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Saturday, July 31, 2010

From a loyal fan in Delta Club. Let's go Mets!

Game 104: Mets vs Diamondbacks

Here is the line-up that will face RHP B Enright:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
C Carter LF
J Thole C
L Castillo 2B
H Takahashi P

My Prediction: Mets will need a W tonight, and they will get it, 6-2.

Let's Go Mets

Trade Rumors

Mets have declined trades for O Dotel and B Myers, while getting an offer of Ollie P and Castillo for C Zambrano declined according to sources.

My take: Is this just another example of the Mets leaking rumors to pretend they were involved with trade talk? I agree 100% that they didn't need to make any of the above trades, but not every other team in baseball has a leak of proposed trades that didn't happen.

I will try to update if any trades do occur today involving the Mets, but can't guarantee anything.

Mets need a W today (yes I'm stating the obvious).

Scouting Report, RHP Barry Enright (2nd time in 2 weeks)

The 24-year old Right-hander Barry Enright was a second-round pick in 2007 out of Pepperdine, where he was the 73rd pick, which was the highest Pepperdine player drafted since 2001 (former teammate Dan Haren and former big leaguer Noah Lowry). Enright made his major league debut June 30 by limiting the Cardinals to one run in five innings in a 101-pitch performance.

Enright is a pure finesse pitcher who survives by mixing up four average pitches. He throws an upper-80s fastball that occasionally hits 91, and three secondary pitches (curve, slider, changeup) that all rate as average, with his change-up being a plus pitch. He throws all of his pitches for strikes and at any point in the count, succeeding on the ability to paint the corners and keep hitters off balance. He has a big frame (6'3" 220 pounds), clean mechanics, and no injury history of note. This year in the minors, he had 10 quality starts in his 14 starts, striking out a solid 8 per 9, and walking only 1.4 W/9. He had gone seven innings in his last eight starts before making his major league debut. He's a fly-ball pitcher who has little margin for error, especially in Chase Field. He uses his slider as his strike out pitch.

He's made five starts this year, and is 2-2 in 29 2/3 innings with a 2.73 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  He's walked 10 in the 29 2/3 innings, and allowed three home runs (including Josh Thole). He threw 8 impressive innings versus the Mets on July 20th, allowing only one run in the 8th, and only five hits and one walk, while striking out eight (career high). In his last start versus the Giants, he threw 6 innings, allowed 8 hits, 3 walks and 2 earned runs, while striking out only 2.

Most scouts label his upside as a #5 starter, and is a "lesser Ian Kennedy." He was the Diamondbacks #11 prospect before and after the 2008 season according to Baseball Prospectus, but was not in the top 30 in this year's Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Unhappy Recap

"Touch 'em all david, you deserve it!". That was the high point of the game, his 2nd hr made it 5-4, but mets lost 9-6. R Valdes faced 4 batters, 4 hits, 4 runs. Not exactly a quality relief outing.

Mets placed J Bay on DL before the game, recalled J Feliciano.

Mets face Enright tomorrow night, 7:10 start. Must win game.

Game 103: Mets vs Diamondbacks

Reyes, castillo, pagan, wright, beltran, davis, frencoeur, blanco, pelfrey.

prediction: mets need a w but kennedy beats them for 2nd time in 11 days. 4-3

Scouting Report Ian Kennedy (2nd time in 2 weeks)

The 25-year old Ian Kennedy was drafted in the 1st round (21st pick) by the Yankees in the 2006 draft. It was a surprising pick for the Yankees because Kennedy wasn't seen as having a high upside, but was a very polished college pitcher out of USC that would climb through the system quickly. He did just that, making three starts in September of 2007. He lived on his pinpoint control in the minors (2.8 W/9 to go with great strikeout rates of 9.9 K/9), but that quickly disappeared in the majors, as he walked 5.8 per 9 innings as a Yankee. He made some stupid comments ("I felt like I made some good pitches and competed, which is all that really matters... What was it? A bunch of singles and three doubles, or so. I’m just not real upset about it."); he promptly got demoted and would only pitch one inning for the Yankees again (he missed significant time with a shoulder aneurysm , totaling less than 25 innings in 2009). He was traded this off-season to Arizona in the Granderson, E Jackson and M Scherzer trade.  He faced the Mets 10 days ago and pitched well, allowing 1 earned run in 5 innings, with only 6 base-runners.

Kennedy has very smooth mechanics (similar to Zach Grienke), which allows him to have such good control (as he did in the minors). Kennedy doesn't have a blazing fastball (his four-seam touches 93 mph), but his two-seam has good tailing movement and he is able to locate it well. His fastball averages 89 mph. His best pitch is his change-up, which has been rated a 70 on the scouts 20-80 scale. He spreads his fingers apart when throwing it, so it's similar to a split-finger, and it is effective versus both righties and lefties. He also throws a spike curve-ball 75-78 mph, which he has featured more over the past year (9% to now 16%). He mixes in a slider/cutter just to show hitters another look, but it isn't effective. He is throwing his change-up 20% of the time, and it's his only plus pitch.  He throws 1st pitch strikes 61% of the time.

This season, Kennedy is 5-8 in 20 starts (123 innings) with a 4.10 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He has a respectable 7.8 K/9, and a manageable 3.4 W/9. He has been victimized by the long ball though, allowing 19 home runs thus far, including five multi-home run games. The Diamondbacks have been trying to give Kennedy extra days rest whenever possible since he threw so few innings last year. In his last five starts he has only got out of the 6th inning once (his last start).

Most scouts view him as a #4 pitcher on a good team, and he was ranked as the #7 player in the Diamondbacks organization that is 25 or under.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More News and Notes

  • J Mejia has resumed throwing and threw 3 innings in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Apparently he was throwing 96-98 mph, and is moving up to AA for his next start. 
  • Forgotten Sean Green will be resuming his rehab in Buffalo on Saturday he started his rehab on July 15th, so he has to be activated by August 15th. 
  • For those who are clamoring for more trade rumors, the asking price for LHP Scott Downs (Toronto) has been insane (Toronto asked for top Red Sox pitching prospect Casey Kelly, or Yankee phenom Jesus Montero), and the Mets thankfully turned down K Nieuwenhuis and another prospect for Downs according to Jon Heyman
    • Nieuwenhuishas the upside of a solid regular, with a good bat but questionable whether he can man center field defensively. He was very gracious with his time in spring training, and signed a lot of autographs for the fans, with very few knowing who he was. 
    • My Take: Good job Omar for declining this trade.

State of the Mets, Thursday July 29th

After today's series win, the Mets sit at 52-50, 6.5 games back from the 1st place Atlanta Braves, and 3 1/2 back of surging 2nd place Phillies. The Mets have 60 games to play. The Braves are on pace to win 93 games, Phillies 88, Mets 82.5.

There is very minimal (sub 5%) chance that the Mets can win 92-93 games and win the division. In order to do that, they'd need to go 40-20, or .667 winning percentage for the rest of the year. Don't hold your breath.

So let's see if they have a chance at the wild card. Right now the Giants are in the lead for the Wild Card, and are on pace to win 91 games. Last year's wild card winner had 92 wins. 2008 had 90 wins. Ditto for 2007. Again, I see less than a 10% chance that the Mets can get to 90+ wins; they'd have to go 38-22, and that's a 633 winning %. Just as a point of reference, the Yankees have a .640 winning % right now...The most I could possibly see the Mets winning is going 36-24 the rest of the way, which is still very impressive and probably not practical, but that puts them at 88 wins.  I think 32-28 is more realistic, and that's good for 84 wins, and an early tee-time for the players.

Bottom line: Mets would need to play out of their minds for the next 60 games in order to play in the post-season and to save Omar and Jerry's job. I hope I'm wrong, but with these numbers in place, I can't justify the Mets making any trades in the hope of saving the 2010 season. If anyone has any value and not part of the long-term plan of the team (Francoeur, Cora, Castillo, Feliciano, Valdes, even Beltran), then I would be open to trading them to add depth to the organization.

As far as the blog goes for this weekend, I will have the scouting reports posted, but limited pre and post-game updates. I will be in a wedding in CT this weekend (congrats Rebecca and Andy!) So make sure you check out citislickers.com, or metstoday.com for more coverage.

LET'S GO METS!

Mets Win!

I didn't watch the game due to it being played at noon and I couldn't play hooky. 

RA Dickey goes into the 9th inning and K-rod delievers the save, Mets win 4-0. Much needed series win. Now need to sweep Arizona or at least win the series.

Game 102: Mets vs Cardinals 12:10 PM

Here is the line-up for today's game that will face Blake Hawksworth:

Reyes
Pagan
Beltran
Davis
Hessman (3B)
Thole
Francoeur
Cora
Dickey.

My Prediction: Mets need a W and get it off the Cards 'pen since Hawksworth prob won't go more than 5 innings, and they are tired from last night's game. Mets win 5-2. Dickey needs to step up big once again.

Scouting Report, RHP Blake Hawksworth

The 27-year old Canadian was a draft-and-follow in the 28th round of 2002, and was the #1 Cardinals prospect in 2004. His minor league time was been riddled by injuries (ankle and shoulder problems in 2004 and 2005, eventually labral surgery). He also missed time in 2007 (toe) and 2008 (knee). His minor league record was 35-39 with a 4.01 ERA. He was finally healthy in 2009, and was moved to the bullpen, where he was a big boost to the Cardinals 'pen. Scouts/a coach said, "We never saw him this good as a starter." Hawksworth faced the Mets twice in 2009, and threw 3 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He also faced the Mets twice this year in April, and threw 3 scoreless innings (5 base-runners and 5 strikeouts).

Hawksworth has a funky delivery; he jumps at the hitter and throws from a 3/4s arm slot. He features a low 90s fastball (93 mph average) with late movement, and a plus change-up. He hasn't had a true 3rd pitch (an inconsistent slider previously, but throwing a 78 mph curve now) and has struggled as a starter as a result. Has become change-up happy in the past when he doesn't trust his fastball. He doesn't have a ton of swing and miss stuff, with a 7.1% swinging strike %.

He has made 7 starts this year, and is 3-3 in 35 2/3 innings, and has allowed 23 earned runs (5.80 ERA). He's allowed 5 home runs in the past 26 2/3 innings. Overall, he's 4-6, with a 5.23 ERA and 1.81 WHIP, due to a high BAPIP (.359) and high walk rate (4 W/9). He also has a low K/9 at < 6. He hasn't thrown more than 6 innings all year, and in his last start he only threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing 10 base runners and 5 earned runs vs the Cubs.

He was ranked the #8 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America, and #13 by Baseball Prospectus. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Mets Battled Back, but for Naught. Terrible Loss

Down 6-0 before the Mets even got to hit, the Mets battled back; 2 RBIs from Hessman, Beltran's 1st HR, a huge Pagan 2 run homer in the 8th, followed by a big 2-RBI pinch hit from Ike. The Mets bullpen was outstanding, throwing 7 shutout innings (including 2 innings from K-Rod), but Jerry decided it was a good idea to face Pujols with Pedro Feliciano, rather than walking him; terrible decision, and Pujols ropes an RBI single to make 8-7 in the top of the 13th, and that was the final.

Johan was terrible in the 1st (6 runs and 8 hits), as the Cardinals scouting report was swing and hit 1st pitch strike; his final line was 5 2/3 innings, 13 hits, 1 walk and 7 earned runs, including a home run from Holliday.

This is going to be a short night sleep for both teams, but worse for the Mets. The game starts at 12:10 PM on Thursday: Dickey vs Hawksworth.

Game 101: Mets vs Cardinals

The Mets drew 37,000 + fans last night, and hopefully tonight they will get a nice crowd as well.

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

J Reyes SS
L Castillo 2B
A Pagan LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
M Hessman 1B (Ike getting a rare day off)
J Francoeur RF
H Blanco C (Johan's personal catcher)
J Santana P

My Prediction: Johan will need to allow 2 runs or less, because the Mets won't score greater than 3 runs. And I think Johan will deliver a W.

Let's Go Mets

Scouting Report, LHP Jaime Garcia

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 faced the Mets in the marathon 20 inning game, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing only one hit and two walks, while striking out five (that was his 2nd start of the year).

He features a hard, sinking fastball (90.5 mph) which often results in a ton of ground balls (60%+ GB% at every level in the minors, and 55% this year), a cutter (85 mph and he throws it 20% of the time), a change-up (83 mph) and also features a big, looping curve (74 mph). His cutter, fastball and change-up have all been plus pitches this year. He likes to use his cutter 0-2 and 1-2 (> 50% of the time), and will throw a fastball > 75% of the time if he falls behind in the count, even 1-0.  Garcia has strikeout stuff (more than a strikeout an inning last year in limited work, 7.3 K/9 this year), and has been getting swing and missed 10% of the time this year. He could benefit from continuing to decrease his walks ( > 4 W/9 in his minor league career, 3.5 W/9 this year).

He's 9-4 in 19 starts (110 innings), with a 2.21 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He has been getting extremely lucky with a lack of home runs (5 in 110 innings), and his FIP is 3.29 (still outstanding for a rookie). He's only had one start where he allowed more than three runs, and 16 of his 19 starts he's allowed two runs or less. Impressive. His last start versus the Phillies he threw 7 innings, 4 hits and 2 walks, only 1 earned run (HR), and striking out 6. 

Opened up everyone's eyes this spring training and won the #5 starter job, now he is the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Recap

Mets get a big win, 8-2, as Frenchy hits a 3-run HR and Reyes added an insurance 2-run HR. Niese was very good yet again. Santana vs Garcia tomorrow night.

Another loyal reader, this time in the good seats. View from section 129.

View from a loyal reader in section 511. Lets Go Mets!

Game 100: Mets (50-49) vs Cardinals (55-44)

The Mets have dropped into a tie for 3rd place in the NL East with the Marlins, 7.5 games behind the Braves, and 3 games behind 2nd place Phillies. In regards to the wild card race, the Mets are tied for 6th, 5.5 games behind the Giants.

For the line-up that will face All-Star RHP Adam Wainwright (click for the scouting report), head over to Citislickers.com.

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Angel Pagan, LF (Bay out with a concussion. Awesome. More to come later.)
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Josh Thole, C
Jonathon Niese, P

My prediction: Without seeing the line-up, I don't think it will matter, as the Mets are going to be dominated by Wainwright. Niese throws well once again, but it's not enough; Mets lose 2-0.

Scouting Report, RHP Adam Wainwright

Every Mets fan remembers him for the last time he pitched against the Mets in NY in October 2006, and I'm sure the media will show Beltran a few times tonight in case you have forgotten; and that was just the start of his outstanding career.

The 28-year old Georgia native was drafted in the 1st round by the Braves in 2000, traded to the Cardinals in 2003 for JD Drew, and made his debut in September 2005. He's 60-29 in his young career, with a 2.94 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He finished a controversial 3rd in Cy Young Voting last year (19-8, 2.63 ERA, but 3.11 FIP). If he has another top-five finish in Cy Young voting this year or next, it will guarantee the Cardinals' 2012-13 option package at 22 million dollars. On April 18th, Wainwright threw a complete game versus the Mets, the day after the 20-inning marathon, and the Mets only mustered four hits, while striking out nine times.

Wainwright is a tall (6'7", 230 pounds), athletic pitcher, who throws straight over-the-top. He throws his two-seam fastball 89-93, a quick-cutter like slider (86 mph), a tight, big-breaking curve (74 mph), and a deceptive change-up (83 mph). His slider and curve represent the two best breaking pitch combination in baseball. He only throws his fastball 45% of the time, so he relies heavily on his slider (17%) and his curveball (30%). His curve and slider have been his two best pitches, and his fastball has been a below-average pitch for his career. He throws 1st pitch fastball only 53% of the time, and heavily relies on his curve with 2 strikes (> 50%).

This year he's continued his brilliance, making the All-Star team earlier this month. Wainwright is 14-5 in 21 starts (148 innings) with a 1.94 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He's striking out 8.3/9 and walking only 2.2/9. He's gone 7+ innings in 13 of his 21 starts. He has thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings streak currently, and has allowed only one run in his past five starts (35 1/3 innings).

So obviously Wainwright is a front-line starter/Cy Young candidate, but that's not all; he can also hurt you with his bat (eight extra-base hits last year), as well as with his glove (Gold Glove last year).

And the Coaches Are Staying...

The Mets front office determined this is the coaching staff that will lead them to the promised land (this year, or they didn't want to pay multiple coaches salaries).


Maybe Wright stepped up as "team leader" and saved their jobs.

Mets open up a 3-game series versus the Cardinals tonight, Wainwright vs Niese, J Garcia vs Pelfrey, and B Hawksworth vs Santana.

Need to find a way to win the series, but it will be challenging. At least we have our best pitchers going and we are missing Carpenter.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Poll Is Closed.. And the Answer is?

Metsblog is saying Hojo and all the coaches are safe. MetsToday is saying Hojo is gone as hitting coach, but he may be reassigned within the organization.

And I'm not quite sure who to believe. 


Guess we should wait for the final decision tomorrow.

In other news, Barajas was placed on the DL with an oblique strain, and the Mets recalled Mike Hessman, who has 18 HRs in 64 games for Buffalo. The other rumor of the night is that Barajas was asked for in a trade by the Red Sox last week for Ramon Ramirez.

My Take: Why would the Mets turn that down? Ramirez isn't a bullpen savior, but he's a warm body! Hope this offer really wasn't on the table (it doesn't make sense to me why the Sox would've offered that), because this would be another terrible move by Omar if he actually declined that.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poll Questions

Posted two questions tonight in regards to the coaching staff. Feel free to vote and leave your comments on this post.



For the record, I think Melvin will be the manager and Hojo will also be fired. I don't think Manuel nor Hojo are the problem, but the Mets (Wilpons and Omar) see their season and attendance for the next two months in serious jeopardy, and may be forced to make a drastic change.

This may be a turbulent 24-48 hours for the Mets organization....

Mets Get Shutout. Anyone Surprised?

Mets get shutout as I predicted, for the 4th time in 11 games. Mets lose 1-0. At least it only took 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Much needed day off tomorrow.

Game 99: Mets @ Dodgers

I hope the Mets don't have see this scene again today; (Nomar hit a walk-off Grand Slam; one of the craziest things I've ever seen live)


Here is the line-up that will face LHP Clayton Kershaw:

J Reyes SS
L Castillo 2B
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
J Bay LF
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF
J Thole C (WHY DOES HE START VERSUS THE ONLY LEFTY IN THE SERIES?)
RA Dickey P

My Prediction: Mets get shut out and finish a horrible road trip 2-9. Will Jerry be the manager when the Mets return home to face the Cardinals and Diamondbacks on Tuesday? After those six home games, then they play six on the road versus Atlanta and Philadelphia.


And this is where I had tickets for if the Mets faced the Dodgers in the NLCS in 2006 (I was living out in Arizona and it was an "easy 6 hour drive". Yes I'll never forget it. Too bad we played them in the NLDS.

Scouting Report LHP Clayton Kershaw

May 30th, 2008 (2nd major league start)

The southpaw from Texas was drafted out of high school as the 7th pick in the 2006 draft, and he has lived up to the hype, blowing through the minor leagues (10+ K/9), and debuting in 2008 just after his 20th birthday. He's 22-18 for his career, with a 3.30 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Last year, only his 2nd year in the majors, he had a 2.79 ERA, good for 5th in the NL. Since he started throwing his slider on June 4th last year, his ERA was 2.04, 10.2 K/9. I went to his 2nd big league start (at Shea), and he showed glimpses of promise, but lasted only 3 2/3 innings. Last year versus the Mets he threw six shutout innings, only five base-runners and striking out seven.

Kershaw throws over-the-top with an excellent downhill angle. He was made famous for his "public enemy #1" by Vin Scully in Spring Training, but he rarely throws it for a strike and batters have taken notice. He throws his fastball 70% of his pitches and it averages 93 mph. His slider is his 2nd best pitch, throwing it 20% and 82 mph. His curveball is 73 mph, but he throws it less than 10% of the time. He will throw one or two change-ups a game (84 mph). He gets swing and misses around 11%, blowing away the league average of 8.4%. He throws 1st pitch fastball 73% of the time, and relies on his fastball and his slider as his strikeout pitch.

He's made 20 starts (122 innings) this year, and is 9-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He's still striking out a ton of hitters (9.9 K/9), but he's walking > 4 per 9, which is a bit high. He's a flyball pitcher who has gotten very lucky and not allowed a lot of HRs (7 in 122 innings). His last start he went 6 innings versus the Giants and allowed 4 runs (2 earned), while allowing 6 base-runners and striking out 6. He's been death versus lefties, striking out 14 per 9 innings, and has a batting average against of .175.

Kershaw is a future ace (if he isn't one already), and is only 22 years old. The Mets will have their hands full with him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mets Are Terrible. Yes it's an Unhappy Recap

Mets lose another extra inning game with their best reliever warming up and not in the game. JERRY, YOU ARE TERRIBLE. Walk off HR by Loney off of Ollie.

Good Bye John Maine

John Maine's career with the Mets is most likely over, as he is had surgery yesterday in Philadelphia to clean up scar tissue in his shoulder. The doctor is not affiliated with the Mets.

Looks like I was correct on the under 40 innings when he left after 5 pitches.

Game 98: Mets @ Dodgers

  

Here is the Mets line-up that will face C Monasterios:

J Reyes SS
L Castillo 2B
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF
R Barajas C
M Pelfrey P

My Prediction: Pelfrey rights the ship, and Mets win 4-3. 

Lets Go Mets

Scouting Report RHP C Monasterios

The 24-year old Monasterios was born in Venezuela and signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2005, and was then traded to the Phillies in the Bobby Abreu deal in 2006. He was selected in the 2009 Rule 5 draft by the Mets, but then was immediately sold to the Dodgers. He didn't pick up a baseball until he was 17 years old. His minor league numbers are pretty unimpressive; around 6.5 K/9 and 3 W/9, but was highly successful at inducing ground balls (65%). He's pitched in 20 games this year and threw two scoreless innings in April 27th against the Mets.

Monasterios throws a hard sinker that sits in the low 90s which he throws 62% of the time, an average slider (82 mph) and a plus change-up (76 mph). He's added a curve this year that he throws 10% of his pitches (75 mph). He doesn't get many swings and misses (5.2%). He throws 1st pitch fastball 71% of the time, and uses his change-up as a strike out pitch (> 30% with two strikes).

This year he's made 6 starts and is 2-2, and 5.40 ERA, and has allowed 7 home runs in 26 2/3 innings as a starter. He has thrown six innings only once in those six starts, and only gone five innings in three. His highest pitch count has been 86 pitches. Overall his numbers are 3-2 with a 3.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP. He's only getting 4.1 K/9 and 3.1 W/9.

Most project him as a middle reliever, but that would be a useful for this Mets team instead of selling him to the Dodgers...

A Quick and Happy Recap

Mets score runs = Mets win. Simple. 6-1. Johan seven strong innings.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Game 97: Mets @ Dodgers


Here is the line-up that faces V Padilla:

J Reyes SS
L Castillo 2B
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF
H Blanco C
J Santana P

My Prediction: Johan throws a gem and the Mets win, but it's not an easy win. Mets win 2-0.

Let's Go Mets

Scouting Report, RHP Vicente Padilla

The turbulent 32-year old was traded in August from the Rangers after creating numerous beanball confrontations and often retreating to the clubhouse in the middle of the game to surf the web (according to Baseball Prospectus). He had two great playoff starts for the Dodgers last year, and was even tabbed to be this year's Opening Day Starter. With the Dodgers he is 8-2 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He's in his 12 major league season, and for his career, he's 102-87, with a 4.30 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He made the All-Star team in 2002 with the Phillies. Padilla hasn't faced the Mets since 2005 so his stats against them don't matter, but he is 10-3 in 12 starts (21 appearances).

Padilla has regained some of his velocity on his fastball back (up to 92.5 MPH, highest since 2005), an 84-mph slider, 64 mph curveball, and an occasional split 84 mph. This season all his pitches have been plus, but for his career his only plus pitch is his fastball. He's increased his use of his curve this year to 14% (from 9%). He's getting swings and misses on balls out of the strike zone 30% of the time, a career high, but his swing and miss % is below average at 7%. He throws a first pitch fastball 72% of the time, and with two strikes he's willing to throw his fastball, curve or slider.

This year he's spent time on the disabled list with a strained R forearm, and is 4-2 in 10 starts (61 2/3 innings), with a 3.65 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. His strike out rate is at a career high, 8 K/9, and his walk rate is a career low, 2.1 W/9. Before you think he should be in line for a Cy Young vote, look at his BAPIP (.242; career and league average is .300). So that is unsustainable, and his strand rate is higher than normal (76.4% career = 72%). When you take both of those into account, his FIP is 4.46. In his last five starts since June 25th, he's been outstanding, with a 3-1 record. He's only five earned runs allowed in 34 2/3 innings (1.29 ERA). Versus the Cardinals last start, he threw six shutout innings and allowed only one hit, but walked five, a season high. He's only thrown 100 pitches in three of his six starts since returning from the DL.

Another West Coast game, another Loss

Mets offense was MIA and they had five singles and only three guys reached 2nd base, as the Mets wasted a good performance from Takahashi, and lose 2-0. Francoeur had two of the five hits; the Mets got thrown out trying to steal second twice (D Wright and J Reyes).

After the game F Nieve got DFA'd and Manny Acosta will join the bullpen. Sorry Manuel abused your arm in April Fernando, and that it will never be the same. Good luck.

Mets try to stop the free-fall with Johan facing V Padilla, 10:10 start.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Game 96: Mets @ Dodgers

My 1st Dodger Dog

Here is the line-up that will face RHP H Kuroda:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan CF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF (REALLY??? 5TH? VS A RIGHTY?!? ugh)
C Carter LF
J Thole C
L Castillo 2B
H Takahashi P

My Prediction: Takahashi gets bombed again in his last time in the rotation, and the Mets lose 5-1.

Hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report, H Kuroda

The 35-year old is in his 3rd year in the United States after coming over from Japan. Rarely walks anyone (2.1 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 (6.45 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). He faced the Mets on April 27th and took the loss, going 6 innings, but allowed 2 runs, including a home run to J Bay, which was all Johan needed on that night.


Kuroda 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.


This year he's 7-8 in 18 starts (108 1/3 innings), with a 3.74 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He's increased his strike outs to 7.5 K/9, but has also increased his walks to 2.5 from 1.8. This year he's throwing his slider a career high 36% of his pitches (decreased fastball use to 51%). His swing and miss rate is up to a career high 10.8%. He's lost 4 of his last 5 starts, but his last start versus the Cardinals he threw 6 innings and allowed only 1 run, but got charged with the loss.

State of the Mets. Thursday Morning Edition

Mets (49-46) kick off a four-game series tonight in Los Angeles (50-45) , a team which also is struggling, winning last night for the first time in seven games. The pitching match-ups are as follows: Thursday 10:10 Takahashi vs Kuroda, Friday 10:10 Santana vs Padilla, Saturday 4:10 Pelfrey vs TBA, Sunday 4:10 Dickey vs Kershaw.

  • The Mets have lost 6 of 7 on this road trip, and are now 6 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves, but are still in 2nd place because the Phillies are playing terrible baseball as well. 
  • The Mets have the worst record in baseball over the past 10 games (2-8)
  • The Mets are now in 5th place in the Wild Card Race, 3 1/2 games back
  • The Mets are tied for 4th worst road record in the National League (19-30)
  • If the Mets win the series (take 3 of 4 from the Dodgers), they will end up 4-7 on the road trip. Anything less is very, very ugly
"It can get late, early" if things don't turn around soon.

And the Mets Get Swept Without Using Their "Best Bullpen Pitcher"

Jerry manages "by the dumb book" and doesn't use his closer in 14 innings even though he warmed up 5 times according to Gary Cohen. This is criminal and needs to be stopped. 2nd time Jerry has done it (20 inning game in Cardinals), and for the 2nd time, I think this is a fire-able offense.

Mets get swept, losing 4-3.

Time of game: 4:45

F Nieve with the loss.

Face Kuroda tomorrow night, with Takahashi throwing for the Mets. Mets are 1-6 on this road trip.

It's 2:15 and the Mets are still Playing...

So I woke up at 1:45 and instinctively checked to see the Mets score, as the last I saw it was 3-2. Well much to my surprise it was the end of the 12th. So now I'm laying on the couch and it's the top of the 14th. If this is another 20+ inning game, work is not going to be pretty in the morning.

Gary Cohen just mentioned again that K-Rod has been warming up in the bullpen for the 5th straight inning. DOES JERRY EVER LEARN???

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Game 95: Mets @ Diamondbacks


The Mets finish up the final game of this series, and here is the line-up that will face Ace Dan Haren:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay lF
R Barajas C
A Cora 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: It's going to be a pitcher's duel but Haren is a touch better than Niese, and Mets get swept out of Arizona, losing 2-0.

Let's Go Mets.

Mid-day Wednesday Update

Least you Should Know:
  1. Oliver Perez was activated from the DL and J Turner was sent down to Buffalo. Perez is likely going to be the 2nd situational lefty, aka, he will barely pitch. Hope he finds a niche and becomes the best 2nd lefty out of the 'pen in baseball and justifies his contract.
  2. Alex Cora was very upset with people laughing in the clubhouse after the game yesterday. Well I guess that's why he's making 2 million dollars this year. Really hope he plays 80 games this year so we can get this great clubhouse help next year as well. I'm worried someone may realize he's worth every dime he's making. (screaming of sarcasm)
  3. Mets are once again carrying 3 catchers, something Jerry loved to do last year. It's still a waste of a roster spot as I said in the off-season, but why would we want to have a competent bench?
  4. Mets are rumored to be interested/scouting every available starting and relief pitcher. In other news, there is oil in the Gulf. We've been hearing both of those stories non-stop for the past 3 months...This is why I refrain from commenting on 98% of rumors in June and July.
  5. The Phillies are rumored to be close to acquiring a starting pitcher, and willing to move Jayson Werth to make it happen. My Take: I hope they trade Werth, as he's a bigger impact than any pitcher they would acquire, including Oswalt.
That's all for now folks. Thanks for reading as always, and keep the comments coming. And no, I don't advocate drinking at 10:30 AM.

Mets sign Relief Help

The Mets made a big signing today, inking 28 year old former closer Chad Cordero to a minor league deal. Wait we are in the year 2010 and the last time he pitched more than 9 innings was 2007? He has a career FIP of 4.05, including a 5.09 this year with the Mariners. This year's ERA is 6.52. He's walked 4.7/9 this year in the 9 games; just want the Mets need. Another bullpen arm that puts too many runners on base (1.55 WHIP). His fastball is back up to 88 mph this year, from 83 mph in 2008 (he didn't pitch in the majors last year).

He's a fastball, slider pitcher with an occasional change-up (83 mph). He also seems to have added a curveball this year (77 mph).

All I see in this move is Omar signing another former Montreal Expo.  Yawn...

Scouting Report, RHP Dan Haren

The 29-year old Haren (turns 30 in September), was drafted in the 2nd round out of Pepperdine in 2001, and made his debut with the Cardinals in 2003, and was traded to the A's in 2004 for Mark Mulder. The Three-time all-star (2007-2009), was then traded to Arizona for Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, and top-prospect Chris Carter among others. I think that Billy Beane wound up winning that trade, as the Diamondbacks haven't made the post-season since acquiring Haren. Haren is extremely durable (hasn't missed a start in 4+ years), and has made 33+ starts and 216+ innings with an ERA under 3.75 in 4 of the 5 years. One statistic of note, since 2006, he has made 34 August and September starts, and his ERA is 5.18 while allowing 263 hits and 33 home runs in 217 1/ 3 innings. In his career, he's 1-0 in five appearances (four starts), with a 3.77 ERA, and 0.97 WHIP. Last year he faced the Mets and got the win, but he didn't throw well: 7 innings, 5 earned runs.

Haren knows how to pitch and isn't afraid to throw any pitch in any count. He hasn't look at video or scouting report of opposing hitters in two years, and wants the hitters to have to adjust to him. He has a deliberate delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot with a riding 89-92 mph fastball, a sharp cutter, a curve and a late-diving split. He uses his split as his strike out pitch in 0-2 and 1-2 counts. His best pitch this year has been his curve, with his split and cutter the best pitches over his career. This year he's getting an outstanding 36% of swings at balls out of the strike zone, and 11% swing and miss rate. Throws 1st pitch strike 67% of the time, so be ready to swing. He's striking out close to 9 K/9, and walks < 2 W/9, which is outstanding.

This year Haren is 7-8 with a 4.6 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, mainly due to an inflated BAPIP of .351. His FIP is 3.82, which is in-line with his career ERA (3.71). He's averaging close to 7 innings per start, although his last outing was poor versus the Padres: 5 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs and 2 home runs.

He's a front-line starter, who is owed $25.5 million in 2011-2012, with a $15.5 million option ($3.5 million buyout) in 2013.The Diamondbacks are not actively trying to move him as they still feel they have a core of players that can win within the next few years, but he can be had for the right price (two future aces and...).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mets lose another game, another series

2nd night in a row that I'm not making it past 4th inning. Beltran can't play center field. PERIOD, END OF STORY.
Good night

Update: Mets offense makes the Diamondbacks pitching staff look like a bunch of Cy Youngs, mustering two solo home runs after being shutout for seven innings. Poor defense by Beltran led to two runs for Arizona.

Niese tries to be a stopper vs Haren in the series finale, 9:40 PM EST.

Game 94: Mets @ Diamondbacks



Here is the line-up that will face Brett Enbert in his 4th career start:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay lF
J Thole C
L Castillo 2B
RA Dickey P

My Prediction: Mets bats erupt and score 4 runs. Yes I know that's not an eruption, for this team it is. Mets win 4-3.

Let's Go Mets!

Scouting Report RHP, Barry Enright

If you are sitting there asking 'who is Barry Enright', don't worry, that was my exact response when I saw he was starting on Sunday.

The 24-year old Right-hander Barry Enright was a second-round pick in 2007 out of Pepperdine, where he was the 73rd pick, which was the highest Pepperdine player drafted since 2001 (current teammate Dan Haren and former big leaguer Noah Lowry). Enright made his major league debut June 30 by limiting the Cardinals to one run in five innings in a 101-pitch performance.

Enright is a pure finesse pitcher who survives by mixing up four average pitches. He throws an upper-80s fastball that occasionally hits 91, and three secondary pitches (curve, slider, changeup) that all rate as average, with his change-up being a plus pitch. He throws all of his pitches for strikes and at any point in the count, succeeding on the ability to paint the corners and keep hitters off balance. He has a big frame (6'3" 220 pounds), clean mechanics, and no injury history of note. This year in the minors, he had 10 quality starts in his 14 starts, striking out a solid 8 per 9, and walking only 1.4 W/9. He had gone seven innings in his last eight starts before making his major league debut. He's a fly-ball pitcher who has little margin for error, especially in Chase Field. He uses his slider as his strike out pitch and he hasn't thrown a change-up when he's ahead of the count yet in his three starts.

He's made three starts this year, and is 1-2 in 15 2/3 innings. The last two starts he's thrown 78 and 76 pitches, and he has yet to complete 6 innings in the big leagues. He's walked 6 in the 15 2/3 innings, and allowed two home runs.

Most scouts label his upside as a #5 starter, and is a "lesser Ian Kennedy." He was the Diamondbacks #11 prospect before and after the 2008 season according to Baseball Prospectus, but was not in the top 30 in this year's Baseball America Prospect Handbook

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's The Middle of the 4th inning...

And I've given up on this game. Pelfrey was worse than Takahashi, as he threw 51 pitches in the 1st inning, and didn't complete the 2nd inning.

It's currently 6-0.

Better luck tomorrow.

UPDATE 6:30 AM. Glad I didn't stay up, as the Mets lost 13-2. Nieve and Feliciano provided no relief.

Mets have lost 4 of 5 since the all-star break, only 5 games over .500, 5 1/2 out of 1st place, and 2 1/2 back in the wild card (tied for 4th).

Game 93: Mets (49-43) @ Diamondbacks (34-58)

(September 8, 2006. Dbacks vs Cardinals)

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Ian Kennedy tonight at Chase Field:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF
R Barajas C (why is he playing versus a RHP instead of Thole? Barajas is 1-17, 15-89, and has 2 RBIs since June 1st. He's hitting .231/.268/.419, which is right in line with his career averages. Just sayin')
L Castillo 2B (activated today, R Tejada sent down)
M Pelfrey P

My Prediction: Mets need this win and they get it, but it's going to be a 5-4 nail-biter.

Lets Go Mets!

Can anyone explain to me how the Diamondback fans are the best in baseball?? 

Mets Scouting J Guthrie

According to Rotoworld, the Mets were at J Guthrie's start on Sunday.

Here is an excerpt of my scouting report of him when he faced the Mets on June 11th:

Guthrie has a compact delivery, throwing from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws 2 and 4-seam fastballs in the 89-94 mph range (average of 92 mph, down from 94 in 2008) and gets good downward movement with the 2-seam, but his 4-seam is straight as an arrow. He also throws a sharp, late-breaking slider (84 mph), a tight curve (will only throw it once or twice a game) and a decent change (85 mph). Falls behind in the count often. His fastball and slider are his two best pitches, and he throws them a combined 86% of the time. This year he's increased the use of his slider to 26%.

This year he's made 12 starts and is 3-6, but he's pitched better than his record, as he has a 3.71 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. But he also has seen his K/9 decrease for the 5th year in a row (4.75). At least he doesn't walk many hitters ( < 2 W/9). He's been very lucky with an unsustainable .258 BAPIP, so his FIP is 4.41. He's gone six + innings in 11 of his 12 starts, and has allowed three runs or less in nine of his 12 starts. His last start he was a tough luck loser, as he went 7 1/3 versus Boston, allowing only two runs, on six base-runners, while striking out four.

He's making 3 million this year and could be on the trading block along with teammate K Millwood.
Since he faced the Mets on June 11th, he has one quality start (his last one versus Toronto) in six starts, and two of his last nine starts since June 1. His ERA is now 4.58, his K/9 is still terrible at 4.81.

I do not advocate trading for J Guthrie for a bag of sunflower seeds, let alone another human being.

Chance to Win World Series Tickets

State Farm is having a contest where you can enter to win World Series tickets.  It's part of their Go To Bat promotion.  When you sign up, you have the opportunity to select the charity you are playing for.  If you look under "public benefit", you'll find PIFB, or Pitch in for Baseball.

1. Please enter for a chance to win World Series tickets and list PIFB as your designated charity. This can be done once per day.
2.  Go to www.statefarm.com/gotobat and www.pitchinforbaseball.org

Here is the Press Release for Pitch in for Baseball (PIFB)

Pitch in for Baseball joins the State Farm "Go To Bat" campaign

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm's 'Go To Bat' campaign. Now we need your help!

'Go To Bat' was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  'Go To Bat' gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here's how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC BENEFIT as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the 'Go To Bat' online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For Baseball's chance at financial support.

Hopefully one lucky winner will win tickets to watch our Mets in the World Series!

Thoughts on a Hot Monday Afternoon

After a four game series that the Mets scored a total of eight runs and only one won game, here are some links/thoughts.

  • Citislickers has their weekly preview of the NL East.
    • My Take: The Mets sit 5 games out of 1st place with 12 games before the trading deadline. They are on pace to win 86 games and the Braves are on pace to win 95 games.
  • Baseball Prospectus ran their daily Playoff Odds, and on July 4th, the Mets had a 40.3% chance of making the playoffs. As of this AM, this is now 21.1%
    • My Take: I think that's about right, a 1 in 5 chance to make the playoffs. I hope Omar realizes this before mortgaging the future that he won't be around for. 
  • Joe Janish over at Mets Today has a great article on Pelfrey's mechanics and what to look for in tonight's start.
    • My Take: I hope Big Pelf reads this and makes the simple correction. He has had minimal success versus the Diamondbacks in the past (0-4, 5.22 ERA), but the Mets need a big performance from him tonight.
  • Joe was very busy and informative today, also comparing/contrasting the receiving styles of Buster Posey and Henry Blanco from the catcher's point of view of "framing."
    • My Take: Must read for any big baseball fan/coach. I was a pitcher and could definitely remember one catcher who knew how to properly frame a pitch, but most were more like Blanco. Yet another reason why I don't see a role for Blanco to remain on this team when Thole is clearly a better hitting catcher, and Blanco's role is "a good defensive catcher."
  • Will Carrol at Baseball Prospectus talked about Carlos Beltran in his "Under the Knife" column and he wrote this:
  • "I spoke with a scout who saw him this weekend who agreed, saying he's a 45-50 runner right now on the standard 20-80 scouting scale."
    •  My Take: This is confirmed by what many of us have seen from Beltran since his return on Thursday, as multiple readers have complained about his poor jumps or routes on fly balls. If he is just an average center fielder, not a threat on the bases, and not able to hit 20+ home runs (let alone 30), how valuable is he?
Overall, Mets need to win 2 of 3 versus the Diamondbacks and I think the Mets need to win the next two games as they are facing the Diamondbacks ace Dan Haren on Wednesday. All three of these games start at 9:40. I can't wait for them to resume "normal game times."

Scouting Report RHP Ian Kennedy

The 25-year old Ian Kennedy was drafted in the 1st round (21st pick) by the Yankees in the 2006 draft. It was a surprising pick for the Yankees because Kennedy wasn't seen as having a high upside, but was a very polished college pitcher out of USC that would climb through the system quickly. He did just that, making three starts in September of 2007. He lived on his pinpoint control in the minors (2.8 W/9 to go with great strikeout rates of 9.9 K/9), but that quickly disappeared in the majors, as he walked 5.8 per 9 innings as a Yankee. He made some stupid comments ("I felt like I made some good pitches and competed, which is all that really matters... What was it? A bunch of singles and three doubles, or so. I’m just not real upset about it."); he promptly got demoted and would only pitch one inning for the Yankees again (he missed significant time with a shoulder aneurysm , totaling less than 25 innings in 2009). He was traded this off-season to Arizona in the Granderson, E Jackson and M Scherzer trade.  He has never faced the Mets in his brief major league career.

Kennedy has very smooth mechanics (similar to Zach Grienke), which allows him to have such good control (as he did in the minors). Kennedy doesn't have a blazing fastball (his four-seam touches 93 mph), but his two-seam has good tailing movement and he is able to locate it well. His fastball averages 89 mph. His best pitch is his change-up, which has been rated a 70 on the scouts 20-80 scale. He spreads his fingers apart when throwing it, so it's similar to a split-finger, and it is effective versus both righties and lefties. He also throws a spike curve-ball 75-78 mph, which he has featured more over the past year (9% to now 16%). He mixes in a slider/cutter just to show hitters another look, but it isn't effective. He is throwing his change-up 20% of the time, and it's his only plus pitch.  He throws 1st pitch strikes 61% of the time.

This season, Kennedy is 4-7 in 18 starts (111 innings) with a 4.12 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He has a respectable 8+ K/9, and a manageable 3.4 W/9. He has been victimized by the long ball though, allowing 19 home runs thus far, including five multi-home run games. The Diamondbacks have been trying to give Kennedy extra days rest whenever possible since he threw so few innings last year. His last three starts he has not been able to get out of the 6th inning, and he had lost his last four decisions before winning his last game versus Florida (5 1/3 innings, 2 ER, 1 HR, 5 hits, 2 walks, 5 k's).

Most scouts view him as a #4 pitcher on a good team, and he was ranked as the #7 player in the Diamondbacks organization that is 25 or under.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mets Finally Win, 4-3

Johan throws a nice game, but K-Rod blows the W for him. Thankfully Mets hold on to win in the 10th.

Start a 3-game series versus the Diamondbacks tomorrow night, Pelfrey vs Ian Kennedy.

A loyal reader sent this in. Enjoy the game. "Came to see the mets get swept."

Game 92: Mets @ Giants

 (The park formally know as SBC)
Here is the Mets line-up that faces the Giants version of Ollie P, J Sanchez:

A Pagan CF
J Turner 2B
D Wright 3B
J Bay LF
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF
H Blanco C
R Tejada SS
J Santana P

My Prediction: Johan may need to throw a shutout to win this game; I don't think he does, and the Mets lose 2-1 and get swept in a four game series.

Hope I'm wrong. LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report LHP Jonathan Sanchez

This 27 year old left-hander was drafted in the 27th round of the 2004 draft by the Giants out of Ohio Dominican University, thinking that they could fix his mechanics. He dominated minor league hitters from the start, striking out close to 12 per 9 innings. He climbed up the prospect rankings, peaking at #2 on baseball america's list before the 2007 season. He continued to get the strike-outs once he got to the majors (9.28 K/9 for his career), but he has also walked > 4.5/9. He made history last year when he threw a no-hitter in July, and over his next 10 starts he turned in six quality starts, 75 strikeouts versus 27 walks in 59 2/3 innings. But then he reverted back to his inconsistent self, and in the last five starts of the year, he failed to get out of the sixth inning, allowing 36 base-runners and six home runs in 25 innings pitched.  For his career against the Mets, he's 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He went seven innings in his start on May 7th against the Mets, allowing four earned runs, while walking only one, but let up three home runs (two versus Ike Davis, one vs Barajas).

He has a live arm and throws from a 3/4 arm slot. He has a sneaky fast 91-94 mph fastball, and compliments it with a biting slider (80 mph) and a split finger/change up (80 mph) that runs down and away from righties. Scuffles with his mechanics and command at times and loses focus with adversity (sound like Ollie P??). He's a fly-ball pitcher, who misses a ton of bats (9.3 K/9 for career, 9.0 K/9 this year), but also walks a bunch (4.65 W/9 career, 4.6 W/9 for the year). His slider was his most effective pitch last year, but this year his fastball has been his only plus pitch. He throws 1st pitch fastball 77% of the time and he still leans on his slider with two strikes, throwing 50% of the time when the count is 0-2 or 1-2.




This year he's 7-6 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He's failed to go six innings or more in 9 of his 18 starts.  His last start versus the Nationals he didn't escape the 4th inning, allowing five hits and five runs, while walking two and striking out six.

Multiple scouts have made the comp to OLIVER PEREZ (prior to this year, when Perez actually had good stuff).  For those reading at home, that's not good. Overall he has filthy stuff, but like Oliver Perez, can lose focus and command quickly.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mets lose again. when your starter doesn't get out of the 3rd inning and lets up 6 runs, you aren't going to win many games. Try to avoid getting swept tomorrow

Game 91: Mets @ Giants


Here is the line-up that will be facing hard-throwing Matt Cain:

Pagan
Cora
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Bay
Barajas
Tejada
Takahashi

Takahashi will be throwing tonight instead of Mike Pelfrey, who was scratched because of a stiff neck.

My Prediction: Mets lose again, this time 4-1.

Last Night

The Mets offense didn't show up, so neither did my game recap. Hope I can write a happy recap tonight.

Scouting Report, RHP Matt Cain

The former 1st round pick was highly-touted before his major league debut in 2005 (#3 pitching prospect by John Sickels, #10 by Baseball America), and he hasn't disappointed. Although he has a 50-59 career win/loss record, he has had the least amount of run support of any pitcher in baseball during that time period. His career ERA sits a 3.51 and his WHIP is 1.25. He's made 30 starts in each of his last four years, and has topped the 200 inning mark the past three years. He made his 1st all-star team last year, and is still only 25 years old. For his career against the Mets he's 3-3 (7 starts), but he was 1-0 with two quality starts last year (including when he beaned D Wright in the head August 15th), and a 2.02 ERA.

Cain has an efficient wind-up and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws his fastball 90-94 mph and isn't afraid to throw it up in the zone. His fastball velocity is down to 91.4 this year (92.6 last year). He relies on a late-breaking slider (85 mph) more than his curve (76 mph). He also features a plus change-up (84 mph). His two best pitches are his fastball and change up. His K/9 rate has dropped to 6.5 (career average 7.4) and his swing and miss % is at a career low 7.4%. Throws his fastball 60+ % of the time when he gets to two strikes.

Once again Cain has been a victim of poor run support, as his record is 6-8, but he has a 3.34 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. After his start on June 13th, he was 6-4 with a 2.05 ERA, but similar to Zito, he was extremely lucky with the lack of HR's allowed even though he's an extreme fly ball pitcher (31% ground ball rate, lowest of his career). He had allowed 4 home runs in 92 1/3 innings, but since June 13th, he's let up 6 home runs in 29 1/3 innings. His Hr/Fly ball rate is also still very low (5.7%, career is also low though, 6.7%), and it may correct in the future (his xFIP is 4.72). The Giants have lost his last five starts, and his ERA is 7.45 in those games.

Cain is a very good pitcher, and is a solid #2 that teams would love to have. He signed an extension keeping him in San Francisco through the 2012 season, where he will make 15 million dollars (8 million in 2011 also). So for those counting at home, between Lincecum, Cain and Zito, the Giants are paying those three pitchers alone 52+ million in 2012.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Game 90: Mets @ Giants


Here is the line-up that will face LHP Barry Zito:

R Tejada SS (UM, REALLY!?!?!? He has a .221/.299/.263 slash. AND HE'S HITTING LEAD OFF?!)
J BAY LF (Talk about an ideal #2 hitter for John....)
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
J Francoeur RF
I Davis 1B
R Barajas C
A Cora 2B
J Niese P

My prediction: I would've said the Mets win this game based on the pitching match-up, but after seeing the line-up, I couldn't be more disgusted. Mets lose 3-2.

RUBEN TEJADA

IS OUR LEAD-OFF HITTER?!?

Jerry, please resign now because if I was the owner, you would be fired IMMEDIATELY.

Get a clue, please, before you officially ruin our season.

Reaction to Last Night's Game

Positives:
  • RA Dickey's mastery continues and shows no signs of stopping. He pitched well enough to win, but it's very rare you win a game when your offense only produces 6 total bases
  • C Beltran returned, going 1-4, and even had a stolen base attempt (unsuccessful), but he did hit the ball hard once, and barely ran faster than me on his last at-bat, a routine ground out
  • C Carter got a pinch-hit base hit
  • It was a quick defeat, taking only 2:10; great for east coast fans when the games start after 10 PM
Negatives:
  • PEDRO FELICIANO. You have one job, get lefties out. What does he do? Walks the only lefty batter he faces on four pitches.
  • Ike Davis made an aggressive, but ill-advised throw to the plate in the bottom of the 8th. It turned out not to matter because the Mets couldn't score anyway, but still was a bad decision.
Mets are now 5 games back of the Braves and face Barry Zito tonight in a match-up of lefties. I wonder if Reyes will play tonight or if Jerry Manuel really meant when he said he won't play until he's pain-free...

Scouting Report, LHP Barry Zito

Barry Zito had 3 16 strike out games in his last year at USC and was a 1st round pick (9th overall) of the Oakland A's in 1999, and made his debut in July of 2000. He was a Cy Young winner and an All-star (1st of 3) in 2002. He finished his career in Oakland after 7 seasons, 102-63, with a 3.55 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Those stats landed him a 7 year contract after the 2006 season, and thankfully Omar didn't want to break the 100 million mark, or his contract would be even worse than Ollie P's. For the Giants he is 38-47, with a 4.42 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Last year he did start to show signs of life, raising his K/9 to a respectable 7.2 (from 6.0), and cut his W/9 from 5.1 to 3.8. These two factors alone contributed to dropping his ERA to 4.03, and he went from a #5/6 starter to a #3. Career against the Mets he's 2-2 in five starts, with a 4.28 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Both of the losses have come after the 2007 season; he's made three starts in that time period, and is 0-2 with a 14 1/3 innings pitched, 10 earned runs, and 29 base-runners.

Zito has a herky-jerky delivery and throws straight over the top. The pitcher that used to touch 90 is no more, as his fastball now is 84-87 (average 85 mph). He had a lot of success with a slider last year (79 mph), but it hasn't been effective this year. He is known for his big looping curveball (72 mph), but hitters have been more selective and making him throw it for strikes. He also throws an effective change-up (74 mph). His fastball is a plus pitch for him this year for the first time since 2004. He is getting hitters to swing at balls out of the strike zone at the highest rate of his career (31%), but still is below league average in terms of swing and miss % (7.2%). He relies on his curve with 2 strikes (throws it > 40% of the time).

Zito started the year 6-2, and entering the month of June he had a 2.94 ERA. Since then, he's had three games of 5+ earned runs, and he is currently 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA, and 1.31 WHIP. What's changed since the calender turned to June? Zito is an extreme fly-ball pitcher, and was getting very lucky with the lack of fly-balls leaving the yard (1 home run in his 1st 61 innings, 7 home runs in the last 54 innings). His home run/fly ball rate is still ridiculous low at 5.3%, (career average is 8.4%), so his ERA may end up even higher at the end of the year (his xFIP, which normalizes HR/fly ball rate, is 4.79). In his last start he didn't make it out of the 5th inning, going 4 2/3, 2 runs, 7 hits, 6 walks and 7 k's.

Yes, he's still getting paid like an ace (18.5 million this year), and he's at best a #3 starter for the remainder of his contract, but at least he's pitching in the big leagues (unlike the Mets bad contract)...

Mets Offense musters only 6 total bases

Tiny Tim dominates, complete game shutout. Dickey throws very well, but Mets can't get a run. Mets lose 2-0. Niese vs Zito tomorrow 10:10 pm

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Game 89: Mets (48-40) @ Giants (47-41)


Here is the line-up that will face RHP "Tiny Tim" Lincecum:

A Pagan RF
A Cora 2B
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF
J Thole C
R Tejada SS
RA Dickey P


 I don't think anyone will be needing these kayaks tonight...

My Prediction: Lincecum dominates, but Dickey also baffles the Giants hitters. I don't expect many runs to be scored, final score 2-1, but Mets start the road trip off with a loss.

Hope I'm wrong, LET'S GO METS!

Reyes Scratched

Jose Reyes still can't swing from the left-side of the plate, and was taken out of tonight's line-up.

Are the Mets realizing that he shouldn't bat right-handed versus right-handed pitchers any more?

What is this world coming to?

I have nothing else to say...except


RIDICULOUS MEDICAL MANAGEMENT

Scouting Report, Tim Lincecum


Tim Lincecum =  Very, very good.
The End.

Wait, I already did that as my opening for Roy Halladay? darn. Well, this 25-year old superstar is freakishly good, and is throwing even better than Halladay this year. He already has two Cy Young Awards and has been elected to the all star team three straight years. Keep in mind this is only his 4th big league season.

He has a one-of-a kind delivery, in which he delivers straight over the top. He has an extremely long stride (even longer than Johan's), and he features three plus pitches. Even though he's lost 3 mph on his fastball since first taking the league by storm, he is now featuring a two-seamer 15% of the time (which has resulted in an increase in his ground ball rate to 47%) and he is averaging his fastball velocity around 91 (but his "rising" four-seam fastball still hits 94-95). He also throws a plus curve, and a plus-plus change, that probably is the best in baseball. He throws his change-up for a strike 75% of the time (league average is 60%. Hat Tip to Fangraphs). The craziest stat is that he gets a 34% swing and miss rate on his change-up (league average is 12%). He has increased his use of a slider this year to 7% (83 mph). He gets a ton of swing and misses outside of the strike zone, which helps to maintain his K/9 > 10, and his walk /9 < 3.7.

Before he faced the Mets on May 9th, he was a 4-0 record with a  1.73 ERA and a minuscule 0.83 WHIP. He had gone 7+ innings in five of his six starts, and had eight walks to his 56 strikeouts (42 1/3 innings). He threw six innings and allowed two runs versus the Mets, while striking out eight, raising his ERA to 1.86. After that game he lost his usual pinpoint control and walked five guys in each of his next four starts. He currently has a 9-4 record, with a 3.16 ERA and 1.28 WHIP (highest in his major league career). His last start was solid, throwing seven innings, allowing only one run while striking out 10 and only six hitters reached base. That was his 5th game where he has struck out 10+ guys this season (18 starts)


He is one of the top three pitchers in baseball, and will be very difficult to beat (if you couldn't figure that out from all those numbers above).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adam Rubin's Mid-term report cards

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York posted his Mid-term report cards, and they are worth a look. Here are the links to my pitchers and hitters report cards after the 54 game (1/3 of the season) mark.

Here are reasons for optimism:


The Mets get five-time All-Star Carlos Beltran back on Thursday.

They're within four games of first place after salvaging Sunday's series finale against the Atlanta Braves.

They're within striking distance despite getting only six home runs from Jason Bay in the first half -- paltry longball production that surely can't persist for a full season.

And the Mets have yet to play a game this season against National League doormats Pittsburgh (30-58), Arizona (34-55) and Houston (36-53). Meanwhile, division-leading Atlanta has played a combined 16 games against those opponents.
Rubin gave A's to: Pagan, Wright, and A-'s to Dickey, Feliciano and J Niese, with Maine getting a D and Ollie P an F.

Jerry Manuel got a B- and as his need improvement = "Please stop bunting every time with runners on first and second and nobody out."

Omar got a C.

My Take: I agree with most of the rankings, and agree 1000% with Jerry Manuel's needs improvement. I'm ready for baseball tonight, but to no avail. I am excited to watch Tiny Tim Lincecum throw tomorrow night.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mets Offense & Pitching compared to League Averages

Mets Offensive Ranks in the National League:
Batting Average: 9th
On-Base %: 11th
Slugging %: 11th
OPS: 12th
Runs: 9th

Mets Pitching Ranks in the National League:
ERA: 5th

Yes, if you look at the other pitching statistics they aren't as good, but that's an easy stat to compare how they have done this 1st half (and it won't be that good in the 2nd half).

Could they use a 5th starter? Of course. Could they use another bullpen arm? Of course. But out of the 17 other teams that are above .500, all but one or two teams couldn't use bullpen help or another starter.

I don't think that we need a major upgrade in the offense (a trade for Kelly Johnson would be nice), but more so that we maximize the team's strengths (large platoon splits) and minimize their weaknesses (Frenchy and Barajas pathetic OBPs). I don't think the Mets need to trade for bullpen help as they have a serviceable arms in the minors (Acosta and hopefully Igarashi). The 5th starter is something they don't have in the minors, and that is where the trade market could improve the team.

2nd Half Line-ups

I know a lot of people have been wondering what the line-up will look like when Beltran returns on Thursday. Here are my proposed line-ups for RHP or a LHP. Manuel announced Beltran will hit 4th upon return. I don't think he will provide the power that's expected of a clean-up hitter, but I like the balance he will provide there, so I put him there versus RHP. In ideal conditions, I think C Beltran is a 2-hitter, but with his lack of speed after the surgery I don't know how well he will fit there.

As far as the rotation of Beltran, Pagan and Francoeur, here is my stance. Pagan needs to play 6-7 games a week. Beltran needs to play as much as his knee can tolerate, so that may be 4-5 games a week. That leaves J Francoeur to get 1-2 starts a week, preferably versus left-handed pitchers.

RHP

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF (hitting .333 vs RHP)
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF
J Thole C (hitting .563 RHP; yes it's a small sample size)
L Castillo 2B

LHP

J Reyes SS
A Pagan/C Beltran
D Wright 3B
J Bay LF
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur/Beltran 
R Barajas C
R Tejada 2B

In order to make these moves, the Mets already optioned Jesus Feliciano down to AAA, and the Mets will need to make a decision between J Thole and H Blanco. I no longer know Blanco's role on this team besides a good clubhouse presence, and think Thole can provide a better offensive line-up and actually help the team win ball-games. F Tatis needs to stay on the DL to allow N Evans to be the primary right-handed hitter off the bench, and keeping C Carter as the primary left-handed PH. That will allow 11 pitchers. If it's essential to carry 12 pitchers, then a roster decision comes down to who do you view as more valuable: Cora, R Tejada or C Carter. You guys know who I would vote off the island, but R Tejada may be the weakest link to see if he can improve offensively.


Agree or disagree? What would you guys do with the line-up/roster management?

Thank You

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you to the readers for a fun and successful 1st half of the season.

I would welcome any comments/suggestions/things you would like to see added or expanded. After all, if no one reads it but me, this isn't much fun. But I love the comments and getting to know the readers, as well as the discussions that have been created.

Thanks again for continuing to read, and hopefully we can have an even better 2nd half.

Anthony

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mets finish up the 1st Half with a Nice W

great win 3-0 highlighted by strong pitching from Johan and perfect innings from Parnell and K-Rod. I Davis MASHED a bomb to straight away CF. Mets finish homestand 2-4, and have a few days off ...

Game 88: Mets vs Braves

It's the last game before a three-day break for Jason Bay, but Jerry Manuel still gives him the day off. Any ideas why?? Here is the line-up that will face sinker-baller Derek Lowe:

A Pagan CF
A Cora 2B (51st appearance)
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF
C Carter LF
R Barajas C
R Tejada SS
J Santana P

My Prediction: Johan needs to throw a shutout if the Mets expect to win this game.


Hopefully Keith can bear to watch this game...

Morning Thoughts

The Mets finish up "the first half" of the season today in desperate need of a win, and thankfully they have the best pitcher on the staff to try to do that (Johan).

Here are some thoughts and links that I think are worth while on this Sunday morning.
  • It was completely insane that Jose Reyes has been playing all week, and I was not alone in the criticism of it. Now on top of under-performing, he also re-aggravated the oblique injury. He will miss the All-Star game (thankfully), but who knows if he will be 100% by Thursday when the Mets play the Giants, or if time on the DL will be warranted.
  • Joe Janish over at Mets Today picked up a mechanical flaw that he thinks is the cause of Pelfrey's recent struggles. Whether his arm his "dead" as he says or not, I hope the Mets can figure it out because if he's not effective we may as well mail in the rest of the season.
  • I've had numerous conversations with many of the readers and other bloggers as I'm always asked "which pitcher should the Mets trade for?" My response seems to be in the minority, but as I've stated before, this team is not built to win the world series this year, and even if we had added Cliff Lee, I'm not sure if we make the playoffs. So based on that, I'm not willing to trade any significant part of our farm system to try to make the playoffs this year. If the Cubs want to "gift-wrap" Ted Lilly if the Mets take on his 5-6 million remaining for this year, then I'm all for it. But if we need to give up a piece of our future, then I will think long and hard about it. Depending on the outcome of today's game, the Mets could be in 3rd place, 6 games out of first place, and three games out of the wild card.
  • Bill over at Citislickers.com has an open letter to Jerry Manuel that is a good read.
Hope the Mets win today, rest and recoup during the All-Star break, as Beltran is set to return on Thursday and bat clean-up. I'll have a post discussing that tomorrow.

Scouting Report, RHP Derek Lowe (2nd time)

The 37-year old RHP was a highly sought-after free agent last year, and wound up getting a four-year, $60 million contract. The Mets hesitated on giving an aging veteran such as Lowe a four-year contract, and if last year was an indication (which I do agree with), the Mets made the right decision. Although he went 15-10 in 34 starts last year, he gave up 232 hits in 194 innings and had a .301 batting average against. He had a 4.67 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, while also seeing his GB rate decrease to 66% (75% in 2007). For his career against the Mets, he has started eight times, and is 3-4 with a 7.01 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. He started five of those games last year with the Braves, and had a 6.94 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, with 10 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. When he faced the Mets in May, he was on the short side on the decision, even though he threw seven innings, allowed three runs and only seven base-runners.

The 6’6” Lowe throws from a ¾ to low ¾ arm slot, and features a sinking 87-88 mph and a late-breaking slider (80 mph). He throws his fastball 70% of the time, his slider 12% of the time (down from 26-31% previous two years), and he has increased the use of his change-up (84 mph) this year to 16% (previously was only a 'show-me pitch'). He rarely throws inside/backs hitters off the plate. He was never a strike out pitcher, but last year his rates decreased even further (5.1 K/9), and his walk rate increased from 1.9 W/9 to 2.9. As noted earlier, Lowe is a groundball pitcher but he started to leave the ball up in the zone more last year, and the hitters took advantage.

This year, he has made 18 starts (108 innings) and is 9-7, with a 4.40 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. His strikeout rate is the similar to last year (5.4 K/9), but has seen an increase in walks (3.5 W/9), the highest in his 14-year career, but he has been better lately. Since May 12th, he's made 11 starts, 70 1/3 innings, and has a 3.43 ERA (inflated by one terrible start Dbacks: four innings, seven earned runs), walking 23 and striking out 43.

He's a league average pitcher on the decline; he is useful to the Braves (and would be for the Mets) but they wish he was making 6-8 million versus 15 million.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mets Lose Game and Lose Reyes

Listless 4-0 loss from the Mets today. Pelfrey was terrible, and couldn't throw five innings for the 3rd start in a row.

Try to avoid getting swept tomorrow, Johan vs Lowe.

Reyes leaves the game

Reyes leaves the game with an injury...MAYBE HE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN PLAYING.

(This was from Wednesday)

Just sayin'...

Lets Go Mets! This is from a loyal reader in section 129. Enjoy the game!

Game 87: Mets vs Braves

Weather permitting, the Mets will play the Braves and face All-Star RHP Tim Hudson. Mets currently sit 4 games out of 1st place. Here is the Mets line-up:

A Pagan CF
J Reyes SS (Still batting righty...)
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Bay LF (will he get boo'd again today?)
J Francoeur (he still can't hit righties...)
R Barajas C
A Cora 2B (50th appearance of the year...)
M Pelfrey P (2-0 with 1.42 ERA vs the Braves this season)



My Prediction: Mets win 4-3 if they are able to get this game in.

As always, Let's Go Mets!

Scouting Report, RHP Tim Hudson

The 12-year major league veteran turns 35 on Wednesday, and is in the first year of a 3-year contract paying him 28 million dollars. He missed the majority of last year recovering from Tommy John Surgery, but made seven starts in September, going 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. His career numbers are impressive, 156-82, with a 3.43 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, as well as being an All-star three times, including being selected for the game this year.  For his career, Hudson is 10-5 versus the Mets (16 starts, 105 innings), with a 3.77 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, and only 3.7 K/9. He faced the Mets last September and got the W, going six innings, allowed two runs on nine hits, while walking and striking out two.

Hudson is a six-pitch pitcher who works quickly and throws from the three quarters arm slot. He throws a hard sinking fastball 89-92 mph (averaging 91.2 mph, highest since 2004), a cutter 88 mph, a late-breaking slider (85 mph), a tight curve (76 mph), a show-me change early in the count (81 mph) and a splitter he uses for strikeouts (85 mph). Over his career his three best pitches have been his fastball, split and slider, but his split and slider have been below average this year (maybe the cause of his lack of strike outs). He throws first pitch fastball 72% of the time.

In 17 starts this year, Hudson is 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Those numbers are very deceiving, as he has been extremely lucky, with a trio of things working against him in the 2nd half. 1) His strike out rate has dropped to a pedestrian 4.57 K/9 (lowest in his career). 2) BAPIP is .234, completely unsustainable (career average is .286). 3) His strand rate is 84% (career average is 74%). Due to the combination of this three things, his FIP is 4.29; not as shiny as his 2.44 ERA. Hudson has continued to get a ton of ground balls due to his sinking fastball, but he's not getting swing and misses (6.8%, career is 9.3%) and throwing a career low 46% strikes. His last start versus Florida he was a tough luck loser, throwing eight innings, allowed only seven base-runners, but three runs, while striking out seven. He's gone 7+ innings in his last six starts.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mets Lose Series Opener

Back to back HRs doomed Dickey, and Mets lose 4-2. As usual poor in-game managing by Jerry. Reyes looks awful swinging from the right side vs RHP ...Pelfrey vs T Hudson tomorrow, 4:10

Game 86: Mets vs Braves

Here is the line-up that was face RHP Tommy Hanson:

A Pagan CF
J Reyes SS (Batting righty)
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Bay RF
J Thole C
J Francoeur RF (he still can't hit righties)
R Tejada 2B
RA Dickey P


My Prediction: Mets lose the series opener 5-1.

Hope I'm wrong, as always, LET'S GO METS!

Afternoon Thoughts

  1. If the Mariners turned down an offer of J Montero, I sincerely hope the Mets don't try to top it because he is a top 5 prospect in baseball.
  2. J Reyes was examined today by the MD, and is in tonight's line-up, but still batting right-handed versus the RHP Hanson
  3. N Evans was promoted (he still is killing left-handed pitchers), and R Igarashi was sent down
That's a busy afternoon and a big game looms tonight....

Scouting Report, Tommy Hanson, (2nd time)

Hanson was a draft and follow 22nd round draft pick in 2005, and he has pitched extremely well through the minors, but his turning point was when he dominated the Arizona Fall League after the 2008 season. 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). He faced the Mets on April 25th, and let up the lone run (unearned) of the rain-shortened game versus Big Pelf, scattering five hits in five innings, and striking out eight.

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 (averaging 93mph). 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. His two best pitches are his fastball and slider. He throws first pitch strikes 62% of the time, and has an above average swinging strike % (9.2). That carries over and is evident in Hanson's ridiculous strikeout rate (over 10 k/9 in the minors, over 8 k/9 last year), while walking around 3/9.

This year he is 8-5 in 17 starts (96 2/3 innings), with a 4.19 ERA and 1.37. That is due to an inflated BAPIP, .347, and that is expected to regress (his FIP 3.37). His strike out rate has risen to above 9 K/9, and he has held steady is walk rate.  He had two out of his last three starts be unsuccessful, lasting less than four innings (vs White Sox and Tigers), but threw 6 2/3 shut out innings versus the Marlins last start, allowing five hits and walking two, while striking out eight. As an example of how unlucky he was during those two starts vs the White Sox and Tigers, he let up 21 hits, only two of which were extra base hits. 12 out of his 17 starts he's allowed two runs or less. Conversely, he's only thrown 7+ innings four times this year.

Hanson is a future ace in the making, and as with most young pitchers, he shows flashes of brilliance, but still need to put it together consistently.