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Friday, April 30, 2010

And the ball game is over! Mets extend their winning streak to 8 games, and 10 out of 11.Niese throws 7 solid innings, Mets hit 4 home runs. Great win 9-1.

Game 23: Mets @ Phillies

Here is the line-up that will face/beat Kyle Kendrick:


My prediction: Mets win 8-2, as Kyle Kendrick is once again terrible.


Scouting Report, Kyle Kendrick

As any Phillies fan would tell you, I have been saying Kyle Kendrick is terrible for four years now. I guess I need to defend why he is terrible, and see if adding a cutter this off-season makes him less terrible (short answer, NO).

Kyle Kendrick is a 25-year old, who pitched brilliantly in the second half of the 2007 season (15 out of 20 starts were quality starts), and had a 3.87 ERA. Optimistic Phillies fans thought he was going to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come, but then a few major issues started to show up: 1) He doesn't strike any one out (3.95 K/9, which is the lowest of any starter the Mets have faced this year/lowest I've seen on any player of looked at), 2) He can't get lefties out (lefties have hit .327 and slugged .540+ against him over his career).

Kendrick relies on 90 mph fastball/sinker that is effective if it's in the lower half of the zone, but he gets into trouble when he leaves the ball up. He throws an 81-83 mph below-average change-up, and got rid of his slider this off-season in favor of a cutter, which he throws 86-87 mph. He throws either his fastball or cutter close to 90% of the time. When he is effective, he is a ground-ball pitcher.

He showed signs of brilliance shutting out the Braves two starts ago, but then reverted back to normal Kyle Kendrick, as he allowed five runs in five innings versus the Diamondbacks last time out. For the season, he has pitched 18 2/3 innings in 4 starts, and has 9 walks and 9 strikeouts, with a 7.71 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. He is holding a starting spot until Joe Blanton returns.

Jon Niese opposes Kendrick, and Niese is looking to work deep into a game for the first time this year (longest outing was 6 innings), as well as his first win. He has thrown 11 scoreless innings, but has allowed 21 base runners during those innings. "Playing in Traffic" as Jerry Manuel likes to say. For the scouting report on Niese, click here: Niese

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Off Day Today

Mets have the day off to rest and make the strenuous drive down to Philadelphia to face the Phillies for the first time this year. On paper, the Mets have the pitchng match-up advantage, but games aren't won or lost on paper. This should be a nice series to watch and see how these teams react.

Pitching Match-ups:

Friday, Jon Niese vs Kyle Kendrick
Saturday, Mike Pelfrey vs Roy Halladay
Sunday, Johan Santana vs Jamie Moyer

I will have the scouting reports posted for each of these pitchers as usual, and hopefully post some of the pictures from yesterday's win at some point tonight/tomorrow, but will have minimal game coverage for Friday and Saturday's games.

Enjoy the fact the Mets are capitalizing on other team's mistakes and playing fundamental baseball. It is once again fun to watch the Mets play, something that has been lacking for some time. And enjoy the fact the Mets are in first place for another day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Game Recap for Series Finale Mets Dodgers

And the Mets sweep the Dodgers! Finish homestand 9-1! Final score 7-3. Plenty of pictures from the game will be posted tomorrow. huge series vs Phillies fri-sun

Bay rbi double and Ike with an rbi single. Mets up 7-3 end of 7. What a great homestand!

Posted by Anthony at 3:26 PM

Maine 6 innings, 9 k's. Nieve gets 3 quick outs including a dp. 7th inning stretch 5 -3 Mets

Posted by Anthony at 3:13 PM

Every day Nieve warming up yet again

Posted by Anthony at 3:08 PM

And Maine strikes out the side in the 6th!

Posted by Anthony at 2:57 PM

Maine k's Ethier (3 k's so far), and gets Loney to ground out to SS. Dodgers 3 and 4 hitters 0-6 with 5 ks so far. 5-3 middle of 5th

Posted by Anthony at 2:43 PM

R Martin line drive hr to left. 2 run shot. That ball left in a hurry. Followed by double for Kemp. Maine running out of steam? 78 pitches, 1 out in the 5th.

Posted by Anthony at 2:38 PM

Joe Torre loves the intentional walk; 3rd of the series. Frenchy with a bloop double to make it 5-1 end of 3.

Posted by Anthony at 2:13 PM

Maine lets up unearned run in 3rd due to Reyes error, but gets his 4th k. 50 pitches after 3 innings

Posted by Anthony at 2:00 PM

Pagan ropes 2-run triple. Mets up 3-0. Cora drives opp field double. 4-0. end of 2nd

Posted by Anthony at 1:48 PM

R Martin just went out and got the ball Ely struck out J Bay with for a keepsake. FYI, Bay took an 86 mph fastball looking to end bot of the 1st.

Posted by Anthony at 1:28 PM

J Maine is throwing his fastball early and often, and has 2 ks in 1st inning. Hasn't touched 90 according to Citi radar.

Posted by Anthony at 1:17 PM

Sorry for late line up post, but here it is: Pagan Cora Reyes Bay Wright Davis Francoeur Barajas Maine.

The stadium is empty and very windy.

Mets will win 5-3

Posted by Anthony at 1:01 PM

Every day Nieve warming up yet again

And I'm going to the game!

Just got myself a ticket for the game! Caesar's Club section 325.


Scouting Report on the Dodgers starter, John Ely

I thought, along with SNY, that Josh Towers was going to be making the start today for the Dodgers to replace V Padilla (DL-forearm stiffness), but apparently it's going to be Dodgers prospect John Ely making his major league debut. He was drafted in the 3rd round of 2007 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of Miami-Ohio.  He was acquired by the Dodgers along with Jon Link in the Juan Pierre trade this off-season. Prior to this off-season, he was ranked #11 or 12 on the White Sox prospect list.

He almost won the Southern League Triple Crown in 2009, leading the league in strikeouts, tied for the league lead in wins, and finished 2nd in ERA (2.82). He has an outstanding makeup and his preparation, intensity and poise are major assets. He's never missed a start in college or professional baseball.

Ely is a bit of a finesse pitcher (but doesn't have the control to be successful at the major league level yet), throwing between 88-91 mph fastball, which he adds and subtracts from, and added a cut fastball last year to try to increase his effectiveness versus left-handed hitters (hit .271 vs him last year, compared to .217 for RH). He has a curveball, but it hasn't developed as he/the team wishes. His best pitch is his mid-70s change-up, which is a plus pitch.  Scouts don't love his stuff, and question if he has enough velocity and/or command to be a quality major league pitcher (8 walks in 18 innings this year).

(UPDATE May 18th: He hasn't walked a hitter in 84 straight at bats, and over his last three games, he has 21 strikeouts and zero walks. Impressive command. His change-up has been outstanding, and he has been using it as his out pitch)

It's A Beautiful Morning

Good morning New York! The New York Mets are in FIRST PLACE. I know it means nothing because its April 28th, but get excited. Big game today then off to Philly.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Series Finale tomorrow

Anyone planning/wanting/able to go to the game tomorrow (Wednesday)? It's a 1:10 start, and I want to find a way to celebrate this great homestand and cheer on this winning streak.

Let me know if anyone else is planning on going.


Mets win! Sweep doubleheader. Game 2 final 10-5

Mets are playing great baseball right now, taking advantage of other team's mistakes and minimizing their own. In the past, if the starter couldn't get out of the 4th inning, the Mets had no chance of winning. But Takahashi came in and provided outstanding relief, and the offense came through. D Wright was 3-3 in the 2nd game, with 4 RBIs, and also got his 1,000 hit in his Mets career (8th player in Mets history to do it).

Mets have won 6 in a row, and 8 of the last 9. If the Phillies lose tonight, the Mets will wake up in the morning in 1ST PLACE.

What a difference a week makes huh?
And Ollie doesn't make it out of the 4th inning. Mets up 3-2 but bases are loaded.
Mets win game 1 4-0, highlighted by 6 shutout innings from Johan and J Bay's 1st HR as a NY Met. Ollie P on the mound to try to sweep the dh. LET GO METS!

Scouting Report for Game 21 starter Charlie Haeger

The 26-year old knuckleballer is in his 3rd organization since 2006 (White Sox, Padres and Dodgers). He has a 5.53 career ERA in 68 1/3 innings, including a 6.46 ERA this year in 3 starts. He struck out 12 Marlins in his first start of the year, but has been less effective in each of the last two starts. He has been very wild, with > 7 W/9 innings in the small sample size this year.

Haeger throws an 83-84 MPH Fastball appx 20% of the time (up from 8% last year), a 78-79 mph slider 5% of the time, and the rest is a 70 mph knuckleball 75%.

So obviously a very different style than game 1 starter for the Dodgers (Kuroda).

Game 20: Mets vs Dodgers

Here is the line-up that is facing H Kuroda (same as last night, but Johan is pitching game 1, with Perez throwing game 2):

Angel Pagan – CF
Luis Castillo – 2B
Jose Reyes – SS
Jason Bay – LF
David Wright – 3B
Ike Davis – 1B
Gary Matthews Jr. – RF
Rod Barajas – C
Johan Santana – LHP

Prediction: Mets win 2-1 as Johan goes 7 innings and saves the bullpen for the 2nd game of the doubleheader.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Tonight's Game is Cancelled

Mets Dodgers will play a single admission doubleheader tomorrow, starting at 4PM. Johan Santana and Oliver Perez will pitch for the Mets.

Game 20- Mets vs Dodgers

1st game of the series will be played tonight, 7:10, weather depending. This is the line-up that was face H Kuroda.

Angel Pagan – CF
Luis Castillo – 2B
Jose Reyes – SS
Jason Bay – LF
David Wright – 3B
Ike Davis – 1B
Gary Matthews Jr. – RF
Rod Barajas – C
Oliver Perez – LHP

Jeff Francoeur gets a day off. At least Ike Davis seperates the two strikeout machines (D Wright, who has struck out in 12 straight games, and G Matthews Jr.).

Check out the post earlier for the scouting report on the two pitchers.

My Prediction: Mets lose 5-2, as erratic Ollie shows up and the Mets bats have trouble solving Kuroda.

Scouting Report Hiroki Kuroda

Mets open up a three-game set tonight, welcoming in Joe Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets are fortunate to miss the two best arms in the Dodgers rotation, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. They will face their #3 pitcher Hiroki Kuroda tonight. He is 2-0 this year, but coming off a poor outing versus the Reds, during which he allowed a couple HRs (which is rare), but was helped out by the potent Dodgers line-up which scored 14 runs for him.

The 35-year old is in his 3rd year in the United States after coming over from Japan. He uses a high 3/4s delivery, with a pause at the top of his delivery to gather himself/disrupt the hitters timing. He throws 89-92 mph fastballs to both sides of the plate, has two different sliders (one has a tight sharp break, the other is more of a slurve), and uses a split-finger fastball as his strikeout pitch. Rarely walks anyone ( < 2 W/9), and rarely lets up HR ( < 1 HR/9), which is a very successful combination. Ground-ball pitcher that doesn't strike out a ton of hitters (6.2 K/9 for his career, which is below league average). He is a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher when healthy (was on the DL last year with an oblique strain for two months, concussion for three weeks, and a herniated disc which caused him to miss the NLDS).

Oliver Perez faces the Dodgers tonight, and let's see if he breaks 90 mph at any time during the outing tonight. Perez has a 2.84 ERA versus the Dodgers over the past three years. Here's the scouting report: Ollie P.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mets win Game 19 in a rain shortened game, 1-0

Heavy rain falling at Citi Field. It is an official game right now, as Mets would win 1-0. Plenty of Mets fans hope the rain continues all night right now...

Huge DP for Pelf. gets through 5 scoreless innings. 10 base-runners tonight, but zero runs to show for Atlanta's effort thus far.

Posted by Anthony at 9:54 PM

Pelfrey is laboring (89 pitches) through 4 innings, but still is throwing a shutout. Mets 1-0 middle of the 4th. 23 shutout innings and counting for Big Pelf.

Posted by Anthony at 9:34 PM

Pelfrey escapes 2 walks and leaves the bases loaded in the 1st inning

Posted by Anthony at 8:23 PM

Game 19- Mets vs Braves

Weather permitting, the Mets will try to sweep the Braves. This is the line up that will try to get Mike Pelfrey the win:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jose Reyes, SS
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Henry Blanco, C
Mike Pelfrey, RHP

For the scouting reports on Tommy Hanson and Mike Pelfrey, click here:  Future star vs Big Pelf

My Prediction: I'm expecting a 3-2 game, but it's a toss up who will win. But since they are having a great homestand, I'm going with the Metsies


Scouting Report Tommy Hanson

The Mets face the 23-year old phenom tonight at 8:10. He threw 127 innings or the Braves last year, and if you ask a number of Braves fans, he is the reason they missed the playoffs last year. No, he didn't perform poorly, instead, the Braves wanted to prevent his service time/arbitration clock from starting, so he made 11 starts in AAA instead. If the Braves had Hanson start those 11 games in the big leagues, many fans (and even the Braves players) believe they make the playoffs last year. He only faced the Mets once last year, and threw seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits. His ERA last year was 2.89 (WHIP 1.18). There was some concern after his last start that he was tipping his pitches, as he lasted only 4 2/3 innings vs the Phillies, as they fouled off 23 pitches.

Hanson has an unorthodox delivery, as he throws across his body, something that makes some physical therapists/scouts cringe. He has a heavy, moving fastball that ranges from 90-94 mph. He's not afraid to pitch inside. He throws a tight curveball and a sweeping slider (throws it 25% of the time), while improving his change-up (only throws it 3 or 4 times a game) could make him a top 5 pitcher in the league. Has a ridiculous strikeout rate (over 10 k/9 in the minors, over 8 k/9 last year). Is a future ace in the making.

To read about the Mets starter, click here: Big Pelf. Pelfrey has a 19 inning scoreless streak, and is pitching with a ton of confidence. Will definitely be the #2 starter behind Johan if he continues to pitch like this. Biggest improvement over last year is the development of a split-finger fastball.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And the ball game is over! Mets get back to .500 with a 3-1 win over the Braves! who are these guys?? Big Pelf goes for the sweep tomorrow night, espn.

Perfect day for a ball game. Thanks to loyal reader, Evan, for the picture

Game 18- Mets vs Braves

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Jair Jurrjens:


For the scouting report on Jurrjens and Niese, click here: Jurrjens vs Niese

Prediction: Mets win the game (and another series), to get back to .500, by a score of 5-3. Niese works 6+ innings.


Scouting Report Jair Jurrjens

The Mets face 24-year old Jair Jurrjens this afternoon. Last year the righty faced the Mets 5 times, and went 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA. He missed some time this spring training with shoulder weakness, and in his first start he only lasted 3 2/3 innings and was throwing 88-89 mph. He regained his velocity last start vs Colorado, and went 8 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 solo HR in the 7th and 8th innings).

Jair Jurrjens was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball last year, and finished with a 2.60 ERA, as a result of giving up three runs or less in 26 of his 34 starts (and never more than five runs). He has a smooth, easily repeatable delivery, with a 3/4 arm slot. He knows how to pitch, and adds/subtracts on his fastball depending on the situation, and it ranges from 88-94 mph. He took a big step forward last year by adding a slider with good bite to his excellent change-up. He is a good athlete, but is not a pitcher that will contend for a ERA title again in my opinion (had an unrepeatable/uncontrollable .268 BAPIP last year).I would project him for a 3.8-3.9 ERA this year.

For the scouting report on the pitcher opposing Jarrjens, click here: Jon Niese. I am interested to see if Niese tries to feature his curveball more in this start after barely throwing it in Colorado last start.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And the ballgame is over! Mets win 5-2. K-rod leads the teams in saves finally. Takahashi gets a much deserved W. Great win for the Mets. Sloppy game by Braves
Maine left the game due to pain/muscle spasms in his NON-THROWING ELBOW. poor excuse
Ike Davis HR estimated 450 feet.


Game tied at 1 after 5.

Ike Davis hits his 1st career HR. ties the game up 1-1.
And John Maine exits the game in the 4th inning due to an injury. Leaves the game losing 1-0.

Game 17. Mets vs Braves

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Ken Kawakami:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jose Reyes, SS (1st time in his career)
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Rod Barajas, C
John Maine, RHP

My prediction: Mets win 6-4, as neither starting pitcher throws 6 innings. David Wright and Jason Bay both break out of their slumps tonight.


Check out the pitchers scouting reports here: Mets Game 17

Scouting Report on Kenshin Kawakami

The Mets face Japanese import, Kenshin Kawakami, tonight. This is his 2nd year in the majors and he faced the Mets 5 times last year (3 starts), and posted a 2.19 ERA. In his two starts this year, he tossed 6 effective innings vs the Giants, needing only 85 pitches. His last start he faced a more patient Rockies team, and he needed 103 pitches to get through 5 innings (8 hits, 4 runs).

He was brought over to the Braves to be a #4/5 starter, and that's exactly what he was/is. He's 35 years old, and mixes an 88-89 mph sinking fastball, a cutter/slider, curveball and a splitter to keep hitters off balance. He relies on his control to be effective, so the Mets need to be patient like the Rockies were, make him run up a high pitch count, and get into the bullpen. He is a below average strikeout pitcher (6 K/9 last year), and is a mild fly-ball pitcher, so maybe the Mets can take advantage of a mistake or two and hit a couple HRs tonight.

For the scouting report on his opposing pitcher, click here: John Maine

Line-up Discussion

This was posted this morning by one of the readers, and figured we could have a little discussion on what you think the ideal Mets line-up is, without Carlos Beltran.

Here is John's post; I will post my ideal line-up in the comments, and encourage you to do the same.


1)He is not a power hitter
2)He is not hitting above 250
3)He is struggling himself
4)He is not a patient hitter
5)He likes batting LEAD OFF
6)He can not hit a curve ball

I guess this is the winning lineup in "JERRY's MIND"
1)Pagan CF
2)Bay LF
4)Wright 3B
5)Francour RF
6)Davis 1B
7)Barahas C
8)Castillo 2b

JERRY...you are clueless


9) Pitcher!!!

Reasons--Reyes is the LEADOFF hitter..pagan has been making solid contact and is a good fastball hitter ..very hard to double up these two...if either get on then Wright will see more fastballs. You need to get your best hitters the most AT BATS in a game. Right now Pagan is showing some power and will benefit in the 2 hole he does not have the power to bat 3-6 but is hitting better than everyone in those spots. Castillo (despite what some think) is a professional HITTER. he knows his role and does it for the good of the team!! you have to bat him 2 or 7(second lead off spot). Enough said...back to work

Why Johan Won; Reyes to Bat 3rd vs the Braves

Here is some interesting stats from ESPN, TMI Blog:

Why Mets starter Johan Santana won:

- Great offspeed stuff (threw 71 percent for strikes; hitters went 1-14, 4 K and chased 39 percent out of the strike zone).

- Stayed ahead in the count: Threw 70 percent first-pitch strikes (MLB avg: 58) and went to three 2-0 counts and two 3-ball counts against 27 hitters.

- Improved efficiency: 21 of 27 hitters (78 percent) saw four pitches or fewer (MLB avg: 65).

That is a great trifecta there. Johan isn't the pitcher that dominated the league like he was with the Twins, but he is an intelligent warrior, who hates to lose, and seems to always find a way to keep his team in the game, even when he doesn't have has best fastball velocity (which was the case again last night).

Also, Adam Rubin, from ESPN New York, is reporting that Jose Reyes will bat 3rd versus the Braves this weekend in an effort to jump-start Jason Bay. Maybe this will create the "length" that Jerry Manuel keeps talking about.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mets Win a Series!!

Mets win tonight 5-2, behind an outstanding pitching performance by Johan Santana. K-Rod got the 5-out save.

The big play in the 4-run inning for the Mets was an error by Cubs 2nd baseman M Fontenot, and Ike Davis took advantage, scoring from 2nd base.

Jeff Francoeur was 1-4, and saw a total of 10 pitches during those 4 at bats. Great approach.

Ike Davis went 3-4, and this is a picture from his major league debut, courtesy of Mike, and the soon to be, Kristina Medina.  thanks and congrats guys!!

Mets open up a 3-game set versus the Braves tomorrow night.
Great hustle by Ike Davis scoring from 2nd on an error. Mets score 4 in the 6th. Johan going back out there for the 7th.
Great battle by Soriano but Johan wins it. 6 shutout innings. Let's see if the offense can get at least one run for him tonight.
Jeff Francoeur is really improving his patience. Last year he'd swing at 1st pitch. Now he loves to swing at 2nd pitch sliders. Great approach Frenchy.

Game 16- Mets vs Cubs

The Mets are trying to win their first series of the year tonight. This is the line-up that will face LHP Tom Gorzelanny:

Jose Reyes – SS
Luis Castillo – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Jason Bay – LF
Jeff Francoeur – RF
Ike Davis – 1B
Rod Barajas – C
Angel Pagan – CF
Johan Santana – LHP

For what's its worth, Jerry Manuel keeps talking about giving the line-up "more length", and he wants to move Jose Reyes or Angel Pagan to the #3 slot.  I have no idea what "more length" means, but if you think Angel Pagan could be your number 3 hitter, then why is he hitting 8th?!?

For the scouting report on tonight's pitchers, click here : Gorzelanny vs Johan


Scouting Report for LHP Tom Gorzelanny

Mets face the first Left-handed starter of the series, Tom Gorzelanny. The former Pirates prospect was traded to the Cubs mid-season last year, and has begun to show signs of turning around his career. I doubt he will ever be the future ace that he looked like in 2007 (when the Pirates made it throw 30+ meaningless innings in September), but he can be a useful arm in the rotation.

He has a herky-jerky delivery (turns his back to the hitters to create deception), and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws 88-92 (velocity has been more in the 90s since coming over to the Cubs), a solid change-up that runs down and away from righties, and both a slider and curveball (he utilizes his slider a lot more, throwing his curve only a few times a game). He's a fly ball pitcher who has swing and miss stuff (9 K/9 last year), but also has inconsistent command and  has struggled with walks previously (6 W/9 in 2008).

He left his last start after getting hit in the shoulder, but he says he will be fine to make the start.

For Mets starter Johan Santana's scouting report, click here : Johan Santana

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mets lose 9-3. Got to win the series tomorrow with Johan.

Game 15- Mets vs Cubs

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Carlos Silva:

Jose Reyes – SS
Luis Castillo – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Jason Bay – RF
Jeff Francoeur – LF
Ike Davis – 1B
Rod Barajas – C
Angel Pagan – CF
Oliver Perez – LHP

My Prediction: Mets lose a slug-fest 8-6.

Check out the post from earlier today for the scouting reports on Silva and Perez.

In other news unrelated to this series, Carlos Zambrano appears to be headed to the bullpen on Friday.

Acosta Up, Igarashi to the DL

R Igarashi is headed to the DL with a moderate hamstring strain. Manny Acosta is recalled to take his spot in the bullpen. So far in AAA, Acosta has pitched in five games, thrown 8 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and seven hits for a 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.

For the scouting report on Acosta when he signed with the Mets back in March, check it out: Acosta

Mike Jacobs Clears Waivers

This according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

My Take: I'm completely shocked that no other team in baseball wants a very bad baseball player. No team wanted him in the off-season, and still no one wants him. Can't say that I blame them. Jacobs has to decide if he will report to AAA-Buffalo, or become a free agent.

Jon Heyman on Carlos Beltran

Heyman of SI.com, just tweeted "Carlos Beltran met with Dr. Steadman. doing well but dr. advises all "hot spots" (bone bruises) heal before he can run."

My Take: The surgery was supposed to get rid of the causes of the "hot spots." After 3 months of rest and rehab, this should not be an issue. I trust what Heyman is saying because he is a "spokesperson for Scott Boras." This is very bad news for the Mets and I no longer am counting on Carlos Beltran returning any time in the near/far future.

Very discouraging news.

Scouting Report for RHP Carlos Silva

I'm not quite sure how Carlos Silva has a sub 1.00 ERA this year in 13 innings, but my bet is it won't last.

He features an 89 MPH fastball, 79 mph slider, and an 80 mph change-up. So far this year, he is throwing his fastball a lot less, and his slider a lot more (maybe this is the reason for his small sample size success?). He has always pitched to contact (aka, doesn't strike anyone out; career 3.8 K/9), and doesn't walk many ( < 2 W/9). He signed a 4 year, 48 million dollar contract before the 2008 season with the Mariners, and quickly went out there, started 28 games, and had a 6.46 ERA (1.60 WHIP). 2009 didn't get any better, as he had a shoulder injury in May, returned in September, and finished the year with an 8.60 ERA (1.71 WHIP). Was traded this off-season in exchange for Milton Bradley.

He is the Cubs equivalent to Oliver Perez; Getting paid like a #2/3 starter, but has performed more like a #5 (in the past, not counting this year)

For the scouting report for Mets starter, click here: Oliver Perez

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post Game Recap, Game 14. Mets win 4-0

  •  Mike Pelfrey extended his scoreless innings streak to 19 innings.
    • He threw 7 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 6 k's.
      • His splitter was very effective tonight and has been the key to his success
  •  Welcome back Jose Reyes 
    • He had 4 hits, and really set the tone with his 2-run Triple. 
      • Also stole a base in the 8th inning
    • Fernando Tatis hit a 2-run pinch hit HR in the 8th to secure the game
    • D Wright heard some boo-birds after going 0-4
      • Jeff Francoeur was also hitless (extends his streak to 0-18)
      • Ike Davis was 0-3 with a walk and two strike outs
    • R Igarashi injured his hamstring on a bunt play in the 8th inning, and was relieved by Fernando Nieve
      • Nieve worked in his 10th game tonight (out of 14)
    • F Rodriguez walked two batters in the 9th, but escaped unscathed 
    • Defensive play of the game was a pick off by Henry Blanco, throwing behind the runner on 2nd to end the 5th inning
    Overall another very crisp game. The Cubs right now look like the Mets did a few days ago; life-less. Mets try to win three games in a row tomorrow night, with a match-up of bloated contracts, Oliver Perez versus Carlos Silva. Even with this poor start to the season, the Mets are only 2.5 games out of 1st place.

    Carlos Beltran- MD update; Igarashi MRI tomorrow

    Beltran was NOT cleared to begin running and/or any baseball activities. I, along with everyone else, was very surprised to hear this tonight.  It has been over 3 months since the surgery...This is not good (understatement of the year).

    Also in tonight's game, R Igarashi strained his hamstring, and will have an MRI tomorrow. So much for him being our 8th inning guy, at least in the short-term.
    Put it in the books! Mets win 4-0.
    Big Z loses focus, walks Big Pelf, then J Reyes triples in 2 runs. 2-0 mets after 2 innings.

    Game 14- Mets vs Cubs

    Mets try to take the 1st two games of the series tonight versus the Chicago Cubs. Here is the line-up that will face RHP Carlos Zambrano.

    1. Jose Reyes SS
    2. Luis Castillo 2B
    3. David Wright 3B
    4. Jason Bay LF
    5. Jeff Francoeur RF
    6. Ike Davis 1B
    7. Angel Pagan CF
    8. Henry Blanco C
    9. Mike Pelfrey P

    For the scouting report for Zambrano and Pelfrey, check out the post from earlier today (Big Z vs Pelfrey).

    My Prediction: Mets start a winning streak as they win 4-2. Jason Bay continues hitting (he has the most RBIs out of any active player versus Zambrano) and Pelfrey shows some effects from the relief effort on Saturday, lasting only 5+ innings.


    Everyone likes Ike

    The response to Ike Davis' debut was overwhelmingly positive. I was surprised at the number of news stories nationally, including two articles at baseball prospectus and one at fangraphs.

    Here is an excerpt from the baseball prospectus articles:
    In all, Davis saw 13 pitches and only two were fastball. Yet he managed a pair of hits on non-fastballs, making for a solid debut for Davis and good news for the Mets, whose first basemen had combined for the second-worst OPS (516) in the National League prior to Monday, ahead of only the Pirates (391).
    And From Kevin Goldstein (prospect expert), also of Baseball Prospectus:
    Davis certainly entered the year as the club's first baseman of the future, but the plan was for that to begin in September if Davis continued to make progress at Triple-A. Injuries, poor performances, and bad signing decisions have moved that timetable up considerably. The future is certainly bright for Davis, but I wouldn't expect too much until next year. He's in the big leagues right now by need, not design. 

    Mike Axisa from Fangraphs had this to say about Ike versus lefties .
    His bane is lefty pitchers, and has been since his days at Arizona State (seriously, who had him beating college teammate and fellow 2008 first rounder Brett Wallace to majors?). Davis hit .267 (.369 BABIP) with a .110 ISO against southpaws in the minors, compared to .297 (.343 BABIP) with a .203 ISO vs. righties, though 191 and 478 at-bats aren’t the largest of sample sizes. He did hang in well to single off Sean Marshall last night, who fed him three curveballs and a slider.
    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/ike-arrives

    My take: He has created a much needed buzz around this Mets team, and an unexpected buzz nationally. Hopefully his arrival will jump-start the Mets into a winning streak, because at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

    Scouting Report, RHP Carlos Zambrano

    Tonight, the Mets face RHP Carlos Zambrano. The 10 year veteran is getting paid to be an ace, and that frustrates numerous Cubs fans because he isn't an ace, but he is still an above average pitcher (one that I would gladly welcome on the Mets).

    He throws from a low 3/4s arm slot, features a 91-94 mph sinking fastball, a late-biting slider, a decent change-up and an improving split-finger. He uses his split as his main strike out pitch, which increased his walks (4.15 W/9 last year), but also increased his strikeouts (8 K/9). He's a fly-ball pitcher, but had an unexplained decrease in Home Runs last year, which contributed to a better than expected ERA (3.77). He probably is a better hitter than two or three regulars on the Mets, with a .632 career OPS and 20 home runs.

    So the positives seem great, but here are the negatives: He's making 18 million dollars (signed through 2013) and people repeatedly question his work ethic and mental make-up. He missed time last year with back spasms that were blamed on poor conditioning. Also loses focus often in games and his mechanics are tough to repeat.

    When he's on, he can completely dominate a game.

    For the scouting report on Mets starter, Mike Pelfrey, click here: Mike Pelfrey

    Battle of the Blog Fantasy Baseball Update

    I had posted in late March that I was participating in a 20-team fantasy baseball league with fellow bloggers (Check out the set-up post here: Battle of the Blogs). Well, after two weeks, yours truly is in 1st place, so I figured it was time to talk about this league once again.

    How did I get into this position? Well the first week I had an unexpected tough match-up vs KC Sports Central (can't believe I lost 9-10-1 to a blog that doesn't even focus on baseball). However, I bounced back in a big way last week, and poor Fire Eric Bruntlett felt my team's anger, as he took a beating; I dominated this Phillies blogger 17-3. I do feel bad, so I will link to his site, so you can go there and make fun of his team (http://www.fireericbruntlett.com/).  Just be careful, because this may be the only time the Mets beat the Phillies this year.

    This week, I'm matched up with a Royals blog, Royals Junkie, so if you want to check out some pics from opening day at Kaufmann Stadium, head over there. He's already picked up Ike Davis, but besides Evan Longoria, I'm not scared of his team. So be on the lookout for next week's recap and expect LongLiveSheaStadium to remain atop of the standings.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Carlos Beltran Update

    Beltran is going to be visiting Dr. Steadman in Vail, CO this week and should receive clearance to begin running and baseball activities.

    Omar Minaya has said that once he begins this, he could return in 4-6 weeks.  So June 1st may be a realistic return date, vs the Mid-May I was expecting.

    Whenever he does return, let's hope he is pain-free and is the Carlos Beltran that we know and love.

    Game 13- Mets win 6-1

    Ike Davis' debut went smoothly, as he got his 1st major league hit in his first at bat (broken bat over the 2nd baseman's head), and later got his first RBI (vs a lefty, but the whole at bat didn't look pretty).

    Other highlights:
    • Angel Pagan gave the Mets a 3-1 lead with a 2-run HR in the 7th
      • This opened up the flood gates, as the Mets scored 5 in the 7th
    • J Niese scattered eight hits, but he did get hit pretty hard, and needed 112 pitches to go 5+ innings
    • J Mejia pitched the 8th and 9th innings to close out the game.
      • He hit M Byrd in the head in the top of the 9th, but thankfully he is ok.
    • Jeff Francoeur went 0-4, and is 0 for his last 14.
      • J Bay went 2-3 including a double in the 7th inning, so hopefully he's breaking out of his slump.
    Mets play tomorrow night, Mike Pelfrey vs Carlos Zambrano, 7:10 start. Let's start a winning streak.

    Scouting Report on Randy Wells

    Randy Wells is a former catcher, who was a rule 5 draft pick by the Blue Jays, but he was eventually returned back to the Cubs. He had a surprisingly good year last year, with a 3.05 ERA. However, that was a very lucky ERA, as he stranded more runners on base than average and doesn't strike out many guys (5.7 K/9; league average is 7). He should regress this year, and have an ERA over 4.00. So he is a league average/#4 starter, not the ace that he looked like last year, but still a serviceable starter.

    He features a low-90s fastball, a slider and change-up, while having good control (2.5 W/9).

    Ike Davis- K Law's take (From January)

    Davis, 23, is currently in Triple-A after a breakout season in Double-A last year, ranks No. 64 on Law's top 100 list. Law praised Davis for his plus raw power and patient approach against right-handed pitching, but acknowledged that Davis still has a lot of flaws before being ready to play in the majors. In late January, Law said of Davis, "A full year in Double-A/Triple-A to work on pitch recognition and on improving his approach against left-handers is probably critical for his future as an everyday player, but he has a chance to be an above-average one if he can shed the "platoon player" tag with more reps."

    He has less than 670 professional at bats, but again, he has created a buzz about the Mets, and for once it's positive buzz.


    Game 13: Mets vs Chicago Cubs

    Here is the line-up that will face RHP Randy Wells:

    Angel Pagan – CF
    Luis Castillo – 2B
    David Wright – 3B
    Jason Bay – LF
    Jeff Francoeur – RF
    Ike Davis – 1B
    Rod Barajas – C
    Alex Cora – SS
    Jon Niese – LHP

    Apparently Jose Reyes asked for, and was granted, the day off...
    I will post a scouting report for Randy Wells shortly (hopefully).

    Hitting 6th, #29

    Ike Davis, 1B.

    Tobi Stoner was sent down to make room for Ike Davis on the roster.

    Baseball Prospectus- Ike Davis

    Here is the scouting report from Baseball Prospectus:

    The Good: Davis has classic first-base tools, with a good feel of the strike zone and plus to plus-plus raw power, and he's equally successful at turning on fastballs as he is driving them the other way. He's a solid defender at first base, although his outstanding arm is a bit wasted at the position.

    My Take: Plus to Plus-Plus Power is what is making the Mets salivate

    The Bad: Davis struggles against left-handers, having hit .235 against them last year with just four home runs in 132 at-bats. His power-only approach could use some adjustments, especially when behind in the count, and he'll likely always have high strikeout totals. He's not a fluid athlete, and he’s also a slow runner.

    The Ike Davis Era...

    May begin tonight.

    SNY is reporting he has been scratched from his game in Buffalo, and will be at Citi Field tonight.

    Here is his line so far in AAA this year: Overall he’s hitting .364/.500/.636 (12-for-33, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 9 BB).

    Here is a scouting report from Toby Hyde on Ike Davis Metsminorleagueblog.com/ike-davis.
    Davis has above average bat speed and really does his damage against fastballs. His power, which is above average, is from straight-away center-field on over to the right-field line. He can take a pitch, working a count to pick one he can handle and drive. Patience and power is a great foundation for an offensive game.
    That sounds great, so what about the negatives?

    Mechanically, Davis’s swing is not simple, but he makes it all work. He drops his hands back and down almost all the way to the jersey letters in his load, which leads to a hitch in the back. He takes a fairly large stride, which can lead to him being out on his front foot against breaking balls. Because his hands moved down at the beginning, he can be beat and will chase fastballs up.

    My Take: Mets fans are very excited that they get to see our future 1st baseman, but we just need to make sure the expectations are not too high. He is definitely better than Mike Jacobs, and for that I'm happy.  But he will struggle versus lefties, especially against breaking balls. His glove has been hyped as well, but when I watched him during Spring Training, he made his share of errors. Again, I'm happy he's coming to the Mets, but don't expect him to be Keith Hernandez with his glove, or D-Straw with his bat.


    Mets lose another game, and another series

    Mets lost 5-3, and now sit at 4-12 for the year. They have yet to win a single series.

    Recap of last night:
    • John Maine needed 115 pitches to throw 5 innings
      • He threw his fastball more, but it still wasn't effective, and grooved a 87 MPH right down the middle, which C Rasmus quickly deposited beyond the fence
    • Adam Wainwright threw 107 pitches to throw 9 innings (complete game)
      • His curveball was filthy, and throws it 16-17 mph slower than his fastball
      • He retired the last 11 batters he faced
      • Struck out nine and only walked two
    • The Mets offense was offensive once again, mustering four hits (all singles), so it's been over 27 innings since the last extra base hit
      • The Mets had TWO extra base hits the entire series.
      • Guess you can't expect anything when Frank Catalanotto hits clean-up
    • Jeff Francoeur threw Ludwick out at the plate, which saved a run early in the game.
      • He clearly has a cannon and loves to use it; it could've been a game-changing if the Mets were a good team.
    • Ludwick jumped on 1st pitch fastball from Igarashi and hit a 2-run HR in the 8th
      • T Stoner, recently recalled from Buffalo, pitched well 2 1/3 innings), but got the loss
     Mets return home tonight to play the Chicago Cubs (5-7) at 7:10 PM, in search of it's first series win. Pitching match-ups for the series: Randy Wells (RHP) vs Jon Niese (LHP). Carlos Zambrano (RHP) vs Mike Pelfrey (RHP). Carlos Silva (RHP) vs Oliver Perez (LHP) and Thursday, Tom Gorzelanny (LHP) vs Johan Santana (LHP).

    And in case you missed it last night, the Mets have designated Mike Jacobs for assignment, and the supposed Mets "Savoir", Ike Davis, should make his Mets debut this week (maybe as soon as tonight, as they are facing three RHP this series). I love the fact they stepped up and DFA'd Mike Jacobs, although it was 11 games too late; but at least they acknowledged their mistake. I wouldn't be bringing up Davis yet, I would prefer C Carter, but both are better than Jacobs/Tatis so it will help the team.


    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Mets in-game comments Game 12

    Mets lost 5-3 tonight; Ludwick with 2 run HR in the 8th.
    Mets playing with fire allowing all these base runners, but they escape the 6th unscathed, as Pujols flies out to dead center.
    11 base runners before completing the 5th inning is not the recipe for a good outing for John Maine. 3-run HR for C Rasmus to tie the game up
    73 pitches in 3 innings for John Maine. Just what we needed from you after a 20-inning game John.
    Another base-running mistake by the Mets, this time by Pagan (who was a repeat offender in 2009), but Wainwright airmailed it and Mets take a 3-0 lead

    Game 12- Mets @ Cardinals

    Sorry for the delay in posting the line-up, but here it is:

    Jose Reyes, SS
    Alex Cora, 2B
    David Wright, 3B
    Frank Catalanotto, 1B
    Jeff Francoeur, RF
    Gary Matthews Jr., CF
    Rod Barajas, C
    Angel Pagan, LF
    John Maine, RHP

    Is Jerry trying to get fired by putting Catalanotto in the CLEAN-UP HOLE?!?! He has hit 3 home runs in the past 2 years FYI...

    This is the worst line-up I think we will see in the major leagues this year...

    And in other news, Tobi Stoner was promoted for an extra arm after last night's 20 inning game, and in a huge shocker, MIKE JACOBS WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT!!!!! I am a very happy man right now.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is saying the Mets will promote Ike Davis this week.

    Video of Alex Cora's Diving Catch Going Into the Stands

    Check the video out on Mets.com; the game-saving/inning-ending play by Alex Cora in the 10th inning:


    I said at the time of the play, I don't think Jacobs or Tatis makes that play. That's why we signed Alex Cora to a 2-million dollar deal...

    Some Observations from yesterday's "Marathon"

    After reading some other recaps this morning, here were a couple of my favorites:
    • Lost in this game was the great starting pitching by Johan Santana and Jaime Garcia. Both pitchers were very impressive. Johan threw 7 innings, let up 4 hits, but struck out 9. 
    • Angel Pagan went 3-for-6 in the game. The rest of the Mets were 6-for-55 (.109).
    • The Mets went 1-for-30 against fastballs. They entered the day 21st in the majors hitting .269 against fastballs, and are now down to 26th, hitting just .238 against heaters! Just as shockingly, they hit .357 against sliders and changeups (3-9 and 2-5, respectively). They entered the game hitting just .250 against those two pitches (Hat Tip: ESPN TMI Blog).
    • Jeff Francoeur knocked in one of the Mets runs but his average dropped 76 points (.457 to .381) after an 0-for-7 effort.
    • D Wright, J Bay and J Francoeur were a combined 1 for 19 with eight strikeouts in the 3-4-5 spots in the lineup.
    • The Mets had only nine hits in 20 innings tonight, all singles.
    • Quoting from Anthony DiComo’s post game report,
      Four Mets pitchers threw at least two innings of relief, allowing Manuel to save closer Francisco Rodriguez for a save situation. That did not occur until the 19th… Rodriguez, who had warmed up every inning from the eighth through the 19th, estimated that he threw more than 100 pitches in the bullpen. And he admitted to being somewhat gassed by the time Manuel finally called his name.
      • Really??? I know he was up a lot, but wow. Think that qualifies as the longest outing of K-Rod's major league career. 
        • Great job Jerry. Usually teams hesitate to put a guy into a game after warming up 3 times, we allow our best bullpen arm to warm up 11 TIMES

      Mets are going to need to call a reliever or two up for tonight's game, especially since John Maine is not usually an "innings eater".

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Recap of In-Game Posts from Game 11 on Saturday. Mets win 2-1

    Mets win 2-1 in 20 innings. Mike Pelfrey (!) gets the save. Can't believe I just spent 7 hours watching baseball today. But it's a whole lot better than losing.

    And the Mets take the lead in the top of the 19th, 1-0! K-Rod, you better not blow this

    This is telling: Mets don't have confidence Luis Castillo can get a hit off a POSITION PLAYER.

    Mets have been shut out for two full games tonight, but still haven't lost. Thrilling game. need a W

    Please don't pitch to Pujols right here with a runner on 1st

    Mets are scoreless after 16 innings. Wow. Cardinals have their top of the order up. no chance Pujols sees another strike this game.

    14 scoreless innings...

    13 scoreless innings. Lets Go Mets. Win this game

    Alex Cora dives into the stands to end the bottom of the 10th. Neither Jacobs nor Tatis make that play

    After 9 innings complete, Mets and Cardinals tied at 0. Mets need to find a way to win this one in extra innings

    Game 11- Mets @ Cardinals

    Here is the starting line-up that will face LHP Jaime Garcia

    1. Jose Reyes – SS
    2. Luis Castillo – 2B
    3. David Wright – 3B
    4. Jason Bay – LF
    5. Jeff Francoeur – RF
    6. Fernando Tatis – 1B
    7. Rod Barajas – C
    8. Angel Pagan – CF
    9. Johan Santana – LHP
    Prediction: Mets win 3-0 and even up the series. LET'S GO METS!!

    2nd guessing Jerry's Choice of Valdez in the 7th inning

    I read this morning that Feliciano was unavailable last night due to an illness, so that is hopefully the reason why Manuel brought in Valdez.

    Scouting Report for Cardinals Pitcher Jaime Garcia

    Today, the Mets will face J Garcia (LHP) at 4:10 PM.

    Jaime Garcia is 23 years old, was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, and quickly became the Cardinals top pitching prospect. He missed most of last year recovering from Tommy John Surgery, but came back in time to pitch Memphis to the PCL (AAA) title, winning a pair of games. Had a brief cup of coffee with the Cardinals back in 2008, pitching in nine games out of the bullpen, and had one start. He features a hard, sinking fastball which often results in a ton of ground balls (60%+ GB% at every level in the minors), and also features a big, looping curve. Has strikeout stuff (more than a strikeout an inning last year in limited work), but he could benefit from decreasing the number of walks ( > 4 W/9 in his minor league career). Opened up everyone's eyes this spring training and won the #5 starter job. He had an impressive first start versus the Brewers last Saturday, allowing only one run in six innings.


    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Game 10 Final- Mets lose 4-3

    Mets lose 4-3. This felt almost like a playoff game (as the Mets haven't had many pitchers duels recently).

    Tough one to swallow.

    Gotta win with Johan tomorrow. Will have the scouting report for J Garcia in the AM.
    J Mejia with a very impressive 8th inning; with two strike outs looking.
    Mets need three in the 9th to tie it.
    And Jason Bay k's in his "biggest at-bat of his Mets career"
    Jason Bay has his biggest at bat of his Mets career right now, runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, top 8th.
    and a grand slam for Felipe Lopez. Un-be-liev-able
    F Nieve hits a batter and walks Holliday. awesome. now Raul Valdes, who is on loan from the mexican league, is in. AWESOME
    OUTSTANDING outing for Ollie P. 6 1/3 innings (responsible for runner on 2nd), 4 hits, 0 runs. Great follow up to Big Pelf's outing yesterday.
    7 innings for Carpenter (so far), let up a lone unearned run (the only run of the game ), and has 10 strike outs.
    Another K for Gary Matthews Jr.

    Just sayin'...

    6 shutout innings for Ollie P. Completely different pitcher tonight. Keep it up
    Ollie P has a new hesitation in his delivery. almost like the Japenese pitchers. A gathering point. Still not throwing 90 mph, but better control.
    Gary Matthews Jr. looks awful at the plate.

    Another wasted roster spot.

    Jeff Francoeur. LEARN TO RUN THE BASES. this is his 2nd mistake in the game.
    Mets make another base-running gaffe, but Frenchy escapes and scores the first run of the game.
    M Jacobs strikes out with runners on 1st and 3rd in the 1st to end the top of the inning. Good job Jerry Manuel.

    Game 10 (Series 4) @ St. Louis Cardinals

    Here's the Mets (3-6) Line-up that will face RHP Chris Carpenter:

    Jose Reyes, SS
    Luis Castillo, 2B
    David Wright, 3B
    Jason Bay, LF
    Mike Jacobs, 1B
    Jeff Francoeur, RF
    Rod Barajas, C
    Gary Matthews Jr., CF
    Oliver Perez, LHP

    Scouting Report on C Carpenter: He's pretty darn good. Finished 2nd in Cy Young Voting last year (17-4, 1.01 WHIP, 2.24 ERA).  He's 69-24 since joining the Cardinals in 2004. Smooth three-quarters arm action, and throws a 92-95 mph fastball. Jams lefties with a nasty cutter. Also throws two plus off-speed pitches: a tight curveball and a deceptive change-up. "When healthy" one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball (has had Tommy John Surgery, Labral repair, ulnar nerve transposition, among other DL stints). Has great control, barely walks anyone, and is a ground-ball machine.

    Prediction: St. Louis wins 6-1.


    Omar, Please Stop Talking

    "It was good to get the win. It just changes the momentum,'' Minaya said after the Mets had shut out the Rockies behind Mike Pelfrey's strong start. "St. Louis is always tough. If we can win two out of three, that will be outstanding. If we win one, I'll take it. We've got Jose [Reyes] back, and once we get [Daniel] Murphy and [Carlos] Beltran back, we can compete with everyone else.''

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Mets Win! Mets Win! Mets Win!

    Big Pelf throws a gem, going 7 innings, 0 runs, 0 walks, and Mets win 5-0. Mets offense capitized on De La Rosa's wildness (5 walks, 2 wild pitches).

    So the Mets sit at 3-6, and travel to St. Louis to face the defending NL Central Champions, and two of the best pitchers in the league, Carpenter and Wainwright Friday and Sunday.

    But it always feels better winning on getaway day. Let's hope they can build on this game.
    Pelfrey 7 innings of shutout baseball. 106 pitches.

    Just what the doctor ordered

    mets score 2 runs in the 4th with the help of 2 walks and a Pelfrey (!) base hit. mets leading 4-0 middle of the 4th.
    and frenchy swings at two fastballs low and away, grounds into a dp to kill a rally in the 1st inning. mets score one in the 1st to lead 1-0.

    Game 9 Line Up- Mets @ Rockies

    Here is the starting line-up that will face LHP Jorge De La Rosa (check the last post for his scouting report)

    Jose Reyes – SS
    Luis Castillo – 2B
    David Wright – 3B
    Jason Bay – LF
    Jeff Francoeur – RF
    Fernando Tatis – 1B
    Henry Blanco – C
    Angel Pagan – CF
    Mike Pelfrey – RHP

    My Prediction: Mets can't touch De La Rosa, and the offense "mails it in", losing 3-1. Mets losing streak reaches 5, and they travel to face the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow night, and Chris Carpenter awaits.

    Gotta stop the bleeding..

    Scouting Report for Rockies Starter Jorge De La Rosa

    He threw 7 shutout innings to get the win in his first outing, allowing only one hit and two walks (one IBB).

    The 29-year old lefty has a power arm (2nd hardest throwing lefty in MLB last year), which can consistently hit 95-96 mph. Also throws a low 90s cutter and a slider. Struck out over a batter an inning last year (193 k's in 184 innings), and really seemed to harness his control last year with his best walk/9 rate in his career (still high though at 4 W/9).

    Former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette once called De La Rosa, "the Mexican John Rocker."

    Well I think he turned out to be a little bit better than that, Dan.

    Jerry Manuel

    I know a lot of people are calling for Jerry to be fired, and as I said the other day, I will not lose any sleep if he is fired, but there better be another move accompanied with that: Omar Minaya can not be allowed to fire another manager. If Jerry goes, Omar must go with him.

    It's not Jerry's fault the team only has one reliable starting pitcher.

    Observations from Game 8

    • I know everyone is in love with Jeff Francoeur's hot start and is continuing to point it out to me since I do not think he is a good baseball player. For those who did not see his home run, this was the situation.
      • He sees 1st pitch fastball/sinker and had his mind made up that he was going to swing no matter where it was. This pitch happened to be 6 inches inside off the plate, but he had his mind made up to swing, gets lucky and hits a HR
        • Any other ball park that is a 310 foot fly out and a terrible at bat.
      • He still doesn't have a major league approach at the plate, and he will revert back his prior stats
        • This is just a small sample size and anything can happen during any eight game stretch
    • Even considering the aforementioned information, there is no reason Mike Jacobs should be hitting in front of him at this point in the season.
      • Mike Jacobs still should not even be on the team
        • Chris Carter went 4-4 yesterday in Buffalo
    • David Wright hammered a mistake from Aaron Cook for a HR early in the game, but he was unable to capitalize in the 7th when Matt Daley left two pitches up in the zone, and ended up striking out
      • Wright has done everything Mets fans needed to quiet their fears about his disastrous 2009 season, so far
    • Jose Reyes caught the Rockies napping and stole 3rd base without a throw, or Ian Stewart even moving toward the bag. 
    • Jon Niese obviously didn't have his best stuff (hardly threw his curveball, which is his plus pitch), but was able to keep the Mets in the game.
      • I attribute the lack of his curve-ball to Coors Field, and saw more positives than negatives in this outing.
    Overall this wasn't a "bad loss" and is one I can live with (especially on the heels of the past two blowouts). The Mets need to steal a couple games out of the remaining four games on the road trip, although it obviously will be tough facing De La Rosa today and Carpenter tomorrow.

    Keep your heads up, sometimes you just BATTLE and find a way.
    mets lost 6-5 in 10 innings. mejia gives up walk-off home run. mets try to avoid the sweep this afternoon vs a tough lefty De La Rosa.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Game 8- Mets at Rockies

    Here is the Mets line-up facing Rockies starter Aaron Cook tonight:

    Jose Reyes – SS
    Luis Castillo – 2B
    David Wright – 3B
    Jason Bay – LF
    Mike Jacobs – 1B
    Jeff Francoeur – RF
    Rod Barajas – C
    Angel Pagan – CF
    Jon Niese – LHP

    Check out the post this afternoon (Game 8 Starters) for the scouting report on Aaron Cook and Jon Niese.

    Can someone explain to me why M Jacobs A) is playing, B) is hitting in front of Francoeur, who is the hottest hitter on the Mets right now? And don't tell me splitting up lefty/righties, because A Cook has no significant splits.

    My prediction: Mets win 5-3 and everyone takes a deep breath, at least for one night.

    Scouting Report on Tonight's Starters

    Scouting Report on Rockies starting pitcher tonight, Aaron Cook.

    31 year old veteran that uses a very repeatable, high 3/4s arm action. Throws his heavy, sinking fastball 89-91 mph and throws it 90% of the time. Occasionally will throw a cutter away from a right-handed hitter, and also may spot a curve ball early in the count. That heavy sinker makes him a ground ball machine (65-68% GB over the past three years). He pitches to contact (had the lowest strikeout rate in baseball in 2007), and doesn't walk many hitters (47 walks in 158 innings last year).

    In his 1st start this year, he went 5 1/3, 7 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk.

    Jon Niese will be opposing him, and for his scouting report, click here (Jon Niese).

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    final score 11-3. mets lose 3rd in a row.

    Game 7- ugly recap

    Yes, the game is still going on, but I'm writing up the recap now, because this game is all but over.

    The Good: Not much. David Wright did hit a HR, but it was 8-0 when it happened.

    The Bad:
    • 3 innings, 8 runs. 
      • Thanks for your effort John Maine.
        • He is not a major league pitcher right now
    • Luis Castillo, learn how to play baseball
      • I don't care that the replays showed that you were safe. The difference between a single and a double in an 8-0 game is nil.
    • Jose Reyes, field the ball before trying to turn a double play
      • Another incidence of an apparent lack of focus
        • "UNPREPARED?"
    • Jerry Manuel
      • Why is J Mejia pitching in the 6th inning of a 8-0 game?
      • Why is Nieve pitching in his 5th game of the year in a blowout?
        • He pitched terrible and only lasted 1/3 of an inning
          • The magic carpet ride may be over and back to reality for Nieve and the rest of the bullpen
    The Mets are 2-5 and face Aaron Cook tomorrow; Jorge De La Rosa on Thursday. I am now hoping they don't get swept, as when they arrive in St. Louis on Friday, they face ace Chris Carpenter. YIKES

    Not the start we were hoping/expecting
    Bottom of the 6th in a 8-0 game. Enter Mejia???? Why was it important that he made the big league club out of the spring training?

    unprepared maybe?


    Game 7- Mets @ Rockies

    Here is the line up that will face Greg Smith. Game time 8:40 EST. For a scouting report on Greg Smith, check out my post from earlier today here: (Greg Smith).

    Here is tonight’s starting lineup:
      1. SS Jose Reyes
      2. 2B Luis Castillo
      3. 3B David Wright
      4. LF Jason Bay
      5. RF Jeff Francoeur
      6. 1B Fernando Tatis
      7. C Rod Barajas
      8. CF Angel Pagan
      9. SP John Maine
    If the Mets are going to win, they are going to need to score more than 5 runs, and I'm going to be optimistic.  Mets win 7-5, as K-Rod gets his 1st save of the year.


    Omar is Still Confident

    In a story on ESPN New York, Omar was quoted as saying
    "The bullpen pitched good," Minaya sais. "Good to see the bullpen pitch good. The pitchers pitched good. Pelfrey pitched good. I think that's one of the positive things that came out this week."
    The pitchers 'pitched good'?? Mets starters have three quality starts in the six games. Mets starters have gone six innings in only three of the six games so far. That's nothing to write home about Omar...

    I agree with Omar that the bullpen has been good. They've been great. But if they need to pitch 3+ innings every single night, that can not AND will not continue.

    Check out the article here:  http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5081116

    Scouting Report for LHP Greg Smith

    The Mets are facing LHP Greg Smith for the first time, so here is the scouting report on the Rockies starting pitcher tonight.

    A 26 year old lefty, who tops out at 87-88 mph, has a average curve ball and a plus change-up. He relies on good command/control, but has walked too many guys in the past (87 in 190 innings in 2008), and doesn't strike batters out (less than 5k/9). He missed most of last year with shoulder problems. Was traded to Colorado in the Matt Holliday trade (and was previously in the Dan Haren trade). He also has a good pick-off move.

    In other words, the Mets have a chance to put up a crooked number tonight versus Smith, but with J Maine on the mound, it may need to be a big number. Let's hope the Mets start this series/road trip off on the right foot.

    Tuesday news and notes

    I know this video started going around last week, but for those who haven't seen it yet, check out David Wright and "The Situation".

    Also a fun fact: In lieu of a lump sum payment for his endorsement of Vitamin Water several years ago, Wright took a 0.5 percent stake in the company and then pocketed a cool $20 million when it was sold to Coca Cola in 2007. (Hat Tip, for you Twins fans out there: Aaron Gleeman)

     Other facts:
    • Jeff Francoeur is hitting over .400 this year, but everyone else on the Mets is hitting less than .220 combined. 
    • The Mets have lost 8 out of the last 12 games in Coors Field over the past 3 years.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Jerry Manuel after the game

    “We appeared unprepared,” Manuel said. “I have to take responsibility.”

    This is completely ridiculous. How is a team who went 70-92 last year UNPREPARED after 6 games of the season.

    He should be fired for that moronic comment. Or maybe we should wait until we are 4-8 after this road trip.

    I may be over-reacting, but as a manager you can not talk about your team being unprepared. That's his job. If he can't do his job, fire him and find some one who can.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Game 6- another loss

    Mets finish up the opening homestand against divisional opponents with a 2-4 record, as they dropped the rubber match versus the Nationals today 5-2. Josh Willingham drove in all five runs vs Johan, including a grand slam in the first inning.

    Livan Hernandez shut down this meager offense.


    Mets have a much needed day off tomorrow, and open up a road trip in Colorado on Tuesday.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Saturday night recap

    Mets lost Game 5, as noted earlier. For a recap of the game, check out Metsblog (Game 5 recap). I may post a couple observations tomorrow morning/afternoon if time permits.

    Also of note, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting that LHP Raul Valdes, who impressed Jerry Manuel during spring training, may be on his way to NY to help out the bullpen, and in a corresponding move, Sean Green may be placed on the disabled list with a small tear in his rib cage.
    mets lose a tough one 4-3. willie harris and tyler clippard were the stars of the game for the nats. need to win the series tomorrow w johan.

    Manager discussion

    If you had one game to win, which manager would you want in your dugout?

    I have my list of three guys, but want to see what the other readers think, so please post your comments below.

    Game 5- Mets vs Nationals

    Mets (2-2) vs Nationals (1-3).  Oliver Perez (LHP) vs John Lannan (LHP)

    Here is the line-up facing the Long Island (Long Beach), and Chaminade High School alum, John Lannan

    Jose Reyes, ss
    Alex Cora, 2b
    David Wright, 3b
    Jason Bay, lf
    Jeff Francouer, rf
    Gary Matthews Jr., cf
    Fernando Tatis, 1b
    Henry Blanco, c
    Oliver Perez, lhp

    Here is the scouting report on Lannan: Young pitcher that throws strikes, and is a ground ball pitcher (60% GB). Throws from a 3/4 delivery and features a 87-88 mph with a natural tailing action, short-breaking slider and a big-looping curveball, while mixing in a change-up that fades away from righties. Doesn't have swing and miss stuff (3.88k/9 last year, which is one of the worst ratios in baseball); upside is a #4 or 5 starter on a good team. He has had prior success versus the Mets (CG and a shutout vs the Mets last year). Ranks #6 in the Nationals organization of talent under 25 years old.

    Prediction: Mets win 6-4. Oliver Perez better go 5 innings, because the Mets have no long guy in the bullpen, with Takahashi and Nieve pitching in each of the last 3 days. Will Mejia be asked to pitch in back to back games? Sean Green better not have to pitch more than one inning...


    Carlos Beltran- When Will He Run/Return?

    Carlos Beltran underwent surgery on his right knee on January 13th. That much we know; the extent of the surgery is not completely known (what has been reported is that numerous bone fragments were taken out of his knee, and that it was a "clean up" procedure).

    We heard reports all spring training about how hard he is working, spending three hours a day in the weight room with the team's medical staff etc., which is great. I have no doubts that Carlos Beltran is one of the hardest workers on the team, and is eager to return to baseball.

    However, it was originally reported that he was supposed to begin running today, and that would "start the clock" on the 4-6 week time-table to return to the Mets and performing baseball activities. However, yesterday the news came out that he is not running tomorrow, but that he also has not had a set back. Whether or not the first report (which was not from a team's beat reporter, but a national reporter, Will Carrol at Baseball Prospectus) was just poor information, or a guess, we don't know.

    What we do know, it is now 12 1/2 weeks from the surgery, and it will be 3 months on Tuesday. That is a long time following a "simple clean-up surgery". Whatever the extent of the surgery that was performed, hopefully Carlos will begin running pain-free soon, and start patrolling center field in Citi Field before June 1.

    Game 4- Happy Recap

    Mets won 8-2, as the offense pounded out 12 hits, and got solid pitching and defense. A complete team win.
    Frenchy has plenty of reasons to smile today

    The Good:
    • Mike Pelfrey set the tone early, throwing 1st pitch strikes. He finished six innings (would've liked to have seen him gone out for the 7th, but that's a moot point), allowing 2 runs and 4 hits, while walking 4. Very solid performance.
    • Jeff Francoeur and Rod Barajas both hit 2 home runs
    • Alex Cora and Ruben Tejada both played great defense, something the Mets haven't seen in a very long time. Tejada also picked up his 1st major league hit, and then was optioned down to AAA after the game.
    • The bullpen was great, with Takahasi throwing in his 3rd straight game, and Nieve working in his 4th straight game. Mejia threw a perfect 9th to close out the game
      • Anyone else concerned about a 35 year old who was a starter in Japan, now working in three straight games? Or Nieve who has had health issues in the past pitching 4 of the last 5 nights?
        • Is Joe Torre managing the Mets and burning out bullpen arms?
    The bad:
    • Mike Jacobs with another 0-ffer, but at least he didn't strike out.
    • D Wright for a few errant throws; this is continuing to be a problem
    Overall, a good team win versus a bad baseball team, and hopefully they build on it tomorrow with the energy and excitement that accompanies the return of Jose Reyes. Only problem is that you are only as good as your starting pitcher, and that is Oliver Perez. Let's hope we see the Good Ollie. 1:10 game start.

    Let's Go Mets!

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    mets win 8-2. happy recap tomorrow morning. exactly what the dr. ordered tonight and reyes comes back tomorrow
    i love hanging sliders! mets pounding the nats bullpen as they should. frenchy and barajas 2 hrs a piece
    if mets can't beat the nationals bullpen (having to throw 4/5 innings), its going to be a long night/season...

    Game 4- Mets vs Nationals

    Both teams come in with a 1-2 record, as the Nationals won last night vs Philadelphia, and the Mets have a modest two-game losing streak. This is the line-up that will face RHP Garrett Mock
    1. Angel Pagan – CF
    2. Alex Cora – 2B
    3. David Wright – 3B
    4. Jason Bay – LF
    5. Mike Jacobs – 1B
    6. Jeff Francoeur – RF
    7. Rod Barajas – C
    8. Ruben Tejada – SS
    9. Mike Pelfrey – RHP
    Scouting Report on Nationals Starter, Garrett Mock: He was a 3rd round pick by Arizona in 2004, and has always impressed scouts with his stuff (93 mph fastball, and two solid breaking balls), but has battled injuries with his knees, as well as lack of command (44 walks in 91 innings last year). Was ranked 12th best prospect in Washington's system last year. Is a ground-ball pitcher who has the ability to miss bats (46 k's in 41 innings with the Nationals in 2008, 72 in 91 innings last year).

    Prediction: Mets win 3-2, as Pelfrey starts his season out on the right foot.

    Let's Go Mets!

    Barajas Quotes Re: Niese

    “He pounded the strike zone. He faced some pretty good hitters, he did some good things and you have to try to build on that. I caught him in spring, and I always said he has some good stuff… and not just good stuff, but special stuff and the ability to be a real good pitcher at this level for a long time… He’s got a nice, straight fastball, he’s got that cut fastball, he’s got a good curve ball and his change up’s good, and he can throw a two-seamer. He’s got a variety of pitches he can go to and, for me, they’re all average– to above-average major-league pitches, and once he’s able to get a good feel for every single one of those pitches he’s going to be tough.”

    In my scouting report back in March (check it out here: Jon Niese), I had said "The Good: His signature pitch is his 12-6 curve-ball, which scouts rate as "plus-plus"; fastball is in the low 90s, and he also features an average change-up. Added a cutter to the repertoire last year, which has average velocity but late movement. He pounds the strike zone"

    Thanks for agreeing with me Rod!

    Jerry Manuel can't even Get Thrown out

    I was arguing for Jerry to get thrown out last night, just for the sole fact he doesn't do anything positive for this team.  But in reality, I agree with what Sabometrics said this AM,

    At one point during the 9th the Mets seemed to turn a double play but the batter was called safe at first.  Jerry moseyed out to argue and I was just hoping that the umpire would throw him out of the game.  I was REALLY hoping that the umpire would fire him but I guess first base umpires don’t have that kind of power.  Hopefully the Mets will come to their senses and start putting a less frustrating product on the field soon, one which is worthy of Citi Field.

    To read the rest of Craig's article, check it out here: http://sabometrics.com/?p=533

    I never will publicly call for any one to lose their job, but I wouldn't lose any sleep if Jerry Manuel is relieved of his duties.

    And Jose is coming back to town!

    Jose Reyes is scheduled to rejoin the Mets today for a workout in Citi Field, then will be activated from the disabled list for Saturday's game (barring he eats too much seafood or anything else crazy).

    Welcome back Jose, we can't wait to watch you play.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Game 3 recap- another loss.

    Mets lose 3-1, and fall to 1-2 on the season.

    The Good: Jon Niese threw 6 quality innings, allowing 3 runs. Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur each had 2 hits. Bullpen (Igarashi, Takahashi, Nieve, Feliciano) threw three scoreless innings.

    The Bad: The offense managed only one extra base hit, a meager eight total bases and zero walks. Ouch. A couple defensive mishaps didn't help Niese (poor angle on a ball in the gap by Pagan), even though there were no errors charged.

    Mets open up a three-game series tomorrow night versus the Washington Nationals (1-2), Mike Pelfrey vs G. Mock. Washington is just what the doctor ordered, hopefully.

    Let's go Mets

    Game 3- Mets vs Marlins

    Here is the Mets line-up for tonight, facing the 1st LHP of the year, Nate Robertson. Game time: 7:10 PM.

    Here is tonight’s starting lineup:

    CF Angel Pagan
    2B Luis Castillo
    3B David Wright
    LF Jason Bay
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    1B Fernando Tatis
    C Rod Barajas
    SS Ruben Tejada
    SP Jon Niese
    Prediction: Mets win 4-3, getting a well-pitched game from Jon Niese (6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 k's), and the Mets win the 1st series of the year.

    Another Point I forgot to bring up in the Recap

    This was something that I had thought of as I was watching the game last night, but didn't write it down to focus on it this morning. Thankfully, Joe Janish (over at MetsToday.com), didn't forget about it, and wrote a great post on it, which can be found here (Tejada vs Cora, SS vs 2B).

    When the double switch was made and Tejada came in the game, why did he play 2nd base, when all spring we heard he was the best defensive SS in camp? He obviously has more range than Cora at SS, and Cora has more experience playing 2B than SS. It didn't have an impact on the end result of the game, but these little details can add up and cost a team a couple games throughout the year...

    And here is the quote I love from Joe's article:
    Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill … but, these “little” things have been piling up for years, and when you add them all up, you have to believe they’ve had something to do with the Mets’ failure to make the postseason three years running.

    I agree 100%, and it's a well thought out post, as well as a great overall blog. Make sure you check it out. http://www.metstoday.com/