. The crowd paid to see the first game of the '09 season, but what they're really coming to see is the new park, all of our's home away from home.
But no, it will all start with two meaningless games against the Red Sox. Odd, if you ask me.
Thanks to Ian from Sox & Dawgs for the link.
Nelson Figueroa was phoned late last night and boarded a plane for Philadelphia, which means he will be activated before the Sept. 1 roster expansion. According to my "source," Figueroa will be in the bullpen for tonight's finale against the Phillies.
Figueroa will likely be the long man, if needed. Aaron Heilman threw 60 pitches last night in his spectacular three innings, so look for him to be unavailable tonight.
Ramon Castro might be going to the DL with a hamstring strain, so Figueroa might be taking his spot on the roster. Robinson Cancel was rumored to be coming up if Castro has to go on the DL, which makes sense because otherwise the Mets would have only one catcher.
I think Argenis Reyes will be demoted for a few days to make room for the extra arm of Figueroa.
I never thought I'd be writing such a sentence lately, but last night was spectacular.
Heilman came in for the bottom of the tenth inning, and quickly let up a leadoff double to Chris Coste. Heilman then had to face Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Ryan Howard, the Phillies big boppers. He successfully escaped the inning without damage.
Then came the 11th. The bases were loaded with two outs, and Jimmy Rollins was back at the plate. Heilman got Rollins to pop up in foul territory to escape the jam.
Onto the 12th, where Heilman got Utley and Howard swinging, sandwiched around a Burrell pop up.
60 pitches, over three beautiful innings. He let up hits and walked a few, but he was able to work out of it every time. If the Mets had been able to pull this one out, Heilman was going to be the hero.
That's it. That's all I'm telling you.
Otherwise, I'll induce tears and punching of objects.
Various sources are reporting that Major League Baseball will institute instant replay this season, as early as Thursday.
The replay will only be used for home run calls, i.e. to see if a home run is fair or foul, or if it cleared the wall or yellow line.
I don't know how I feel about this yet, but I think MLB rushed to get this in too soon. It should have been tested in the offseason and in spring training, not tossed into the end of a season. I could easily see it coming back to bite the Mets, as they were part of the outcry when Carlos Delgado's home run at Yankee Stadium was called foul all those months ago. I bet the Phillies will get a favorable call off replay against the Mets. It's only fitting.
Too quick, MLB. Too quick.
Do they honestly think CC Sabathia belongs on the "cold pitchers" list? He hasn't lost since he's been a Brewer. Just because he didn't earn a win, he belongs on the list?
This is probably an automated system that just looks at certain stats, but if it's not, someone has some explaining to do.
Of course, the Mets split their series with the Astros, a team the Mets find almost unbeatable, and the Phillies picked up two games on the first place team.
I called it a few weeks back when I said the lead in the NL East will change hands three more times before the season is over. Since then, the Mets have taken over first. By the time this two game series in Philly is over, it could change hands again. That would be two times, leaving the Mets with the final push to first, if all goes according to my prophecy.
The Dodgers didn't just lose to the Phillies, they were dominated by them. To the tune of 27-5 over the four games. That's just what they need: a dominating effort to fill them with confidence. They're going to come into this short series riding high and come out to play. I don't like the looks of it for the Mets. The Philly bats seem to be back and in full swing (pardon the pun.)
Hopefully Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez can channel some Mike Pelfrey and shut down the hot bats.
Pelfrey was two outs away from his first complete game shutout, but ex-Mets David Newhan and Ty Wiggington had to spoil the fun and score a ninth inning run. Speaking of Newhan, in the four games against the Mets this year, he went 3-8, scored two runs, had a double and a home run, and drove in two. Who would have thought he could do such things after his paltry .203 average with the Mets last year?
Either way, Pelfrey has surpassed any and all predictions I had for him. I expected him to be a good pitcher, but nothing like this. He's truly an "ace," if that term still applies to anything anymore. Looking at the staff, even without John Maine, it's a formidable task to overcome for opposing teams. Between the double-barrled aces of Pelfrey and Johan Santana, there is the usually dominany Oliver Perez, and ol' reliable, Pedro Martinez. A weak 5th starter, which the Mets won't even need in the playoffs is fine, as long as your other pitchers go out and perform, which they have.
People were all over Pelfrey last year and at the beginning of this year. He took his lumps at the major league level, but that seems to have helped him. He knows how to deal with adversity and he knows how to handle major league batters.
Keep on truckin', Pelfrey. We're all along for the ride and we're loving every minute of it.
Mike Pelfrey is a beast. He turned in his second complete game victory in a row, throwing nine innings of one run baseball. Pelfrey threw only 108 pitches, and needed only 18 to get through the last two innings.
He allowed six hits, two of which came in the ninth, where the Astros scored their only run. On what would have been a double down the line, Carlos Delgado made a nice diving stop on a Ty Wiggington grounder, and reached out to first with his bare hand as David Newhan trotted home.
Pelfrey was on, as he walked none and struck out six while on the bump. Only two of the Astros hits were of the extra base variety, as they hit two doubles. The other four were all singles.
He was downright nasty tonight. Another CG. Wow.
So much for limiting his innings. Unbelievable outing. I think he's the most exciting pitcher on the staff.
When Deglado is hot, he's hot.
Delgado blasted a pair of three-run home runs, one in the first inning (of course) and one in the seventh. David Wright and Jose Reyes were on base for both of those homers, and obviously scored each time. The first home run went down the left field line, just staying fair to put the Mets up early. The second was crushed to straightaway centerfield, directly over the 410 sign on the wall.
Another wow. Who would have thought he would have the season that he's having after that miserable start to this season. It's going to be a tough decision for the Mets on what to do with him during the offseason.
Daniel Murphy drove in a run in the sixth inning with a sacrafice fly to center field, allowing Carlos Beltran to score.
The Mets added on in the bottom of the eigth. Ryan Church doubled to lead off the inning, and Pelfrey walked on four pitches. Reyes then tripled down the first base line, chasing Church home from third and Pelfrey all the way from first.
The most exciting man in baseball, without a doubt.
Finally, the offense scored early and often. About time the bats broke out against this team.
The Rest of the Story
I hope this becomes a theme: The game lasted just over two and a half hours.
In Pelfrey's last 25 innings, he's given up 16 hits and only four runs.
Game Ball: Mike Pelfrey and Carlos Delgado.
With John Maine on the DL, it made it much easier for the Mets to bring Luis Castillo back from his extended stay on the disabled list.
This leaves the Mets with Castillo and Argenis Reyes, who can pretty much only play second base, and Damion Easley, who can play first, second and left. Too bad Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans are seemingly entrenched in left, and Carlos Delgado is playing well at first.
Way too clogged. Someone has to go to add an arm for a few days. Sorry Argenis, but I think you have to head to the minors for a few days. The Mets need another arm out of the bullpen, I think.
Obviously, the Mets didn't read my post this morning and decide to listen to me, but this is a good move for the team and John Maine.
Maine will hit the DL with a bone spur in his shoulder, and may miss the rest of the year. He is already scheduled to have surgery in the offseason, so this is a good idea all around. Yes, I think the staff is going to miss him, but I think they will be able to patch together his starts down the stretch.
After that, if the Mets make the playoffs, they can run with a four man rotation without a problem.
Smart move by the Mets. It seems they've learned to be very cautious with injuries since Ryan Church's concussions.
Update, 4:59 pm: Tejesh, from Mets Prospect Hub, relayed some info on Maine. According to him, Omar Minaya said Maine is not necessarily shut down for the season.
Now that's just silly to me. When are you going to bring him back, the playoffs? No way would I ever bring a guy off the DL to work in the playoffs, unless he looked completely dominant in any "rehab" assignment.
Here's a list I compiled of items I'd like to see for sale:
- The toilets/urinals. It only makes sense to have those porcelain thrones put up for sale. I'd like to own a urinal from Shea. It'd be so fitting.
- The Azek Trimboard sign. It'd look dashing over my bed.
- That giant Dunkin' Donuts cup. I want to fill it with real ice coffee and go for a swim.
- The piece of cement with Tommy Agee's home run marker. Actually, I think they should give that to Agee's family or put it into Citi Field, where the distance marker would be the same.
- Pieces of the foul pole. Something they could cut up and sell in small pieces, like 1x1 foot sections. Everyone could have a piece.
- Dirt. A vial of dirt. $5. Come on, Mets, don't overcharge me for dirt.
It will be tough to go through the rest of the season without him, but in my mind, many good years outweigh one month of tough pitching down the stretch for a playoff berth. Please, Mets, for the good of John Maine's shoulder, please shut him down.
Call up Jon Niese, who has been struggling at AAA over his last two starts. Being him up and pitch him. Pitch Brian Stokes. Pitch anyone but Maine. It's been said that he can't technically hurt his arm any more than it is, as it's "only" a bone spur. I call shenanigans. If he's hurt, he can easily hurt it more.
He's not helping right now, so the team won't be losing anything but five innings of 100 pitch baseball. Niese, Stokes, Bobby Parnell, Ruddy Lugo...anyone. Please.
The Mets had to use seven pitchers in a futile effort against the Astros in the third game of a four game series.
Oliver Perez was one of only two pitchers to throw at least one inning, as he started and went six 1-3 innings. Perez let in three runs while on the mound, and another was charged to him after he left the game. He only let up four hits, but one of them was a two-run home run from Hunter Pence in the Astros three run fourth inning. Perez only walked one batter, and struck out eight Houstonites.
I thought Perez could pitch more, even with his 111 pitch count. Handing over the game, with the lead or not, is always dangerous. They only had a one run lead when Perez left, but by the time the seventh was done, it was all tied up.
Aaron Heilman needed only four pitches to let in the tying run in his third of an inning of work. Scott Schoeneweis, Joe Smith, and Luis Ayala put together two 1-3 innings of work. Ayala was the only reliever to stay in the game for a full inning.
Strong stuff by the latter three. Too bad it all went for naught.
Pedro Feliciano started the work in the 10th frame, and quickly gave up a solo home run to light hitting Brad Ausmus. Two outs later, he served up another dinger to another light hitter, Darin Erstad. Duaner Sanchez made the final out, retiring Miguel Tejada on a ground ball.
Nice job, Feliciano. I have no idea why he was in there, throwing to righties. They kill him to the tune of four home runs in 22 2-3 innings. That's opposed to only one home run by lefties in 23 2-3 innings.
Another hot start quickly eroded into a quiet ending as the last 15 Mets were retired in order.
The Mets got on the board in the first, as usual. Carlos Beltran hit a two-run home run to left field off of Randy Wolf, plating David Wright.
The team then had the bases loaded in the bottom of the third with only one out, but were only able to push one run across, thanks to a bases loaded walk by Fernando Tatis.
Big wasted opportunity.
The Mets got another run from Beltran, as he hit his second home run of the day, of the solo variety, to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
And yet again, the elusive three home run game at Shea by a Met evades the team.
The Mets seem to have issues with beating the Astros this season. Glad they only have one more game against them and then it's "see ya next season!"
The Rest of the Story
I've got nothing.
Game Ball: Carlos Beltran
His latest article, "Let's hope listless Mets aren't back again" does not fail to get my blood boiling.
Here's the opening line to the article:
It took awhile - well, only three innings, really - but I succeeded in finding people who wanted to be at Shea Stadium even less than I did last night. Unfortunately, they were wearing Mets uniforms.You're a journalist. You cover sports for a living. It's late August, and you're at a game with a team in first place. And you don't want to be there?
What is wrong with this guy? Hundreds, if not thousands of people, would love to be in his shoes right now, but apparently watching baseball and writing about it for a living just makes him more upset at life.
Yet there was no fight in this team, something we have seen time and again the past three seasons, regardless of whether the manager's name was Willie or Jerry, the venue was home or away, the opponent a contender like the Phillies or Cubs, or doormats like the Astros.Does he really expect them to win every game? The team had won 10 of their last 11, and one stinker by John Maine makes this team listless? Yes, the team was set down in order from the third inning of Friday night's game all the way to two outs in the fifth inning on Saturday's game.
Things like that are going to happen. The team will hit a slide, they'll fall into a rut. What Matthews seems to forget is that they Mets actually won Friday's game due to a strong pitching performance from their starter and their bullpen.
Instead of bashing a team that just pulled off a nice run of wins, find something real to gripe about, please.
John Maine struggled. He lasted more than five innings for once, going five 2-3 innings. Unfortunately, he got absolutely rocked. He let in six runs and was charged with two more after he left the game. Maine let up 10 hits, and walked two, striking out four batters.
The third was not pretty, and I thought he wasn't going to make it out. The four-run inning was capped off by a Lance Berkman opposite field three-run home run.
Awful. Not good at all. His velocity was up, which was a good sign. He looked so strong in the first, but seemed to fall apart after that.
Duaner Sanchez pitched only one third of an inning, but allowed two hits, that allowed the two runs to score charged to Maine. Joe Smith and Brian Stokes combined to throw three perfect innings, striking out three Astros.
Sanchez's velocity was up, too, but it had no movement. Smith and Stokes looked nice, I must say.
The bats were stagnant again, as Brandon Backe had a perfect game going through four innings.
In the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy drew a two-out walk to break up the perfect game, which was followed by a Ryan Church double, driving him in. This was Church's first RBI since returning to the Mets.
Another lull for the bats, as they were held off the board until the eighth inning. Brian Schneider continued his hot streak, smacking two-run blast to right center field, pushing Church across.
Schneider...another home run? Crazy. Too little, too late.
The Rest of the Story
Can't win 'em all, right?
Another quick game: 2:36
Game Ball: Ryan Church
This can be taken one of two ways: On one hand, this could be taken as a sad move, where he just wants to keep sitting and collect his money. I don't think that's the case, as I think (hope) it's more likely that he's just doesn't feel ready and feels bad that he'd be taking the spot of another player, and for the good of the team, he'll continue to work his way back.
At least Argenis Reyes gets to stick around.
Update, 5:51 pm: Here's an update from Rod Boone over at Newsday:
According to Manuel, because the team is playing so well Castillo did not want to affect the team chemistry. So he won't be activated today and there's no telling when. Manuel said it wasn't a health-related issue and Castillo will travel with the team to Philly. He will be activated before the rosters expand Sept. 1.Valiant move, Castillo. I like this. A lot.
Johan Santana has now thrown 16 shutout innings in his last two starts. Earning his money yet? Santana scattered eight hits through his seven stanzas of work tonight, walking only one and striking out five. He threw 121 pitches, otherwise I think he would have stayed in the game for all nine.
Santana faced a little trouble in the second, when he had runners on second and third and one out. He got a ground ball and then struck out Roy Oswalt to end the threat. He only worked one 1-2-3 inning, and that came in the fourth inning. Other than that, he had runners on in every inning.
Perfect Santana tonight. Absolutely outstanding. I can't sing his accolades anymore than I already am just by showing you his numbers. He's something special. Anyone miss Carlos Gomez and the other Twins?
Aaron Heilman threw a perfect eighth inning, striking out one. Luis Ayala earned the save, also working a perfect inning, as he struck out two 'Stros before getting old friend David Newhan to ground out to end the game.
Is it too soon to say the bullpen looks good lately? Because it has. Again, whatever the Mets did to adjust Ayala's arm angle seems to be working. I don't like the way it looks, as he looks like he's throwing a shot put or heaving the ball across the plate, but it's working and that's all that matters.
A big hand must go to Oswalt, who threw a complete game but still was tagged with the loss. Eight innings for the man with the tractor, only allowing four hits and walking none. He struck out six Mets.
The Mets scored another first inning run, as Jose Reyes singled to lead off the game, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Argenis Reyes sacrificed him over to third, and David Wright eventually drove him in with a single of his own.
I love Reyes as the table setter. He's the perfect player for that role as he has the ability to get on base a lot and can even crack a few homers to start the game if he's in a groove. The Mets lead the majors with first inning runs, and I couldn't be happier.
The other Mets runs came in the second inning, before Oswalt settled in. Ryan Church singled in his first at bat after a looooooooong time off due to his concussions and migraines. He wasn't on base very long, as Brian Schneider cracked a two-run home run to left field a few pitches later.
Schneider seems to be getting a little toasty. He's found his home run swing.
The Rest of the Story
After the second inning, the Mets were set down in order in the: third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth.
Oswalt needed only 102 pitches to get through his eight innings.
Daniel Murphy is now batting a putrid .380 on the year.
Game Ball: Johan Santana and Roy Oswalt
Luis Castillo is scheduled to return tomorrow, as the Mets will be back at "full strength" for the first time in a while.
I know the Mets are paying this guy $25 million, but I honestly think the team would be a lot better off cutting this guy loose. Damion Easley and Argenis Reyes have done more in his absence than Castillo ever could. Reyes even reminds me of Castillo, with his slap swing. He's like the younger, more capable version of him from years well past.
I have to guess that A-Rey is the guy getting the short end of the stick, and heading back down to the minors for eight days. Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy are working too well in left field lately.
The Mets will welcome back Ryan Church tonight with open arms, but welcome Castillo back with a shifty smile and a polite shake of the hand tomorrow.
Here's a snippet of one of my posts from Union:
I’d like to start off by making sure everyone understands that it is spelled “W-i-f-f-l-e,” not “whiffle.” Wiffle is the official name, the yellow bat and white ball, the greatest sport ever invented.
I can honestly say, outside of soccer, I think I’ve played Wiffle ball more than any other sport, ever. I’d like to believe I’m a decent pitcher since I can strike out most of my friends on a fairly consistent basis, but there are some people that are miles ahead of me.
Take a look at some of these pitches. The movement on these are absolutely insane.
I was just clocked by some crappy boardwalk radar gun as throwing a real baseball 55 mph (yeah, I know, that sucks). I imagine my wiffle ball moves somewhere in the 30-40 mph range due to it’s weight, but the key is not the speed, but the movement.My favorite pitch is my “changeup+”. It’s a changeup because...
Read the rest of my post over at Union...
Tom Seaver holds the same thought process.
Newsday provides the quote:
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not a big fan of the stadium," Seaver said. "It's strictly an architectural observation ... Now the physical is just going to move across the street."Shea is not pretty. It has great memories, but it's nothing to look at. Citi Field will be much more special, I promise.
Thanks, Mark Herrmann. Thanks a lot.
No one is suggesting this is going to end in a championship, or there is something miraculous afoot. But there is no denying strange stuff is happening.I can't deny that. Maybe it's just some bad teams playing poorly, but almost everything seems to be swinging the Mets way lately, especially their own bats.
Herrmann quotes Pedro Martinez as saying "Ever since I've been here, I've wondered when we were going to get things going our way. It seems like it was never our way."
I think we can all attest to that. Last night, between the misplays by the Braves and the missed calls by the umpires (though I must say, some of those strikes against Carlos Delgado were a tad ridiculous) it just seems like something special is happening to this team.
Finally, some of their hits are falling inbetween the defense, squeaking under gloves, or barely clearing the wall.
Herrman's article, though possibly a jinx, has truly got me excited for the next 34 games.
Another leadoff solo home run against Pedro Martinez. Yunel Escobar hit another solo dinger off of Pedro's first pitch, his 39204772987 solo home run allowed in the last 10 games (Rough estimate). Pedro ended up throwing 7+ innings, allowing seven hits. He walked only one, and struck out six.
Martinez let in four earned runs, three of which came in the sixth inning. Brian McCann doubled in two runs to take the lead over the Mets, then Omar Infante singled in another in the sixth before Pedro worked out of it. He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, and came out to start the eighth inning, but allowed a hit and was removed from the game.
Again, nothing spectacular, but he did his job, kept his team close and in the game. One of Pedro's poorer starts over the last few months, but I'll take this from him. He's inching toward the end of his career, but right now, looks like semi-vintage Pedro.
Question to Mets fans: Do you re-sign Pedro next year? For how long?
Pedro Feliciano replaced Martinez, allowing one hit and walking one, but benefitted from a very pretty 2-5-3 double play.
Luis Ayala pitched very admirably, throwing 1 1-3 innings, allowing only one hit. Ayala earned the win as the Mets pushed one across in the bottom half of the ninth inning.
So far, so good with Ayala. Maybe I was wrong about this trade...
Carlos Delgado went 5-5 tonight, driving in three runs. Two of his hits probably should have been errors, but he'll take it and so will I.
Delgado got the Mets started in the bottom of the first, singling to center and driving in Jose Reyes. Delgado drove in the Mets second run in the third inning, singling again to center and driving in David Wright this time.
Those were his "real" hits. His "error hits" came later.
Wright added his own RBI, driving in, well, himself, with a solo home run deep to left field into the bleacher section.
Someone is getting hot, Mr. Wright. 3-4, 3 runs, RBI.
Here's where things get screwy. Bottom of the 8th, Nick Evans on second, Carlos Beltran on first, Delgado at the dish. Delgado bounces one to Infante at first, but Will Ohman failed to cover first. By the time Ohman got there, Infante had thrown the ball, which ended up going behind the sprinting pitcher. Evans came around to score, and tie up the game.
Move to the bottom of the ninth, same score. Wright doubles to right center with one out. The Braves decide to intentionally walk Beltran and pitch to Delgado, who at this point is 4-4. Makes little to no sense, I know. Delgado scorches one to left field, and Infante (yes, him again) streaks over and looks like he's going to make an easy catch and the line drive.
He must have lost it in the lights, as he ended up sliding, flailing and completely missing the ball. It actually bounced off of him, and skipped towards Mark Kotsay in centerfield. Wright was caught inbetween, but realized what happend and darted around third and took an unneccesary sliding headfirst dive into home to seal the win.
The Rest of the Story
This was the 27th consecutive one-run road loss for the Braves.
The Phillies lost to the Nationals, by a score of 4-3. Anderson Hernandez went 2-5, scored once and drove in one run. Funny that A-Hern aids the Nationals win over the Phillies, and Ayala works an inning and a third and earns the win for the Mets. This was all planned.
The Mets are 2.5 games up on the Phillies.
Game Ball: Carlos Delgado.
I must say, this is a strange room. Hopefully the Mets feel a little more comfortable in first place.
Pedro Martinez faces off against old friend, and one of the best things to ever happen to the Mets, Mike Hampton. When Hampton left the Mets, he provided his greatest service to the club than he ever could in their uniform.
Using the compensated pick after Hampton dashed for more money elsewhere, the Mets drafted and signed one Mr. David Wright.
If the Mets can sweep the lowly Braves tonight, and maybe the Nationals could finally win a game, the Mets will be sitting pretty 2.5 games up in first.
Just a thought: Do the Mets have the best starting rotation is baseball?
I know the Angels have a stacked starting-five, but the way this team has been pitching, including the 10 scoreless innings from John Maine, has been superb lately. As a fan, you can't ask for much more than what they've done.
Maybe more innings out of Maine, and less solo home runs from Pedro, but I'm really searching for things to fault them on.
Time for me to pack up my life and move it two and a half hours north to my home by the hill, Quinnipiac University.
I'll be entering my junior year of college (crap, that went fast) at QU, and continuing on in my journalism major and sports studies minor.
I'll be out most of the day, but I can never quell my itch to blog, so you'll probably be hit with a couple of posts once I'm all settled and done.
Pedro goes for the sweep of the Braves tonight. Spectacular. Couldn't have planned this series much better.
The Daily News is reporting that, according to sources, Ryan Church will return to the New York Mets on Friday against the Astros at Shea Stadium.
As I reported yesterday, Church probably won't come back and be the everyday starting right fielder, but will work his way back, as Fernando Tatis is too hot to bench.
Nick Evans is the guy I see getting demoted for just over a week, as he'll be right back up when the rosters expand at the beginning of September.
It's been a long, crazy trip back for Church, but he's checked out OK this time around. Hallelujah! Amen! Church is almost here!
Oh, and get this guy some protective gear.
Nine very strong innings for Pelfrey in his first complete game of his career.
Pelfrey allowed one run in the third inning on a single. The other two runs were added in the sixth, one on a double play and the other on a wild pitch. Pelfrey only allowed three hits, walked three, and you guessed it, struck out three.
Threes were wild tonight. Pelfrey's line: 9 innings, 3 hits, 3 run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.86 for the year.
What more is there to say? He threw only 108 pitches in the nine innings, but only 62 went for strikes. He looked great. I called that tonight was going to be special on Mets Lounge when I said "I have a good feeling about tonight."
We're finally seeing Pelfrey blossom into everything we expected from him, and more. I thought the Mets wanted to limit his innings down the stretch as he's reaching unknown territory with his innings count, but he kept coming out and proved why he should be out there.
The Mets jumped out early in the first, as they almost always do, for five runs aided by some terrible play by the Braves defense.
Daniel Murphy drove in the first runs of the game, singling in Carlos Delgado and Argenis Reyes, who continues to impress me with his glove and his bat. Fernando Tatis bounced a ball to third, which Chipper Jones fielded and threw wide. Tatis was granted a single, driving in Carlos Beltran, and moved to second on the throwing error that allowed Murphy to score.
Pelfrey then helped his own cause, serving a single to right field, driving in Tatis.
I absolutely love when the Mets score early and often. No better way to shake the opposition then to put a beating on them in the first.
Jair Jurrjens did settle down nicely after the disaster first, only allowing one more run the rest of the way. That run came on a David Wright solo shot to deep left field, well into the bleacher section.
Good stuff, but I wish the team could continue scoring runs when it's not the first inning. It's bitten them before and it will bite them again. Whatever Jerry Manuel says in the locker room before the game, he should reissue that statement before the third, sixth, and ninth innings.
The Rest of the Story
Almost a sub-two hour game. Clocked in at 2:08.
Murphy was the only Met to strike out.
Chipper Jones accounted for two of the three Braves K's.
Game Ball: Mike Pelfrey.
Bouncing ball hit to Carlos Delgado, who knocks it down. Minaya is in the booth talking to the trio of Gary, Keith, and Ron.
He utters those words, and the trio erupts in laughter. Delgado recovers and makes the play. Minaya thanks him.
With the platoon of Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy in left and Fernando Tatis in right, Church is without a starting spot. If Church can return before September 1, one of Evans or Murphy will be sent packing for a few days before they're called up when the rosters expand.
This would leave him as a spot starter and a pinch hitter. Church is 1-6 this season in PH chances, striking out twice.
I think Church, if he can come back healthy, will be the key to the postseason for the Mets.
Reyes was cut free by the Tampa Bay Rays just the other day.
More on this when I get home.
5:56 pm: OK, now I'm home and I've had time to digest this signing.
I think it's time for me to make a mental switch. A few days ago, I was confused why the Mets would add a guy with a over-5 ERA in the bullpen. Now, at least in the last few days, I see what they're trying to do.
They want to catch lightning in a bottle, and the best way to do that is have as many possible lightning emitters as possible. The idea is that they will have so many pitchers in the bullpen, one of them has to get hot and perform for them.
Reyes is expected to join the Mets after the September first 40-man roster expansion.
Sign away, Omar. Anyone and everyone. Bring them on, especially if they're named Reyes.
See that little box over on the right hand sidebar. Click it. It's for SportsBlogNet.com, a site which I've been a part of for a while now, but just went live today.
From the "press release:"
SportsBlogNet.com is a site that feeds in over 50 great sports blogs and links back out to all of them. They drive traffic to our site and also sell ads for all the blogs in the network.Click it. You know you want to.
At SportsBlogNet.com you can:
- Read all the quality blogs in the network
- Write for a blog in the network
- Discover new blogs
- Build a new free sports blog
- Join the network as an additional revenue and traffic source for your sports blog
Currently SportsBlogNet.com has approximately 56 blogs in the network with a reach of approximately 200,000 unique visitors per month which is growing daily. Check it out. They are interested in hearing your feedback.
Also, check out Union. Union is something special. Every day, a new writer from SBN.com (as I like to abbreviate) is chosen and will write about all different sports news of the day. Currently, I'm scheduled for the next two Fridays. Right now, Andrew Kneeland from Twins Fix is at the helm.
Join us in the SportsBlogNet revolution!
The first is from Senor Bill Madden of the Daily News. In it, he ponders who the Mets will use at closer with Billy Wagner on the shelf indefinitely. While he comes to absolutely no conclusion whatsoever, he does point out that both Huston Street and Brian Fuentes would be way too expensive to attempt to pick up.
For his part, Minaya has to hope Wagner's loss can be filled from within because, as he said, "there are few other options" on the outside. Although no closers were dealt at the trading deadline, only Oakland's Huston Street is believed to have cleared waivers. And even though Street is having a subpar season, A's GM Billy Beane is going to want premium prospects back for him. Same thing for Colorado's Brian Fuentes, a free agent after the season who may also have cleared, but is probably not going to be moved.The Rox wanted Aaron Heilman for Fuentes, something that made little to no sense to me. If they had asked for a guy like, say, Endy Chavez, that would have been something the Mets should have thought about. Swapping a relief pitcher for a relief pitcher is dicey territory, especially for a rental like Fuentes.
I'm glad the Mets didn't trade for him, but Street would have been perfect right about now. He's young and talented, so you know Beane would have wanted a boatload for him, but he's the kind of GM that would be willing to take a crop of players from A-ball and let them prosper in his own system.
Either way, the Mets are going to have to patch together the bullpen from here on out. Luis Ayala looked good in his first two-thirds of an inning, but he's got a long way to go before I trust him. (Side note: Read Mets Today's game recap from last night. He's not impressed either.)
Star-Ledger payroll participant, Dan Graziano, penned an article entitled "New York Mets bullpen not built for October."
Believe me, Dan, we know.
Graziano does give the Mets one thumbs up, claiming the team is good enough to win the NL East, but at the same time jinxes the team with the earliest known usage of that terrible term: magic number.
The Mets' bullpen may well be good enough, even without Billy Wagner, to win the NL East. Their starting pitching is excellent. Their lineup is very good. Their schedule is cream cheese. (Seriously - eight more against the Braves, six more against the Nationals. CAKE.) The Phillies don't seem to have that...whatever it is they had last year. The Mets' magic number is 36, and they're in a groove.It's true. The schedule sets up nicely for the Mets, but it could also set up for 2007 redux. We all figured that games against the Nationals and Marlins would be easy as pie (pie and cake references accounted for) in the last few weeks. And again, we all know what happened there.
But he goes on to put this whole whining ordeal into perspective:
If one or two of these guys get hot for the next three weeks, and then one or two other guys get hot for the three weeks after that, and Manuel does a good job of identifying who's hot at what time, then they're home. And if that does happen, they may well get to October with a couple of guys on a roll. Wagner's absence could have the effect of instilling some confidence in a couple of these relief pitchers, if they're able to have success between now and then.I've never heard fans of a team in first place bellyache so much, but the bullpen is an issue. All it takes is one or two pitchers to rattle off a nice scoreless streak and we'll all shut up. And the world will be a better place.
Oliver Perez was on the bump tonight, as he worked his way through six 1-3 innings. Perez scattered seven hits and five walks, and somehow managed to only give up three runs. Perez also struck out three. All three runs against Perez came in the top of the third inning, as the Braves strung together a walk, three singles and a couple of productive outs.
Perez was wildly effective. He let the runners reach, but almost always worked out without damage. It may have just been me trying to watch the game on the TV screen in the diner with my family, but it seemed like his rocking motion was more pronounced tonight, as opposed to recently. Maybe it was just me.
Luis Ayala made his Mets debut, coming in with men on first and third and only one out. Ayala induced two pop-ups to work out of the jam.
I was skeptical, but this was a good first appearance. Getting off on the right foot.
Aaron Heilman worked one inning, giving up one hit and walking one. The Mets offense finally woke up and made him a winner, bumping his record up to 3-7. Scott Schoeneweis came in with a four run lead, a non-save situation, allowed only one hit as the ended it for the Mets.
Solid. Very solid. The bullpen came out and did exactly what they're paid to do.
The Mets got on the board early, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Another productive out from David Wright, as he drove in Jose Reyes with a sacrifice fly. Fernando Tatis drove in Nick Evans with a ground rule double to right field.
Three hits and a walk, but only two runs. Thankfully, after seven innings of silence, the Mets bats picked up the slack in the 8th inning.
Carlos Delgado came through in the clutch, with the Mets down by a run. Delgado ripped a two-run double to deep left field, putting the Mets up by one. Damion Easley added a two-run single, followed by a Ramon Castro RBI double.
Delgado and Easley had been pretty ice cold lately, but both came through when the team needed them. Good stuff.
The Rest of the Story
Chipper Jones: 2-3, 2 walks, run, RBI. He's having a beast of a season, and of course it continues at Shea.
The Mets were outhit, 8-9.
Daniel Murphy's batting average has sunk to a paltry .419.
Game Ball: Carlos Delgado
Knight threw 6 1-3 innings, scattering five hits. He allowed one solo home run, walked two and struck out five.
Knight was quoted by the AP as saying, "We always seem to make it a little too interesting." Sounds like the Mets.
"There's a little sense of relief (to be in the medal round)," Knight said, "I'm not going to lie and say we didn't expect that. It was a goal."
Manager Davey Johnson said of Knight, ""We were lucky to get him back."
The US team will take on Japan on Wednesday night in their next game.
Billy Wagner was re-evaluated today at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery. He continues to have swelling and pain in his elbow. He will need additional rest before he can resume throwing.Awesome. Great news. Couldn't be happier.
Will Carroll claimed yesterday that this might be an season ending injury:
It was a big setback for Wagner, and one that could end his season. Instead of forearm stiffness, he has an elbow issue, and is headed for more tests on Tuesday.Obviously, Tuesday is today, and the latter was written before the results (top) came in, but the fact still remains. Either way, it's not good news.
The longer he's out, the more unstable the bullpen becomes.
I do like the fire in Manuel. He seems to be very engrossed in the game, and very willing to stand up for his players. He's already been ejected four times as the manager of the Mets, and once more as bench coach when Willie Randolph was still around.
I absolutely love Manuel as a manager. If it were up to me, I'd have him signing on the dotted line for a few more years of Manuel as a Met.
He's candid with his players. If he has something to say to someone, he'll tell them. He won't dance around it for fear he will make them unhappy. He knows they are professionals and should be treated as such.
He can manage the team. Only on a few occasions have I been confused or mad about moves Manuel has made during the course of a game. There were a few bullpen decisions I wish he did differently, but I can't put all of the blame on him for some poor outings.
And most importantly, he knows how to handle the media. He doesn't fear the journalists like a certain previous manager seemed to. He's entirely candid and up front about things and won't pull punches. He knows what's up and he's willing to entertain the writers, radio, and TV guys with a few jokes while he's telling the straight truth.
So far, so good with Jerry Manuel. It sure does help to have a winning record and sit in first place, too.
Passan cites AccuScore, who ran a simulation of the rest of the '08 season 10,000 times, and came up with these numbers for the NL:
Chicago Cubs: 98.3Hmm...this stinks of "jinx." Five bucks says the Cubbies and Mets falter?
Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5
New York Mets: 60.2
Arizona Diamondbacks: 51.5
Los Angeles Dodgers: 49.3
St. Louis Cardinals: 24.6
Philadelphia Phillies: 24.2
Florida Marlins: 20.4
Anyway, I hate looking at these things, because all they do is get my hopes up.
The man with the quick pitch count, John Maine, labored through five innings today, as he threw 96 pitches but only allowed two hits. Maine walked four and struck out three, but can't seem to keep his PC below 75 through four innings. Maine didn't factor in the decision, as the Mets offense sputtered and the bullpen played the part of "sieve" and watched the sweep disappear from their grasps.
Maine has been pitching OK lately, but this pitch count issue is something that needs to be addressed. I've never seen a pitcher throw so many pitches in only a handful of innings. He's getting too deep in counts and allowing too many foul balls to work deep into games.
The bullpen from Hell reared it's ugly head again today. Brian Stokes was tagged for a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, erasing any work Maine did on the bump. Scott Schoeneweis finished out the seventh inning for Stokes.
The trouble came in the 8th, when Pedro Feliciano only recorded one out, but allowed one hit before he was removed for Duaner Sanchez. Feliciano and the Mets could only watch as Sanchez faced four batters, intentionally walking one and giving up three hits, including a two-run double for the Pirates final runs. Joe Smith came in and recorded two outs to stop the bleeding.
Sanchez looked like he got his act together recently, struggled with his velocity again. He's just not the pitcher the Mets thought he would be through the entirety of the season. He doesn't have the stamina to get through a whole season like this. Maybe Steven Register could have helped this team through the season...
Wasted chances. That was the theme today for the Mets. The team was only able to scratch out two runs, both on productive outs.
Outside of the sac-fly in the first from Carlos Beltran, scoring Argenis Reyes and an RBI groundout in the fourth off the bat of Carlos Delgado, plating David Wright, the Mets left runners on base in a handful of innings and it came back to bite them in the end.
The Mets had runners on second and third with nobody out twice, both times resulting in one run. The Mets got a leadoff double from Nick Evans in the 6th, and with one out he stood on third while the Carloses struck out, stranding him.
In the 8th, the Mets got a two-out single from Evans, then consecutive walks from Wright and Beltran, bringing Delgado to the plate with the bases drunk, but the Pirates were able to induce a pop up and get out of the jam scott free.
They had a ton of chances to open up this game and put distance between themselves and the Buccos, but they failed to convert. When the bullpen let the lead slip away, the missed chances were enhanced, as always.
The Rest of the Story
Overall, a great road trip, as they went 6-1 and beat up on teams they should have. A sweep would have been great, but 3-4 against Pittsburgh is good. Guess the Mets should never play the Pirates on a Monday in the summer.
Game Ball: John Maine, I guess.
Sure, it was the Pirates, but that's a pretty pitching line any way you slice it.
Anderson Hernandez is heading to Washington for Luis Ayala as the Mets try to sure up their bullpen issues.
I'm not a fan of Ayala, and I feel this actually hurts the Mets pen. Obviously, they're not giving up much, as A-Hern was never going to amount to much of anything.
I guess this is goodbye to Eddie Kunz...for now.
Ayala, you have a lot to prove to me before I begin to trust you. I don't like this trade.
Still, the home runs, especially of the Solo variety, seem to be a big issue lately. I haven't seen anything different going on with Pedro that would make him more prone to home runs or anything like that, but by my unofficial tally in my head, I think he's allowed 6 or 7 over his last 5 starts.
Pedro pitched well, and the Mets went into the bottom of the ninth with a six run lead. This was the perfect oppourtunity to work "the closer of the future," Eddie Kunz into the mix. Well three runs and a hit batsmen later, Kunz had to be removed in favor of Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano before the game got entirely out of hand.
Kunz is in a tough spot, as he hasn't pitched in days and is never sure if, or when, he'll get a shot. When he's finally called upon, he's most likely rusty and unprepared, not the best situation for a young pitcher.
Give Kunz a steady job in. A year or two, and I think he'll be a huge asset to the Mets bullpen, but he just doesn't seem ready yet and the Mets are unwilling to hand him the keys to the bullpen car...yet.
I'll try and stay as up-to-date as possible via BlackBerry, but to tide you over, here are some quick predictions:
1. Pedro Martinez will pitch well again tonight, but the bullpen won't be able to hold on. Mets lose 6-4.
2. Mets will win on Sunday in grand fashion. 9-1.
3. Daniel Murphy will have a big weekend. As will Jose Reyes.
4. The Mets will be two games up on the Phillies by Monday.
5. Someone will land on the DL soon.
Again, I'll still be posting quick hits from the road via my phone. Enjoy this weekend, it's shaping up to be a beautiful one.
2006 was his first season, where he saw time at every level: A+, double-A, triple-A, and even the Major Leagues. Pelfrey split time between the minors and MLB in 2007 as well, making 13 starts and appearing in 15 games for the New York Mets.
This year, Pelfrey was a major leaguer from the get go. And now his innings count is becoming an issue.
2006: 117 IP
2007: 153 IP
2008: 145 IP
The Mets are worried Pelfrey is going to run into a wall as he move further and further away from his previous highest innings count. I believe Pelfrey could have stayed in Friday night's game against Pittsburgh. He had thrown only 98 pitches, and had throw shutout baseball through seven innings.
I feel the team may look to limit his starts down the stretch, or if the bullpen ever sures up, hand the game over to them early. As of now, the way the bullpen looks, the Mets can't do that. But if it does return to form (and it must) I can see the team taking Pelfrey out after only five innings if the Mets have a lead.
Pelfrey is leading the team with 11 wins, sporting a 3.91 ERA. He might be critical down the stretch and in to postseason if the Mets make it there. I am iffy on this decision, but I understand if they have to make this choice to save his arm.