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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And the Mets get Swept in a Doubleheader

I watched most of both games today, and I got to watch another 2 losses. The Mets battled back in the 1st game down 6 runs (due to a very poor outing from Niese), but still wound up losing. Then Dickey threw well in game 2, but the offense was non-existent.

Some estimated the game 1 crowd to be "in the hundreds", and watching on TV it seemed accurate.

4 games remaining before another long off-season.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ruben Tejada with a Walk-off Double!!

He drives home two runs off of closer John Axford, and the Mets win the opening game of the series 4-3. First win for the Mets after trailing after 8 innings.

Doubleheader tomorrow, 4:00 start.  Anyone going?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mets Win the Series

Normally I'd be very excited to win a series versus the Phils in September, but this year it means nothing. Two nice outings for Gee and Misch which is nice. And it also prevented from the Phillies to clinch the division and having the Mets to watch them celebrate.

Mets have a 4 game series versus the Brewers staring Monday night. All games are 7:10 starts. Plenty of seats are still available.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mets Lose 5th in a Row

Coming off being swept by the Braves, they go down to South Florida and get swept in a 2 game series. They are now 4 games under .500, and have a 3 game series versus the red-hot Phillies starting on Friday.

Might as well keep losing and get another top 10 draft pick next year. Right now they have the 12th worst record in baseball, but just one game ahead of both Houston and the Dodgers, so they have a chance to get the 10th pick in the draft.

10 miserable games remaining.

Who do you think I should hire?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What has happened in the past few days?

The real world has gotten in the way of posting the past few days, my apologies.

To get you up to speed, the Mets got swept and lost game 1 of the series last night to the Marlins. They are now 3 games under .500 at 74-77, and the season can't end soon enough.

In other news, Joel Sherman of the New York Post came out and ripped Jeff Wilpon saying the job isn't that appealing because Jeff is

not short-tempered. Tone deaf. A credit seeker. An accountability deflector. A micro-manager. A second-guesser. A less-than-deep thinker. And bad at self-awareness. Fine, he’s none of these things. But here is the problem: This is his perception in the industry as the Mets try yet again to fix their baseball operations department.


In other news, Joe Torre one day says he'd listen if the Mets were to call him for the soon-to-be vacant job opening at manager, then the next day, retracts and said he won't. I am not a fan of Torre and would rather have Wally or Bobby V at the helm next year (with a new GM above as well).

Bobby Parnell has been shut down for the season with an injured elbow, and there are whispers Johan is not going to be able to pitch more than 100 innings next year. Maybe the poster who was referring to R.A. Dickey as "ace" was very forward thinking and may be right...The reason for the pessimism or Santana currently is the fact the surgery could not be done arthroscopic, and had to be an open procedure, which causes a lot more muscle damage and scar tissue.

That's all that I think I missed, if there is something else, feel free to post and I'll write a brief comment on it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Scouting Tim Hudson yet again

I have done the scouting report on Huddy a few times this year, so here is the link to the one on September 2nd, and I will discuss his starts since then.

Sept 2nd vs Mets 7 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 ER), 1 W, 4 Ks. Takes the loss (Braves lose 4-2).
Sept 7th vs Pirates 6 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 W, 4 Ks. Takes the loss (Braves get shutout 5-0).
Sept 12th vs Cardinals 5 innings, 9 hits, 6 runs, 2 W, 1 HBP, 5 Ks, 2 HRs. Takes the loss (Braves lose 7-3).

He is now 15-8 and his ERA has risen from 2.24 to 2.62. I may still have a chance that it gets over 3 (but I doubt it). Have his BAPIP or LOB% regressed back to the mean?

On July 10th, his BAPIP was .234 and I said it was unsustainable. By September 2nd it had risen to .244, but I once again said it was unsustainable. Today it is now .254. Baby steps in regressing back to the mean (.286 for Hudson's career, higher for MLB average). His LOB % was 84% back in July and it is now down to 81% (career average 74%). And his strikeout rate is still under 5.5 for the year (career > 6 K/9) and whiff rate is 7.2% (career average is 9.2%).He's also throwing strikes a career low 46% of his pitches.

It may seem like I'm nit-picking on Hudson, but I wanted to prove a point that he is not deserving of the NL Cy Young (as some Braves fans believe). Hudson is a quality pitcher, don't get me wrong, but his performance was over his head. He is pitching closer to a 3.60 ERA rather than a 2.60. Even still, I'd love to have a guy throwing 200+ innings and have a 3.60 ERA, I just don't need him to be discussed for best pitcher in the National League.

Mets Lose 6-4

For those still interested and who watched the game last night, J Niese let up 6 runs, but 0 "earned runs" due to a D Wright error. But even after that, Niese walked the .109 hitting Tommy Hanson. He simply couldn't stop the bleeding, and threw 91 pitches in 4 innings, losing for the 4th time in 5 starts.

L Duda hit his 1st major league home run.

D Gee vs T Hudson on Fox, 4:10 start.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Game 148: Mets vs Braves

Here is the line-up that will face T Hanson and start the process of the sweep:

Reyes SS
CARTER RF (Pagan scratched due to family matters)
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Thole C
Duda LF
Tejada 2B
Niese LHP

Do the Unthinkable, make me go crazy....

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mets Sweep a 4-game Series

Can they do the unthinkable?

Mets start a 3-game series versus the Braves tomorrow night. They win that, and then...

only 6 games out of the wild card with 12 games to go.

The Mets have a .1% chance of making the playoffs.

"So you say we have a chance!?!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mets come from behind and Win.

The Mets were down 5 runs and came back to win 8-7. R Valdes got the win, and Takahashi with another save. But again the big story is the young J Mejia got hurt and underwent an MRI tonight on his injured shoulder. Any time a 20 year old pitching prospect has 2 MRIs in the matter of 4 months it's not good.

Hope he won't be standing on the outside next year at Spring Training
For those counting at home, the Mets are now at .500.

And Mejia is Done....

He leaves in the 3rd inning with what appears like a shoulder injury. Yes, this is the 2nd time he has had shoulder pain.

Is this a result of jockeying him between starting to a reliever to a starter??


Game 146: Mets vs Pirates

Here is the line-up that will face Paul Maholm:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan RF
C Beltran CF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
N Evans LF
H Blanco C
R Tejada 2B
J Mejia P

Let's Go Mets, get back to .500

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scouting Report Zach Duke

Tonight the Mets face a 27 year old former all-star, and he's left-handed. Will it be a long night for the Metsies?

Zach Duke, 6'2", 205 pounds out of Texas, is in his 4th year with the Pirates after being drafted in the 20th round of the 2001 draft. He finished 5th in the rookie of the year voting in 2005 after going 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA, but he's 36-66 for his career since then. His career ERA is now 4.47 and his WHIP is 1.48. The turning point in his career seemed to be in 2007 after having elbow trouble; he hasn't been the same pitcher since. He has fared well against the Mets though, as he's 4-1 (7 career starts, 46 1/3 innings), with a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, including a win versus the Mets on August 22nd, when he went 7 innings, allowed 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks and recorded 5 strikeouts.

Duke's stuff doesn't seem impressive on paper. He has a very deliberate delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He does hide the ball well, and he needs to, as his fastball averages 87 mph. He also throws a 72 mph curve, 81 mph plus change and 79 mph slider. The only plus pitch this year (and for his career) has been his change-up. He loves to throw the ball away, and rarely throws inside. He's throwing strikes a career low 44%, and getting a meager 6.8% swing and miss rate. That combination has resulted in a career high W/9 rate (2.9 W/9 which is still decent), but only 5.5 K/9 rate which is not good.

This year Duke is 7-13 (25 starts, 138 1/3 innings) with a 5.47 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. In his last 3 starts he's thrown 11 1/3 innings combined and allowed 12 runs on 20 hits and 6 walks. In his last start he only lasted 1 inning, allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 0.

For those wondering how he made an all-star team last year, you can thank the selection system that every team needs a representative. Duke was 8-8 before the All-star break, but then fell apart in the 2nd half, going 3-8 with a 5.17 ERA in 14 starts.

It seems a bit much for the Pirates to be paying Duke 4 million this year for that performance, and he may be a non-tender candidate this off-season.

Over Under on Last Night's Crowd

Official attendance of last night's game was 24, 384.

The attendance from Wednesday afternoon April 28ths game versus the Dodgers was 29,724. Congrats to all those who voted under, you win your pride.


UPDATE: NY Post is reporting the actual attendance was around 8,000 people versus the 24,000 + the Mets reported (which is the number of tickets sold)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mets win 1-0

Mets pull within 2 games of .500!! N Evans drives in R Tejada in the 10th to win the game.

The Mets were more exciting to watch than the Jets offense tonight.

Rex, your offense was HORRIBLE today.
Good luck with surgery tomorrow, Johan

Game 144: Mets (70-73) vs Pirates (48-94)

I can't wait to see the attendance for this game tonight. More or less than this afternoon game in April?

Dillon Gee vs James McDonald is the pitching match-up, 7:10 start.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mets fail to reach 2nd base

They tried 27 times, got to 1st base 4 times, but were unsuccessful. Oswalt dominates and Mets lose 3-0.

Gee vs James McDonald tomorrow night 7:10. Maybe the Mets 1st no-hitter will be thrown tomorrow.

Mets Win 4-3

Pelfrey throws into the 8th inning, Reyes hits a Home Run, all is well in Met land right?

Niese versus Oswalt, 1:10

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Game 142: Mets vs Phillies

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

Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, RF
Angel Pagan, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Josh Thole, C
Lucas Duda, LF
Luis Hernandez, 2B (he's needed in the line-up for his offense according to Jerry Manuel. According to me, there is no reason he should be on the team, let alone playing. R Tejada or J Turner are better options)
Mike Pelfrey, RHP

Beltran is out of the line-up due to left knee tendinitis. But as usual, the Mets expect tendinitis to resolve in one day. That's not how it works.

J Reyes admits he's not 100%, but is going to play anyway, and he won't be 100% until he rests in the off-season. Stupid. And this is even dumber from Jerry Manuel.

“I gave him too many days (already) ... I’m hoping he can play the rest of the way,” Manuel said.

I'm at my max with this team...20 games remaining...

Scouting Report Kyle Kendrick

Mets faced Kendrick on April 30th. Here is the write up and his update stats to see if he is changed from being terrible.

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

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

Kendrick relies on 90 mph fastball/sinker that is effective if it's in the lower half of the zone, but he gets into trouble when he leaves the ball up. He throws an 81-83 mph below-average change-up, and got rid of his slider this off-season in favor of a cutter, which he throws 86-87 mph. He throws either his fastball or cutter > 85% of the time. When he is effective, he is a ground-ball pitcher.

This season Kendrick is 9-8 (29 games, 27 starts, 158 1/3 innings), with a 4.89 ERA and 1.39. His strikeout rate is still bad, 4.2 K/9, and he's let up 25 home runs, the highest rate of his brief career. Not ideal for a ground-ball pitcher. And he isn't even a ground-ball pitcher this year as his GB % has dropped from 56% to 44%. All three of his pitches have been below average this year, with his change and cutter being very bad, and his fastball only mildly bad. His swing strike % is 4.9, when league average is 8.5%. And he still can't get lefties out, as they are hitting to the tone of .323/381/.574.

In his last 4 starts he hasn't thrown more than 6 innings, and has let up at least 4 runs in each of those games for an ERA of 7.84 and 5 strikeouts in those 20 2/3 innings.

I don't know how the Phillies, fighting for the division title, can still afford to trot Kendrick out to the mound every 5th day. He is still terrible.

Mets Lose 8-4

Mejia didn't look good either stuff-wise or numbers-wise, and didn't even throw 5 innings.

Pelfrey vs Kendrick today. Don't know why any Mets fan wants to watch that. Which starting pitcher will be less terrible?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Game 141: Mets vs Phillies

Listless Mets vs Doc Halladay.

Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, RF
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ike Davis, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Josh Thole, C
Lucas Duda, LF
Luis Hernandez, 2B
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Johan Surgery.

3 straight seasons ending with a surgery.


From the Mets press release:

"An MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan yesterday revealed that Mets pitcher Johan Santana has suffered a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder. The injury is located on the front and bottom part of the shoulder close to the pectoral muscle, resulting in discomfort radiating through both the pectoral muscle and shoulder. Santana will undergo surgery in the near future and we anticipate he will be able to resume throwing in the spring."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mets win a road series!

Good pitching today, as Mets win 3-2.

Day off tomorrow, Mejia vs Halladay on Friday night at Citi Field.

Meaningless Game 140: Mets @ Nationals

Game time 12:35, Livan vs Dickey. Here's the line-up who will face L Hernandez:

Pagan RF
Hernandez 2B
Beltran CF
Davis 1B
Wright 3B
Carter LF
Thole C
Tejada SS
Dickey P

Who will throw the slowest pitch of the game? I'm voting for Dickey.

Scouting Livan Hernandez for the 3rd time

1st pitch thrown by a NY Met at Citi Field)
Below is scouting report from July 1st, with updated stats at the end.

I widely assume that every single baseball fan knows 35-year old Livan Hernandez, and everyone knows he throws slow, slower and slowest as his pitches these days. I'm not going to highlight his career stats or anything, as he has changed as a pitcher over the past 15 years and the data from his early starts against the Mets are meaningless. His career ERA is 4.39 and it hasn't been under 4.0 since 2005; his WHIP hasn't been lower than 1.5 since 2005 as well.

To start the year, in seven starts, 4-2 record with a 1.46 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Someone explain that to me?

Looking at his pitch data, the only thing he has changed is that he is throwing more 2-seam fastballs than in the past and increased his curveball to 10% from 6%. His fastball averages about 84 mph, change-up 78 mph, slider 79 mph and curve-ball (eephus) 65 mph.

Since he faced the Mets on May 19th (6 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 runs), his ERA now sits at 3.10, and a 1.28 WHIP. He has been getting very lucky, as his FIP is 4.40, or in other words, 'typical Livan'. He is striking out a meager 4 K/9, and allowing a unsustainable BABIP of .266 (up from .197 in mid-May), which is completely fluky. He also has a 80.3% (98% LOB% in Mid-May), which is still very high, as league average is around 70% (his career is 72%). Livan Hernandez has regressed over the past 6 weeks, but he still has more to go.

UPDATE September 8: Mets faced him on July 1st (7 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 0 walks and 7 strikeouts). Since then he is 3-6, and his record is now 9-10, with a 3.81 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. His strikeout rate as increased to a still poor 4.7 K/9, and is BAPIP has regressed closer to the mean, now up to .293, and his strand rate has regressed as well to 73%. So pretty much everything that was going for him early in the year has gone back to "typical Livan." This is a perfect case study of sabermetrics, that he started out great, but it was all based on luck. He has let up 5+ runs in his last 3 starts, but the Nationals still gave him a 1 year contract extension last week.

Mets win 4-1, and An afternoon meaningless game 140

D Gee took a no hitter into the 6th inning, and the Mets only had one hit after the 2nd inning, but the Mets win 4-1, powered by a monster 3-run HR from Ike Davis.

Today's game is a 12:35 start, RA Dickey vs Livan Hernandez. The scouting report will be posted for Livan.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From a loyal reader at tonights game. Enjoy!

From tonights game
D Wright scratched from tonight's game due to a bruised finger. Hessman starting 3B and hitting 5th.

Meaningless Game 139: Mets @ Nationals

Y Maya makes his major league debut vs this stellar line-up:

Pagan RF
Hernandez 2B
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Duda LF
Blanco C
Tejada SS
Gee P.

For those excited to watch D Gee, here's your chance to watch a AAAA pitcher. Enjoy

Scouting Report Mets SP Dillon Gee

Dillon Gee
6'1" 200 pounds
Bats R/Throws R
Drafted in 2007 in the 21st round out of University of Texas-Arlington

The Good: He has great strikeout rates in AAA, the best of his minor league career (9.21 this year). He also minmizes walks (2.3 W/9). He has very good control and opened Jerry Manuel's eyes last year in spring training.

"Stuff": Below average fastball with good command, a plus change-up, and mixes in a cutter, slider and slow curve.

The Bad: He has below average velocity (88-92 mph) and fringe stuff for a right-handed major leaguer. He has little margin for error, so he can get hit hurt if he can't locate his pitches. He's been very prone to the long ball this year, and has let up 22 HR in 157 innings in AAA. He was ranked #22 and #23 on the Mets prospect list coming into this season. Suffered a torn labrum last May, and rehabbed instead of surgery.

This year he's 13-8 and a 4.96 ERA in AAA. In his last 10 starts, he's let up 4 or more earned runs in 5 of them, and 3 starts of 2 runs or less. What exactly did he do to earn this promotion to the 40-man roster and this start? His last start he lasted only 4 innings, let up 7 earned runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 4.

Bottom Line: A "crafty righty" or a fringe major leaguer/long man/AAAA pitcher.

Scouting Report Yuneski Maya

The 28-year old Cuban defector is making his major league debut after signing with the Nationals; the Mets and Red Sox were reportedly interested, but the Mets got out bid by "the big market Nationals", who signed Maya for 4 years/6.5 million dollars on August 1st. There isn't any pitch-fx data or anything on Maya, so the scouting report is based on scouts reports when he pitched in the World Baseball Classic (7 1/3 innings, 1.23 ERA). In his first year in the Cuban National Series, he won the equivalent of the Cy Young, going 13-4 with 7 complete games and a 2.22 ERA.

He throws a sinking fastball 88-92 mph, and then throws the kitchen sink: slider, curve and change-up. He changes arm angles and speeds based on the situation and the hitter's response.  In a recent game versus the Buffalo Bisons (4 2/3, 1 unearned run on 2 hits), his curveball varied from 65-70 mph. He described himself as a pitcher as aggressive and pounds the strike zone with good command on the corners.

Most scouts view him close to a finished product and as a back-end of the rotation arm, but that's still not bad for a guy making 1.5 million per year and the Mets could've had him for that price. Back in February I advocated for the Mets to sign Maya, but why would they? They were confident in Perez and Maine et al.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mets Lose 13-3


Nothing else to say

Meaningless Game 138: Mets @ Nationals

Here's the line-up that will face young RHP J Zimmerman.

Pagan cf
Hernandez 2b
Carter rf
Wright 3b
Davis 1b
Duda lf
Thole c
Tejada ss
Pelfrey p.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meaningless Game 137: Mets @ Cubs

The series finale, R Dempster on the Mound.

Pagan RF
Hernandez 2B
Beltran CF
Davis 1B
Hessman 3B
Duda LF
Thole C
Tejada SS
Niese P

Enjoy the beautiful day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mets Lose

The box sore tells me the Mets lose 5-3. The beach tells me I made a great choice of visiting it versus staying inside and watching the game.

Game 136: Mets @ Cubs

Mejia makes his 1st major league start today and squares off against the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano:

Pagan RF
Castillo 2B
Beltran CF
Wright 3B
Duda LF
Davis 1B
Nickeas C (major league debut)
Tejada SS
Mejia P

Let's Go Mets!

Scouting Report Carlos Zambrano

(From my trip to Wrigley July 15, 2006)
 Mets faced Big Z back on April 20th. He's had a very turbulent season (got shipped to the bullpen, spent some time on the restricted list and went to anger management classes). Here is the scouting report from April, and his season stats updated at the end.

Today, the Mets face RHP Carlos Zambrano. The 10 year veteran is getting paid to be an ace, and that frustrates numerous Cubs fans because he isn't an ace, but he is still an average/above average pitcher.

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

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

Update September 4: He's appeared in 30 games (14 starts, 88 2/3 innings), and is 6-6 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. He's walking an Ollie P-like #, 5 W/9 innings. He's been able to limit the HR again this year (only 1 HR allowed since May 15th), but you can't survive when you are walking that many hitters. He's only throwing strikes 44% of his pitches, a career low. His fastball velocity has also declined this year to an average of 90 mph, down from 92-93. He's increased his use of his cutter to 16% and is relying more on his split-finger as well. He's made 5 starts since his return from anger management, and is 3-0 and hasn't allowed more than 2 runs in any of those games. But his control has been erratic, walking 20 in the 29 1/3 innings. His last start versus the Pirates he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed only 1 run (unearned), but allowed 4 hits and walked 4.

Game Recap 135

Mets lose despite home runs from D Wright and L Hernandez.

Mejia starts Saturday, so it gives Mets fans reasons to watch, although I won't blame you if you go to the beach like I am today. Happy Saturday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Meaningless Game 135: Mets @ Cubs

This game was so meaningless that I didn't get to post the line-ups or scouting reports. Dickey vs R Wells.

The next 3 games are afternoon games as well for those that care.

Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day Weekend (I will try to post the scouting reports for the remaining pitchers, but don't have it done just yet).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mets Win 4-2

Big story, Johan leaves after 5 innings and 65 pitches with a "pectoralis strain."  I'm not buying it.

Can't wait to see how the Mets spin this...

See you in Spring Training Johan. Rest up with Reyes.

Loyal reader sent this in from the game tonight

Meaningless Game 134: Mets @ Braves

Here is the line-up that will probably get shutout versus Tim Hudson:

Castillo 2B
Duda LF
Beltran CF
Carter RF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Arias SS
Blanco C
Santana P

28 more games for Jerry....

Scouting Report Tim Hudson

I've been quite outspoken about how "lucky" Tim Hudson has been this year, and it's September and he is making me look like a fool. My bet (but don't bet on it) was that he would finish the year with an ERA over 3; it currently sits at 2.24 and will likely go lower after this start versus the Mets. This will be his 3rd start of the season against the Mets and he's let up only 1 run in 13 innings.

The Mets faced Hudson on July 10th and August 2nd. Here was my write up then, and will update his post-All Star break performance.

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 and is relying on his fastball and slider with two strikes.

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.

UPDATE August 2nd: He's had three starts since he faced the Mets on July 10 (7 shutout innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 k's), and he's had two quality starts (14 2/3 innings, 1 earned run), while his first start after the break was awful (6 2/3, 6 earned runs). His ERA for the year is now 2.40, 1.16 WHIP, and K/9 is 4.67. His FIP and xFIP is 4.12 and 4.13.

Update September 2nd: He's made 5 starts since August 2nd and has 3 wins and 4 out of 5 quality starts. He is now 15-5 with a 2.24 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. His K/9 rate is up to 5.31 (benefited from his last start, 13 k's in 7 innings). His FIP is 3.74 and xFIP is 3.86. His BAPIP is still very low and unsustainable at .244, and he has a ridiculously high strand rate (83.6% versus 74% career).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mets Lose, I yawn. Stop if you've heard this before

Mets offense once again was anemic.

They lose 4-1, as the Mets got 1 hit over 7 innings.

Johan vs "Cy Young Candidate" Hudson, 7:10 tomorrow night as the Mets try to salvage one game of this four game series. Why salvage, I'm not sure, but I feel like I need to try to express hope for this season.

Meaningless Game 133: Mets @ Braves

Here is the line-up that will face Tommy Hanson, who has lost 5 straight decisions:

L Castillo 2B
J Thole C
D Wright 3B
C Carter RF
C Beltran CF
I Davis 1B
L Duda LF (major league debut)
R Tejada SS
M Pelfrey P

My Prediction: If you want to watch this game it's because 1) You want to watch T Hanson, another pitcher who will beat the Mets for another 6-8 years, and 2) You are interested in Duda's major league debut. I will have more Duda info/scouting report tonight or tomorrow

Scouting Report, Tommy Hanson (3rd 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. He again faced the Mets on July 9th and got a no-decision, throwing 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 6.

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 (12%) 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 % (9.1). 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 under 3 per 9.

On July 9th, he was 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.

Now, his record is 8-10 in 27 starts (158 innings), with a 3.76 ERA (3.41 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP. You would think he's pitched poorly since he's lost his last 5 decisions, but he had run off 6 quality starts in a row without getting a W. His ERA since July 9th is 3.07. For those interested to see if his BAPIP has regressed from July 9th, as I said above, it now sits at .320. His last start was not pretty, as the Marlins hit him hard and he only lasted 5 innings, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits including 4 home runs. He had let up only 1 other home run since June 22nd (11 starts).

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