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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Joaquin Arias Acquired for Francouer

I know some Mets fans were disappointed we only got a utility infielder for Francoeur, but I'm thrilled we got a warm body. This prevents Omar from tendering Frenchy a contract next year.

Brief scouting report on Arias: 25 years old who is a speedster (24 stolen bases and 3 cs last year in AAA, 23 and 5 in 2008 AA), doesn't have a lot a pop/power (7 home runs career high, although had a .421 slugging % in AA in 2008, which would be hall of fame caliber 2B for the Mets). The Rangers got tired of his free-swinging approach (swings at balls 37% of the time) and lack of patience (2% walk rate in 50 games this year in the big leagues).

He's better and younger than Luis Hernandez, so why not give him a shot and see what he can do. Worst case he turns into next year's Alex Cora at a fifth of the price.

Francoeur's Stats for the Year

Batting Average: .236
OBP: .293
Slug: .369

He's swung at 43% of balls, when league average is 29%.
He swings and misses 11.7% of the time, league average is 8.2%

Love Your Smile, Hate Your Game. Good Bye Frenchy

This is when he said "Sure" to "Will you hit 30 home runs this year?"


Another Meaningless Loss

7 runs in an inning, started by a Castillo error on a tailor made DP, and capped off by a Grand Slam.

Let's hope Frenchy gets traded/sent on a waiver to the Rangers tonight, and it would make this a positive day.

Meaningless Game 132: Mets @ Braves

There isn't much need to see the Mets line-up today besides using it to make fun of Jerry's poor managerial decisions. If you want to see the line-up, check out Citislickers.com.

Here is Mike Minor's scouting report, and he may be the only reason to watch the game as he has a chance to be pitching against the Mets for the next 6-10 years.

Only 30 more times he gets to fill out the line-up card for the Mets.

Scouting Report, LHP Mike Minor

 (Photo Courtesy of the legendary G.N.Ott. Scranton Wilkes-Barre July 19th. Mr. Ott pronounced Mike Minor ready for the big leagues after watching him that day.)

The 22-year old lefty was drafted with the 7th pick in the 2009 draft out of Vanderbilt, and a lot of the draft pundits criticized the pick, as he didn't show the "high upside" teams tend to value in the top 10 picks of the first round. He was viewed as a "soft-tossing lefty" who sat between 88-90 mph and had four solid pitches, but no plus-plus pitch. His upside was viewed as a #4 starter/innings eater. Well less than a year after that scouting report, he has increased his fastball velocity (now sits at 91) and has been throwing 93-96 mph. Baseball America's Jim Callis recently said if he can keep this velocity and improve his control, he could be a #2 pitcher. Not a bad pick at the #7 slot after all right? I know these numbers mean nothing, but I thought this was pretty ridiculous: Minor had a 0.08 ERA in his senior year at Forrest High in Tennessee, winning 13 games—12 by shutout—and striking out 188 batters over just 86 innings.Wow.

Minor, as noted above, has a fastball that average 91, but can get up to 95-96 mph, a solid curve (79 mph, 10% of his pitches), and a plus change-up with late, heavy break (81 mph, 26%). He's getting an unheralded 40% of swings at balls, and a 12.9% swing and miss rate. But caution, these stats are based on only 3 starts (18 innings). In the minors, he struck out > 10 K/9, and in the big leagues he's at 11 K/9, while walking 2/9 in the majors (3.5 W/9 in the minors).He throws 1st pitch fastball 69% of the time, and is leaning on his change-up as his strike-out pitch more than his curve. But again, all these are based on an extremely small sample size. One another thing to note is that he has a very good pick-off move.

He's made 3 career starts, and has gone 6 innings in each game. He's 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His last start versus the Cubs he struck out 12, while allowing 7 hits and a walk, with 3 earned runs.

(Don't love him hooking his wrist there...)

Mets Lose; Oliver Perez is Alive!

Pitching for the 1st time since August 1st, Ollie P promptly let up a HR to the first batter he faced, Brian McCann.

And Pat Misch showed his upside is a #5 starter (3 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs), as his fastest pitch in the 1st inning was 85 mph. Jamie Moyer is the only person in the majors who throws slower I believe.

The Mets offense struck out 12 times, and D Wright was 0-5. But mark the date down as Luis Hernandez (26 year old non-prospect) got his 1st RBI as a New York Met, which came at the cost of having Ruben Tejada (20 years old) develop. Smart move.


Niese vs Minor 7:10

Monday, August 30, 2010

Game 131: Mets (65-55) @ Braves (75-55)

If the Mets want to make a splash, they can close to within 6 games of the division-leading Braves if they sweep this series. Just throwing it out there. Here is the line-up that will face RHP Jair Jurrjens:


A Pagan CF
L Castillo 2B
C Carter LF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF (              )
J Thole C
L Hernandez SS (Back to back days off for R Tejada)
P Misch P

My Prediction: Mets can't score 3 runs, and Misch lets up 3 runs in 6 innings. You can do the math.

Scouting Report Jair Jurrjens

The Mets faced 24-year old Jair Jurrjens on April 24th when he took the loss, going 6 2/3 innings, allowed 4 hits, 4 walks and 3 strikeouts. He missed some time this spring training with shoulder weakness, then missed 2 months this year with a torn hamstring. Last year the righty faced the Mets 5 times, and went 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA.


This is what I had written back on April 24th:
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 (80 mph) with good bite to his excellent change-up (83 mph). 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.

What has he done this year? Well in his 16 starts (95 innings), he has a 4.36 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He's striking out a below league average 6.2 K/9, and walking a respectable 3.0 W/9. His slider has been his best pitch this year, with his change-up getting hit hard. He throws 1st pitch fastball 72% of the time. He's 5-1 since returning from the DL at the end of June, with a 3.67 ERA in 71 innings, with 8 quality starts out of 11 games. His last start he got hit hard @ Colorado, lasting only 5 1/3 innings and letting 7 runs cross the plate, on 9 hits and 2 walks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scouting Bud Norris Again

Mets faced this youngster 10 days ago, so not much else has changed. His stats are updated.

The 25-year old Norris is barely 6'0" and has been described as "chunky". He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 draft and made a great debut last year for Astros, going 6-3 in 10 starts, and striking out 54 in 55 2/3 innings. His last four starts in September, he allowed 4 runs in 23 innings, while striking out 24 and only walking 6. He threw 7 innings on August 19th to get the win versus the Mets, allowing 2 runs and only 4 base-runners. He threw a season-high 123 pitches.

Norris works quickly, and despite his diminutive size, he can get his fastball up to 96 mph; it averages 94 mph and he adds and subtracts on his fastball frequently (89-96 mph), also changing his arm angle. He throws his slider 36% of the time (87 with good tilt) and a fringe change-up (86 mph 10% of the time). He throws his slider > 45% of the time with two strikes, and it's his best pitch. He threw a plus curve in the minors, but it has been replaced by the slider. He also has a good pick-off move.

This year Norris is 6-7 in 20 starts (112 2/3 innings), with a 5.03 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He gets a ton of swing and misses (11.3%), but he also only throws strikes 45% of the time, resulting in a high walk rate (3.9 W/9). He is striking out 9.7 per 9. He's a fly-ball pitcher and has been prone to the long ball (13 in 99 innings). His BAPIP is due to regress to the mean (.350), and he has a low strand rate (62%), so if FIP is a lot better than his ERA (4.06). He's won his last 4 decisions, and has gone 6+ innings the past 7 starts. He was good in his last start versus the Phillies, getting a no-decision after throwing 6 innings, allowing 1 run, on 5 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4.

He's ranked #2 in the Astros 25 and under talent pool, but that's not saying much. He is a middle of the rotation starter that may be destined to the bullpen if his body can't handle the stresses of starting every 5th day (elbow trouble sidelined him in 2008).

Mets Offense Musters 1 Run

And they lose again, falling to 64-65 on the year.


Got nothing else to say at this point. Rubber game in the afternoon, Dickey vs Norris.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Game 129: Mets vs Astros

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Brett Myers (scouting report here):

Pagan LF
Castillo 2B
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Francoeur RF (UGH)
Blanco C (UGH)
Tejada SS
Santana P

My Prediction: Johan may need a multiple hit game to win with this "pathetic" crew in front of him

Scouting Brett Myers

The 30 year old spent the last 8 years with the Phillies, and signed this off-season with the Astros. He's 81-70 for his career, with a 4.25 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.

He's a four-pitch pitcher, and he has seen his fastball velocity decline over the last few years and now averages 89 mph (throws both two and four seam). He also throws a slider (84 mph), curve (76 mph) and change-up (83 mph). His slider and curve (best pitch over his career) have been his two best pitches this year, and his fastball is well below-average. He's increased his slider use to 27% this year from 18%.

This year he's 9-7 in 26 starts (178 innings) and has a 3.08 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. His K/9 rate is right around 7, and he's walking 2.6 W/9. He's had quality starts in 9 of his last 10 games since July 4th. He faced the Mets 10 days ago, and went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits, while walking 3, for a no-decision. His last start he went 7 strong innings versus the Phillies, allowed 2 runs on 9 hits to get the win. He's gone 7 innings in his last 3 starts.

His name was active around the trade deadline, but he wound up signing a contract extension with the Astros and is guaranteed 21 million over the next two years.

Mets Win 2-1

Pelfrey throws well, Mets offense scores 2 runs and get a W.

Johan vs Myers tonight, 7:10 start.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Game 128: Mets vs Astros

Here is the line-up that will face N Figueroa:

Pagan LF
Castillo 2B
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Francoeur RF (JERRY YOU ARE TERRIBLE)
Blanco C
Tejada 2B
Pelfrey P


My Prediction: I don't care if we win or lose, but I don't see how this line-up can possibly win a game.

Scouting Report Nelson Figueroa (Figgy)

Will he get cheered tonight at Citi? Will anyone be there to cheer?

He threw the first Mets complete game shutout in Citi Field history, and because of that he thought it was his right to continue to be a Met for life. Here was his scouting report from spring training, and his updated stats at the end. 

Nelson Figueroa- #27

36 years old (36 in May)
9th Major League Season
6'1" 180 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: A local guy (from Brooklyn) who grew up as a Mets fan. Throws an upper 80s fastball, which he mixes in with cutters, sinker, curves, sliders and change-ups. Just hopes to win a guessing game with the hitter. Threw a 4-hit shutout on the last day of the season vs the Astros to lower his ERA by 1/2 a run (to 4.09 ERA).

The Bad: A 35/6 year old journeyman who doesn't have over-powering stuff, and had a 1.48 WHIP last year.

He got picked up off of waivers by the Phillies in April, and was then picked up from waivers by the Astros in July.  He's appeared in 21 games (only 1 start for the Phillies), but he has pitched great in the 11 innings for Houston. His K/9 is over 10 and he has yet to walk a hitter for the Astros; he has a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in the small sample size for Houston. He faced the Mets twice back in May with the Phillies and got bombed the first outing (1 inn, 3 runs), but rebounded for a 1, 2, 3 inning the next one.

One change he has made since being with the Mets and the Phillies is that he's decreased his slider use to 22% from 30%, and increased his curve-ball to 21% from 10%. His best pitch this year has been his fastball.


When he faced the Mets 10 days ago, he lasted only 5 innings, let up 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. His last start versus the Marlins he went 6 innings, allowed only 1 run and 5 base runners, while striking out 7.

He will be all fired up tonight to once again show the Mets, the team he grew up rooting for that he is good, but in the end he's a fringe major leaguer who is 36 years old.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Case you Weren't Sure...It's Over

Reyes re-aggravated his right oblique and won't be playing until he's pain-free = See you in Spring Training.


Oh yeh, the Mets lost the game 11-4.

RIP 2010 Mets season, better luck next year

Game 127: Mets vs Marlins

The pathetic Mets line-up will face Anibal Sanchez (scouting report) tonight in the rubber game of the series. The Phillies already lost this afternoon for those still waiting for the Mets mojo to return and make the playoffs...

(SERENITY NOW! STOP LETTING HIM FACE RIGHTIES!)

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Francouer RF (WHY WHY WHY)
J Thole C
L Castillo 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: It'll be a race to 3 runs, and I don't think the Mets can finish that race. Mets lose and fall below .500 yet again.

Scouting Report Anibal Sanchez

The Mets faced Sanchez on May 14 and also on June 4th; here is his detailed scouting report and an update on his season stats at the end.

The 26-year old Sanchez is in his 5th major league season with the Marlins. He was signed by the Red Sox in 2001 as an amateur free agent in Venezuela, and was traded in 2005 in the Hanley Rameriz and Josh Beckett deal. In 2006 he took the league by storm, going 10-3, with a 2.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 114 innings, including a no-hitter. Since that year, he has totaled 203 innings in the last 3+ years. He has a checkered medical history, as he had Tommy John Surgery in 2003, and two shoulder surgeries, along with two DL stints last year for a shoulder sprain. He proclaims this year that he is completely healthy. After returning from the DL last year in August, he was very good, holding batters to a .212 batting average against, and a 2.68 ERA in 50 innings. For his career, he has a 3.89 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, with average strikeout rates, but high walk rates (4.25 W/9).  Against the Mets, he is 3-4, with a 4.23 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in eight starts (two this year).

Sanchez has a fluid delivery and throws from a 3/4 arm slot. He is a four-pitch pitcher, featuring a low 90s fastball (he will add and subtract on his fastball, and throw it up and down in the zone), a plus slider (83 mph), as well as a curve-ball and an excellent change-up. He throws his fastball 52% of the time, slider 25%, while mixing in his curve and change equally (11-12%). His two best pitches are his slider and change-up, and uses his slider as his strikeout pitch.

When he faced the Mets on May 14th, he was 1-2, with a 4.08 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He wasn't striking many hitters out (5.3 K/9), but had suffered some bad luck (.343 BAPIP). He had gone 6+ innings in five of his six starts and allowed only one home run up to that point.

Before his June 4th start, he had 10 starts and is 5-2, with a 2.89 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He has raised his strike out per 9 to > 7, and his BAPIP has started to regress to .310 (norm is .300).  He has had a lot of success with getting hitters to swing at pitches out of the strike zone. He's won four consecutive starts, including his last outing versus the Mets when he went seven innings and allowed only six base-runners and two earned runs, while striking out seven. He hasn't let up more than two earned runs in his last eight starts. He still has only allowed one home run this year. He's gone 6+ innings in nine of his ten starts.

On June 4th, the Mets battered him around and he lasted only 5 2/3 innings, allowed 9 hits and 4 walks accounting for 4 runs, while striking out only 2. 

Update August 26th: Here is a link to an article Fangraphs had on Sanchez last week, and this sums up how he's been doing since then.
Velocity, however, isn’t the only place he’s showing improvement. Over his last five starts, Sanchez has racked up 36 strikeouts in 32 innings, giving him a 10.13 K/9 that is ninth best in baseball over the last 30 days, and puts him in a virtual tie with Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ricky Nolasco. As his stuff has ticked up, so has his ability to blow hitters away, and the version of Sanchez taking the mound for the Marlins right now is the best we’ve ever seen him.
His record sits at 10-8, with a 3.16 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He's limited HRs this year (6 in 148 innings), and only 2 since June 27th. As Fangraphs alluded to above, over his past 7 starts (45 innings), he's allowed 10 earned runs (2.0 ERA) and 47 base-runners (1.04 WHIP), including a 1-hitter vs the Giants. He is also striking out a hitter an inning. After shutting out the Astros over seven innings on Friday night, Sanchez now has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his past seven starts.

He has thrown a career high in innings this year, and if he can stay healthy, he can be a linchpin for the Marlins rotation for years to come.  He isn't as good as his recent stretch, and it's only a matter of time he starts to allow more home runs, but that probably won't start tonight in Citi Field.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tough Loss and it's back to .500

I know I expected the Mets to lose, but I really started to believe this team could win tonight and have another come from behind win. The Mets had the bases loaded in the 9th, but Reyes couldn't come through and the Mets lose the middle game of the 3-game series. D Wright hit a bomb to CF in the 9th to make it 5-4, and that was the final.

Mets fall back to .500, and finish up the series tomorrow, Niese versus A Sanchez, 7:10 start.

Game 126: Mets vs Marlins

Here is the line-up that will face the mysterious Alex Sanabia (scouting report here):

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF (WHY WHY WHY?)
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
P Misch P

My Prediction: Misch is going to let up a monster HR to M Stanton and the Mets lose and fall back into 4th place.

Max of 46 games left for Jerry Manuel managing the Mets. Yes I'm counting down the days...

Wednesday Afternoon Thoughts

After a loyal reader told me this afternoon "Listen to WFAN, "The Pope is killing the Mets."

My response was "why, what has changed that needs to be talked about? They won a game last night, but it doesn't matter. Until the Mets make a change in the front office, manager or players, then there is no reason to talk about them because the season is over."

And that's truly my feelings; everyone thinks they have the solution for the Mets, but until the Mets do anything, there isn't much to say.

(You can't be happy with what you are seeing Mr. Wilpon, but "The Sun will Rise Tomorrow")

Here is the final installment of Adam Rubin's piece "Meet the Mess"

My Take: Again, nothing new in the article. He believes Omar may be reassigned and that Wally Backman will be the manager in 2011. It's got to be better than what we are dealing with right now; another wasted baseball season.

Scouting Report Alex Sanabia

I will admit I had never heard of Sanabia before learning he was starting the second game of the series. I know now he pitched against the Mets on June 30th and took the loss (2 innings, 1 earned run) in his second major league appearance.

The 21 year-old Sanabia was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2006 draft and made his debut this year on June 24th. In the minors he was 25-18 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He minimizes home runs (24 in 382 innings), and struck out a respectable 7 K/9 and a walk rate of 2.4 W/9. In the minors this year he was outstanding and was screaming to be called up, as he was 6-1 in 16 starts (98 innings), and sported a 1.92 ERA and a .89 WHIP between AA and AAA. This was largely aided by allowing only 2 home runs this year in 98 innings. He's not much of a hitter, as he was only 1-20 at the plate in the minors this year.

Sanabia is a 3-pitch pitcher, with a fastball (90 mph), a slider (85 mph) and change-up (82 mph). His pitch breakdown for the majors (caution small sample size) is: Fastball 55%, Slider 18% and change-up 27%. He throws 1st pitch strike 62% of the time, and 70% of his 1st pitch is a fastball.

So far this year he's 2-1, and 2-0 in his 5 starts. He's had 4 good starts, including his last start last week versus the Pirates ( 7 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 0 walks, 1 run and 5 k's). He's only thrown 80+ pitches in 2 of his 5 starts, so the Mets should work the count.

Sanabia didn't appear on any top 10 prospect list for the Marlins, so I really have no idea what scouts think of him besides relying on his minor league numbers this year, which have been good, but I would like to see more strike outs for a top prospect. But if he was a true prospect, some one would've noticed and talked him up...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mets Walk Off Win!

A fun game to watch as a Mets fan, as they scored a few runs off of J Johnson, but came back and won a game for only the 2nd time after trailing after 7 innings. L Castillo drives in the winning run.

Pagan had a big day, gathering 4 hits.

I wish this game actually meant something, but I'll still pretend I'm excited.

Misch throws tomorrow for the Mets, 7:10 start.

Game 125: Mets (62-62) vs Marlins (62-61)

I'm doing this post at 7:05 in the morning, so here is my projected line-up that will face ace Josh Johnson (check out his scouting report from earlier today). For the actual line-up (in case Jerry doesn't copy my ideas), check out Citislickers.com

Hopefully Johnson will be walking off the mound with his head down like that, but I doubt it.

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

My Prediction: Dickey throws well, but not well enough, as the offense doesn't muster more than a run versus Josh Johnson

Let's Go Mets!

Meet the Mess by Adam Rubin

Most of you probably have already seen Adam Rubin's report over at ESPN New York, but if you haven't here are the 1st two parts of Meet the Mess:

Step Right up and greet the Mess and  Can the Mets Make 2011 Interesting?

My Simple Answer: No.

My Take: Nothing really new here, it's interesting for a major beat writer to echo everything I and every other blog have been saying for the past month.

Scouting Report on Marlins Ace Josh Johnson

This is the 3rd time this year the Mets are facing Josh Johnson. The update with his Cy Young caliber stats for this year will be updated at the end.




The 26-year old RHP is in his 6th major league season, and last year took a big step to realizing his potential and becoming an ace of the staff, and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He was a 4th round pick out of high school in 2002. His career has been slowed by injuries (Tommy John surgery cut short his 2007 and 2008 season), and he has only started 20+ games twice in his career (2006 and 2009). Last year he was 15-5, with a 3.23 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, and 22-6 since returning from Tommy John Surgery. He has averaged > 8 k/9 and < 3.3 W/9 for his career, while also posting an impressive ground ball %. This year he made the All-Star team for the second consecutive year. For his career versus the Mets, he is 7-1 in 11 starts, with a 2.55 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. This year he was battling the flu when he faced the Mets on opening day and only lasted 5 innings allowing 4 runs, but on May 13th, he returned back to form, throwing 7 innings and allowing only 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 7 in a no-decision.

Josh Johnson is 6'7" and throws straight over the top, almost throwing straight down to the hitter. He is a three pitch pitcher, throwing a 93-97 mph fastball, an 88 mph slider with sharp and late bite (28% of pitches), and an occasional 87 mph change-up that sinks away from left-handers. He has increased his use of the slider over the past few years (currently at 28%), and his velocity increased after coming back from Tommy John Surgery (pre-surgery he was throwing 92 mph).

This year Johnson has continued to throw well and is a Cy Young contender, as he is 11-5 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 162 strike outs in 166 2/3 innings. He has had two subpar starts in August, but prior to that, since April 15th, he only had one game where he allowed as many as 3 runs. And that was a span of 19 games. His last start versus the Pirates he went 8 strong innings, and allowed only 2 runs on 7 hits, and both runs came on solo home runs.
 


 He also fared well at the plate last year hitting 3 home runs, but this year he is hitting under .100 and doesn't have an extra base hit. Maybe he should've taken more batting practice during Spring Training.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And the Mets can't sweep

Mets scored 1 run in the 1st inning, and then nothing for the next 8 innings. Johan throws 8 innings and only 2 runs, but once again doesn't get help.

Mets finish the road trip 4-3 versus the Astros and the Pirates.

Day off tomorrow, then go home for a three-game series vs the Marlins, then the Astros over the weekend. Josh Johnson vs RA Dickey Tuesday night, 7:10

And good-bye Barajas

The Dodgers traded for Catcher Rod Barajas and the Mets didn't receive a player to be named later, but only "cash considerations."

My Take: Good, there is no reason Barajas should still be on the team. Use the next 6 weeks to evaluate Thole and see if he's an every day catcher or not.

Game 124: Mets @ Pirates

Here is the line-up that will face LHP Zach Duke:


J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
D Wright 3B
J Francoeur RF (Carter still yet to face a LHP)
I Davis 1B
H Blanco C
R Tejada 2B
J Santana P

My Prediction: Mets sweep.

Let's Go Mets!

Mets Win a Road Series versus a NL Team!

Good thing the game got called by rain, because otherwise I don't have faith the title would've been true.

Reyes continues to be red-hot, and Wright hit a 3-run HR to push it from 2-1 to 5-1, which was the final.

Mets go for the sweep tomorrow, Johan vs Z Duke, 1:35 start. Mets are 7.5 games back of the wild card for those who still believe.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Game 123: Mets @ Pirates

Here is the line-up that will face RHP J McDonald:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
C Carter RF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: Niese throws well and finally gets a W.

Let's Go Mets!

Carter starts and Mets Win

Wish all my advice to Jerry was followed and came through like that!

Carter hit his 3rd home run of the year and the Mets were in control the whole game, pounding out 15 hits and scoring 7 runs in the 1st 4 innings. Pelfrey was sick to his stomach but settled down to go 8 innings.

Niese vs J McDonald tonight, 7:05 start.

Will the Mets finally win a road series versus a National League team?? Could it be?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Game 122: Mets (60-61) @ Pirates (40-81)

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Jeff Karstens:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
C CARTER RF (Thank you Jerry for reading the blog!)
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
M Pelfrey P

My Prediction: The animal is out of the cage! Mets win behind the great Chris Carter.

Let's Go Mets!

Scouting Report, RHP Jeff Karstens

The 6'3" Kartsens was drafted in the 19th round by the Yankees out of Texas Tech in 2003, and made his major league debut in 2006. In the small sample size of 15 games for the Yankees (9 starts), his ERA was 5.65 and a 1.51 WHIP. He's been a better pitcher for the Pirates, but nothing to really right home about (8-21 record, with a 4.8 ERA and 1.41 WHIP). Against the Mets, he's started twice (2008 and 2009) and faced them once in relief (2009), and he has a 5.27 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Karstens barely breaks a pane of glass with his fastball, which sits at 89 mph, but he only throws it 55% of the time, and mixes in a slider (80 mph),  change-up (80 mph) and curveball (72 mph) equally. His curveball has been his only plus pitch this year. How does he succeed? Well, he pounds the strike zone, throwing 65+% of his pitches for strikes, which is in the top 20 in baseball. He doesn't get many swing and misses (7.6%), and his K/9 is too low (5.1), but he doesn't walk many, 2.1 W/9. He uses his slider and curveball equally with two strikes. Also look for a ton of 1st pitch fastballs, as he throws it 66% of the time.

This year Karstens is 2-9 in 17 starts (23 appearances), and he has a 4.57 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. He has gone at least 5 innings in 14 straight starts, but has only gone 7 innings once. He has lost his last seven decisions. His last start versus Houston he went 5 2/3 innings, and let up 5 runs on 7 hits and 1 HBP.

He's a #5 starter/middling long reliever in his future. And his future is now.

Memo to the Mets/Yesterday's Roster Move

I didn't get to it yesterday, but the Mets activated R Barajas off the DL and sent Fernando Martinez down to AAA, after Howard Johnson had been interviewed saying what Fernando Martinez needed was to face major league pitching in order to get better.

And how exactly is that going to happen in AAA?

So The Mets go back to being the only team in the NL to carry 3 catchers (1 prospect and 2 non-factors offensively or in the future), and are still carrying Oliver Perez. So Manuel is forced to play with a 23 man roster when everyone else has 25.

Memo to the Mets: Acknowledge this season is lost, and start playing the young guys every day for next year; you have 6 weeks to evaluate and improve players, take advantage of it. I, and I'm probably speaking for the majority of Mets fans, have no interest in seeing Barajas or Blanco catch another game. Release one or both of them. Let Tejada play 2nd base every day to see if he can make adjustments at the plate. Let Chris Carter play RF every day and find out if he is just a pinch hitter/organizational filler, or if he can play 5x a week and if he can hit lefties because HE HAS ZERO AT BATS VS LHP THIS YEAR. Zero at bats versus LHP. 105 ABs versus RHP, 0 vs LHP. I don't care if he isn't as good defensively as Francoeur; you need to find out who Chris Carter is in the organization. And if he can't hit enough (which I doubt), then he isn't worth having on the roster next year. But the only way to find out is to play him.

Mets Lose and Fall Below .500

The Mets are who we thought they were, around a .500 team. When the offense musters 3 hits (including one from the pitcher), you aren't going to win many games. Misch threw well, 6 innings, only 4 baserunners, but allowed 3 of those base runners to score (Carlos Lee 3 run HR).

In the match-up all Met fans are looking forward to, the Mets travel to Pittsburgh and start a 3 game series Friday night, Pelfrey vs J Karstens. Plenty of good seats still available I assume. Saturday is Niese vs J McDonald (acquired from the Dodgers), Sunday Santana vs Zach Duke.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game 121: Mets @ Astros

Here's the line-up for tonights game vs Bud Norris:

Reyes
Castillo
Pagan
Wright
Davis
Francoeur
Carter
Barajas (WHY?)
Misch

Is Jerry trying to get fired?

Scouting Report RHP Bud Norris

The 25-year old Norris is barely 6'0" and has been described as "chunky". He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 draft and made a great debut last year for Astros, going 6-3 in 10 starts, and striking out 54 in 55 2/3 innings. His last four starts in September, he allowed 4 runs in 23 innings, while striking out 24 and only walking 6. He has not faced the Mets in his 28 career starts.

Norris works quickly, and despite his diminutive size, he can get his fastball up to 96 mph; it averages 94 mph and he adds and subtracts on his fastball frequently (89-96 mph), also changing his arm angle. He throws his slider 36% of the time (87 with good tilt) and a fringe change-up (86 mph 10% of the time). He throws his slider > 45% of the time with two strikes, and it's his best pitch. He threw a plus curve in the minors, but it has been replaced by the slider. He also has a good pick-off move.

This year Norris is 5-7 in 18 starts (99 2/3 innings), with a 5.42 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He gets a ton of swing and misses (11.3%), but he also only throws strikes 45% of the time, resulting in a high walk rate (3.9 W/9). He is striking out 9.7 per 9. He's a fly-ball pitcher and has been prone to the long ball (13 in 99 innings). His BAPIP is due to regress to the mean (.350), and he has a low strand rate (62%), so if FIP is a lot better than his ERA (4.06). He's won his last 3 decisions, and has gone 6+ innings the past 5 starts. He was great in his last start versus the Pirates, getting the win after throwing 7 innings, allowing 2 runs, while striking out 14.

He's ranked #2 in the Astros 25 and under talent pool, but that's not saying much. He is a middle of the rotation starter that may be destined to the bullpen if his body can't handle the stresses of starting every 5th day (elbow trouble sidelined him in 2008).

Mets Win in 14 innings

Dickey throws another great game, but let up a game-tying HR in the bottom of the 9th to G Blum, and forced Mets fans to endure another 5 innings of baseball. D Wright even got sick of it and left after 12 innings, saying he was vomiting from the 5th inning on. Now you know how Mets fans feel.

J Reyes scored a "Reyes run" in the 14th and scored on a sac fly by I Davis, who's batting average is approaching Frenchy's (.242 vs .234). Beltran, Davis, Frenchy and Thole were 2-22 for the game, and that's the 4-7 hitters in the line-up.

B Norris vs P Misch to finish up the 4 game series tonight.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Brett Myers

I'm not going to detail the history of Brett Myers because I'm tired of talking about domestic disputes.

The 30 year old spent the last 8 years with the Phillies, and signed this off-season with the Astros. He's 81-70 for his career, with a 4.25 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.

He's a four-pitch pitcher, and he has seen his fastball velocity decline over the last few years and now averages 89 mph (throws both two and four seam). He also throws a slider (84 mph), curve (76 mph) and change-up (83 mph). His slider and curve (best pitch over his career) have been his two best pitches this year, and his fastball is well below-average. He's increased his slider use to 27% this year from 18%.

This year he's 8-7 in 24 starts (164 innings) and has a 3.13 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. His K/9 rate is right around 7, and he's walking 2.6 W/9. He's had quality starts in 7 of his last 8 games since July 4th. His last start he went 7 strong innings versus the Pirates, allowed only 1 run on 7 hits, but was not involved in the decision.

His name was active around the trade deadline, but he wound up signing a contract extension with the Astros and is guaranteed 21 million over the next two years.

Game 120: Mets @ Astros

Mets try to, heck, I don't know what the Mets are trying to do in all honesty.

Here is the line-up that will face RHP Brett Myers:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF (I'm sick and tired of typing his name, especially versus righties. JERRY, HE'S TERRIBLE. And B, why is F Martinez on the roster if he isn't playing? We don't know for sure if he's terrible yet)
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
RA Dickey P

My Prediction: Who cares what I think or what the result of tonight's game is? Cause I sure don't.

More K-Rod News and a Guest Post

Marc (Ms2379) made a very detailed comment expecting more to be said about K-Rod, so I'm going to re-post it below. I'm sick of the negative news surrounding the team and didn't think it needed any more coverage. But I guess I was wrong. When I made the comment I hope they are able to void the contract, I was speaking quickly and not caring what was best for the team on the field to win games. Obviously he makes the team better; even though he is a roller-coaster, he is still a top 5 closer in the game. But he is a luxury for a team that probably won't make the playoffs even next year, so why pay a closer 12-15 million? Yes he makes the team better, but at what point may it be better to use that money on other resources?

The Mets placed K-Rod on the disqualified list yesterday, saying they won't have to pay his salary until he is able to pitch again. The union has already filed a grievance, and a key part of the case is that if he truly did hurt his thumb in the altercation, then why was he allowed to pitch on Saturday? We will see what the fallout of this is eventually.


Anyway, onwards to Marc's 1st guest column. Enjoy and feel free to make comments below.

I figured there would be more K-Rod stuff here, but I guess not. I will chime on the topic though. Everybody wants him out of town and to void the contract. I don't agree...and here is why (once you get past the idea he is a fool..which doesn't bother me that much really...most people are fools, myself probably included)...

#1: People will get over this. Everybody gets over things. So he hit a guy. It's wrong. It's bad. Get him some anger management classes.

#2: If they do get rid of him and don't replace him with somebody good, Met fans will turn to hypocrites and complain "how can they get rid of K-Rod for so and so". I know the PR of this might force the move or a trade, but until that happens, I have my opinion.

#3: There is NO WAY the contract is going to be voided. Not a chance. the Players Union won't allow it. There is no way to prove when it actually got injured and it just won't happen. The good part is now that he is done, it is highly unlikely that vesting option will kick in.

Now, here is what I really think (besides keep him because he is still better than most): the Mets are telling you what they really think about K-Rod. If they are this willing to get rid of him, they don't think he is any good. Somebody in that organization is convinced that they can get the same production from another pitcher either in the system (or there now) or can acquire one. It also tells me that payroll is an issue and losing that money might be beneficial to them. There is no way they are better without him.

the PR thing is an issue, but not a huge one in my view. As I said earlier, this will go away. the Mets might try and hide behind the PR issue and that's their right, but I think it would be just that--hiding--from the fact that they just don't like him as a closer. Maybe I am wrong, but if a team is willing to get rid of somebody so easily, it usually means something other than what is making the headlines.

Lastly, I have heard that the fans won't ever cheer for him or like him. Boo hoo. That's ridiulous. Has anybody read the book "the Bad Guys Won" about the 1986 Mets? They were maniacs, renegades, and crazy. Between who was doing drugs, women during the games, fighting during the team photos, and trashing airplanes, they have more crap going on than just about anything you heard of. BUT THEY WON! And they are trated like heroes. Nobody cares that Doc was doing coke or Straw was doing women during the game (his words, not mine). My point is winning takes care of everything (show me one Met fan who says "yeah we won in 1986 but they did some bad things"...you can't, they don't exist). So if K-Rod comes out next year and closes the first 20 games lights out or puts up big numbers, the love affair starts again.

Keep K-Rod. His option likely won't kick in. he is still better than most. Is he a fool? Yep. No doubt. But he can still close for my team...just send him to anger management and maybe some "how not to break your ankle" while pitching classes.

My Take: I agree with the majority of his points, but the issue with the salary/payroll I addressed above. It's more just trying to figure out when this team is built to win for. Is it 2011, or are they trying to clear payroll and get ready to win in 2012 or 2013. Looking at the contracts for next year, I don't see them being able to be creative enough and add enough payroll (40 million for a Lee and a Fielder or something similar to that) to win next year. So my view is to clear payroll off the books this year and next, and prepare to win in 2012 and beyond. It's easy for me to say that, but I know it's impossible to admit you are "rebuilding" or "not trying to win this year" in New York. 

One last thing, in regards to the vesting option: he needs to finish 100 games combined in 2010 and 2011 AND finish 55 games in 2011 for it to vest. If my memory is correct, he has around 45 games finished this year, so in effect, he still just needs the 55 games finished next year, so him missing the next month is a non-issue if I'm correct.

Thanks again for reading Marc and keep up the great comments.

Pence 2 Hrs 4 Rbis beats Santana and Mets

Hunter Pence hit a 3-run HR in the 1st inning to give the Astros a 3-1 lead, and after D Wright tied it on a solo shot in the top of the 8th, Pence hit another HR off Santana to win the game for the Astros.

Dickey vs B Myers for the 3rd game of the 4 game series.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Game 119: Mets @ Astros

Mets look to win the 2nd game of the 4-game series tonight with Johan facing former Met Nelson Figueroa:

J Reyes SS
F Martinez LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
J Francoeur RF (why not Chris Carter? Last I checked Figgy was a righty)
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
J Santana P

My Prediction: Johan wins, but does it even matter?

Scouting Report, Nelson Figueroa

He threw the first Mets complete game shutout in Citi Field history, and because of that he thought it was his right to continue to be a Met for life. Here was his scouting report from spring training, and his updated stats at the end.

Nelson Figueroa- #27

36 years old (36 in May)
9th Major League Season
6'1" 180 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: A local guy (from Brooklyn) who grew up as a Mets fan. Throws an upper 80s fastball, which he mixes in with cutters, sinker, curves, sliders and change-ups. Just hopes to win a guessing game with the hitter. Threw a 4-hit shutout on the last day of the season vs the Astros to lower his ERA by 1/2 a run (to 4.09 ERA).

The Bad: A 35/6 year old journeyman who doesn't have over-powering stuff, and had a 1.48 WHIP last year.

He got picked up off of waivers by the Phillies in April, and was then picked up from waivers by the Astros in July.  He's appeared in 21 games (only 1 start for the Phillies), but he has pitched great in the 11 innings for Houston. His K/9 is over 10 and he has yet to walk a hitter for the Astros; he has a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in the small sample size for Houston. He faced the Mets twice back in May with the Phillies and got bombed the first outing (1 inn, 3 runs), but rebounded for a 1, 2, 3 inning the next one.

One change he has made since being with the Mets and the Phillies is that he's decreased his slider use to 22% from 30%, and increased his curve-ball to 21% from 10%. His best pitch this year has been his fastball.

He will be all fired up tonight to once again show the Mets, the team he grew up rooting for that he is good, but in the end he's a fringe major leaguer who is 36 years old.

Mets sign Harvey and 6th round pick

Everyone knew Harvey would sign in the last day/hour before the deadline and everyone was right, as he signed for a little for 2.5 million. He probably won't pitch in the Mets organization this year, but depending on how they view him, may try to get his feet wet in the Arizona Fall League. In my opinion that's not a place to get your feet wet, as the altitude and the advanced hitting prospects make it very tough on pitchers, especially those with so-so command.

The Mets also came to terms with 6th round pick Greg Peavey, the junior RHP from Oregon State. Peavey finished 6-3 with a 3.64 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 99 innings last year, and it's being reported he signed for $200,000, which is also over-slot.

Still as a whole, the Mets were very conservative in their draft this year, but I'm sure the Front Office/Ownership will point to these two players for years to come and say "see, we do/can spend over-slot when we feel it's appropriate."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mets Win A Road Opener? Wow

Another quality start from Niese, a Beltran HR, and the Mets manufactured 2 runs in the 9th (one on a wild pitch), but a Win is a Win. And for those fantasy players out there, Takahashi got the save.

Johan versus Nelson Figueroa tomorrow night. Will they win two games in a row on the road?

Game 118: Mets (58-59) @ Astros (51-65)

Game Time 8:05 PM. Here is the line-up that will face LHP Wandy Rodriguez:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
J Francoeur RF
M Hessman 1B (3rd time Ike is sitting in 6 days; this is good for his development, right? RETARDED)
H Blanco C
L Castillo 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: Mets lose and does anyone care?

And K-Rod is shelved

Apparently K-Rod tore a ligament in his thumb in the fight and surgery is recommended according to Adam Rubin. He is not with the team.

My Take: Awesome. Just awesome. Hope this allows the team to void his contract or something. Unreal

Scouting Report LHP Wandy Rodriguez

The 31 year-old 5'11" lefty was signed by the Astros in 1999, and made his debut in 2005. He improved every year, and last year he seemed to put it all together, throwing 200+ innings for the first time in his career. He won 14 games and had a 3.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP. People were expecting him to take another giant step forward this year, but he got off to a terrible start before rebounding recently. For his career, he's 60-63 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He's made 5 starts versus the Mets, and is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA. He was 0-1 in his only start versus the Mets last year (6 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 3 earned runs).

Wandy is a three-pitch pitcher who changes arm angles (overhand to low 3/4s) as well as speeds, with a fastball that averages 90 mph, a tight 12-6 curveball (75 mph), and a change-up (84 mph). This season he has started to throw a lot more two-seam fastballs (so technically a fourth pitch), so he's getting more ground-balls, but his swinging strike % and K rate is down significantly (8.2 from 9.2, and 7.3 from 8.5 K/9 last year). He uses his curve-ball as his strike out pitch, but it hasn't been effective this year (decreased ability to throw it for a strike from last year, but he's still above league average at 62%). He has thrown less strikes this year, only 45%, when his career average is 51%.

This year he started out terribly, and his record stood at 3-10 after 14 starts, and an ERA over 6. But since then, he has run off 8 of 9 quality starts, improving his record to 9-11, and his ERA is now 4.18, and is FIP 3.66. In his last start versus the Braves, he let up only 1 earned run (2 runs) in 7 innings, scattering 5 hits, walking 1 and striking out 9. In his last 4 starts (28 1/3 innings), he has allowed only 2 earned runs and 23 base-runners (19 hits, 4 walks = very impressive).

He's currently arbitration eligible and making 5 million this season; there were some whispers he was on the trading block, but I doubt that now since he has turned his season around unless the Astros don't want to pay him next year. He is a low #2- very good #3 starter.

Wanted: Mets Offense

Mets finish up the home stand with a 3-1 loss to the Phillies. Only highlights for the Mets were Pagan throwing Kendrick out at 1st base for a "routine 9-3 putout", and J Reyes hitting a HR. Other than that it was pretty much status quo for the Mets, who scored a grand total of 9 runs during their 6 game home stand.

Travel to Houston for a 3-game series tonight.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Game 117: Mets vs Phillies

Here is the line-up loaded with lefties (Kudos to Jerry for reading the scouting report) that will score a bunch of runs off of Kyle Kendrick:

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

My Prediction: The Mets win the game and the series, but does it even matter? Final score 6-2.

Let's Go Mets

Scouting Report Kyle Kendrick

The Mets faced Kendrick on April 30th and he took the loss, going 5 innings, allowing 4 runs, including 3 home runs (Barajas, Wright, Francoeur).

Here is his scouting report.

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, turns 26 in 2 weeks, who was drafted 7th round in 2003 draft and 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 (4.09 K/9 for his career, 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 .326 and slugged .545+ against him over his career, and this year it's continued, .330 BAA and .588 slugging %).

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 85% of the time. This season his change-up has been terrible, and his fastball has been his best pitch. He gets swinging strikes a paltry 5%. When he is effective, he is a ground-ball pitcher.

For the season, Kendrick is 7-5 in 22 starts (appeared in 24 games, 131 innings), and has a 4.60 ERA (5.03 FIP), and 1.34 WHIP. His K/9 rate is still terrible, 4.47; at least he walks < 2.5/9. He's been prone to the long ball, allowing 21 home runs already. He has gone 5 or less innings 9 times, including his last start where he was knocked out in the 4th inning (3 1/3, 8 hits, 2 walks, 1 k and 6 runs, 5 of which were earned).

He still is not a very good pitcher.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Game, Another Shutout. This time Mets lose

I said Mets needed to score 4 or 5 to win in the pre-game, and it turned out they needed 5 runs because of 3 errors. Terrible performance. Halladay was Doc, and shutout the Mets 4-0

Game 116: Mets vs Phillies

Mets have a tough task throwing Pat Misch vs Roy Halladay, but that's why they play the games. Game Time 7:10. Here's the line-up, and Roy's scouting report is here, and Pat Misch's report here:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
F Martinez LF
J Thole C
R Tejada 2B
P Misch P

Here is video I took of Misch during Spring Training this February, and a brief scouting report (for those who are lazy and didn't click on the link). He has pretty good control, but has just mediocre stuff - high 80s fastball, decent change, as well as a slider and curve. Tries to be portrayed as "Tom Glavine lite".


My Prediction: Mets need to score 4-5 runs to win, and that's a tall order. But I'm again drinking the Mets kool-aid (in the form of Sam Summer tonight), and the Mets do the unthinkable, and win the third straight game.

LET'S GO METS!!!

Scouting Report Doc Halladay

The Mets faced Halladay last Sunday (7 innings, 5 runs, 9 hits but 10 k's), so nothing has really changed, except an article on him and his new change-up, which was over at fangraphs which you can read here.

He is now throwing it more as a split finger, and here is the result:

The pitch is wildly more successful, getting 19% swinging strikes per pitch in 2010 compared to 6% in 2009-2007 (pitchf/x years). It also gets more ground balls (57% GB/BIP versus 55%) and a lower slugging on contact ( 0.452 bases/contact versus 0.505). Looking at Halladay’s pitch-count splits, he uses the pitch often when he is ahead in the count. So it looks like he has developed a second out pitch — along with his curve — to put batters away when he is ahead in the count.

The Mets faced Harry Leroy on May 1st and got shut out, with only 4 base-runners reaching.

Roy Halladay = Very, very good.
The End.

You want more of a scouting report than that? Ok, ok. I'll let you know why he will be earning 20 million dollars a year for the next three years.

He is a workhorse, pitching over 220 innings each of the last four years. He strikes out > 7.5 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, for a K/W ratio over 5 the past two years, one of the best in the major leagues  He doesn't allow home runs (< 1 HR/9), and his highest WHIP since 2005 was 1.24. He is a ground-ball pitcher and attacks the hitters with strikes, making it difficult to run up his pitch count. Easily leads baseball in complete games over the past 5 years.

His stuff: nasty. Throws 92-94 mph fastball, a filthy 91-92 mph cutter, a plus curve-ball that he throws around 78 mph, and mixes in an 83-84 mph change-up. He uses his fastball or cutter 70% of the time, and the curve or change the remaining 30%. He's increased the use of his change this year from 4 to 12%. All four of his pitches are plus this year. He uses his cutter the most with 2 strikes, but will throw any of his four pitches.

This year he had rolled off four outstanding starts in a row, and people were wondering if he could win 30 games. Well, he showed his was human last start versus the Giants, allowing 5 runs and 10 hits in 7 innings. But even after that subpar outing, his ERA stands at a stout 1.80, and his WHIP is .98.

UPDATE August 8th: Doc is 13-8 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 23 starts (178 innings). He's striking out 8 per 9 innings, and walking 1 per 9 innings. He's allowed 1 run or less in 5 of his last 6 starts. He's thrown less than 7 innings only twice in the past 2 months (12 starts).

Friday, August 13, 2010

RA DICKEY IS THE MAN

throws a 1 HITTER (only hit by Cole Hamels).


I was close on the no-hitter, but I'm glad the Mets get the W, 1-0, courtesy of Shane V. misplaying a D Wright double, and Beltran following it with a 2 out double.

Need to build on it and win tomorrow night vs Doc Halladay.

Game 115: Mets (57-57) vs Phillies (64-50)

The Mets are trying to sweep the Phillies to keep their slim playoff chances alive, and they face lefty Cole Hamels. Here is the line-up:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
M Hessman 1B
J Francoeur RF
H Blanco C
R Tejada 2B
RA Dickey P


My Prediction: The Mets get no hit tonight, as that may be the worst line-up we've put out there all year. Outside of Reyes and Pagan, I don't see anyone with a chance to get a multi-hit game.

Hope I'm wrong, Let's Go Mets

Scouting Report, Lefty Cole Hamels

The Mets faced Cole last week and it was a classic pitcher's duel, but he came out on the losing end. He threw 7 innings, allowed only 1 run on 6 hits, while striking out 11 and walking none. The sole run came on a home run by the beloved Jeff Francoeur (on a pitcher's pitch).

Here is the scouting report from May 27th/August 7th, and his updated stats/trends at the end.

The 26-year old Hamels went from a future ace after his stellar post-season in 2008 to a failure in the eyes of Phillies fans after 2009. So which pitcher is Cole? Most likely some where in between, but closer to the future ace. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2002 draft and made his major league debut in 2006. He had some durability/character issues in the minors (elbow pain, back discomfort, broken arm in a possible fight in high school, and broke a bone in his hand in a bar room fight), but he has a career 53-36 record in the big leagues, with a 3.68 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Last year he was highly unlucky (.325 BAPIP), while his strikeout and walk rates remained the same from 2008. In his nine career starts versus the Mets, he's struggled. He's 2-4 with a 4.12 and a 1.573 WHIP. Last year the Mets hit him hard in his first two starts at Citi Field (10 innings, 21 hits, 8 runs), but shut down the Mets in September at CBP (6 2/3 innings, 1 ER, 6 Ks).

Hamels has a smooth high 3/4s arm action and is a fly-ball pitcher. He throws his fastball 88-92 mph, and possesses one of the best change-ups in the game (81 mph). He occasionally throws a show me curve-ball, and has added a cutter this off-season, but it hasn't been effective yet this year, especially versus right handers, who are hammering it to a tone of .412/.429/.882. His strike out pitch is his change-up, but also has been getting strikeouts/swings and misses on fastballs out of the zone. He's averaging 9 K/9 this year (one of the best SP in baseball), but he's also seen his W/9 rise to 2.98 (highest in four years).

UPDATE August 13th: So far this year Hamels is 7-8 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 23 starts (146 innings). In his last 6 starts (since July 11th), he has a 1.94 ERA. He's minimized the long ball since July, allowing only 4 in 55 2/3 (18 in previous 90 1/3). He has yet to allow a hit on his cutter to lefties, but he barely throws it. As noted above, his cutter gets pounded by righties.

Santana Dominates While Everyone is at Work

I didn't do a recap for the game yesterday because a 12:10 start means I'm working like everyone else, and couldn't "play hooky and go to Citi Field" like the Mets emails said. Mets won 4-0 in case you haven't heard by now (15 hours later).


The box score looks like Vintage Santana, complete game shut-out with 10 k's, including striking out the side in the 1st on 15 pitches.

And Beltran had a break-out game at the plate, going 3-3 with a double and a run batted in.

Mike Hessman took another 0-4 with 2 k's and his slash stats are: .136/.269/.318. I know it's a small sample size (22 at bats).





If the bullpen didn't implode and explode on Wednesday night, we could've swept the Rockies and this Phillies series could be a show-me series. Instead this turns into a must sweep series IF the season is to be saved. Pitching match-ups: Dickey vs Hamels Friday 7:10. TBA (Misch?) vs Halladay Saturday night 7:10, Pelfrey vs Kendrick Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN (8:10)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Game 114: Mets vs Rockies

12:10 start = I will not have the line-ups posted. Check out Citislickers.com for the line-up.



My Prediction: Johan throws well and the Mets win, but does it really matter anymore?

A Half-hearted Lets Go Mets

Scouting Report, RHP Jason Hammel

The 6'6" 27-year old Hammel was drafted by the Rays in 2002, and made his debut in 2006. He was considered a super-two and lost out on the 5th starter job last spring training (and was out of options), hence the reason he was traded to the Rockies. He's 25-29 in his career, with a 4.98 ERA and 1.47 WHIP, but for the Rockies he's 18-14, with a 4.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He has not faced the Mets in his career.

Hammel is a four-pitch pitcher, and he throws from a 3/4 arm slot. His location of his fastball has greatly improved, and he throws it between 90-94 (average 93). It does not have a lot of movement. His curveball is a plus pitch (77 mph) and he also throws a sweeping slider (84 mph). He sparingly uses his change-up (85 mph, 6% of his pitches). His two best pitches this year are his slider and curve. His curveball use increases with 2 strikes, but he's not afraid to throw his slider either in that situation.

This year Hammel has made strides to become more than a league average pitcher, as he's 8-6 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He missed some time earlier in the year with a groin injury. In May and early June he had a 6 start stretch that his stats were: 2.41 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 7.7 K/9. He's striking out a career high 7.4 K/9, and walking a manageable 2.4 W/9. He could be better than his ERA indicates, as his FIP is 3.54. He's let up 3+ runs in his last five starts, but won his last game vs the Pirates (6 innings, 3 runs, only 5 base runners).

He's a solid #4/5 starter that is still learning how to pitch and gain confidence.

And This Is Just Unfathomable

K-Rod arrested and charged with domestic violence after he allegedly punched his father-in-law outside of the clubhouse after the game last night, which resulted in his father-in-law being taken to the hospital.

ESPN New York has the whole story here.

My Take: This is completely and utterly unacceptable; yes I'm stating the obvious, but there is nothing else to say. This is an embarrassment to the Mets organization, and just another low point in this now lost season.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Disgusting Loss

Mets blow a chance to win the first two games of the series, as Jerry refuses to put K-rod in for 4 outs. Instead Acosta let's 5 straights hitters to reach, and MELVIN MORA HITS A GRAND SLAM. Mets lose 6-2.

Game 113: Mets vs Rockies

Here is the line-up that will try to get the Mets over .500 and in a position to sweep tomorrow afternoon. For the scouting report on Jeff Francis, click here

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran CF
M Hessman 1B
J Francoeur RF (maybe he'll hit his 100th HR and throw a celebration party)
H Blanco C
L Castillo 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: Mets do win again, behind another strong effort from Niese; Mets win 5-2.

Let's Go Mets

Scouting Report, LHP Jeff Francis

The 29-year old lefty out of Canada was a 1st round pick of the Rockies in 2002, and made his debut in 2004. In 2005-2007, he made 30+ starts, including 17-9 in 2007, which got him a 9th place finish in the Cy Young voting. But the injury bug started to catch up with him in 2008, limiting him to 143 innings, and he missed all of 2009. Against the Mets, he's 2-2 with a 5+ ERA, but 3 of the 4 starts were in 2005 and 2006.

Francis is a 3-pitch pitcher, using an 86-88 mph fastball, an above average change-up (78 mph), and a curveball (72 mph). His change up is his best pitch both this year and for his career. He rarely throws his curveball when behind in the count, but will throw it when he's 0-2 or 1-2 on a hitter. He is below league average for swing and miss %, and strikes out only 5.6 per 9, but minimizes walks (< 2 W/9). He's limited home runs this year (6 in 86 innings). He's a ground-ball pitcher.

This year Francis has made 15 starts (86 2/3 innings), and is 4-4 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He's gone 6+ innings in only 8 of his 15 starts, and has allowed 5+ runs in 5 games. His last start vs the Pirates he lasted only 5 2/3 innings, let up 9 hits (2 HRs), and 5 earned runs.

The Mets should be able to score some runs off of Francis in my humble opinion.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Put It In The Books/And the Ball Game Is Over!

I said in the preview Pelfrey needed to be perfect in order for the Mets to win, and he was, going 7 shutout innings. The Mets then got 2 scoreless innings from Takahashi and K-Rod.


Mets get their 2nd 1-0 win in 3 games.

Niese vs Francis tomorrow; suddenly the Mets have a chance to sweep the series in my opinion and get everyone excited again...

Game 112: Mets (55-56) vs Rockies (58-53)

The Mets have to face tough RHP U Jimenez tonight.

For the line-up, check out Citislickers.com

(I don't think the fans will see the Apple go up besides the 7th inning stretch tonight)

My Prediction: The Mets are tinkering with Pelfrey's mechanics, but he needs to be perfect to win tonight. I don't see it happening, and the Mets lose the opener of the 6-game homestand (although I do think they will win the next two games and win the series).



Let's Go Mets!

2011 Contracts and Guaranteed Money

Here is a great article over at Amazin Avenue and basis for discussion over here.

Who would you trade if you could get rid of one contract over the next few years.

If you could dump one Mets contract which would it be?


Johan Santana: 3 years, $77.5 million guaranteed.
Jason Bay: 3 years, $51 million guaranteed (plus vesting option).
Oliver Perez: 1 year, $12 million guaranteed.
Francisco Rodriguez: 1 year, $15 million guaranteed (plus ridiculous vesting option).
Carlos Beltran: 1 year, $18.5 million
 
Place your vote on the side bar and your rationale in the comments section. I will post my opinion tonight/tomorrow.

Scouting Report, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez, 26 years old, was signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, and has always possessed a rocket arm and filthy stuff, he just needed to harness it. Well for those who remember his stats through May 26th (0.88 ERA and 0.95 WHIP), he may have finally harnessed it. He is signed through 2012 (4 yr/10 million) and has 2 options for 2013 and 2014. He is making less than Alex Cora this year (1.25 million). He's in his 5th major league season and is 48-30, with a 3.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He's made 4 career starts (29 innings) versus the Mets, and is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Jimenez has a big, powerful arm and a pitcher's body (6'4" 210). He challenges hitters with a fastball that flirts with 100 mph (averages 96) and a powerful sinker. He also features a late-breaking slider (14% of the time, 86 mph) and a 12-6 curve-ball (79 mph), along with a solid change-up (88 mph). He may throw one or two splitters a game. His fastball has been one of the best pitches in baseball this year, and his change has been outstanding as well. His slider had been a top pitch last year, but he's throwing his change-up more this year and you can't argue with the results. He throws 1st pitch fastball 72% of the time, and has shown he can throw any of his four pitches with two strikes, so good luck if you get behind in the count.

This year he's a Cy Young candidate, with a 17-2 record (22 starts, 148 innings), a 2.61 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He strikes out > 8/9, and is a ground ball pitcher (> 50%). He has cut down his walks to 3.6 W/9 (4.6 in 2008). He limits HRs (7 HR in 148 innings), and has thrown 3 complete games and 2 shutouts this year. His last two starts versus the Pirates and the Giants, he's gone 7 innings and allowed only 1 run each game.

He's a front of the rotation starter who is continuing to improve.

Monday, August 9, 2010

State of the Mets Monday Morning/Looking at 2011

So the Mets just finished up a crucial 6-game road trip against the two teams in front of them, and it ended how many people expected: with a 2-4 record. Yes they battled back and didn't roll over and play dead, but still the end result is another 2-4 road trip, and their record currently sits at 55-56, 9 games out of 1st place and 7 1/2 games out of the wild card (with 4 teams in between them in the Giants). The Mets have 51 games remaining, and need to go 35-16 to get to 90 wins, or a .686 winning %. And 90 wins doesn't guarantee a playoff spot. So let's look forward to 2011.

C J Thole (league average)
1B I Davis (league average)
2B R Tejada/L Castillo (league average/below)
3B D Wright (above average)
SS J Reyes (above average)
LF J Bay (above average)
CF A Pagan (above average)
RF C Beltran/F Martinez (league average)

SP: J Santana (above average)
SP: J Niese (slightly above average)
SP: M Pelfrey (league average)
SP: _______
SP: _______ (RA Dickey?)

When I look at that team, I don't see a team that is better than 83-84 win team. The Mets sign Cliff Lee and that can be pushed up to 86-88. Or if they realize that Ike Davis is just a league average 1st baseman, and trade him in a package for Prince Fielder, that's another way to transform the team to a contender.

And this is another issue that needs to be resolved by next season.
  • In light of the roster moves this weekend, here is a recent scout's report on someone else who needs to go away. Mets left-hander Oliver Perez: "The Mets really need to cut their losses and release him. He used to be a guy with good stuff who didn't know how to pitch, but now he's totally useless and taking up a roster spot."
    • My Take: It just confirms what every Met fan has seen/said this whole year. With that being said, now that 2010 season is over, I would pitch Oliver Perez every 5th day and see what he does. There is nothing to lose (because there is no difference between 78 and 84 wins), and maybe another team will see something in the last 8-10 starts. I'd rather see him than Takahashi start.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Tough Loss; 2-4 road trip. Yikes

when you score 5 runs versus Doc Halladay, you expect to win the game. Not ttoday, and Mets lose 6-5, and lose 4 of 6 on road trip. Not good. Day off tomorrow.

Game 111: Mets @ Phillies

Mets face Dr. Roy this afternoon, let's hope they put up a couple runs.

Here is the line-up:

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

My Prediction: I'm drinking the Mets Kool-aid, and predicting another Mets W, this time 3-1.

I'm out of my mind I know, but sometimes even a blind squirrel gets a nut.

LET'S GO METS!

In response to Yesterday's Trade Rumors

Here were the corresponding moves yesterday and both R Tejada and F Martinez were promoted to the Mets. J Feliciano was demoted and A Cora was released.

R Tejada will be used as the every day 2nd baseman, and F Martinez will be in a platoon with J Francoeur.

My Take: Love giving Tejada the chance to play every day because he's young and he needs to continue to develop. BUT, F Martinez is a year older than Tejada, shouldn't he be playing every day also?!? We know what/who J Francoeur is, we don't need to learn what he can do. F Martinez is not going to get better versus lefties if he doesn't see them for the next 2 months. In regards to Alex Cora, I'm happy they finally stepped up and realized he wasn't making the Mets on the field any better and was a wasted roster spot.

Scouting Report Roy Halladay

The Mets faced Harry Leroy on May 1st and got shut out, with only 4 base-runners reaching.

Below is the scouting report from May 1st updated at the end.

Roy Halladay = Very, very good.
The End.

You want more of a scouting report than that? Ok, ok. I'll let you know why he will be earning 20 million dollars a year for the next three years.

He is a workhorse, pitching over 220 innings each of the last four years. He strikes out > 7.5 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, for a K/W ratio over 5 the past two years, one of the best in the major leagues  He doesn't allow home runs (< 1 HR/9), and his highest WHIP since 2005 was 1.24. He is a ground-ball pitcher and attacks the hitters with strikes, making it difficult to run up his pitch count. Easily leads baseball in complete games over the past 5 years.

His stuff: nasty. Throws 92-94 mph fastball, a filthy 91-92 mph cutter, a plus curve-ball that he throws around 78 mph, and mixes in an 83-84 mph change-up. He uses his fastball or cutter 70% of the time, and the curve or change the remaining 30%. He's increased the use of his change this year from 4 to 12%. All four of his pitches are plus this year. He uses his cutter the most with 2 strikes, but will throw any of his four pitches.

This year he had rolled off four outstanding starts in a row, and people were wondering if he could win 30 games. Well, he showed his was human last start versus the Giants, allowing 5 runs and 10 hits in 7 innings. But even after that subpar outing, his ERA stands at a stout 1.80, and his WHIP is .98.

UPDATE August 8th: Doc is 13-8 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 23 starts (178 innings). He's striking out 8 per 9 innings, and walking 1 per 9 innings. He's allowed 1 run or less in 5 of his last 6 starts. He's thrown less than 7 innings only twice in the past 2 months (12 starts).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stayin Alive


Johan Santana was outstanding, throwing 5 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball, and pitched into the 8th inning, allowing no runs. K-Rod got the 5-out save to complete the shutout.


The only offense was provided by Mr. Jeff Francoeur, who learned earlier today he will be platooning with Fernando Martinez.


It was a lot of fun to watch this game today (which has been a rarity lately). Try to find a way to win the series tomorrow vs Doc Halladay.

Game 110: Mets @ Phillies

The Mets face Cole Hamels tonight, and although people don't think he's as good as he was in 2008, I disagree and I still view him as an ace/solid #2.

For the Line-ups, check out Citislickers.com


My Prediction: Without seeing the line-ups, I can't see the Mets anemic offense scoring more than 2 runs against Hamels, so Johan needs to throw a gem. What the heck, I'm not giving up hope just yet. Mets win a dramatic game, 3-2.

I still believe (semi), do you?

LET'S GO METS!

Tejada and F-Mart Scratched Last Night

Rumors swirling, including a potential deal with the Mariners with F-Mart going to Seattle in a package including C Figgins. More here at Mets Today

Other people are saying Red Sox may be trying to acquire Cora and/or Frenchy, and that Tejada and F-Mart were about to be promoted.

Time will tell, but I hope the Mets aren't trading two young pieces for someone who was a free agent this off-season and I had no interest in acquiring, and has been a bust this year.


I won't be able to comment on any trades until tonight. Enjoy the beautiful Saturday

Scouting Report Cole Hamels

The Mets faced Cole back on May 27th and took the loss, going 6 1/3, allowing 9 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), while striking out only 3. As noted below, he has not fared well in his career starts against the Mets.

Here is the scouting report from May 27th, and his updated stats/trends at the end.

The 26-year old Hamels went from a future ace after his stellar post-season in 2008 to a failure in the eyes of Phillies fans after 2009. So which pitcher is Cole? Most likely some where in between, but closer to the future ace. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2002 draft and made his major league debut in 2006. He had some durability/character issues in the minors (elbow pain, back discomfort, broken arm in a possible fight in high school, and broke a bone in his hand in a bar room fight), but he has a career 53-36 record in the big leagues, with a 3.68 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Last year he was highly unlucky (.325 BAPIP), while his strikeout and walk rates remained the same from 2008. In his nine career starts versus the Mets, he's struggled. He's 2-4 with a 4.12 and a 1.573 WHIP. Last year the Mets hit him hard in his first two starts at Citi Field (10 innings, 21 hits, 8 runs), but shut down the Mets in September at CBP (6 2/3 innings, 1 ER, 6 Ks).

Hamels has a smooth high 3/4s arm action and is a fly-ball pitcher. He throws his fastball 88-92 mph, and possesses one of the best change-ups in the game (81 mph). He occasionally throws a show me curve-ball, and has added a cutter this off-season, but it hasn't been effective yet this year, especially versus right handers, who are hammering it to a tone of .412/.429/.882. His strike out pitch is his change-up, but also has been getting strikeouts/swings and misses on fastballs out of the zone. He's averaging 9 K/9 this year (one of the best SP in baseball), but he's also seen his W/9 rise to 2.98 (highest in four years).

UPDATE August 7th: So far this year Hamels is 7-7 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 22 starts (139 innings).In his last 5 starts (since July 11th), he has a 2.07 ERA. He's minimized the long ball since July, allowing only 3 in 48 2/3 (18 in previous 90 1/3). He has yet to allow a hit on his cutter to lefties, but he barely throws it. As noted above, his cutter gets pounded by righties.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Proverbial Nail in the Coffin?

Niese throws a gem, 7 innings, 1 earned run.
Parnell doesn't get an out, and the Mets bullpen allows 6 runs in the 8th inning.
M Hessman hits 3 run HR in the 9th, but for naught.

Another loss, 7-5

Mets are under .500 and you may want to start digging...

Game 109: Mets (54-54) @ Phillies (60-48)

The Phillies have won 4 in a row, 8 of their last 10, and are only 2 games behind the 1st place Braves. The Mets are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and are currently 8 games out of 1st.

As stated earlier, if the Mets have any chance to play "meaningful games" in September, they need to win and possibly sweep the series this weekend. That all starts tonight, as they face league-average pitcher Joe Blanton. Since the Mets face Hamels and Doctor Roy the next two games, this is another must win game, of which the Mets never win.

Anyway, here is the line-up for the Mets:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan LF
C Beltran CF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
J Thole C
J Francoeur RF (He still can't hit righties, or practically anyone for that matter)
L Castillo 2B
J Niese P

My Prediction: Blanton is almost guaranteed to allow three + runs, so Niese needs to go 7 innings allowing 1 or 2 runs. I believe in him, and Mets win the first game of the series.

LET'S GO METS!

Huge Series Starting Tonight!!

Mets vs Phillies! I hope you guys are excited!! Can't wait to beat up on Utley, Howard and Victorino!!

Wait, none of them are playing?
Wait, the Mets are 8 games out of 1st place?

That stinks.

The Mets season is on life support, and the only way they can be saved is sweeping the Phillies. They have done it already this season, why not again??

Oh wait, they aren't a good baseball team and "THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!"

Scouting Report Joe Blanton

The Mets faced Blanton on May 26th, so here is his scouting report again, with an update at the bottom. The Mets fared well against him in May, as he lasted only 5 1/3 innings, let up 5 runs, 10 base runners, while striking out only 2.

The 29-year old right-hander was a 1st round pick in 2002 out of University of Kentucky, and is in his 8th major league season; he spent five seasons with Oakland and is in his 3rd season with the Phillies. He's 64-56 for his career with a 4.23 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He has been referred to as a "league-average/innings eater" in the past, but was very reliable for the Phillies last year; From May 26th, he threw 151 innings in 23 starts, and limited the opposition to a .304 OBP and a 3.16 ERA. He's in his final year of arbitration, and he's looking to build on the success he had last year to parley into a nice free agent contract. Coming into this year, He had made four starts in his career versus the Mets and is 2-0, with a 1.59 ERA and .953 WHIP. He faced the Mets once last year, and threw 7 1/3 shutout innings.

Blanton throws strikes and has a very compact delievery, releasing from a high 3/4s arm slot. He features a 88-91 mph fastball that he will throw to both sides of the plate, a slider (83 mph), as well as an occasional curve (76 mph) and change-up (81 mph). He has started to throw a few cutters per game. His two best pitches are his slider and change-up. Last year he saw an increase in swings out of the strike zone which increased his K/9 to 7.51, but this year it's back down to 6.1 (career average is 5.7). He's a fly-ball pitcher who has been prone to the long-ball the last two years. Last year his slider was his strikeout pitch, but this year he is relying more on his fastball, with poor results.

After missing some time earlier this year with an oblique injury, Blanton has made 17 starts (106 innings) and is 4-6, with a 5.86 ERA, and 1.47 WHIP. He's gone 6+ innings in 13 of his 17 starts, but has allowed at least three runs in all but one start. He's let up 17 home runs in 106 innings. In his last start versus the Nationals, he went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs, with 9 hits and 1 walk, while striking out a season high 8.

He is a league average-innings eater after all.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don't Let the Door Hit you on the way out...

Pelfrey = terrible
4 errors = pathetic
= Another disgusting loss 8-3

There is nothing else to write. I can't waste my time and energy when the players are "flat".

7 1/2 games out. Day off tomorrow, then a three-game set in Philadelphia. Niese vs Blanton 7:35 PM Friday Night.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Game 108: Mets @ Braves

Here is the line-up that will face youngster Kris Medlen:


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

My Prediction: The Mets need the old Pelf to show up tonight; I dont think he will dominate, but he gives the Mets a chance to win. I'm thinking 6 innings, 3-4 runs. I'm undecided on whether the Mets can get 4-5 runs, but I'm leaning towards no.

Hope I'm wrong. Let's Go Mets!