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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wow. Guess I should've waited to comment until this morning...

So the Mets completely revamped the bullpen and changed CF in the matter of hours last night. Quick recap:

In:
Rauch, Ramon Rameriz (Giants),  F Francisco = 7th, 8th and 9th inning
A Torres = starting CF who had one great year (2010) in an otherwise journeyman career

Out:
A Pagan and his terrible baseball IQ

So this morning the Mets are a better baseball team than they were on December 6th. Congratulations. But does this bullpen change them to an 88-90 win team from the 77 wins they had last year (with Reyes)? No chance. So why spend money just for the sake of saying "look, we are spending money."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jon Rauch?

Why are the Mets going to spend 8-10 million dollars on a couple relievers, and it's starting with Jon Rauch? I understand the concept and agree with it in principle, IF the team was going to compete for a playoff spot. BUT for a team that's not going to compete in 2012, this is ridiculous and worthless.

Sandy, I thought you are better than this.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Good Bye Jose

Although I was mentally prepared to lose Jose Reyes this winter to the highest bidder, after the first flirtation with the Marlins and their initial offer, I reversed course and thought the Mets could and would retain him with a 5 year/90-95 million dollar contract.

Then the bombshell drops last night at the winter meetings that the Marlins upped the ante to 6 years for 106 million (including a buyout of a potential 7th year), and it hurt. A Lot.

Now resigned to the fact we are in a true rebuilding mode (which should've started 18 months ago), I'm ready to trade D Wright now, and try to make a run at the division in 2015. We aren't going to have a winning record next year definitively, and our young pitchers (Harvey, Wheeler and Mejia) could start to make an impact in 2013. So if we can get 2-3 solid prospects for Wright, then might as well. There isn't much of a difference between 72 wins in 2012 without Wright versus 78 wins with.

What do you guys want the Mets to do?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And I'm Back

After a great 2-week vacation with limited internet access, and only able to watch ESPN one night (but it was the one that counted, day 162 of the season), I'm back and revitalized to prep for the Mets off-season, and what needs to get done.

I know a lot of people were/are upset with how Reyes handled the batting title, leaving after his first at-bat, but it's not a big issue for me. The batting title is an individual accomplishment, and Reyes didn't alter the "integrity of the game" by taking himself out, as neither the Mets nor the Reds seasons were impacted by it. Would I have preferred to have Reyes play out the whole game, get a standing ovation etc. that he deserves, and a thank you for a great year/possibly career with the Mets? OF COURSE, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over his decision, and I don't think he is either.

So stay tuned for my off-season plans over the next week, and let me know what topics you guys want to focus on as we get ready for yet another long off-season for the Mets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FOLDING UP

“This has been an awful time. … I’m the manager of this team and I’m responsible. We didn’t manage, we didn’t coach and we didn’t play. It’s pretty simple. You go through stretches and this is one of them, but perception is reality in our game and the perception I have is that we folded it up. I won’t stand for that. You want to see intensity? You want to see me be intense? You guys are gonna see it? I don’t play that game. You come to play the game right. I don’t care what the situation is, I don’t care what the standings say, I don’t care about pitch counts. I only care about playing the game correctly. Our fans should be upset. I don’t blame them one bit. … We need to find a new formula. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’ve got a three-hour plan ride to figure it out. … They’re tired. But, the Washington Nationals are tired too. … They can’t be any  more tired than we are. They’re playing for the exact same thing we are, and that’s pride. … We’re not done. We have two weeks to go. If we’re gonna fold it up, that tells me something. It tells me a lot about what will happen next year when we are fighting for something.”
~ Terry Collins, following today’s game, regarding his team’s play

 This is TERRIBLE. 

I am glad TC took the blame, but this is not good. This means to me he may have lost the clubhouse again, like he did in Anaheim? 

Your thoughts? 
PS I will be on vacation for 2 weeks through the end of the season, so expect little activity here until a week after the off-season, and I will have my off-season plan.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scouting Report Josh Stinson


Mets called up reliever Josh Stinson today as the rosters expanded, so here is the scouting report I did on Stinson during Spring Training. He struggled as a starter early in the year, so was converted to the bullpen.

Josh Stinson - #64

23 years old
6th professional season (no major league experience)
6'4" 205 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Profile: Drafted out of high school, he didn't pitch above A ball until last season. He started to open some eyes at the end of 2009 in high A ball when he was turned into a reliever and he had a sub-2.00 ERA (1.98 in 38 innings). He pitched between AA and AAA last year, and he earned a spot in the AA All-Star game in 2010. He was added to the 40-man roster so he was not eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft.

Good: He throws a hard fastball (91-93 mph), with a good slider and curve-ball.
Bad: In the minors, he hasn't been striking out a ton of hitters (5.5 K/9 in 110 innings in AA, 6.75 K/9 in AAA in 28 innings in 2010).

Role: He will probably start the year in AA or AAA, and try to solidify a role in the bullpen in September/future.

Video:
 1st base view


3rd base view



Friday, August 19, 2011

Picture from tonight's game

Loyal reader is at the game... Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Draft Signees

As I mentioned yesterday, I believed the Mets would get their 1st and 3rd round picks signed, and they did. They also were very aggressive and signed their 15th round pitck to an overslot deal, in essence getting a top 100 player (dropped due to strong college commit and money demands) in the 15th round. Yes they paid the money of a supplemental draft pick (between rounds 1 and 2), but that's what big market teams do.

Here was a great chart from Metsminorleagueblog.com, showing the change in the draft spending of the Mets over the past 10 years. Great job Toby.

Today is a good day to be a Mets fan, and thank you Sandy for doing exactly what you said you would do when you signed on this off-season.

Monday, August 15, 2011

State of the Mets 8/15/11

It's been close to 2 weeks since we last looked at how the Mets were doing, and on 8/2 they were 1 game under .500 and 8 1/2 games behind the Braves for a Wild Card.

It's now officially the dog days of August, as the Mets have lost 5 games in a row, including getting swept out of Arizona, and are 4 games under .500, 20 1/2 games out of 1st place, and 11 1/2 games behind the Braves for the Wild Card. They are only 2 games ahead of last place (Florida Marlins).

  • Johan Santana has not resumed throwing since his 'shoulder fatigue' diagnosis 2 weeks ago, and I would put his chances of throwing in the majors this season at 10%.
  • Ike Davis will rest for two more weeks and then decide if he should undergo microfracture surgery, which would allow him to be ready for Spring Training in 2012, so he is obviously done for this season.
Today is the deadline for signing drafted players, and the Mets still haven't signed their 1st and 3rd round picks, but this isn't a surprise. Anyone who gets an overslot deal often waits until the last day, and Nimmo has been asking for 2.5+ million since before he was drafted. No harm in waiting until the last day and I'm not concerned unless they fail to sign him and then that's a huge issue.

Are there any other pressing issues you guys think with the Mets? I don't want to turn to the off-season plan just yet (do they tender a contract to Pelfrey/Pagan, and what should the offer be to Reyes).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fans at the game

Here is a picture from a braves fan at tonight's game.

Lets go Mets!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

State of the Mets 8/2/11

At this time last week, the Mets were 1 game under .500, and 8 1/2 games behind the Braves for the Wild Card. Now the Mets are 1 game over .500, and 7 1/2 games behind the Braves. To get to 90 wins, they would need to go 35-18, or play .660 ball the remainder of the year. The Phillies have the best record in baseball this year, and they are playing .640 ball.

In other news, Sandy Alderson decided not to trade anyone else besides K-Rod and Beltran because he felt it was important to let this team try to win. No one but Sandy and the front office knows what the market was for guys like Byrdak or Isringhausen or S Hairston, but if there was any decent package out there for any of those guys, he did the Mets a disservice by not trading them. Again, I'm not saying there was a fair trade out there, I don't know that. But the difference between winning 76 games and 84 games is nothing to me; I'd rather win 76 games, get a guy who may help the team in the future for a spare part, and get a better draft pick next year.

The rest of the season will focus on individual performances, on if Ike Davis will be able to avoid surgery on his ankle, and how Johan Santana comes back and performs/for how many starts.

What else are you guys concerned/focused on the rest of the season?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mets Newest Pitching Prospect, Zack Wheeler

Late night at work last night, so I'm just getting around to the scouting report of Zack Wheeler, who the Mets acquired for the 2-month rental of Carlos Beltran. Wheeler was considered the #2 prospect in the Giants system by Baseball America, ESPN's Keith Law, and Baseball Prospectus. He was the #6 draft pick in the 2009 draft and got 3.3 million from the Giants out of high school.

Wheeler is a 3/4 pitch pitcher, with a fastball that sits 90-94 and touches 96-97 mph with natural sink, a big and slow curveball mid-70s, an average slider (85 mph), and a below-average change that still needs work. He was pitching in High A ball this year after only throwing 58 2/3 innings last year in A ball secondary to a cracked finger nail. That helped him refine his mechanics slightly, but there are some concerns about his arm action (as you will see in the video/article below).  He still has command issues (walking > 4.5/9 innings), and has trouble with left-handed hitters which may be a result of his arm angle. But he is striking out > 10/9 innings; don't forget he is 21 years old, so he has plenty of room to grow and project to the front-line starter many scouts see him as.

His ETA to the majors would be 2013, so the Mets rotation could be headlined by Harvey and Wheeler, with Mejia,and Niese rounding out a solid young quartet of pitchers for many years to come (hopefully).

Here is a great video review of Wheeler from one of his starts in May (http://projectprospect.com/article/2011/05/23/zack-wheeler-scouting-report).

What do you guys think? Should Sandy get a lifetime contract for this deal?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank you Carlos

The Mets have reportedly agreed to deal Carlos Beltran to the Giants for three players, one of which is a top 40 prospect in baseball Zack Wheeler. He is a young RHP, and instantly becomes a future front off the rotation starter with Matt Harvey. He most likely won't join the Mets until 2013, but this is a great job by Sandy Alderson.

A more thorough scouting report will be posted tonight.

LET'S GO METS!

If this were to happen...

I'd go out and buy a Rasmus jersey tomorrow.

http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/colby-rasmus-is-available-want/

Don't think that Pelfrey, Capuano and Brydak would get it done either, but can't we dream?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mets Lose Weekend Series vs the Marlins

Mets had a nice win on Friday night to get 1 game above .500, but then lost the next two, to once again drop below .500. They are on the road for a 4-game series versus the Reds, followed by a 3-game road series at the Nationals.

The Mets are currently 14 1/2 games behind the Phillies, and 8 1/2 out of the Wild Card, with 5 teams between them and the Braves.

The next week will focus strictly on the trade market for Beltran, Byrdak, Isringhausen, Capuano, Hairston etc., and this could be a turning point in the Mets future if they are able to secure one or two future pieces by trading any of those above players. I'm not going to list every rumor/prospect because 98% of those trades don't happen. But when the deal is done, I will give the scouting reports/information I have on the players the Mets are receiving.

Let's go Sandy and the Rest of the Front Office!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mets going for the sweep

Anyone who isn't doing anything today, head out to Citi Field for what may be the last Home game for Carlos Beltran. Do the right thing and cheer him every at bat and thank him for the last 7 years.

Let's go Mets!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

State of the Mets: 7/16

I wanted to do a state of the Mets at the All-Star break, but the real world once again was too busy. So now I'm sitting on balcony watching boats go by and life isn't so bad:)

  • After last night's loss to the Phillies, the Mets are 46-46, and 12 games behind the division-leading Phillies, and 8 1/2 behind the Braves.
    • I mentioned to a couple people on Friday that I hope the Mets get swept. No, I'm not becoming a Yankee fan after wearing that disgusting hat last week, but I don't want the Mets to get hot and have the organization think they still have a shot at making the playoffs this year.
  • K-Rod was traded for 2 PTBNL, of which no one knows the list of players, so I'm not going to speculate
    • Within a day of accepting the trade to a team that was on his original 10-team no-trade list (good job by his former agent dropping the ball), K-Rod agrees to make the option a mutual option, essentially assuring he will be a free agent at the end of the year. 
      • Now the Brewers will get 2 draft picks next year (assuming he's a type A free-agent, which I think is pretty safe) and that he doesn't resign with the Brewers (which won't happen)
        • I wonder if the Mets would've been given that luxury or if he needed to be traded in order for that to occur.The Mets would've been better off getting those two draft picks, but hindsight is 20/20, and I doubt Boras would've allowed him to make the player option a mutual option
  • People are worried that the Mets are "waving the White flag" and going to have a fire sale
    • Why be worried? This is what the Mets should be doing! If someone wants to give us a B level prospect for Isringhausen, great! Scott Hairston, I'll pay for the airfare! Even Chris Capuano, who I really like, may bring in a decent player from a contender looking for a 4th/5th starter
      • Any useable pieces that aren't in the long-term plans of the team should be traded as long as the trade is giving us a potential major league player in return, even if that player will take 3 years to reach the big leagues
    • This comes to the issue of should the Mets trade Carlos Beltran, and the answer is a resounding YES
      • Although it's great to read that Beltran "wants to finish his career in a Mets uniform", Boras made a great contract point 7 years ago that the Mets couldn't offer him arbitration after this year. So if we keep Beltran through the rest of this year and he leaves as a free agent, we don't get a draft pick for him leaving (as the Brewers will for having K-Rod walk)
      • Because of this, it is ESSENTIAL that the Mets trade Beltran to whoever the highest bidder is. Beltran is the best outfield bat on the trade market, and as many as 6 or 7 teams are interested. 
        • Alderson is rumored to be looking for a top prospect in return, and why not? Ask for the moon and if you wind up with a star, great. This is a big chance for the Mets to get better for the future, and we can't let this opportunity go by.
So for these reasons, I'm hoping the Mets don't get a false sense of hope on this season, and view this as a chance to set up for a brighter future. 

Agree/Disagree?

    Scouting Report Cole Hamels

    You know the rotation is scary good (when healthy), when you are happy you miss both C Lee and R Halladay, but still have to face another ace in Cole Hamels. The Mets beat him up badly back in April, but he rebounded in his last start May 28th and threw 7 quality innings, striking out 10. Here's the scouting report from then, with his updated stats.

    This year he's 11-4 (19 starts, 132 innings), with a 2.32 ERA, 0.93 WHIP,  8.2 K/9 rate and miniscule 1.6 BB/9 rate. He's increased his ground ball rate, and is having the best season of his career. He's increased the use of his cutter to 22%, and he has three plus pitches now (fastball, change and cutter). He used to struggle versus right-handers, but he's limiting them to a .196 batting average this year. He's a serious contender to win the Cy Young award this year (but it's tough to win the Cy Young for his own team).

    Cole Hamels
    27 Years Old
    6th major league season
    Bats L/Throws L

    The 27-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, and back to an ace during 2010. So which pitcher is Cole? Some where in between, but closer to the 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 60-45 record in the big leagues, with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. In 2009, he was highly unlucky (.325 BAPIP), while his strikeout and walk rates remained the same from 2008. He added a cutter last year, but more importantly his BAPIP regressed to .289, and he saw his ERA drop from 4.32 in 2009 to 3.06 in 2010, and his WHIP go from 1.29 to 1.18.

    Hamels has a smooth high 3/4s arm action and was a fly-ball pitcher (the cutter has made him more of a ground-ball pitcher this year as noted above). He throws his fastball 90-93 mph (92 mph average was the highest of his major league career, up 2 mph from 2009), and possesses one of the best change-ups in the game (82 mph). He occasionally throws a show me curve-ball (76 mph), and added a cutter last year (89 mph). His strike out pitch is his change-up, but also has been getting strikeouts/swings and misses on fastballs out of the zone. He averaged 9.2 K/9 last year and his swing and miss % was 11.9%.

    In his 15 career starts versus the Mets, he's struggled. He's 3-9 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. The 4.22 ERA is the highest ERA versus any team he's faced 10+ times in his career. Last year the Mets beat him in all 4 starts, although he had a 3.20 ERA in those 25 innings, including two back to back starts in August that he lost 1-0.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Mets Trade K-Rod

    I had spent yesterday morning talking to a lawyer asking the ramifications of the Mets just releasing K-Rod (ala Alex Cora), as he got closer to the 55 games finished mark.

    Well all that is for naught as the news broke last night the Mets traded K-Rod and Cash Considerations (reported 5 million dollars to cover his salary for this year) in exchange for 2 players to be named later.

    My Take: I'm glad we don't have to have any more K-Rod game finished tweets/debates about his usage, but you can't declare this a win until you find out who the 2 PTNL are. The Brewers farm system is very very weak, after they traded everyone for S Marcum and Z Greinke this off-season. They don't have a 4 or a 5 star prospect according to Baseball Prospectus (not that we would get that for K-Rod), but they have 6 out of their top 10 prospects as RHP. So maybe we can get one of these mid-level pitching prospects that may be able to cheaply fill out the back of the rotation next year, or in 2013. And the biggest thing is we don't have to think about paying 15%+ out of payroll next year to a guy who will pitch 70 innings.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Here's the picture you've been waiting for...

    I had to wear this disgusting hat for 9 hours today...because the Mets lost the series versus the Yankees last weekend.

    Ugh


    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Scouting Report Tiny Tim Lincecum

    The Mets faced Lincecum on May 4th and lost, and here is the scouting report from then. When he faced the Mets on May 4th, he only shut them out for 7 innings, and struck out 12 and scattered 5 hits.

    So far this year he's 6-7, but that is why a pitcher's record isn't the only story. His K/9, BB/9, GB %, and ERA are all similar to last year, but last year he was 16-10. He's had 8 starts where he let up one run or less and gone 7+ innings this year.

    Tim Lincecum =  Very, very good.

    This 27-year old superstar is freakishly good. He already has two Cy Young Awards and has been elected to the all star team five straight years, and was a key part of the Giants Championship last year. Keep in mind this is only his 5th big league season. His career record is 58-30, with a 3.03 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10.06 K/9, and 3.23 BB/9. In the post season, he was 4-1, 2.43 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 10.46 K/9, 2.19 BB/9. WOW

    He has a one-of-a kind delivery, in which he delivers straight over the top. He has an extremely long stride (even longer than Johan's), and he features three plus pitches. Even though he had lost 3 mph, last year, he increased it 1.6 mph from last year, and is back up to averaging 93 mph, 2nd highest since his MLB debut. He is now featuring a two-seamer, (which has resulted in an increase in his ground ball rate to 52%). He also throws a plus curve, and a plus-plus change, that probably is the best in baseball. He throws his change-up 25% of the time. The craziest stat is that he gets a 34% swing and miss rate on his change-up (league average is 12%). He has increased his use of a slider this year to 13% (83 mph), from 8% last year. He gets a ton of swing and misses outside of the strike zone, which helps to maintain his K/9 > 9, and his walk /9 < 3.

    He's started 5 games against the Mets in his career, and is 1-1 with 3.71 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 34 innings pitched, 33 ks. Last year he faced the Mets twice, 15 innings, 1.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, including a complete game shutout in July.

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

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Scouting Ryan Vogelsong

    The Mets faced Vogelsong back on May 3rd, and here was the brief scouting report on him.  The Mets scored 5 runs off of him in 4 innings, and that's been his worst start this season (but the Mets still lost 7-6, as Dickey let up 6 earned runs).

    He last pitched in the majors in 2006 for the Pirates, at which point he had a 5.70 ERA, and took his services over to Japan. He came back stateside last year, but didn't appear in an MLB game.

    He's a feel good story, and made the roster when Barry Zito went on the dl. He made a quality start versus the Pirates, striking out 8.

    He's a 4 pitch pitcher, fastball (90 mph), an 87 mph cutter (22%), a curve and change-up. His cutter usage has increased the most since his last appearance in the majors.

    Wondering what he's done since then? Oh, well, he's just been named to the NL All-Star Team...He's 6-1 in 13 starts, with a 2.13 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He has a 1.01 ERA at home (loves the San Fran air apparently). His fastball and his curveball have both been above average pitches, with his fastball being one of the best in baseball, despite only averaging 91.4 mph. He leans on his curveball in 0-2 and 1-2 counts. He isn't getting a ton of swings and misses (7.6%), but does attack hitters, throwing first pitch strike 64% of the time.  He's had 11 straight games on allowing 3 earned runs or less.

    He is due to regress (xFIP 3.63), so why not start tonight?

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Mets Win again, and Go for the Sweep Tonight

    My wife is beginning to wonder why I don't go to sleep any more, and my simple response was "Mets are on the West Coast and actually playing well." I hoped the game today would be a 4:00 start, but another long night awaits us... I watched the majority of the game last night, except for 5 minute clips where I just rested my eyes. Couple observations.

    • Niese's velocity was down all game. He was still effective, but he won't be much longer if he's sitting at 88 mph versus 92-93 mph.
    • Carlos Beltran created and stole a run solely on his base-running. This used to be a huge part of Beltran's value, but the knee injuries have limited this recently. It was great to see this and fun to watch
    • K-Rod finished his 33rd game, 22 more games finished and his 17.5 million dollar contract vests. 
      • It is widely known/assumed that K-Rod will agree to waive his no-trade clause in exchange for a multi-year deal and to get rid of the option. What is his agent thinking his asking price is? I'd give him 2 years, 16-20 million dollars (8-10 million/year) and see if that gets it done. 
        • What do you think his price is/what will his next contract be?

    Scouting Report Clayton Kershaw

    The Mets are going for the sweep tonight of the last place Dodgers, and it will be tough, as they face one of the best pitchers in baseball. And he's only 23 years old. 

    The Mets faced Kershaw back in May, so here is the scouting report. He got the win in May, going 6 2/3 innings, allowed only 1 run on 6 hits, while striking out 8.

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


    Clayton Kershaw
    23 years old
    6'3" 220 pounds
    Bats L/Throws L

    The southpaw from Texas was drafted out of high school as the 7th pick in the 2006 draft, and he has lived up to the hype, blowing through the minor leagues (10+ K/9), and debuting in 2008 just after his 20th birthday. He's 29-26 for his career, with a 3.19 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Last year, only his 3rd year in the majors, he had a 2.91 ERA. I saw him in his 2nd major league start at Shea Stadium, but he is a much different pitcher from when he first came up.

    Kershaw throws over-the-top with an excellent downhill angle. He was made famous for his "public enemy #1" (curve ball) by Vin Scully in Spring Training, but he rarely throws it for a strike and batters have taken notice. He throws his fastball 66% of his pitches and it averages 93.5 mph. His slider is his 2nd best pitch, throwing it 24% and 83 mph. There is some talk that Kershaw is throwing two sliders, one sweeping slider 81-82 mph, and another hard slider, almost a cutter, that's 86 mph. Something to keep an eye on. His curveball is 73 mph, but he throws it only 6% of the time now. He will throw a couple change-ups a game (84 mph). He gets swing and misses around 11.3%, blowing away the league average of 8.4%. He throws 1st pitch fastball 86% of the time, and relies on his slider as his strikeout pitch, although you need to be on the lookout for his curve 0-2 and 1-2. He has been deadly on lefties this year, as they are hitting only .187.

    Kershaw made a big step forward last year in transitioning to his slider from his curve as his best 2ndry pitch, and it paid immediate dividends, as he was able to throw less pitches and more innings (204 innings), and he wasn't "abused". He also cut his BB/9 rate down to 3.6, while striking out more than a batter an inning.

    This year, Kershaw is 8-4 in 18 starts (122 innings), with a 3.23 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He's striking out 10K/9, and also lowered his BB/9 to 2.42 (career average is 4). He has let up more home runs than the previous two year (9 in 122 innings; he let up 13 in 200+ innings last year). But all things considered, he's having a great year.

    For his career, he's 3-0 versus the Mets (4 starts), and in his last three starts against us (2009, 2010, 2011), he has thrown 20 2/3 innings, and allowed only 1 run. His only hiccup was when he lasted only 3 2/3 inning versus the Mets at Shea in his 2nd major league start in 2008.

    Kershaw is an ace, and is only 23 years old (4 years younger than Lincecum, J Johnson, C Hamels, Jimenez). The Mets will have their hands full with him.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Scouting Report H Kuroda

    The Mets faced Kuroda on May 6th (5 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits including 2 home runs by Davis and Pridie, while striking out 3. Here is the scouting report from then.

    The 36-year old is in his 4th year (re-signed this year for 1 year, $12 million dollars) in the United States after coming over from Japan. Rarely walks anyone (2.1 W/9), and rarely lets up HR ( < 1 HR/9), which is a very successful combination. Ground-ball pitcher that doesn't strike out a ton of hitters (6.45 K/9 for his career, but saw it rise to 7.3 last year). He is a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher when healthy, and had the 9th highest swing and miss % last year.

    Kuroda uses a high 3/4s delivery, with a pause at the top of his delivery to gather himself/disrupt the hitters timing. He throws 89-92 mph fastballs to both sides of the plate, has two different sliders (one has a tight sharp break, the other is more of a slurve), and uses a split-finger fastball as his strikeout pitch. He has increased the use of his curveball to 5%, and gets 34% of swings at balls out of the strike zone, which is pretty impressive (average is 28%).


    This year, Kuroda is 6-9 with 17 starts (108 innings), but he has a 2.90 ERA, and 1.21 WHIP.He's throwing his fastball more this year (60%), and cur his slider down from 31 to 21% (curve and split % increased). He's gone 5 innings+ in every start this year, and has recorded a quality start in 13 of the 17 games, including 6 in a row.

    In his career versus the Mets, he's 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA, but that's mostly due to 2008 and 2009 starts. Lats year he faced the Mets twice, and pitched very well (14 innings, 2 earned runs, and 1.00 WHIP), but was 1-1 since Johan dominated the Dodgers in his first start.

    State of The Mets, July 6

    Since I've been a MIA since Saturday and the traumatizing experience knowing I need to wear a Yankees hat, the Mets have rolled off 3 straight wins, and are 44-42, but still 6 1/2 games back from the Wild Card leading Braves, because they haven't been losing either.
    • J Reyes missed his 3rd straight game with a strained hamstring, meaning the Mets are winning/better off without him? No, but just wanted to poke some fun at small sample sizes
      • A Grade 1 hamstring strain is truly a day-to-day injury; if the Mets wanted to be conservative, they could've immediately put him on the DL and had him miss the 3 Phillies games after the All-Star break also, but they are trying to survive playing with a 24 man roster, and it's working so far
    • J Bay is beginning to wake up offensively, hitting 2 home runs, even one opposite field, which is the first one I remember in a Mets uniform. 
    • D Wright has yet to beginning running, so he's not ready for a rehab assignment yet, but my best guess is he's 10-14 days away.
      • He's been swinging the bat off a tee, and that is more challenging/stressful in my opinion than running
    • Ike Davis will have a d-day for his ankle in the next 2 weeks, as he once again attempts to run. If he is unable to handle the pounding of running, surgery looks like the most likely option. 
      • L Duda and D Murphy will continue to handle 1st base duty with Davis out
    • July 31 is the trade deadline, and the Mets will be looking to move Beltran, K-Rod, and any other reliever any one is interested in (Izzy, Byrdak)
      • Even if July 31st comes and goes, Beltran and K-Rod should be able to be traded after the deadline since they have large salaries and would pass through waivers. 
    • The Mets last 5 games before the All-Star Break will make the Mets offense look bad, as they face Kuroda, Kershaw, Vogelsong (a surprise All-star this year), then Lincecum and Cain.
      • Hopefully the Mets win 2 of these 5 games, and go into the break 46-45.
    What are your thoughts about the Mets? Should they be buyers/sellers (at the trade deadline, not the Wilpons).

    Let's Go Mets!

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Yanks Mets

    Mets will win because I won't wear a Yankees hat.

    let's go Mets!

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Will we see this tonight?

    I say yes. LETS GO METS!


    Willie Harris

    I meant to mention this earlier, but my thoughts and prayers go out to Willie Harris, his wife, and the rest of his family. God bless them through this most difficult time; I can't imagine the grief and sadness they are going through.

    Mets Yankees

    As I left work today, I made a friendly gentleman's wager with my boss, who is a huge Yankees fan, that the loser of the series would have to wear the respective cap of the winning team. So I'm hopefully going to be posting that picture of him on Wednesday.

    Here is the line up that will beat I Nova:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Paulino
    Tejada
    Niese

    My prediction: Mets win 4-3, as K-rod makes it interesting.

    I may be posting on Twitter ( follow me at Longlivesheas) pictures and updates throughout the game depending on cell service.

    LETS GO METS!

    Scouting Nova again

    I'm on the train to the game, so here is the scouting report from when Nova faced the Mets in May. Http://longlivesheastadium.blogspot.com/2011/05/scouting-ivan-nova.html Nova is 7-4 with 4.26 ERA, a poor K/9 rate (< 5), a pathetic 4.5% swing and miss rate, and a poor walk rate (> 3.5). The Mets got 11 hits off him in May, but only mustered 3 runs in 6 2/3 innings. He's won his last 3 decisions (4 games), but did let up 3 home runs last game vs the Rockies. He's a league average pitcher, and still may be best suited for the bullpen

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Scouting Report Justin Verlander

    This 28-year old ace has thrown 200+ innings 4 years in a row, and is well on his way to doing it again this year. His career record is excellent: 93-55, with a 3.65 ERA (17 of those losses and his ERA is inflated due to his 2008 season). In 2009 and 2010 he was a combined 37-18, with a sub 3.5 ERA.

    We all know Verlander is good, but just how good has he been recently? In his last 6 starts, he's 6-0, gone 8+ innings in all but 1 of those games (7 2/3), and has allowed a total of 4 runs during that span. He struck out 10+ in 3 of those games, while walking 6 hitters total. I'm not sure if there has been another as dominating stretch in recent history.  For the season he's 10-3, with a 2.38 ERA, and 0.84 WHIP. His K/9 rate is very good (8.7), and he's minimizing walks (1.9 BB/9).

    How does he do it? Well he starts off with a plus-plus fastball, that averages > 95 mph (55%), then features three other plus pitches, which almost isn't fair. A 79 mph curve has been his 2nd best pitch this year, and he's increased the use to 20%; his change-up is also filthy, 86 mph. And just to make it even that much harder, he will mix in a slider (86 mph, 8% of his pitches). He throws 1st pitch strike > 61% of the time, and gets an impressive 10.7% swing and miss, 2nd best of his career. He throws 1st pitch fastball 70% of the time.

    The Mets are facing the best pitcher they've seen recently and will have their hands full, but their offense is also clicking on all cylinders the past few days. I always believe good pitching beats good hitting, but I'm excited to see today's game

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Mets are Over .500!

    For the first time in over a month, the Mets are above the .500 mark, due to a laugher of a game, which included 2 grand slams by Bay and Beltran.

    I want to jump on the Mets playoff bus, I really do. But it's tough for me to do that, especially when just yesterday Carlos Beltran told the New York Post he would accept a trade to a contender. So that to me seems like he doesn't believe the Mets are a true contender...

    But, for now, I'm going to continue to watch Jose Reyes dominate the sport, and hope the Mets continue to win. I'd love for nothing for than the Mets to be 3 games over .500 on Friday night when they open up the Subway Series at Citi, and I'll be there and hopefully an energy at Citi Field...

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    State of the Mets, June 27th

    After winning the series in Texas, the Mets are now back to .500 (39-39), and in 4th place, 9.5 games out of 1st place. As far as the Wild Card, 6 teams separate the Mets from the Wild-Card leading Braves, where the Mets are 4.5 games back.
    • Can you believe the baseball season is almost at the halfway mark? I feel like I was down in Florida at Spring Training just a month ago.
    • K-Rod got credit for another game finished yesterday, despite it being an 8-3 game when he came in. That is his 29th game finished, and is on pace for 60 games, 5 more than he needs to vest his 17.5 million dollar contract for next year. 
      • He better be traded/re-structure his contract, or Terry Collins should be forced to pay that salary to K-Rod next year. There's no excuse K-Rod needed to be used yesterday in an 8-3 game.
    • Niese and Capuano both left their last starts with medical concerns, but hopefully are an issue
    • Also on the injury front, D Wright should be back to the Mets in 3-4 weeks. Ike Davis will be re-evaluated at that point and see if he's making progress, or if he may need to have surgery.
      • I haven't commented on Ike's injury that much, because it's tough to make a blanket statement when you/I don't have the full medical report. People pick and chose what they hear/whats disclosed, and rush to judgments. The Mets made the right decision putting him in the boot when they did with the information they had at the time. 
    • Mets play a 3-game set in Detroit, then return home for the Subway Series.
      • I will be going to the Friday night game with a loyal reader of the blog. If anyone else is going, e-mail me and we will try to get together.

    All-Star Selections

    I filled out my first (and probably last) ballot this morning, and here is my starting line-up, first for the National League:

    C B McCann - .379 OBP and 13 home runs makes McCann an easy choice
    1B P Fielder - Having a monster year before free agency
    2B R Weeks - Continues to put up great offensive numbers
    3B C Jones- No very strong candidate, so this is a hat tip as a career accomplishment
    SS J Reyes - No doubter
    OF R Braun - 3rd Brewer to start
    OF M Kemp - Having an MVP season
    OF A McCutchen - underrated because he plays in Pittsburgh

    American League:
    C A Avila - Power is getting him noticed
    1B A Gonzalez- .360 average is pretty good
    2B R Cano - Top slugging % among all 2nd baseman
    3B A Rodriquez - Also has the highest slugging % among AL 3B
    SS A Cabrera - He's helping my fantasy team, and top 2 in OBP, Slug % in the AL
    OF J Ellsbury - .365 OBP and 25 stolen bases, also showing he has some pop (9 HR)
    OF C Granderson - .360 OBP, 21 home runs.
    OF J Bautista - .468 OBP. 23 Home Runs. WOW

    Any strong disagreements out there?

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Scouting report Alexi Ogando

    Ogando started the year out on fire, and put to rest all the critics that thought he belonged in the bullpen. He's 27 years old, and hasd a long rocky road to the majors- he was a failed hitter and was also involved in a marriage for visa fraud. But last year he went from double A to the World Series.

    This year he's 7-2 (14 starts, 88 innings), with a 2.66 ERA. he throws first pitch strikes 58% and generates 8.3% swing and misses for a 6.5 K/9, and only 2 BB/9. He's benefited from a low BAPIP (.229) and high strand rate (79%).

    He's mainly a 2- pitch pitcher( main reason people viewed him as a reliever), with a heavy 95 mph fastball and a power slider. He will throw an occasional change up (5%, 85 mph).

    He is a power arm who limits home runs, but I question his long term effectiveness as a starter despite a Plus plus fastball.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    No Mets Update Tonight

    Instead I'll be here


    Scouting Report Matt Harrison

    The 25-year old lefty has an ideal pitcher's body (6'4" 225 pounds), but often confounded scouts why he wasn't more of a power pitcher/able to get more strikeouts. He was part of the bounty received in the Mark Tex rental from the Braves, and he was once considered the top lefty in the Braves system. He underwent surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2009, and it appears he's finally fully recovered, as his fastball velocity is the highest of his career this year.  Harrison is 21-16 for his career (45 starts, 31 relief appearances), with a 3.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He has never faced the Mets in his career.

    Harrison is a 4-pitch pitcher, with his fastball averaging 93 mph (was 90-92 previous years), and that has been his best pitch this year. He has also started throwing his slider less, but throwing it harder (87 mph), increased his use of his curve (12%, 77 mph), and has a change-up (83 mph). His swing and miss % is below average at 6.8%, and his K/9 rate shows that, 5.6 this year (5 for his career). He walks too many hitters for someone who can't miss bats (3.86 BB/9). He's gotten lucky this year limiting HRs, but also benefiting from a high strand rate and an unsustainable BAPIP. His ERA is 3.16, but his FIP and xFIP are both 4.18. He's 5-6 in 13 starts this year, but he's only let up more than 3 earned runs twice this season, and currently has 7 straight starts with < 3 earned runs/

    Harrison is an interesting pitcher who I wouldn't just write off just yet, especially with the increased velocity shown this year. Some scouts see his future in the bullpen, but I still see a chance he can be a middle of the rotation starter for years to come

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Mets vs A's Thursday matinee

    Godfrey will face this lineup if the rain ever stops:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Duda
    Thole
    Capuano

    My prediction: Mets win the game and the series today, 6-1.

    Lets go Mets!

    Scouting Graham Godfrey

    This was the hardest scouting report I've had to write, because no one has a lot of info on this guy. He's 26 years old (27 in August), and just made his major league debut earlier this month when Brett Anderson went on the DL. He isn't on any top 11, 20 or even top 30 prospect lists. He was drafted in the 34th round by the Blue Jays in 2006, and was traded to the A's in 2007 for Marco Scutaro. With that being said, he did outpitch Tim Lincecum last week (7 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run).

    Godfrey had 9-AAA starts (50 innings), and had a K/9 > 8, BB/9 < 2.5, and a 2.50 ERA, so very respectable numbers. He's 1-0 in his 2 starts for the A's, but his K/9 rate is underwhelming (< 4); he is minimizing walks (1.59 BB/9), and his ERA is 4.76, with a 1.50 WHIP.

    He's a 4-pitch pitcher, 91 mph fastball, 76 mph curve, 81 mph slider, and 82 mph change. None of his secondary pitches are above-average. He uses his fastball and curve as his favorite pitches with 2 strikes, and in true small sample size fashion, he has thrown a fastball in a 3-2 count 100% of the time in his 2 major league starts.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Scouting Gio Gonzalez

    Quick and dirty scouting report

    • Darkhouse pre-season Cy Young candidate
    • 25 years old, threw 200 innings last year, 3.23 ERA and 1.31 WHIP
    • 2.69 ERA this year with 8.5 K/9 innings, but he's walking too many hitters (4.3 BB/9)
    • 93 mph fastball (65%), 80 mph curve (30%), occasional change up (84 mph)
      • Curve is his by far his best pitch, and is his go-to pitch with 2 strikes
    • Lefties are hitting only .213 against him, and 12+ K/9, so expect a lot of righties in the line-up
    He's given up 2 or less runs in 10 of his 14 starts (although he did get lucky and get an ugly start rained out so his stats could be a lot worse.

    Overall, he's one of the top young pitchers in baseball, and going to be tough to beat.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Fan at the game

    This fan wishes he was still at McFadden's...


    Mets vs A's

    Here's the lineup that will score some runs and draw walks vs J Outman:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Paulino
    Tejada
    Gee

    My prediction: gee is unbeatable, and Mets win 5-3.

    Let's go Mets!

    Scouting Report Josh Outman

    This 26 year-old lefty missed all of the 2010 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery in June 30, 2009, which is a little a little long (15+ months versus 12 months typically). He was originally in the Phillies farm system, but was traded to the A's in the Joe Blanton deal. He's appeared in 25 games in his major league career (21 starts), and is 7-4, with a 3.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

    Outman is a 4-pitch pitcher, who averaged 94 mph before surgery, but is now 92 mph. He also has a plus slider (81 mph), an average change-up (79 mph, 18% of his pitches), and a slow curve (75.5 mph). His two best pitches are his fastball and slider. He's only getting swings and misses on 6.6% of his pitches (9.4% before TJ surgery), and his K/9 rate is a tiny 3.77, and his walk rate is 3.45; not a good combo. He's a fly-ball pitcher, but has benefited from allowing only 1 home run in his 28+ innings, or else his ERA may not look as good (3.14; his xFIP is 4.86).

    Couple interesting things to note from his small sample size this season:
    1) He has yet to walk a left-handed hitter (28 batters)
    2) He throws 1st pitch fastball 63% of the time
    3)He rarely throws his slider when he's behind in the count, and saves it for 0-2 and 1-2 counts
    4) He's only thrown 100 pitches once in his 5 starts this season

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Scouting Report Tyler Chatwood

    If you read any information about Chatwood, and you will hear the same 4 or 5 things

    • Bulldog and aggressive mentality, won't quit on anything
    • Can throw mid-90s, with a knee-buckling mid 70s curve, with an improved change-up but needs to continued refinement
    • Has command issues, although it's improved, he still elevates his fastball
    • Diminutive (5'11"), most teams were going to draft him as a SS/CF (he's athletic enough to do it), but was signed away from UCLA when the Angels signed him in the 2nd round in 2008.
    • Despite being only 21 years old, some folks in the Angels organization compare him to Roy Oswalt (Oswalt was still in A ball at that age).
    He came into the year ranked the #2-4 prospect in the Angels system, and he pitched only 1 inning in AAA this year (6 last year). He's 3-4 in 13 starts (75 innings), with a 4.20 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. He's not missing many bats (5% swing and miss rate) and it shows in his pedestrian 4.7 K/9. And the command issues which were highlighted above are clearly evident, as his BB/9 rate is 4.5. He's had 5 games this year that he's allowed 4+ runs, including his last 2 starts. He throws 1st pitch fastball 73% of the time, which is the same % of fastball's he throws in any count. His curveball accounts for 18%, with him throwing only a handful of change-ups a game.

    Some people project him to be a front-line starter if he can harness his stuff/improve his command, but others think his mainly 2-pitch arsenal profiles better as a bullpen arm.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Put It In the Books

    I got another prediction wrong, but I don't care. Pelfrey threw a complete game and dominated, but I'm still saddened by the loss of the 'Big Man' Clarence Clemons, who passed away after complications following a serious stroke earlier in the week. Our prayers go out to his friends and family; you will be missed by millions.

    Carousel Show, Asbury Park, NJ. December 7, 2010

    Mets vs Angels Sat Night

    Here is another Saturday night game...and the Mets face Dan Haren:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Duda
    Paulino
    Pelfrey

    My Prediction: Mets only muster 2 runs, and lose 4-2.

    Scouting Report Dan Haren

    The 30-year old Haren (turns 30 in September), was drafted in the 2nd round out of Pepperdine in 2001, made his debut with the Cardinals in 2003, and was traded to the A's in 2004 for Mark Mulder. The Three-time all-star (2007-2009), was then traded to Arizona for Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, and top-prospect Chris Carter among others. I think that Billy Beane wound up winning that trade, as the Diamondbacks haven't made the post-season since acquiring Haren. Last July I had said that Haren was available for the right price, but apparently the Diamondbacks didn't realize what they could've gotten; instead they wound up with a back-end of the rotation starter (Joe Saunders), minor leaguers (P Corbin, R Rodridguez, and T Skaggs). Haren is extremely durable (hasn't missed a start in 4+ years), and has made 33+ starts and 216+ innings with an ERA under 4 in 5 of the 6 years.  In his career, he's 1-0 in six games (five starts), with a 3.89 ERA, and 1.03 WHIP. Last year he faced the Mets and got a no-decision (6 innings, 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 k's; he did let up 2 home runs to Pagan and Barajas).

    Haren knows how to pitch and isn't afraid to throw any pitch in any count. He hasn't look at video or scouting report of opposing hitters for years, and wants the hitters to have to adjust to him. He has a deliberate delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot with a riding 88-91 mph fastball, a sharp cutter (85 mph, 43% of his pitches), a curve (78 mph) and a late-diving split (85 mph). He uses his split as his strike out pitch in 0-2 and 1-2 counts. His best pitch this year has been by far his cutter, with his split and cutter the best pitches over his career. This year he's getting an outstanding 35% of swings at balls out of the strike zone, and 10% swing and miss rate. Throws 1st pitch strike 64% of the time, so be ready to swing. He's striking out close to 8 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, which is outstanding.

    This year Haren is 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, which speak for itself.

    He's a front-line starter, who is owed $12.75 million in 2011-2012, with a $15.5 million option ($3.5 million buyout) in 2013.

    Another Tough Loss

    Mets had chances to win last night, and had 1st and 2nd with 0 out in the 9th, but the Angels closer realized he had a slider that was unhittable, and the Mets went down feebly, losing 4-3.

    They face Angels ace Dan Haren today.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Mets vs Angels

    Here is the lineup that will face veteran RHP J Pineiro:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Paulino
    Tejada
    Capuano

    My prediction: Mets erase the bad taste left by the " walk off balk off"  and win 6-3, allowing Mets fans to go home happy.

    Let's go Mets!

    Scouting Report Joel Pineiro

    The 32-year old RHP is in his 12th major league season, spending most of his career in Seattle, before signing with the Red Sox in 2007; he didn't succeed in the AL East and he was dumped to the Cardinals, where Dave Duncan worked his sinker ball magic, and revitalized his career. He was signed before the 2010 season to a 2-year, 16 million dollar deal. He's searching for his 100th career win (99-89), and has a 4.33 ERA and 1.34 WHIP for his career. Sounds like a #4 or #5 starter, but he's had multiple DL stints with Shouilder tightness, and has thrown 200 innings only twice in his career, and once since 2004.

    Pineiro is a 4-pitch pitcher, but he is known for his sinker. His sinker's velocity has continued to drop, and now averages 87.6 mph (down from 91 in 2007), and he throws it 64% of the time. His slider is his most effective pitch this year, throws it 16% of the time, 84 mph. His change has been good in the past, but he rarely throws it (83 mph), and it acts like a splitter. His curve averages 77 mph (11%). He increases his use of his slider with 2 strikes. He throws 1st pitch strike 57% of the time, but he heavily relies on his defense since he rarely gets swings and misses (5%). Since he can't get swings and misses, it's no surprise that he has one of the lowest K/9 rates in the majors this year (3.7%). He does minimize walks, 2.2 BB/9, but it's tough to succeed with not being able to miss bats like he does.

    For the year, he's 2-3 in 9 starts (58 innings), with a 4.03 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, and is winless in his last 6 starts. He's been very consistent this year, and has allowed 4 earned runs in each of his past 5 games.

    In his career against the Mets, he's 3-0 (6 starts), but he didn't face the Mets last year.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Awful

    You can't lose that game. Period. K-rod, Duda and Carrasco, this is on you.

    Never thought we would've swept @ Atlanta, but it should've happened.

    3- game series versus the Angels at Citi tomorrow

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Mets at Braves

    Here is the lineup that will face veteran RHP Tim Hudson:

    Reyes
    Tejada
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Bay
    Duda
    Thole
    Gee

    My prediction: Mets are once again trying to get to .500 for the first time since May 20, and Gee has been their best starter (7-0), but the Mets lose 4-2 tonight.

    Let's go Mets!

    Scouting Report Tim Hudson

    Hudson this year is 5-5 in 13 starts (82 innings), with < 5.5 K/9, but he does a great job of minimizing walks (2 BB/9), and gets the majority of his outs on ground balls (58%, down from 63% last year). His ERA is 4.06, with a 1.15 WHIP.

    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 90.6), a cutter 90 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 (84 mph). Over his career his three best pitches have been his fastball, split and slider. He throws first pitch fastball 63% of the time and is relying on his fastball and slider with two strikes, but is willing to throw his splitter 0-2 and 1-2 counts.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Mets in Turner Field

    Here is the Mets line-up that will face the RHP J Jurrjens for the 3rd time:

    Reyes
    Harris
    Beltran
    Murphy
    Pagan
    Duda
    Thole
    Tejada
    Niese

    My Prediction: I'm withholding my prediction tonight in order to congratulate my wife on passing a certification exam (she just found out today). Katie, I'm so proud of you and I knew you would do it! She is now one of only 1100 people that has the specialty designation of PCS (Pediatric Clinical Specialist).

    Let's Go Mets!!

    Scouting J Jurrjens yet again

    This is the 3rd time the Mets have seen Jurrjens this year, with the Mets beating him on June 4th, when he went 6 1/3 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), and he surprisingly struck out 6. He is now 8-2 on the year, with a 1.82 ERA.

    Below is the scouting report from June 4th.


    Jair Jurrjens
    25 years old
    5th major league season
    6'1" 200 pounds
    Bats R/Throws R

    The Mets face 25-year old Jair Jurrjens tonight for the second time this year. Jair Jurrjens was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball in 2009, 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), and a 1.23 WHIP. When most Braves fans were expecting him to improve on those good numbers, I predicted last year when the Mets faced him in April he would regress, and expected a 3.8-3.9 ERA in 2010. Well no one could've predicted the cascade of injuries that hit him (shoulder pain in spring training, followed by a hamstring strain which cost him 56 games, and knee surgery ended his season September 14th). That limited Jurrjens to 20 starts (116 1/3 innings), and he finished with a 4.64 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. What changed to account for the 1.84 ERA difference from 2009 and 2010? His K/9, BB/9 and ground ball rate stayed essentially the same. His 2009 BAPIP was incredibly low (.268), and it regressed back to the mean in 2010 (.300).

    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. He throws his fastball 60% of the time, and it's dropped from 91 mph to 89.5 mph this year, something to keep an eye on. He also throws a decent slider (80 mph), and a change-up (83 mph). He has seen his K/9 rate drop significantly this year to 5.2/9, but he has also cut his walk rate from 3+ to 1.5 BB/9.He's cut the number of 3-ball counts he has gotten to this year from 18 to 15%.

    This year Jurrjens is 7-1 (9 starts, 65 innings), and has a shiny 1.51 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP. It's surprising he's doing that well considering his velocity has decreased this year;he's minimized HR (3 so far), and has left an unsustanible amount of runners on base (88%, career is 75%), while also benefitting from a low BAPIP (.262). His FIP is 2.93, so he's still having a very good year, but not a year for the record books as his standard numbers suggest. He has not let up more than 2 earned runs in a game all year, and has gone 6+ innings in each game.

    On April 16th, he dominated the Mets, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. In 2009, the righty faced the Mets 5 times, and went 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA. Last year he only made 2 starts against the Mets, and was 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.62 WHIP (10 walks in the 12 1/3 innings).

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Mets @ Pirates Monday Night

    Here is the lineup that will try to put up a big number against P Maholm for the 2nd time this month:

    Reyes
    Turner
    Beltran
    Pagan
    Bay
    Paulino
    Murphy
    Tejada
    Pelfrey

    My prediction: I expect some runs to be scored tonight, and its going to take 5 runs to do it. METS WIN and go into Atlanta with a .500 record.

    LET'S GO METS!

    State of the Mets 6/13/11

    The Mets took 2 of 3 to start the road trip in Milw, and have taken the first 2 of 3 vs the Pirates with the final game tonight, Mike Pelfrey vs Paul Maholm. The Mets scored 6 runs in 5 2/3 vs Maholm on June 2nd, but he got a no decision.

    The Mets have won 7 out of their last 10 games, and can get back to .500 for the first time since May 20th with a win tonight. But they still are in 4th place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games back from the Phillies, and 5 1/2 back from the Braves (5 teams between the Mets and Braves for the Wild Card).

    • Chris Capuano has delivered back to back quality starts, but it's nothing compared to the mastery shown by Dillon Gee. Gee is now 7-0 in 9 starts, with a 3.05 ERA, and 1.09 WHIP. He went from a fringe major leaguer, to a potential all-star in a month.
    • The offense continues to be paced by Jose Reyes, who may very well be the National League MVP at this point
      • J Turner, D Murphy are both contributing more than expected at this point.
     This team has definitely been more fun to watch over the past 2 weeks, and hopefully they can arrive in Atlanta tomorrow with a .500 record.

    LET'S GO METS!

      Sunday, June 12, 2011

      Mets Pirates Sunday

      Here is the team that will fave Correia:

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Bay
      Thole
      Tejada
      Capuano

      My prediction; Mets win 5-2

      Saturday, June 11, 2011

      Mets Pirates Saturday Night

      Do the Mets ever play Saturday afternoon's any more? The Mets faced James McDonald on May 31 (6 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run), and here is the line-up that he will face tonight:

      Reyes
      Tejada
      Beltran
      Murphy(3B)
      Pagan
      Bay
      Duda (1B)
      Paulino
      Dickey (struck out 10 Pirates last time, but took the L)

      My prediction: The Mets have won 3 of 4, and will make it 4 of 5 tonight, with Dickey's magic continuing, Mets win 3-0.

      LET'S GO METS!

      Friday, June 10, 2011

      Mets @ Pirates

      The Mets faced C Morton 10 days ago (and let up 11 hits in 6 innings, but only 1 earned run), and here is the line-up that will face tonight:

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Duda (LF, Evans DFA'd)
      Thole
      Tejada
      Gee

      My prediction: I keep predicting the Mets to lose, and they win, so I will predict another Mets loss, this one 4-2.

      LET'S GO METS!

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      Mets @ Brewers

      Mets had a chance to pull within 1 game of .500 and have me hop back on the "mo-mo bus", but now they are 3 our and will fall to 4 games under after they lose to Y Gallardo tonight. Here's the line-up (without Bay for at least the next 2 days)

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Pridie (EWW. He isn't even a major league average hitter, and he's hitting 6th??)
      Thole
      Tejada
      Niese

      My Prediction: Niese would need to throw a shutout to win this game tonight, and although I think he will throw a good game, it won't be enough, and Mets lose 3-1.

      Great Win Tuesday, but Erased by Loss on Wednesday

      All the positive momentum from winning the 2-1 game on Tuesday, and scoring 5 runs in the 8th to take a 6-2 lead last night made me excited and maybe thinking this team is fun to watchand a team to get behind. But then they collapse and lose on a walk-off in the 9th, 7-6.

      Now the Mets need to face a top pitcher young pitcher, 25-year old, Y Gallardo tonight. He's won 6 starts in a row, and hasn't allowed more than 2 runs in any of those games. He's 8-2 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, which is right in line with his career averages (44-26, 3.68 ERA, 1.32 WHIP). His K/9 rate is at a career low this year (7.5), and his swing and miss % is just average as well (8%). He's a 4 pitch pitcher (fastball, curve, slider, and change-up), with his fastball (92 mph) and his slider (86 mph) his two best pitches, but also has an above average curve (80 mph).

      Tuesday, June 7, 2011

      Mets @ Brewers

      Here is the line-up that will most likely loss to S Marcum tonight:

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Bay
      Thole
      Tejada
      Capuano

      My Prediction: Capuano wants to have a nice game versus the Brewers, his former team, but it won't be enough, as the Mets lose 4-1.

      State of the Mets, June 7th

      Haven't done one of these in a while, and after the 1st round of the MLB draft last night and an off-day for the major league club, figured today is a good time.

      • The Mets are 28-31, 7 1/2 games back from the Phillies, and in 4th place in the NL East
        • They are 15-17 at Citi Field, and 13-14 on the road
        • They are 5 1/2 games behind the Wild Card leading Brewers, whom the face tonight
      • D Wright is out another 3 weeks minimum, as is Ike Davis. I'm projecting both to return the middle of July
        • I really have no clue how the Mets are even within 3 games of .500 at this point after these two injuries. The line-up wasn't projected to be a great line-up with these two guys, and it's not pretty without them, but some how they are floating
      • Jason Bay is struggling mightily, and one blog even suggest dropping him to 9th
        • I'm looking like I was wrong on Bay, as I thought he would rebound and hit around 20 home runs this year. The way he looks right now, he may not hit 10.
      • R.A. Dickey is battling plantar fascitis, but it has allowed him to focus more and thrown back-to-back good starts
      • The biggest surprises of the season thus far have been Justin Turner and Dillon Gee, both of whom have to be in the consideration for Rookie of the Year (Turner won it for the month of May, 1st player to do so in Mets history). 
        • Turner is .308/.344/.436, with 11 extra base hits in 117 at bats. 
          • Hu, Emaus and Tejada have/had 1 extra base hit in 113 at bats this season
        • Dillon Gee is 6-0, with a 3.33 ERA in 8 starts (11 games pitched). 
          • He's had great success mainly throwing fastball and change, which accounts for > 75% of his pitches
          • His K/9 rate is average (6.5), and he's walking more than I'd expect (3.33), but he's once again benefiting from an extremely low BAPIP of .232, and his FIP (which normalizes the BAPIP to the mean) is 3.85.
      I wanted to also touch on the draft last night. I have no "expert" opinion on the two they drafted, and don't even need to include their names (you can find them on every other Mets blog). I've read the same thing everyone else has read in terms of their "scouting reports", and watched their 2 min highlight videos, but needless to say, I'm very happy with the picks. The Mets are finally drafting players that have "high upside" versus the conservative regime that would always take the "safe pick." Yes there is a chance neither of these players ever make it to the majors, and there is also a chance that the Mets can't sign them (as they are both rumored to have demands of 3 million +), but I'd rather have that than take someone who at best would be a #4-5 starter, or a utility player at the majors. Give me a prep outfielder who draws comparisons to Andy Van Slke or Shawn Green, even if he hasn't played high school baseball because Wyoming doesn't have a league. Give me a high school pitcher who has touched 97 and has the best prep curve-ball with the 44th pick. These are the players the 'old regime' wouldn't bother to even look at.

      Mets open up a 10-game road trip tonight (Brewers 3, Pirates 4, Braves 3), before returning home to welcome in the Angels and Athletics. I'm projecting a 4-6 road trip.

      What are your thoughts on the current State of the Mets?

      Sunday, June 5, 2011

      Mets braves Sunday night baseball

      Here is the lineup that will struggle to score runs vs Tim Hudson:

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Paulino ( this is a bad sign if he's hitting 6th vs a RHP)
      Pridie ( no Bay)
      Tejada
      Dickey

      My prediction: Mets won't score 3 runs, and that is what they need to do to beat Hudson, as they lose the game and the series.

      Saturday, June 4, 2011

      Mets vs Braves Saturday Night

      Here is the lineup that will face J Jarrjens in the second of 3 night games ( ugh)

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Bay (OUCH, BUT RIGHT MOVE)
      Thole
      Tejada
      Gee

      My prediction: It's a race to 4 runs, and Mets lose 4-3.

      Scouting Report Jair Jurrjens

      Jair Jurrjens
      25 years old
      5th major league season
      6'1" 200 pounds
      Bats R/Throws R

      The Mets face 25-year old Jair Jurrjens tonight for the second time this year. Jair Jurrjens was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball in 2009, 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), and a 1.23 WHIP. When most Braves fans were expecting him to improve on those good numbers, I predicted last year when the Mets faced him in April he would regress, and expected a 3.8-3.9 ERA in 2010. Well no one could've predicted the cascade of injuries that hit him (shoulder pain in spring training, followed by a hamstring strain which cost him 56 games, and knee surgery ended his season September 14th). That limited Jurrjens to 20 starts (116 1/3 innings), and he finished with a 4.64 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. What changed to account for the 1.84 ERA difference from 2009 and 2010? His K/9, BB/9 and ground ball rate stayed essentially the same. His 2009 BAPIP was incredibly low (.268), and it regressed back to the mean in 2010 (.300).

      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. He throws his fastball 60% of the time, and it's dropped from 91 mph to 89.5 mph this year, something to keep an eye on. He also throws a decent slider (80 mph), and a change-up (83 mph). He has seen his K/9 rate drop significantly this year to 5.2/9, but he has also cut his walk rate from 3+ to 1.5 BB/9.He's cut the number of 3-ball counts he has gotten to this year from 18 to 15%.

      This year Jurrjens is 7-1 (9 starts, 65 innings), and has a shiny 1.51 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP. It's surprising he's doing that well considering his velocity has decreased this year;he's minimized HR (3 so far), and has left an unsustanible amount of runners on base (88%, career is 75%), while also benefitting from a low BAPIP (.262). His FIP is 2.93, so he's still having a very good year, but not a year for the record books as his standard numbers suggest. He has not let up more than 2 earned runs in a game all year, and has gone 6+ innings in each game.

      On April 16th, he dominated the Mets, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk. In 2009, the righty faced the Mets 5 times, and went 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA. Last year he only made 2 starts against the Mets, and was 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.62 WHIP (10 walks in the 12 1/3 innings).

      Friday, June 3, 2011

      Mets vs Braves Friday Night

      Here is the lineup that will face Derek Lowe:

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy
      Pagan
      Thole
      Tejada
      Niese

      My prediction: Mets win 5-3.

      LET'S GO METS!


      Scouting Derek Lowe again

      Derek Lowe
      38 years old (birthday was June 1)
      15th major league season
      6'6" 230 pounds
      Bats R/Throws R

      When I saw the Mets were facing Lowe to open the series, I thought the scouting report would be easy, as it seems like we've seen him 5 times each for the past 2 years. Then I heard he was 5-0 in September last year, and began to wonder, "was it just a small sample size and he got lucky, or did he change how he pitched?" He ended the year with a 4.00 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, a nice improvement from 2009 when he was 4.67 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He still had the 2nd highest ground ball % (behind teammate Tim Hudson), but the reason for the change was he went back to throwing his slider and it was a true swing and miss/out pitch. He saw his K/9 rate jump to 6.32 from 5.1 in 2009.

      The 37-year old RHP was a highly sought-after free agent after the 2008 season, and wound up getting a four-year, $60 million contract. The Mets hesitated on giving an aging veteran such as Lowe a four-year contract, and decided on Oliver Perez for 3 years was a better choice. Although he went 15-10 in 34 starts 2009, he gave up 232 hits in 194 innings and had a .301 batting average against. He had a 4.67 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, while also seeing his GB rate decrease to 66% (75% in 2007).

      The 6’6” Lowe throws from a ¾ to low ¾ arm slot, and features a sinking 87-88 mph and a late-breaking slider (80 mph), which has been the key to his success recently. He throws his fastball 66% of the time, his slider 16% of the time (26% in his 2011 starts), and he has increased the use of his change-up (84 mph) this year to 16% (previously was only a 'show-me pitch'). He rarely throws inside/backs hitters off the plate.

      In 2011, he's 3-4 in 12 starts (only 67 innings), with a 4.03 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.  As noted above, he's throwing his slider more often, and his K/9 rate is up over 7.8, which would be the second highest in his 15 year career. He has seen an uptick in his BB/9 rate to 3.6 (2.8 last year), and it's because he's throwing a career low 33% of his pitches in the strike zone, and first pitch strike only 52% of the time, also a career low. He's walked 5 hitters in back to back games his last two outings.

      For his career against the Mets, he has started 10 times in the past 2 years, and 12 starts in his career (17 games) is 5-5 with a 5.75 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. He started five of those games in 2009 with the Braves, and had a 6.94 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, with 10 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. He rebounded in 2010 versus the Mets, as he had a 2.96 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his 4 starts (1-2 record). When he faced the Mets on April 16, he got the win, going 6 innings, 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 k's.

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


      Taken From on Top of the Green Monster, May 29, 2006

      Thursday, June 2, 2011

      Thursday matinee Mets vs Pirates

      Here is the line up that will face P Maholm

      Reyes
      Turner
      Beltran
      Bay
      Pagan
      Paulino
      Evans
      Tejada
      Pelfrey

      My prediction: Pelfrey throws a gem and Mets salvage a series split, winning 4-1.

      LET'S GO METS!

      Scouting Report Paul Maholm

      The 28-year old LHP (turns 29 later this month), is in his 7th major league season, and is considered the Pirates "ace", but its more out of necessity than that he has the stuff to be a #1 starter. His career record is skewed because he hasn't played for a team that's ever finished .500, 49-66, with a 4.39 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. His best season was in 2008, when he posted a 3.71 ERA. He was a far cry from that in the 2nd half of last year, when his fastball barely topped 85 mph, and his ERA finished at 5.10

      Maholm has a deceptive delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm action. He used to throw 87-90 mph, but his average fastball is 87.6 mph, down from 89.5 in 2009. He has a plus change-up (17.5%, 82 mph), an above-average slider (13%, 81 mph), and a slow curve-ball (72 mph). His two best pitches this year are his slider and change-up.

      This year, he is 2-7 (11 starts, 70 2/3 innings), with a 3.18 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His K/9 rate is at a career high (6.11), and his BB/9 is average at 3.18. He limits HRs, and is a ground-ball pitcher. He throws 1st pitch fastball 63%.

      For his career against the Mets, Maholm is 3-3 (8 starts, 45 innings), with a 4.60 ERA and 1.60 WHIP, He got hit around last year in his lone start versus the Mets in September, 3 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs (only 2 earned), 2 walks and one lone strike out.

      Wednesday, June 1, 2011

      Mets vs Pirates

      Here is one of the worst lineups you'll see in all of baseball:

      Pagan
      Turner
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy
      Paulino
      Harris (3B)
      Tejada
      Capuano

      I really think Capuano may be better off hitting clean up with this motley crew...

      My prediction: this offense will not score 2 runs, so that means another loss.

      Scouting Report Kevin Correia

      The 30-year RHP is in his 9th major league season, 3rd organization (formerly with the Padres), who signed a 2 year, 8 million dollar contract with the Pirates this off-season. He's 43-47 for his career, and has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen (116 starts, 127 relief appearances). His K/9 rate is 6.4 and BB/9 is 3.45, with a career ERA of 4.47 and 1.42 WHIP. On the surface it seems like he's a league average pitcher. But when looking deeper, he started to turn the corner in 2009 when he finished with a 3.91 ERA, and was throwing well at the start of last year until his younger brother was killed in a hiking accident in mid-June, and his performance thereafter suffered (understandably so).

      Correia throws 90-92 mph fastball 48% of the time, an 88 mph cutter (15%), 85 mph slider (11%), 85 mph change (10%), and a 77 mph curve (15%). His best pitch is his slider, and he has had some success with his fastball in the past. This year he's getting a paltry 5.3% swing and miss, and he's only throwing 46% of his pitches in the strike zone. With the swing and miss % that low, it's understandable why his K/9 rate this year is 3.8, but his BB/9 is stunning: 1.9. He's transformed from a fly-ball pitcher to a ground-ball pitcher after shifting from Petco Park.

      This year he's 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

      Career against the Mets he's 1-3, with a 2.94 ERA and 1.21 WHIP; his lone win came last year, despite the fact he let up 6 runs in 6 innings.

      Tuesday, May 31, 2011

      Tuesday night, Mets vs Pirates

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

      Pagan
      Turner
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy (3B)
      Evans (1B)
      Thole
      Tejada
      Dickey


      My Prediction: Mets win 5-4, as Dickey struggles to throw 5 innings.

      LET'S GO METS

      And I'm Back!

      I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend, as I certainly did. The little time away from the blog was spent with friends and family, and it was much needed. What has happened in the mean-time?

      The Mets sit at 25-28, 8 1/2 games back from the Phillies, and in 4th place in the NL East. Ike Davis is flying back to NY because his ankle isn't responding how they would like, and D Wright has not yet begun baseball activities as far as I know (original plan was to rest for 10 days, it's now been 14 days). Justin Turner has been a pleasant surprise, but is anyone else sick of having Willie Harris play the infield? And with J Reyes on the Bereavement list (eligible to return on Thursday), no one could've imagined that on any May night, our infield would be D Murphy, W Harris, J Turner and R Tejada. 

      Other things to keep an eye on: MLB Draft is next week, with the Mets being linked to the UNC SS, or an OF from UCONN. Every one will be watching to see if they are taking chances with guys going overslot/taking the best player available.

      What are your thoughts about the current state of the Mets? Are you ready to trade Beltran, K-Rod, Reyes and/or Wright now, or wait another 4-6 weeks to see if we can crawl above .500 and make a wild card run?

      LET'S GO METS!

      Scouting Report James McDonald

      The 26-year old Righty was traded to the Pirates from the Dodgers at the deadline last year, and started 11 games down the stretch for the Pirates, showing some promise, and leaving people scratching their head on why the Dodgers traded him. He's 12-14 in his brief major league career (194 innings, 74 games, 26 starts), with a 4.22 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.

      McDonald is a 3-pitch pitcher, with a fastball that tops out at 96 (92 mph average), a 12-6 curve (76 mph), and a change (81 mph). He uses his curve if he's ahead in the count with 2 strikes, and if he gets to 3-2, he's thrown his fastball 98% of the time this year. He throws 1st pitch fastball 79% of the time. He's a fly-ball pitcher, and he has already let up 9 home runs (53 innings). His K/9 is average (7.6 K/9) and he's walking too many hitters (4 BB/9).

      This year he's 3-3 (10 starts, 53 1/3 innings), 5.23 ERA, and 1.50 WHIP. He's had 4 games this year he's let up 5+ runs, and hasn't let up more than 2 runs in the other 6 games. He has not thrown 7 innings once this year, and has only thrown 100+ pitches twice.

      He's faced the Mets 6 times (2 starts, both in 2010), and has a 4.41 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Both of those starts game in August and September; in August he struggled, allowing 5 runs in 5 innings (including a D Wright HR), while walking 5, but his September start at Citi Field was a different story. He threw 8 scoreless innings, 5 hits, 2 walks, but got the no-decision as the Mets scored the lone run of the game in the 10th inning.

      Friday, May 27, 2011

      Happy Memorial Day Weekend

      Sorry for no scouting reports yesterday or today, and I can't guarantee anything for the rest of the weekend versus the Phillies, as I'm out enjoying Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family.

      For those who have served in the armed forces, I sincerely thank you for your brave service, and making this the great country that it is.

      (My brief prediction which isn't based on much, Mets lose 2 of 3).

      Enjoy the games everyone!

      Thursday, May 26, 2011

      Another Mets loss

      I know I haven't been doing post game recaps, but since a loyal reader sent this along, i had to post it.

      Thanks TC.


      Mets @ cubs

      Big Carlos Zambrano Goes for the Cubs today vs Dickey.

      My prediction: Mets win 3-2. LET'S GO METS!

      Wednesday, May 25, 2011

      Mets Will Win Tonight Lineup

      Here is the lineup that will score plenty of runs off of C Coleman:

      Reyes
      Thole
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy
      Turner
      Pridie
      Tejada
      Gee

      Someone explain to me how Thole wasn't good enough to hit a RHP last night, yet is good enough to hit #2 tonight?

      My prediction: Thole hitting 2nd won't matter, as the Mets some how score early and often, and win in a laughter, 8-2.

      LET'S GO METS!

      Scouting Casey Coleman

      23 year old RHP Casey Coleman comes from a great pitching family (both his grandfather and father were major leaguers), and he made his major league debut last August. He's appeared in 19 games (15 starts), and is 6-5 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. He has never faced the Mets in his brief career.

      This year he's 2-3, with a 6.5 K/9 rate, and 6.5 BB/9 Rate. THAT'S HARD TO DO. Because of the high walk rate, his WHIP is 1.89 and his ERA is 6.03. His swing and miss % is 5.7%, and he only throws 1st pitch strike 47%.

      Coleman's stuff = not all that exciting. 88-92 fastball, good changeup, workable slider/cutter and curveball. His two best pitches are his curve and change up, and he throws them both > 16% of his pitch (each), with his fastball being thrown > 60%.

      His ceiling is a fifth starter or long reliever.

      Tuesday, May 24, 2011

      Mets @ Cubs

      Here is the line-up that will face Ryan Dempster:

      Reyes
      Murphy
      Beltran
      Bay
      Turner
      Harris (CF)
      Paulino
      Tejada
      Niese

      My Prediction: I was told by a little birdy he thinks the Mets are going to win 5-2, but I'm going against the Birdie and say the Mets lose 3-2.

      P.S. Some may wonder why I haven't discussed the New Yorker article/the new SI article. 1) The Real world is getting in the way. 2) It's been assumed the Mets payroll would be around 100 million next season. So why the panic now?

      Let's Go Mets

      Scouting report Ryan Dempster

      A terse look at his numbers for the year (6.91 era, 1.57 whip), and you think this should be an easy night for the Mets. But it is much based on a whole lot of bad luck.

      Dempster is in his 14th major league season, and has thrown 200+ innings each of the past 3 years. He has a 4 & 2 seam fastball (90 mph, 54%), a plus slider  (85 mph, 34%), and a split finger (82 mph, 12%). He's a groundball pitcher, but he's been victimized by the long ball this year (20.4% of his fly balls have been Home runs; league and career average is 11%). He's still striking out a respectable number(8.3), and limiting walks (3.3), but his bapip is .333, and lob % is 61.7 ( career is 71.6%), which should regress back to the norm. His FIP is 4.83, so he should be better than his current ERA stands.

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Mets at Yankees Sunday Afternoon

      Here's the lineup that will face 24 year Ivan Nova:

      Reyes
      Murphy
      Beltran
      Bay
      Martinez
      Turner
      Harris
      Paulino
      Pridie

      Pelfry

      My prediction: Mets win the series and back to 500 and win today by a score of 6-4

      LETS GO METS!!

      Scouting Ivan Nova

      The 24-year old righty was signed out of the Dominican Republic, and briefly left for the Padres organization when they selected him in the rule 5 draft in 2009; he pitched poorly in spring training and was returned to the Yankees. He added some velocity last year, and was called up to the Yankees and pitched decent in 42 innings (4.50 ERA, 1.48 WHIP).

      Nova used to throw 90-91 mph, but he's added velocity and now is 92-94, but can touch 97. He has a high effort delivery which is very deceptive the first time through the order, but hitters adjust the 2nd time around. He also throws a curve and a change-up, but neither pitch is average at this point.

      So far this year he's made 8 starts, and is 4-3 with a 4.33 ERA, and 1.51 WHIP. His K/9 is way to low to survive in the majors, let alone the AL East, 4.95, and his BB/9 is too high as well, > 4.

      His ceiling is a back of a rotation starter, and many think he may wind up in the bullpen for shorter outings.

      Saturday, May 21, 2011

      Mets at Yankees Saturday night

      Same line up as yesterday.

      My prediction: Mets Win 4-2!

      LETS GO METS!

      Scouting Report A.J. Burnett

      Can you believe A.J. Burnett is 34, and is in his 13th season as a major leaguer. That surprised me, because you would think he would be a little more consistent than the maddeningly inconsistent that is A.J. Burnett. 114-103 career record, with a 3.99 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 rate, and 3.7 BB/9 rate; does that sound like someone who is in his 3rd year of a 5 year, 82 million dollar deal?  There were people calling for the Yankees to completely cut ties with Burnett after last year's disaster down the stretch, when his ERA down the stretch was 6.61. And that's way too much money to just eat, so he's back for another year; plus, who else do the Yankees have to replace him?

      A.J. Burnett's stuff can be filthy, so filthy in fact, that he needs the American League in wild pitches. If you had asked baseball scouts who has the best "stuff" in baseball, Burnett would definitely get votes, and probably be in the top 5. His fastball used to sit in mid-90s, but his fastball velocity is down to 92.4 (was 94 average in 2009), an 82 mph curve (30% of his pitches), and an 88 mph change-up (not a big enough differential between his fastball, maybe a classification error). His curve-ball is by far his best pitch.

      This year Burnett is the same pitcher as he was last year; he's 4-3 (9 starts, 56 1/3 innings), with a 3.99 ERA, and a 1.17 WHIP (due to a very low BAPIP of .235). His K/9 rate, 6.71 is the lowest since 2001, and his BB/9 rate is 3. He's let up 25 HR in each of the past 2 years, and he's let up 9 already, so he is still prone to break down and have a big inning.

      Burnett didn't face the Mets last year, and has thrown over 110 innings against them in his career, but 98 innings came before 2005, so I'm not even going to bother posting his stats against the Mets.

      It's amazing that he's making 16 million dollars a year, and has never made an all-star team; although his name elicits expectations that he could throw a no-hitter, he really is just an average pitcher at this point.

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      Mets (20-21) @ Yankees (23-19)

      Here is the line-up that will face "The Chief" Freddy Garcia tonight, in the 1st of 6 subway series games this year:

      Reyes
      Murphy
      Beltran
      Bay
      Martinez (DH)
      Turner
      Thole
      Pridie
      Tejada

      Dickey P

      My Prediction: The Mets are trying to get back to the .500 mark, and I think it will be a race to 5 runs.  I'm on the Mets band-wagon tonight, as they win a close one, 5-4. Let's hope that Tejada doesn't try to pull a Luis Castillo...

      LET'S GO METS!

      Scouting Report Freddy Garcia

      Freddy is in his 13th big league career (turns 35 next month), and has turned into a "crafty righty", or a serviceable back-of-the-rotation pitcher. He made 2 All-Star teams back in the 2001 and 2002 with the Mariners. His career record is 135-90, with a 4.11 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, but he hasn't posted a sub-4 ERA since 2005 with the White Sox, when he was throwing 91-92 mph. He's a fly-ball pitcher who got victimized by U.S. Cellular Field last year, and it is possible that the same thing will/is happening this year at the New Yankee Stadium (when will people stop saying New?)

      Garcia has seen his velocity steadily drop over his career due to shoulder issues (rotator cuff and labral repair in 2007), and his average velocity is now 87 mph (93 mph in 2002). He realizes that's not going to be very successful in the big leagues, so he only throws it 36% of the time, and relies heavily on his 81 mph slider (26%), and his split-finger (20%, 79 mph). He also throws a curve (72 mph), and a change-up (80 mph), to keep hitters guessing and giving them different looks. So far this year, his curve, split and slider have been above average pitches for him.

      So far this year, he's 2-3 in 6 starts (1 relief appearance; 36 1/3 innings), and has posted a 3.22 ERA (4.71 FIP), 1.35 WHIP, with an average K/9 (7.4), and below average BB/9 (3.7, but that was mainly due to one game he walked 5 batters). His ERA is so low due to a high strand rate (86.5%, 73% for his career), and a low BAPIP (.269, .282 for his career). He has been prone to the long-ball, allowing 6 home runs, and they've all come in the last 4 games (23 1/3 innings).

      He's faced the Mets twice in his career, once in 2003, and once in 2007; if anyone bothers to try to gain any information from these stats, you are wasting your time.

      Freddy Garcia would've been a typical Omar Minaya "scrap-metal" pick-up, but he is a lot better on the Yankees as their offense can cover up for some of his mistakes.

      Thursday, May 19, 2011

      Here is this afternoon's lineup

      Livan Hernandez will not throw 40% of his pitches in the strike zone to this lineup

      Reyes
      Thole
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy
      Turner
      Pridie
      Tejada
      Gee

      My prediction: Mets solve Livan, getting 8+ hits, and Mets sweep the 2 game series, winning 6-4.

      LETS GO METS!!

      Scouting Livan Hernandez Again

      Livan faced the Mets on April 28th, so here's his scouting report, with updated stats. He's 3-5 (9 starts, 57 1/3 innings), 3.92 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, a terrible K/9 (4.55), and average BB/9 (2.8). He threw 8 innings against the Mets and got the win (8 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 W, 5 K), but since then has lost 3 straight games, allowing 24 hits in 18 innings.

      Livan Hernandez
      36 years old (seems like he should be 40)
      16th major league season
      6'2" 245 pounds
      Bats R/Throws R

      I widely assume that every single baseball fan knows 36-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 16 years and the data from his early starts against the Mets are meaningless. His career ERA is 4.38 and last year (3.66) it was under 4.0 since 2005; his WHIP was below 1.5 for the first time since 2005 as well (1.32).

      Looking at his pitch data, the only thing he has changed is that he is throwing a few more sliders now than in the past (20% vs 17%) and increased his curveball to 14% this year from 6% in 2009. His fastball averages about 84 mph, change-up 77 mph, slider 77 mph and curve-ball (eephus) 66 mph. Last year his two best pitches were his fastball (?!) and his curve ball.

      He only throws strikes 39% of the time, and has a poor swing and miss rate (6%). What makes Livan successful is hitters swing and make contact at 77% of the pitches that he throws outside of the strike zone (league average is 66%), which results in a lot of weak ground balls etc.

      This will be his 39th career start versus the Mets. That's a whole lot of starts. He started versus the Mets 5 times in 2010, and had a shiny 1.89 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.  Hopefully the Mets are a more disciplined hitting team this year versus last.

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      Will the Mets play tonight?

      This is the lineup that will face Gorzelanny tonight or tomorrow

      Reyes
      Turner (3B)
      Beltran
      Bay
      Murphy ( even vs a lhp?)
      Paulino
      Hairston
      Tejada
      Niese

      My prediction: Mets will beat Gorzelanny if/ when they face him, 4-1, behind a strong outing for Niese