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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doc halladay is good

Couldn't watch the game because fox thought tampa bay vs the angels was a better game to show in boston...

Mets try to avoid a sweep and 4 game losing streak vs Cliff Lee tomorrow night.

Game 27 Mets @ Phillies

Here is the line-up that will try to avoid being no-hit by Roy Halladay:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Thole
Pridie
Niese

My prediction: Mets get shut out, extend the losing streak to 3, final score 4-0.

LETS GO METS, prove me wrong...

Scouting Roy Halladay again

Roy Halladay
33 years old (34 in May)
14th major league season
Bats R/Throws R

Roy Halladay = Very, very good.
The End.

You want more of a scouting report than that? Ok, ok. I'll let you know why he will be earning 20 million dollars a year for the next two years. He's a 7 time all-star, including 5 of the last 6 years, and won the Cy Young award last year, his second of his career.

He is a workhorse, pitching over 220 innings each of the last five years, including 250 innings last year. He strikes out > 7.5 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, for a K/W ratio over 5 the past three years, one of the best in the major leagues  He doesn't allow home runs (< 1 HR/9), and his highest WHIP since 2005 was 1.24 (1.04 in 2010). He is a ground-ball pitcher and attacks the hitters with strikes, making it difficult to run up his pitch count. Easily leads baseball in complete games over the past 6 years, having 9 complete games each of the past 3 years.

His stuff: nasty. Throws 90-92 mph fastball, a filthy 90 mph cutter, a plus curve-ball that he throws around 78 mph, and added a plus split-finger/change-up last year which he threw 11.5% (84 mph). He uses his fastball or cutter 70% of the time, and the curve or change the remaining 30%. He's increased the use of his split/change from 4 in 2009 to 14% in 2011. All four of his pitches were plus last year, and again this year in the small sample size. He will throw any pitch with two strikes. Yes, he's that good.

This year Roy is 3-1 in 5 starts, 2.41 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, with 9.4 K/9, and 1.45 BB/9. WOW. He's thrown 112+ pitches each of his last 4 starts, including 1 complete game and 8 2/3 innings last game. He's also throwing his cutter 47% of the time, which is attributed to his high K/9 rate, and has a swing and miss % of 10.5, which would be a career high (crazy for a 14 year veteran).

For his career, he's 7-2 against the Mets in 9 starts, but he was 4-0 in his 4 starts in 2010 (2.56 ERA, 0.821 WHIP, including only 2 walks, and 28 Ks). And he beat them on April 7, going 7 innings and 0 earned runs (6 hits, 1 walk, 7 ks).

Sit back and watch gentlemen, because we are watching a Hall Of Famer, who has been at his peak the past few years and is a treat to watch.

Well that was disappointing

Ryan Howard hit 2 home runs including a grand slam (18 unanswered grand slams now and counting), and the Mets lose 10-3.

Pelfrey was clearly fatigued and couldn't get out of the 5th inning.

Mets have their hands full to avoid getting swept as they face Halladay and Lee the next two days.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Night Mets at Phillies

Here is the line-up that will face rookie RHP Vance Worley:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Thole
Pridie
Pelfry

My prediction: even though Pelfry has lost 11 pounds since his last start, Pelfry will go 6+ innings limiting the Phillies to 2 runs, leading the Mets to a 6-4 victory.

LETS GO METS!


Scouting Report Vance Worley

Vance Worley
23 years old
2nd Major League Season (5 games/2 starts in 2010)
6'2" 230 pounds (was 205 pounds in 2010)
Bats R/Throws R

Profile: He was drafted in the 20th round out of high school in 2005, but went to Long Beach State for 3 years, after which he was then drafted by the Phillies in the 3rd round. He started 67 games coming into this year in the minors, and was 20-21 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His K/9 rate was only 6.6 in the minors, but did throw a lot of strikes, with a 2.4 BB/9 rate. He was ranked #11 in the baseball america phillies prospect rankings.

Most Mets fans/baseball fans don't know Vance Worley, and I don't blame you. He was competing for the 5th starter job this spring when the Phillies were debating trading Joe Blanton, but was sent down to AAA, where he has started the year very well.  In 3 starts in AAA this year, he's 1-2, but with a 2.55 ERA, and 20 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.

Stuff: Worley's fastball sits between 88-92 and touches 94, with a solid slider (82-84 mph), an average curve (74 mph) and a change-up (85 mph) that he sometimes telegraphs by slowing his arm down. He throws strikes and works ahead in the count. He has some deception in his delivery which could give Mets hitters trouble seeing him for the 1st time.

Projection: He doesn't have a plus pitch and relies largely on command, his ceiling isn't that high (4th starter at best), but could be a back of the rotation pitcher making the league minimum.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mets Lose, but Still Win a Road Series

It was a close game, but the Mets lose a tough game 4-3.

Still have to be pleased they win the series, and travel to Philadelphia to start a 3-game series and face a pitcher who has appeared in only 5 big league games (2 starts) instead of 'country Joe' Blanton, who went on the DL with elbow impingement. Mets need to win the 1st game of the series, because they face the two studs of the Phillies rotation, Halladay and Lee Saturday and Sunday.

There will be limited game coverage this weekend as I'll be away for the weekend in Boston, but the pitching scouting reports will be posted as usual in the morning.

LET'S GO METS!

Game 25: Mets @ Nationals

The Mets have faced Livan Hernandez 37 times in his career, but they are hoping to solve him better than they did last year, where he had a sub 2.00 ERA in 5 starts against them. Here is the line-up that will face the 36-year old veteran right-hander:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran (He may need a day off to rest his knees soon)
Bay
Davis
Thole
Harris
Capuano

Capuano is making his 4th start, and he's 2-1 with a 5.95 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. While those numbers are ugly, he posted a quality start last time out, going 7 innings versus the Astros, allowing only 6 hits, 2 walks and 1 run, while striking out 4. His WHIP is very high due to the .344 BAPIP (laregly from his first two starts).

My Prediction: The Mets will win the series finale 7-4, and go into Philadelphia 1 game under .500 and winners of 7 in a row.



LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Livan Hernandez

1st pitch thrown by a NY Met at Citi Field, (exhibition game versus Red Sox)
Livan Hernandez
36 years old (seems like he should be 40)
16th major league season
6'2" 220 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.


This season Livan is 2-2 in 5 starts (31 innings), with a 3.48 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. His K/9 rate is terrible (4.35), but he has limited HRs (2) and walks (2.6 BB/9). He only throws strikes 44% of the time, and has a poor swing and miss rate (5.3%). What makes Livan successful is hitters swing and make contact at 78.5% 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 38th 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, April 27, 2011

And the ball game is over!

Mets have won 6 games in a row, and showed major character coming back TWICE in the 8th and 9th inning. Thats a hell of a BATTLE!

Mets face the ageless Livan Hernandez tomorrow as they try to sweep their second straight series.

LETS GO METS!

Game 24: Mets @ Nationals

This is the line-up that will try to beat Tom Gorzelanny for the second time in this young season.

Reyes
Turner(is this a Jerry Manuel line-up again? 2nd baseman doesn't have to automatically hit in the 2 hole!)
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Hairston
Nickeas
Dickey

Dickey is a 1-3 in his 4 starts, with a 4.10 ERA, and 1.59 WHIP, but he threw 8 innings last start and will look to build on that.

My Prediction: Mets will lose 4-3, and stop their winning streak at 5.


LET'S GO METS!

J Zimmermann- Swing and Miss Rate

In yesterday's scouting report of Zimmermann, which can be found here, I said to keep an eye on the number of swing and misses that Zimmermann got, as it has been significantly lower this year (although his stuff has remained the same).

Well last night the Mets hitters didn't swing and miss a single time vs Zimmermann in 5+ innings (73 pitches). This would lead me to believe that the young man is tipping his pitches, so the Mets know exactly what's coming.

Your thoughts?

Scouting Tom Gorzelanny again

Tom Gorzelanny
28 years old
7th major league season
6'2" 207 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The former Pirates prospect was traded to the Cubs mid-season 2009, and was traded this January for a trio of prospects after the Cubs acquired Matt Garza. He has been wildly inconsistent during his major league career, starting 95 games, (36-37 career record), with a 4.68 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. His best year was in 2007 when he had a 3.88 ERA and won 14 games, but the Pirates made it throw 30+ meaningless innings in September, and he hasn't been the same since (highlighted by a higher BB/9 rate than his K/9 rate in 2008).  Last year for the Cubs he threw 136 innings (29 games, 23 starts), with a 4.09 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, due to his high BB/9 rate of 4.5. He can be a useful arm in the back-end of a rotation.

He has a herky-jerky delivery (turns his back to the hitters to create deception), and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws 88-92 (velocity dropped from 91 to 2009 to 89.8 to 2010), an average change-up that runs down and away from righties (83 mph), and decent slider (usage jumped to 22% last year) and an occasional curveball. He's a fly ball pitcher who has swing and miss stuff (9 K/9 in 2009), but also has inconsistent command and  has struggled with walks previously (6 W/9 in 2008). He struck out 10.4/9 versus lefties last year, so expect to see the line-up loaded up with righties.

He's pitched against the Mets 10 times, including 6 starts, and is 2-4 with a 5.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He started once last year against the Mets in April with the Cubs, and threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7, but took the loss. He faced the Mets this year on April 9th and took the loss, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing 5 runs (2 home runs to Beltran) on 4 hits, and 2 walks, while striking out 8.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 GAME WINNING STREAK!

"And the Mets are 3 games within....


.500" - Gary Cohen


CY didn't last 5 innings as I predicted earlier today, but the bullpen threw very well, and the Mets won 6-4.

Don't look now, but the Mets could arrive into Philly on Friday with a 7 game winning streak...sssh...

Game 23: Mets @ Nationals

Here is the line-up that will face hard-throwing righty Jordan Zimmermann.

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Thole
Pridie
C Young

Chris Young is making his first start back since his first DL stint with bicep tendonitis (his last start was April 10th versus the Nationals). "When healthy", he's thrown well this year (1-0 in 2 starts, 1.46 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) but that's been the case throughout his career. Here is the pre-season scouting report on Young.

My Prediction: Young doesn't make it through 5 innings, and D Gee has to throw 2+ innings (he threw 93 pitches on Saturday, so this would be his normal bullpen day). The Mets 4-game winning streak comes to an end, losing 5-3.

Scouting Jordan Zimmermann Again

Jordan Zimmermann - #27

Pictures taken at Citi Field April 29, 2009
24 years old (25 in May)
3rd Major League Season (24 career starts)
6'2", 220 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Profile: 2nd round pick in 2007, who has been pushed through the minor leagues and he has responded and performed at every level. He is being used as the comparison/model for Strasburg's rehabilitation program.
Lot of stress going to be placed on that elbow...Wonder why he had TJ. Picture from April 2009
Zimmermann has an electric arm, but still the same mechanics that may have lead him to Tommy John surgery in the first place. Picture from April 2011

Good: He has a hard fastball, which tops out at 95-96 mph (average 93 mph), a plus slider (85 mph), and also mixes in a curve (77 mph), and change (85 mph). He has thrown more sliders than his curve since his comeback from Tommy John surgery (7 starts in 2010). His career K/9 rate is 8.5, and BB/9 is < 3, which is a reason for optimism. He is a good athlete who fields his position well, and even DH'd in college when he wasn't pitching. He is ranked the #3 Nationals player (behind Strasburg and Harper) for 25 years and under.
Bad: He was plagued by home runs last year when he returned from Tommy John (warning, small sample size). Although he has great stuff, he hasn't quite put it all together yet, with a 4.63 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. His FIP is 4.15 (3.59 in 2009).

He's made 4 starts in 2011, and is 1-3, with a 3.70 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, with his only win coming on the Mets home opener. He has yet to throw 100 pitches in a game, and is averaging only 6 innings per start. He struggled in his last start versus the Cardinals, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. One thing that caught my eye when looking through his stats so far this year, is that his swing and miss % is way down to 5.5% (was 9% before the surgery). He has great stuff, but has there been a shift in pitching philosophy to pitch to contact versus put hitters away? This is a number I will be keeping my eye on throughout the game/season.

Against the Mets in his career, he's started 5 times, and is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.32 WHIP (with 2 bad starts in 2009 inflating those numbers).

Zimmermann is a future #1/#2 starter, who can be dominating, but still is finding his way to be consistent.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mets SWEEP Diamondbacks!

Mets offense came through vs Galarraga (as predicted pre-game), with D Wright hitting 2 home runs, Jason Pridie hitting his 1st major league home run, and Niese throwing a quality start (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits and 2 walks), leading the Mets to an 8-4 win. This puts the Mets on a 4-game winning streak, and have a much deserved day off tomorrow, before embarking on a 6-game road trip to Washington (10-10) and Philadelphia (15-6). The Mets will face J Zimmermann, Gorzelanny, and the age-less Livan Hernandez.

The Mets are 9-13, and 6 1/2 games behind the Phillies (not that I've paid attention to the Phillies, but wow, 6 1/2 games in April is not pretty).

Game 22: Mets vs Diamondbacks

People thought I was crazy when I was talking sweep on Friday, but here it is on Easter Sunday and the Mets are in a position to sweep the Diamondbacks. The 2-pitch A. Galarraga will take the mound, and he will not be perfect today. Here's the line-up:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Thole
Pridie (wasn't sure if they were going to try to get W Harris a game today, but that would be the worst defensive outfield in baseball history)
Niese

For Niese's scouting report click here. Niese is 0-3 in 4 starts this year, but showed signs he's starting to turn the corner last start, going 7 innings. He will repeat that performance today.

My Prediction: SWEEP! Mets win 6-1, and earned a day off tomorrow, before traveling to Washington.

LET'S GO METS, and Happy Easter to all!

Scouting Report Armando Galarraga

Armando Galarraga
29 years old
5th major league season (81 starts)
6'4" 180 pounds (Acosta-esqe weight)
Bats R/Throws R

Everyone knows Galarraga's name and he will forever be linked to Jim Joyce and what is now universally known as the "imperfect game." What most people don't know is his background and if he's going to be remember for anything else in his career (my opinion: NO). The 29-year old was signed as an international free agent by the Expos when he was 16, and was traded to the Rangers in 2005 in the deal for Alfonso Soriano. He was then traded to the Tigers in 2008 for a minor leaguer (Michael Hernandez). Everyone loved his slider, and he used it often, but had numerous injury problems (Tommy John and recurrent elbow pain since), and he also lacked a development of a 3rd pitch to get lefties out consistently. In 2008 for the Tigers, his first full year in the majors (debuted in 2007) he was 13-7, with a 3.73 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, finishing 4th in ROY voting and the Tigers thought they had a future rotation fixture. He was getting by laregly based on luck, as his advanced metrics predicted his impending doom. He had a below league average K/9, and had an unsustainable BAPIP of .247 and a high LOB % rate. His FIP for 2008 was 4.88. Well last year his stats did correct, and he went 6-10 with a 5.64 ERA and 1.56 WHIP (largely due to normal regression of BAPIP to .302). Righties have a tough time with his fastball/slider, as they have only hit .235/.292/.397 versus him in his career. Lefties are a different story; .272/.354/.499. As we will see below, he doesn't have an out-pitch/anything he can get lefties to swing and miss consistently.

He has a clean motion, where he stays tall and throws from a 3/4 arm slot. He throws a 91 mph sinking fastball to both sides of the plate (56% of his pitches), and his plus slider that is very tough on righties (86 mph). As mentioned previously, he relied heavily on his slider and threw it > 38% of the time in 2008 and 2009, but this year that's increased to 41%.  He throws his change-up only a few times a game (3% down from 12%) and he tends to telegraph it, slowing both his arm and his body down. His slider has been his best pitch this year/and in his career, and when he gets to 2 strikes, he throws his slider > 50% of the time.  He has been getting a lot more swings and misses switching over to the National League this year, which is close to 11% (league average 8.5%).

During his 'imperfect game', he did a great job of throwing his fastball inside to righties and then got them to chase his slider low and away. Versus lefties he did a great job locating his fastball on the outer half of the plate; but he only got one swing and a miss from a lefty during that game.


This year, he's 3-0 in his 3 starts, with a 6.00 ERA, and 1.33 WHIP. He has benefit from the Diamondbacks scoring 5+ runs in each of his starts, and he's needed it, because he's allowed 6 home runs in his starts, and at least 3 runs in each start. He has seen an uptike in his K/9 rate (7.0, career is 5.75).

He faced the Mets once last year and got the win, going 6 innings and allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and only 1 strikeout. Looking at his stats and his pitches, he seems destined to the bullpen as a righty-specialist. The Mets should definitely start Murphy and Thole today to load up on the lefties versus Galarraga today.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Happy Recap

Barry Enright was who we thought he was: went 5 2/3, let up 5 runs on 12 hits.

Dillon Gee also was who we thought he was: 6 innings, only 2 earned runs, and had good control (1 walk).

Jason Bay hit a home run which was much needed, and hopefully a sign of things to come (but I'm not holding my breath).

Mets go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, 1:10 start weather permitting.

Game 21: Mets (7-13) vs Diamondbacks (8-10)

The Mets are trying to continue their winning ways and Barry Enright stands in their way. He was very effective against them last year, but I'm confident the Mets will solve him today (if the weather permits). Here's the line-up:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Thole
Pridie
Gee
For Gee's scouting report from spring training, click here. In his first start, he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing only 1 run. He threw his fastball/change-up 92% of his pitches, but had an improved 9% swing and miss rate, resulting in 4 strikeouts, while walking 2.

My Prediction: Gee is pitching to keep his spot in the rotation alive, and he pitches to his ability (6 innings, 3 runs), but it's enough, as the Mets win 5-3, and the Mets will be in a position to sweep tomorrow afternoon.

LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Barry Enright

Last year, the biggest "keyword search" for Long Live Shea Stadium was Barry Enright Scouting Report. That means either of two things: 1) No one has any idea who he is. 2) Barry Enright has a lot of friends and family who liked my scouting report last year. 

The 25-year old Right-hander Barry Enright was a second-round pick in 2007 out of Pepperdine, where he was the 73rd pick, which was the highest Pepperdine player drafted since 2001 (former teammate Dan Haren and former big leaguer Noah Lowry). Enright made his major league debut June 30 last year, and limited the Cardinals to one run in five innings in a 101-pitch performance. In his first season last year, he went 6-7 (17 starts), and finished with a solid ERA (3.91), and a 1.27 WHIP, but looking further at his stats reveal he's not going to repeat those numbers again. He K/9 rate is ugly (4.45), as was his swing and miss % (6.6) and he was extremely lucky with BAPIP (.248) and an unsustainable LOB % (85%). Due to these factors, his FIP was 5.62.

Enright is a pure finesse pitcher who survives by mixing up four average pitches. He throws an upper-80s fastball that occasionally hits 91 (88 mph average), and three secondary pitches (curve, slider, changeup) that all rate as average, with his change-up being a plus pitch. He throws all of his pitches for strikes and at any point in the count, succeeding on the ability to paint the corners and keep hitters off balance. He has a big frame (6'3" 220 pounds), clean mechanics, and no injury history of note. He's a fly-ball pitcher who has little margin for error (let 20 HRs in 99 innings last year), especially in Chase Field. He uses his slider as his strike out pitch and he rarely throws a change-up when he's ahead of the count. Most scouts label his upside as a #5 starter, and is a "lesser Ian Kennedy."

This year, he's 0-1 with 3 starts, but has been consistent. He's gone 5+ innings each start, but also has let up 4 runs in each of the starts. He continues to give up home runs, including 2 in his last start versus the Giants. His ERA sits at 6.23, and a 1.50 WHIP. His swing and miss % has upticked slightly to 7.6% (but it's still below average), and his K/9 has risen to 6.2 (still below average).

He faced the Mets twice last year (July 20 and July 31),  and threw very well. His 1st start he went 8 innings, allowed only 1 run, and surprisingly struck out 8. He followed that up with another quality start, going 6 innings, and allowed 2 runs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the Ball Game Is Over!

Pelfrey throws his best game of the year, Ike blasts a monster HR to straight away center field, and the Mets take the first game of the series vs the Diamondbacks, with a 4-1 victory.

Enright vs Gee tomorrow afternoon, which is another winnable game. My boss laughed at me at work today when I told him the Mets could sweep the weekend, and we are 1/3 of the way there!

LET'S GO METS!

Game 20: Mets vs Diamondbacks

Jason Pridie is playing CF for the Mets, as Angel Pagan went on the DL with an oblique strain.

The Mets should be able to score some runs vs Joe Saunders, but this is one of the worst 7-9 hitters in baseball...

Reyes
Murphy (even vs a lefty?)
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Nickeas (I'd still rather see Thole)
Pridie (best defensive OF in the Mets minor leagues= reason for call up)
Pelfrey

My Prediction: Mets win 4-3, behind an above average (and best of the year for Pelfrey), as the Mets will definitely win the series, but I'm going out on a limb and saying SWEEP.



LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders
29 years old
7th major league season
6'3" 210 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

Joe Saunders was a 1st round pick by the Angels in 2002, and was one of the main pieces in the trade that sent Dan Haren to the Angels last year. Everyone is the sabermetric community laughed/felt bad for Arizona, because their then GM (Jerry DiPoto) quoted Saunders career winning % as a way to show he's a very good pitcher. Is that the case?

To Jerry DiPoto's credit, he does have a shiny winning percentage (he went 33-14 in 2008 and 2009), unfortunately that's not the best indicator of a true pitcher's talent. His career ERA is 4.33, and 1.41 WHIP, which is more of a middle/back of rotation pitcher. He has a very low K/9 rate (5.1 career), but at least he minimizes walks (< 3 BB/9).

Saunders is a four pitch pitcher, who has a smooth arm action, and throws from a 3/4s arm slot. He throws his fastball to both sides of the plate and has some sink to it, and sits between 87-91 mph, and throws it 62% of the time. His 2nd favorite pitch is his change-up, which he throws 17% of the time (82 mph). His curve was his best pitch last year (76 mph), and his slider was 2nd best (80-82 mph). He still throws his fastball > 50% of the time with two strikes, but his curveball other pitch he likes to throw in an 0-2/1-2 count. As noted above, he doesn't get a lot of strike outs, and his swing and miss % was 5.9 last year, and 5.2 this year.

Saunders is off to a rough start this year, 0-2 (3 starts), with only 1 quality start to note, and his ERA sits at 6.32, WHIP = 2.11. His BB/9 rate is indicative of a small sample size, as it's doubled from his career average, and is 5.74, while is K/9 rate is miniscule 3.45. The last two starts he's let up 4+ runs in 9 2/3 innings combined.

Saunders has never faced the Mets in his career (just joined the National league last year).

Recap: he's a decent back of the rotation pitcher (in the mold of a Chris Capuano), but not the pitcher the Diamondbacks thought they were getting when they traded ace Dan Haren.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nice Win for the Metsies

Capuano threw excellent, Wright broke out, and the Mets win an easy one for a change.

Only negative is on the night they get Jason Bay back, Pagan leaves with a left side injury. Can never be a perfect day...

Mets open a winnable 3 game series vs the Diamondbacks tomorrow when they face J Saunders.

Game 19: Mets vs Astros

Mets try to salvage one game of this series vs lefty J.A. Happ:

Reyes
Pagan
Wright
Beltran
Bay
Davis
Turner
Nickeas
Capuano

My prediction: Mets will win tonight, 6-2, behind a strong effort by Capuano.

LETS GO METS!

Scouting Report J.A. Happ

The 28 year-old was 1 3rd round pick in 2004 and was one of the big chips the Phillies traded last year to get Oswalt. He is 20-9 in his major league career, with a 3.42 ERA (but a 4.43 FIP), and 1.32 WHIP. His career BAPIP is .268, thus the reason why the low ERA compared to his FIP.

He's a fly-ball pitcher, who throws from a high 3/4s arm angle and creates deception. His fastball sits between 88-90, with an 84 mph slider, 75 mph curve, and 79 mph change-up. He has increased his curve ball use this year to 14% (from 7%). He doesn't have swing and miss stuff (7.6% career, 5.8% this year), which leads to his below average K/9 rate (6.7 career), and just a mediocre walk rate (3.8 BB/9 career).

This year he's 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA, 1.55 WHIP due to a 5.3 BB/9. He's gone 7+ innings the last two starts (vs Florida and San Diego).

He's started 4 games against the Mets (2 relief appearances), and is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He did not face the Mets in 2010.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another awful loss

Excruciating

That sums it up.

5-13 and the Mets still have the worst record in the majors.

Try to avoid being swept tomorrow, Happ vs Capuano, 7:10 start.

Game 18 Mets vs Astros

The mets have the worst record on baseball, and face the young, hard throwing Bud Norris.

Reyes
Thole
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Pagan
Harris
Murphy
Dickey

My prediction: As bad as the Mets have played, they aren't this bad. They will win the game and the series. Dickey throws 7+ innings, maybe even a shutout. Mets score 4 runs.

Anyone want to go to the game tomorrow night?


Scouting Report Bud Norris

Bud Norris
26 years old
6'0" 225 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Quick and dirty scouting report for Bud Norris. He's a fly-ball pitcher who has a heavy fastball (hits 96 mph), a hard slider and a change up that fades from away from lefties. His slider is one of the best in baseball (in the company of Josh Johnson and Max Scherzer). It's his big strike out pitch. He made 27 starts (career high) in 2010, and finished with a 9-10 record, and finished with a 4.92 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He did have a great K/9 (9.3), and 10.9% swing and miss rate, but also walked too many hitters (4.5).

This season, he's started 3 games, and has a 1-1 record (16 innings pitched), with an 11.2 K/9 rate, and a decreased BB/9 (3.4), 5.06 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. His last start was 6 shutout innings of the Padres, only allowing 2 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 7.

He faced the Mets twice in August 2010, and went 1-1, throwing 12 2/3 innings, allowed 7 runs on 10 hits and 5 walks, while striking out 9. His bad start was at Citi Field (5 2/3, 8 hits, 3 walks, 5 runs, 5 strikeouts).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make it 8 out of 9 losses

This is a bad loss. No way to sugar coat it. Houston is not a good team. Wandy threw well for them, but Niese also threw well. No reason the final score should be 6-1.

As I mentioned on twitter:
1) Is Hu really our best pinch hitter? I don't care if a lefty is on the mound. He has not shown he is capable of hitting major league pitching, even if they are throwing underhand. He is strictly a defensive replacement. PERIOD. Do not let him hit.

2) I'm sick of Bobby Parnell. He needs to leave Queens. He made a close game out of reach with 2 outs in the 8th inning. He better be sent down when Bay is activated on Thursday.


Mets fall to 5-12. Very frustrating. Dickey vs Norris tomorrow night.

Game 17 weather permitting Mets vs Astros

Here is the lineup that may face the slow curve ball of Wandy Rodriguez:

Reyes
Thole
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Pagan
Hairston
Turner
Niese

My prediction: Mets win 4-2. LETS GO METS!

42 at bats

Thats all the Mets front office needed to see Brad Emaus before deciding he is not the 2nd baseman of the future, and designated him for assignment.

I'm surprised by this rash decision, but at the same time, we weren't expecting Emaus to be an all star. I was all for the move to play Emaus until we could determine if he was a major league 2nd baseman.

Personally I would've given him another 250 at bats, but oh well. Justin Turner was promoted to replace Emaus.

Scouting Report Wandy Rodriguez

The 32 year-old 5'11" lefty was signed by the Astros in 1999, and made his debut in 2005. He has improved every year, and the last two year he seemed to put it all together, throwing 195+ innings each year. In 2009, Wandy won 14 games and had a 3.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP. People were expecting him to take another step forward last year, but he got off to a terrible start before rebounding nicely; he had a 2.03 ERA in his last 18 starts on the year,and his 2010 numbers were: 11-12, 3.60 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9.. For his career, he's 62-66 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

Wandy is a three-pitch pitcher who changes arm angles (overhand to low 3/4s) as well as speeds, with a fastball that averages 89 mph, a SLOW 12-6 curveball (75 mph), and a change-up (84 mph). The turn-around last season was attributed to Wandy starting to add more sink to his change-up. His curve-ball is his strike out pitch, but it wasn't nearly as effective last year than in prior years, as he had trouble throwing it for a strike.

He signed a 3-year, 34 million dollar contract this off-season, but has once again struggled to start the season. In his 3 starts, he's 0-2, with 2 bad starts flanking a good start. His first start versus the Phillies he let up 7 runs in 4 innings, and in his last start he lasted 5 innings versus the Cubs, and allowed 5 runs. In between those starts, he threw a great game vs the Marlins, 7 innings and allowing only 1 run on 8 hits, 0 walks, although he only struck out 2. He's only getting 6.8% swing and misses (career average is 8.4%), and his K/9 is down thus far to 6.2, the lowest of his career. Yes I know this is too small of a sample size to make any assumptions, but just worth noting to see if this continues throughout the year (important for you fantasy baseball players out there).





He's made 6 starts versus the Mets, and is 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA. He threw well in an August start in 2010, but got a no-decision (7 innings, 1 run on a HR, on 4 hits, 3 walks, while striking out 6).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mets Win! Let's Have a Party!

The Mets avoided an 8-game losing streak, and avoided getting swept, beating the Braves 3-2 yesterday. The Mets jumped on Tommy Hanson in the 1st, and good thing they did, because he settled in and was a strike out machine (Mets hitters struck out another 14 times in the game, 9 vs Hanson in his 5 innings).

Dillon Gee pitched as well as could've been expected, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4. The Mets then used 2 of their starters (Capuano and Dickey) to get the ball to Isringhausen in the 8th. Izzy let up a 412-foot HR to Heyward, before K-Rod finished the game and got the save.

The Mets have Monday off, before starting a 3-game series with a franchise that is in worse shape than the Mets: the Houston Astros. The Astros are also 5-11, as they started out 0-5, and have yet to win a series (split a 4-game series with the Padres). They are also one of the few teams who have a worse farm system than the Mets! The pitching match-ups for the series are: Wandy Rodriquez vs Jon Niese, Bud Norris vs R.A. Dickey, and J.A. Happ vs Capuano.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game 16: Mets @ Braves

The Mets face the tough young righty, Tommy Hanson today, 1:35 start. He will be opposed by Dillon Gee. Here is the "shaken-up" line-up by Terry Collins

Reyes
Thole
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Pagan
Harris
Emaus
Gee

For Gee's scouting report in spring training, click here. Gee was added to the 25-man roster when Pat Misch was sent down after throwing 2 innings yesterday in relief. Wouldn't it have been a better choice to start him versus Carrasco? Just 'sayin.

My prediction: Mets losing streak continues and they return home losers of 8 straight, and a 4-12 record. Score: 6-1.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mets lose another doubleheader

2 runs combined in 18 innings.  Pelfrey was awful.

Last game of series tomorrow, and Mets try to snap their 7 game losing streak.

I have nothing else to say.

Game 14 Mets @ Braves

Reyes
Pagan
Wright
beltran
Davis
Harris
Emaus
Thole
Carrasco

Prediction : Mets lose 5-2.

As far as game 15 (game 2 of doubleheader) I'm expecting a Mets win.

LETS GO METS!

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 in the second game of the doubleheader. 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 63% of the time (averaged 91 mph). He also throws a decent slider (80 mph), and a change-up (83 mph). He's been hurt by hitters getting extra base hits on his slider and change-up. He used to be a ground ball pitcher (52% in 2008), but that has slowly reversed, and he is now a fly-ball pitcher (40% gb%).
He has below average K/9 (6.7), and average swing and miss % (8.9%). His walk rate is also league average (3.2 BB/9).

Jurrjens is making his first major league start today for 2011 after missing time in spring training with an oblique injury. In his rehab start in AAA, he went 6 innings, gave up 2 runs on 4 hits, with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks.

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, April 15, 2011

Another doubleheader, chris young info...

Game rained out tonight, Mets unhappy with doubleheader tomorrow.

In other news, Chris Young may not start on Sunday now because of bicep tendonitis. He was originally supposed to start Friday...shocking...

Game 14: Mets @ Braves

Here is the line-up that will face Derek Lowe:

Reyes
Pagan
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Harris
Emaus
Thole
Carrasco

Here is Carrasco's scouting report from spring training.

My Prediction:Mets lose 5-2, as Carrasco doesn't get through the 5th, and the Mets bullpen once again has to get 9+ outs, and the Mets fall to 4-10.

Scouting Report Derek Lowe

Derek Lowe
37 years old (38 in June)
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 1-2, even though he's had 3 quality starts, but the Braves have scored 2 runs total in those 3 games. As noted above, he's throwing his slider more often, and his K/9 rate is up over 7.2 (highest since 2001).

For his career against the Mets, he has started 9 times in the past 2 years, and 11 starts in his career (17 pitches) is 4-5 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).

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, April 14, 2011

Mets Sweep! Oh wait, they got swept

Terrible performance, and they lose both games of the doubleheader, and get swept at home in a 4-game series. That's hard to do.

The Mets are now 4-9, and are headed to a Atlanta for a 3-game series. Derek Lowe pitches for the Braves tomorrow.

Game 12 winning line up

Yes folks, the Mets are going to win today, maybe even twice! Here is the team who will beat Greg Reynolds:

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Davis
Pagan
Harris
Hairston
Thole
Dickey

Prediction: Mets win a blowout, I say 8-2.


Scouting Report Jorge De La Rosa

Jorge De La Rosa
30 years old


8th major league season
Bats L/Throws L

De La Rosa has been an enigma, and he's on his 3rd major league team (4th major league organization, and I'm not going to count his Mexican league teams), after leaving the Brewers and Royals disappointed. He has found success in Colorado, and decided to stay there this off-season, signing a 2 year contract, with a player option for 2013, and if that is exercised, a team option for 2014. His career record before joining the Rockies was 15-23, with an ERA upwards of 5, and a walk rate over 5 as well. But the reason everyone kept giving this lefty a chance was the fact he threw mid-90s (he was one of only five LHP last year to average higher than 93 mph). Since joining the Rockies, he's 35-24, with a 4.43 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He's also averaged 8.9 K/9 with the Rockies. He did miss 2+ months last year with a flexor tendon injury in his finger, but his was 8-7, 20 starts, 121 2/3 innings, with a 4.22 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.  Although he's in his 8th major league season, he's thrown more than 130 innings only once (2009).

De La Rosa slings the ball from a 3/4s arm slot, and delivers a 91-96 mph fastball that has some cutting action. He also throws a slider and curve, which has been the biggest change/maybe why he's had more success with the Rockies. He is now throwing his slider more (16% from 6%) and his curve less (4% from 12%). He also started throwing his change-up more (27% last year), and it has good fade from right-handed hitters. His slider and his change are his two best pitches; his fastball has been hit hard the past 4 years. He uses his slider the most with two strikes.  His biggest problem is his control, and his BB/9 rate is consistently around 4.

He's 3-1 against the Mets in his career (9 games, 3 starts), with a 4.30 ERA, and 1.48 WHIP. He faced the Mets in Colorado last April and did not fare well (6 innings, 5 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks), but was 2-0 and dominated the Mets in both his starts in 2009.

In 2011, he's 1-0 in 2 starts, but he's only thrown 10 1/3 innings, as he's left with blister issues.

Scouting Report Greg Reynolds

Greg Reynolds
25 years old
2nd major league season (6th professional season)
6'7" 225 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The 2nd pick in the 2006 draft (ahead of Evan Longoria), was seen as a safe pick as a college pitcher, with a low-risk, low-reward, and he was expected to quickly join the middle/back-end of the rotation. Well that hasn't worked out as planned, as he's had 2 shoulder surgeries and an elbow surgery in the past 4 years. Even when he was healthy in 2008, he was 2-8 (14 games, 13 starts), had a 8+ ERA, and 1.76 WHIP. Reynolds had the complete inability to miss bats (3.13 K/9, and 3.77 BB/9). They had hopes for him to be a Chien-Ming Wang or Brandon Webb, and those may be decent comps, as neither of them can get healthy enough to throw a baseball.

He relies on his fastball and cutter (88 mph and 85 mph) heavily, and he threw them 73% of the time in his 1st start of 2011. He also mixes in a curve (74 mph) and a change-up (83 mph). He is supposed to be a ground-ball pitcher, but the numbers haven't been great during his major league career (45%).

He started twice against the Mets in 2008, throwing 13 innings and allowing 7 runs (3 HR), on 10 hits, 4 walks and striking out 7. I ignore those starts/stats since it was 4 years ago, but just in case you guys wanted the prior history.

Reynolds started versus the Pirates and went 6 innings, allowed 2 runs (1 HR) on 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 2. He threw 88 pitches in this game, and had only 3 swings and misses.

He is giving the Rockies a spot start for the injured U Jimenez, and the Mets should be able to score a bunch of runs against him.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking News!! Chris Young Is Hurt!!!

I know, I know, you are stunned. I mean after all, he's made it through 2 starts healthy, maybe he was turning over a new leaf. But no.

He was supposed to start Friday night's game, but that has been pushed back to Sunday and it's reported he's dealing with bicep tendonitis. Maybe this is just the Mets being extra cautious, but I'm very skeptical considering his much storied injury history, and the fact that bicep tendonitis is usually a cascade injury, this doesn't bode well.

Make it 6 losses in the last 7 games

Yes the team continues to battle and not roll over, but at the end of the day, the starting pitching is just not getting the job done. Tonight it was Niese's turn, as he gave up 2 home runs, and the Mets lose 5-4.

This was definitely a winnable game, as E Rogers showed some promise, but any left-handed hitter could easily sit on his fastball, as Beltran did all 3 of his at bats against him, hitting the ball very hard, which was nice to see.

Troy Tulo is a monster, and single-handily beat the Mets the past two games both with his bat and his glove. He is a legit MVP candidate.

Mets play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 12:10. R.A. Dickey vs Greg Reynolds, and Chris Capuano vs Jorge De La Rosa 30 minutes after the first game.

If Mets sweep, they split the series. But it will be a tall order.

Game 11 maybe?

Here is the lineup if they do play baseball in Queens tonight

Reyes
Murphy
Wright
Beltran
Davis
Pagan
Harris
Thole
Niese

Prediction: mets lose 4-2 and have a doubleheader on tap tomorrow...not good

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Game Postponed

I was really looking forward to watching E Rogers tonight, but mother nature had a different thought...

Scouting Report Esmil Rogers

Esmil Rogers
25 Years Old
2nd Major League Season
Bats R/Throws R

I consider myself pretty well versed with other teams young pitchers, but I had not heard of Rogers and was about to dismiss him and give the Mets the victory after seeing his 6.13 ERA and 1.74 WHIP last year with the Rockies in 70 innings. Then I began to dig deeper and this will not be an easy match-up. He was ranked as the #6 prospect in the Rockies system prior to the 2010 season.

Rogers was signed as a Shortstop out of the Dominican Republic, but after 3 years his bat never progressed, so they transitioned him to the mound, where he showed mid-90s fastball and a sharp curve-ball. He progressed very quickly through the system, and was even given a start in September of 2009 (he started 2008 in A ball). Last year he was jockeyed around between AAA and the majors, and while in the majors, he bounced between starting and relieving (8 starts, 28 games). When he did throw, he flashed electric stuff (8.3 K/9), but also was a victim of an obscene BAPIP (.390), which is why his ERA and WHIP were so bad (FIP was 3.44).

Rogers is a 4-pitch pitcher, featuring a mid-90s fastball (94+ mph average), a plus curve (81 mph), an average slider (85 mph), and a below-average change-up (86 mph) that he used to try to overthrow/slow down his delivery and telegraph it. If he wants to be a starter, he really needs to develop his change-up, because lefties have hit him hard in the minors, and hit .362 against him in 2010. He has swing and miss stuff (9.7% in 2010), and a decent walk rate (3.1).

He faced the Mets twice in relief last year in April, going 3 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4.

In his first start this year, he dominated the Pirates, pitching into the 8th inning, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7 for the win. He only needed 95 pitches to get 22 outs (7 1/3 innings).

He is the Rockies 5th starter to open the season, but in some games he will pitch like an ace. He is still learning how to pitch, and if he can develop a better change-up to be able to get lefties out (.331/.381/.437 in his brief major league career), then he can be a top of a rotation starter in the future.

Yet Another Unhappy Recap

Pelfrey threw better, but only lasted 5 1/3 innings and threw a ton of pitches. He left with the lead, but the bullpen let up 5 runs in the process of getting 11 outs.

Mets drop to 4-6. Jon Niese vs Esmil Rogers tomorrow, 7:10 PM.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Game 10: mets vs rockies

Hammel's scouting report was posted this morning, and on twitter I asked if he was the Rockies version of Pelfrey. We shall see.

Reyes SS
Murphy 2B
Wright 3B
Beltran RF
Davis 1B
Pagan CF (to break up lefties)
Harris LF
Thole C
Pelfrey P

Prediction: Pelfrey pitches better, but the Mets lose a close game, 4-3.

Lets go mets!


Series Preview Mets vs Rockies

New York Mets (4-5) 3rd place vs Colorado Rockies (6-2) 1st place. The Rockies have played the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and the Pirates, and enter Citi Field having won 6 out of their last 7 games. The Rockies have historically struggled when playing the Mets in both Shea Stadium and Citi Field (22-51 record, including 2-5 at Citi).

The Mets are fortunate to miss U Jimenez and J Chacin, 2 of the Rockies best 3 pitchers in this series, but the Rockies still will throw a couple solid pitchers (there is a discrepancy between mets.com and ESPN New York's starting pitchers, and rockies.com doesn't list their probable pitchers).

The Rockies offense is led by Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, two pre-season NL MVP candidates, along with a solid supporting cast of T Helton, S Smith, D Fowler. Ian Stewart, who was slated to be a starting infielder, didn't start last series because of "flu-like symptoms" (and missed time in the spring with a knee injury), is 0-12 and has yet to reach base.

My Series Prediction: Although the Mets will miss Jimenez and Chacin, the Rockies are still a good team and the Mets will be lucky to get a split in this 4-game series.

Scouting Report Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel
6th Major League Season
28 years old
6'6" 200 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Hammel was drafted by the Rays in 2002, and made his debut in 2006. He was considered a super-two and lost out on the 5th starter job to Jeff Niemann in 2009, hence the reason he was traded to the Rockies. He's 28-32 in his career, with a 5.08 ERA and 1.49 WHIP, but for the Rockies he's 20-17.

Hammel is a four-pitch pitcher, and he throws from a 3/4 arm slot. His location of his fastball has greatly improved, and he throws it between 90-94 (average 93). It does not have a lot of movement. His curveball is a plus pitch (77 mph) and he also throws a sweeping slider (84 mph). He sparingly uses his change-up (85 mph, 6% of his pitches). His two best pitches this year are his slider and curve. His curveball use increases with 2 strikes, but he's not afraid to throw his slider either in that situation. Hammel has average K/9 rates (7.1 last year), but he doesn't get a lot of swing and misses (7.2% when league average is 8.5%). This is a rare case when those don't match up, and isn't a good sign for him to continue to get a bunch of strike outs. He has cut his walk rates significantly since joining the Rockies (2.14 and 2.32 versus 4+ with the Rays).

He's only faced the Mets once in his career, last August, and he threw 7 innings, but let up 8 hits and 4 runs to take the loss.

In his lone start this year, he threw 5 innings versus the Dodgers and got the win, but it wasn't pretty. 4 runs (2 HR), 6 hits, 3 walks and only 2 strikeouts.

A lot of people are still expecting big things out of Hammel (his FIP the past two years have been a solid 3.7 versus he ERAs of 4.33 and 4.81), as he has had very high BAPIP (.326 and .328). He's a solid #4/5 starter that is still learning how to pitch and gain confidence.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mets Lose a Home Series...

...Versus the Nationals.

Tough extra inning (11) loss, 7-3.

Chris Young and Jason Marquis both surprised me with quality starts, and the game was decided by the bullpens.

Mets hitters struck out 17 times. 17. Unbelievable.

Boyer was DFA after the game, and L Duda (who misplayed a key ball in RF) was sent down to the minors, and Jason Isringhausen and Ryota Igarashi were both called up to help the bullpen.

Mets open up a 4-game series versus the Colorado Rockies tomorrow night.

LET'S GO METS

Game 9: Mets vs Nationals

The Mets should be able to score some runs off of Jason Marquis, but will Chris Young be able to last more than 5 innings, or will he tax the bullpen once again?

Here is the Mets line-up, with Beltran once again getting the rubber game of the series off.

Reyes SS
Harris LF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Pagan CF
Duda RF
Emaus 2B (I would've put Murphy in to get another lefty in the line-up)
Thole C
Young P

Young hasn't faced the Nationals since 2008, so his career data means nothing (4 starts, 2-1, 2.4 ERA).
He hides the ball well from the hitter, which helps him when he can't throw > 85 mph

My Prediction: Mets score a bunch of runs off of Marquis, but Young can't provide the Mets enough innings and the Nationals score 5 runs. But the Mets bats prevail, winning 7-5.

LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Jason Marquis

Jason Marquis
32 years old
12th major league season
Bats L/Throws R

Jason Marquis begged the Mets to sign him before last season, but the Mets held steadfast, so he signed a 2-year, 15 million dollar contract with the Nationals instead. In 2009, he had a very good year, participating in the All-Star game, and leading the Rockies to the playoffs. Well the Nationals were rewarded last year with a 6.60 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, and a bill for an elbow surgery to remove bone chips, all the while not pitching for the Nationals from the middle of April to the beginning of August. For his career, he's 96-92, 4.55 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, which is what he is: a league average pitcher, who's being paid 7.5 million dollars. He made $53,000 for each inning he pitched between 2008-2010, which was in the top 50 of all starting pitchers.

Marquis is a four pitch pitcher: fastball that sits at 90 mph, a slider (85 mph), cutter (87 mph), and a change-up (83 mph). He had been successful in prior years with his slider and cutter, but none of his pitches have been plus pitches the past two years, with his fastball being his worst pitch. He throws his slider the most with 2 strikes. He doesn't get swing and misses (7%), which leads to not being able to strike hitters out (4.7 K/9 last year, 5.2 K/9 for his career). In order for him to be successful, he needs to minimize home runs (0.63 HR/9 in his career year of 2009, but regressed back to the mean last year) and induce a lot of ground ball double plays.

During his 11 year major league career, he's 6-7 versus the Mets (23 games, 16 starts), with a 4.65 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He didn't face the Mets in 2010 due to his injuries, but was 0-2 in 2009, with a 5.73 ERA, 1.73 WHIP.

In his first start this year versus the Marlins, he went 6 1/3, let up 2 runs (1 home run), 6 hits, 0 walks, and 2 k's.

Mets should load up the line-up with lefties, as he lets up more walks (5.2 BB/9 last year) and home runs (2.3 HR/9 last year)

Mets Win, 6-4

Very brief recap: Beltran hits 2 home runs, Capuano solid except for allowing a 3-run HR, and K-Rod gets a 4-out save.


Mets try to win the series on Sunday afternoon, 1:10, Chris Young versus Staten Island native Jason Marquis.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Game 8 Mets vs Nationals

Scouting report for Tom Gorzelanny was posted earlier.

Here is the Mets line-up:

Reyes SS
Pagan CF
Wright 3B
Beltran CF
Hairston LF
Davis 1B
Hu 2B
Nickeas C
Capuano P

Mets loaded up on righties, and mets win 5-3.

LETS GO METS!


Home Opener Pictures

Although the game result wasn't what we had wanted, I still had a great time at the home opener, and loved being back at a live baseball game. 

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday's home opener. Enjoy!

View From the Left Field Landing, Sec 336

Chris Young is still very tall (Niese and K-Rod on either side)

God Bless America. This is one of my favorite parts of Opening Day.

2011 Home Opener Line-ups

Ralph Kiner had trouble walking, but got a great ovation throwing to Mookie

Beginning of the game the TV's in the sections weren't working, and even when they were, it wasn't a live feed (in the left field landing you can't see anything near the fence. So on a fly ball you have to wait for the crowd's reaction then watch it on the tv 3 seconds later)

Zimmermann to W Harris
Got to love Carrasco's Stirrups. This is for you Michael Baron
Duda looking at a strike on the outside corner.
Another strike looking; Mets did that well yesterday
Zimmermann has an electric arm, but still the same mechanics that may have lead him to Tommy John surgery in the first place

Funny to see the arm action from this angle
Did he tear his nail on this pitch?



Scouting Report Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny
28 years old
7th major league season
6'2" 207 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The former Pirates prospect was traded to the Cubs mid-season 2009, and was traded this January for a trio of prospects after the Cubs acquired Matt Garza. He has been wildly inconsistent during his major league career, starting 95 games, (36-37 career record), with a 4.68 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. His best year was in 2007 when he had a 3.88 ERA and won 14 games, but the Pirates made it throw 30+ meaningless innings in September, and he hasn't been the same since (highlighted by a higher BB/9 rate than his K/9 rate in 2008).  Last year for the Cubs he threw 136 innings (29 games, 23 starts), with a 4.09 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, due to his high BB/9 rate of 4.5. He can be a useful arm in the back-end of a rotation.

He has a herky-jerky delivery (turns his back to the hitters to create deception), and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws 88-92 (velocity dropped from 91 to 2009 to 89.8 to 2010), an average change-up that runs down and away from righties (83 mph), and decent slider (usage jumped to 22% last year) and an occasional curveball. He's a fly ball pitcher who has swing and miss stuff (9 K/9 in 2009), but also has inconsistent command and  has struggled with walks previously (6 W/9 in 2008). He struck out 10.4/9 versus lefties last year, so expect to see the line-up loaded up with righties.

He's pitched against the Mets 9 times, including 5 starts, and is 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He started once last year against the Mets in April with the Cubs, and threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7, but took the loss.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Recap on the bus ride home

  Couple points on todays game:

1) This was the worst crowd I've seen for a home opener in the past 13 years. Very little emotion. It felt like a meaningless September game. And if this is what the rest of the year will be like, I feel bad for the Wilpon's and the team.

2) 9 walks. I know its hard to get into a game when you walk 9, including walking in a run. Thats unacceptable. B Parnell I'm looking at you. We know you can throw 97, BUT THROW STRIKES

3) Zero production with runners in scoring position. I know Jordan Zimmermann is good, but their bullpen is not.

4) I've reached the point of apathy. If you want to post/vent about any other part of the game, feel free.

Game 7 line-up

J Reyes SS
A Pagan CF
D.Wright 3B
C Beltran RF
I Davis 1B
W Harris LF
B Emaus 2B
J Thole C
RA Dickey P

Game 7: Nationals vs Mets

I'll be posting the line-ups today on my way up to Citi Field; I will be posting more pictures and maybe some in-game comments on the blog and/or on twitter (Follow me at: http://twitter.com/#!/LongLiveSheaS)

For those who missed my glowing scouting report of Jordan Zimmermann earlier, here is the link.

Here is my Mets ideal line-up for today (although I don't love 3 lefties in a row with Duda, Murphy and Thole, Duda and Murphy can both be lifted for pinch hitters/defensive replacements if a lefty specialist comes in to face them):

J Reyes SS
A Pagan CF
D Wright 3B

I Davis 1B
C Beltran RF
L Duda LF
D Murphy 2B (Yes, give Emaus a day off and get Murphy's bat in the line-up)
J Thole C
RA Dickey

R.A. Dickey takes the mound for the Mets, and he's the guy I'd want on the mound for the Mets right now. He won his first start of the season versus the Marlins (6 innings, 1 unearned run, 3 walks and 7 k's).

I'm going to predict a Mets win solely because I'm going to the game and it's the Mets opener, but I do like J Zimmermann a lot.

LET'S GO METS!

Home Opener Memo

Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year. This year is no different, although the home opener is minimized because the team has already played 6 games. But nonetheless, it's a time to be excited. I am not a fan of opening up on a Friday (especially during Lent), but we can't change that. What we can and need to change is the atmosphere at Citi Field today.

We need to be loud, supportive and root on this Mets team, not against our own players. Let's create a large home field advantage this year.

LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann - #27
Pictures taken at Citi Field April 29, 2009
24 years old (25 in May)
3rd Major League Season (24 career starts)
6'2", 220 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

Profile: 2nd round pick in 2007, who has been pushed through the minor leagues and he has responded and performed at every level. He is being used as the comparison/model for Strasburg's rehabilitation program.
Lot of stress going to be placed on that elbow...Wonder why he had TJ
Good: He has a hard fastball, which tops out at 95-96 mph (average 93 mph), a plus slider (85 mph), and also mixes in a curve (77 mph), and change (85 mph). He has thrown more sliders than his curve since his comeback from Tommy John surgery (7 starts in 2010). His career K/9 rate is 8.5, and BB/9 is < 3, which is a reason for optimism. He is a good athlete who fields his position well, and even DH'd in college when he wasn't pitching. He is ranked the #3 Nationals player (behind Strasburg and Harper) for 25 years and under.
Bad: He was plagued by home runs last year when he returned from Tommy John (warning, small sample size). Although he has great stuff, he hasn't quite put it all together yet, with a 4.63 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. His FIP is 4.15 (3.59 in 2009).
He took the loss in his opening game versus the Braves, but he threw well (6 innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 earned runs (3 runs). The bullpen/his fielders didn't do him any favors, as the Braves won 11-2. One thing to watch is he only threw 84 pitches, so the Nationals may still be monitoring his pitches (and rightfully so, no reason to injure this young talent in April).

Zimmermann is a future #1/#2 starter, who can be dominating, but still is finding his way to be consistent.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Game 6 = embarrassing

Thats all I'm going to say about that.

HOME OPENER TOMORROW!

Game 6: Mets @ Phillies. Game Time 3:05

The Mets try to win their 2nd road series in a row, but this one will be a lot more challenging than facing J Vasquez on Sunday. They have to face a future Hall of Famer at his peak, Roy Halladay,

J Reyes SS
W Harris LF
D Wright 3B
I Davis 1B
A Pagan CF
(I like Pagan so much better in the #2 spot)
L Duda RF
B Emaus 2B
J Thole C
J Niese P

Niese is coming off a very good start in his first outing, where he struggled in the 1st inning, but then threw 6 terrific innings, and left after throwing only 86 pitches, allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk. He didn't get the win, but he did his job. His scouting report is here.

My prediction: Niese is going to throw well and match Halladay through 6 innings, but it's going to be decided by the Mets bullpen, and after throwing 6 innings yesterday, it's going to be tough. Mets lose 3-1, and they come home for the Home Opener tomorrow with a 3-3 record.

LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay
33 years old (34 in May)
14th major league season
Bats R/Throws R

Roy Halladay = Very, very good.
The End.

You want more of a scouting report than that? Ok, ok. I'll let you know why he will be earning 20 million dollars a year for the next two years. He's a 7 time all-star, including 5 of the last 6 years, and won the Cy Young award last year, his second of his career.

He is a workhorse, pitching over 220 innings each of the last five years, including 250 innings last year. He strikes out > 7.5 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, for a K/W ratio over 5 the past three years, one of the best in the major leagues  He doesn't allow home runs (< 1 HR/9), and his highest WHIP since 2005 was 1.24 (1.04 in 2010). He is a ground-ball pitcher and attacks the hitters with strikes, making it difficult to run up his pitch count. Easily leads baseball in complete games over the past 6 years, having 9 complete games each of the past 3 years.

His stuff: nasty. Throws 90-92 mph fastball, a filthy 90 mph cutter, a plus curve-ball that he throws around 78 mph, and added a plus split-finger/change-up last year which he threw 11.5% (84 mph). He uses his fastball or cutter 70% of the time, and the curve or change the remaining 30%. He's increased the use of his split/change last year from 4 to 12%. All four of his pitches were plus last year. He will throw any pitch with two strikes. Yes, he's that good.

For his career, he's 6-2 against the Mets in 8 starts, but he was 4-0 in his 4 starts in 2010 (2.56 ERA, 0.821 WHIP, including only 2 walks, and 28 Ks. WOW).

On opening day, he threw 6 innings, let up 1 run on 5 hits, struck out 6 and didn't walk a hitter.

Sit back and watch gentlemen, because we are watching a Hall Of Famer, who has been at his peak the past few years and is a treat to watch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mets Lose, Tough Loss to Swallow

Valiant comeback and effort by the Mets, except for one Mike Pelfrey, as the Mets stormed back from a 7-0 deficit to tie it at 7, but ultimately lost 10-7.

Pelfrey threw another stinker, and is leaving a lot of Mets fans frustrated, and rightfully so. But let's not go crazy, this is still a small sample size.

Mets try to win the series tomorrow, but it will be tough, as Niese faces Doc Halladay.

Let's Go Mets

Game 5: Mets @ Phillies

The Mets face RHP Joe Blanton tonight (scouting report here). Blanton's last two starts versus the Mets last year were outstanding, 7 innings, 1 earned run in each of his starts in August and September.

J Reyes SS
W Harris LF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran RF
A Pagan CF
I Davis 1B
B Emaus 2B
J Thole C
M Pelfrey P

Pelfrey struggled in his opening day start versus the Marlins, 4 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, and only 2 k's. He needs to be able to put hitters away when he gets to two strikes.

My prediction: This is a game Mets fans are expecting to win, but I think they come on short, losing 5-3. Hope I'm wrong.

LET'S GO METS!

Scouting Report Joe Blanton

Joe Blanton
30 years old
9th Major League Season
Bats R/Throws R

The 30-year old right-hander was a 1st round pick in 2002 out of University of Kentucky, and is in his 9th major league season; he spent five seasons with Oakland and is in his 4th season with the Phillies. He's 72-60 for his career with a 4.30 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He has been referred to as a "league-average/innings eater" in the past, but was rewarded and will make 21 million dollars over the next two years. 

Blanton throws strikes and has a very compact delivery, releasing from a high 3/4s arm slot. He features a 88-91 mph fastball that he will throw to both sides of the plate, a slider (83 mph), as well as an occasional curve (76 mph) and change-up (81 mph). He also has started to throw a few cutters per game (88 mph). His two best pitches are his slider and change-up. He's a fly-ball pitcher who has been prone to the long-ball the last two years. Last year his fastball was his favorite pitch with 2 strikes, with poor results (6.8 K/9, below league average).

He has made seven starts in his career versus the Mets and is 3-1, with a 2.64 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Last year he was 1-1 in three starts, with 2 quality starts, (7 innings, 2 earned runs in August and September).

He is still a league average starter, but is the 5th starter for the Phillies.


He is a league average-innings eater after all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Happy Recap!

I predicted a blow out game today, although I got the teams wrong, as the Mets dominated the Phillies beating them 7-1 in the 1st game of the series. 

Cole Hamels got 8 outs, and let up 7 hits (2 to Chris Young in the 3rd inning alone), 2 walks, and 6 runs, and was booed heavily by unhappy Phillie fans. I had that line in mind for one of the pitchers in tonight's game, but I'm glad I was wrong.

Game MVP:
Chris Young had 3 hits offensively, and threw 5 solid innings, including 7 strikeouts, for a final line of 5 1/3 innings, 1 earned run, 5 hits and 4 walks. He finished throwing 103 pitches, and a lot of people didn't understand why he went out for the 6th inning, myself included. But D.J. Carrasco threw 1 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, followed by Byrdak and Parnell.

Chris Young got Ryan Howard out 3 times, two on strike outs, and then a huge ground out to end the 5th inning with the bases loaded, which may have taken all the air and energy out of Citizens Bank Park.

The offensive star, besides CY, was D Wright, who had 4 hits, 2 RBIs, and a stolen base.

Tomorrow night is a 7:05 start, with Mike Pelfrey taking the ball opposing Joe Blanton.

Game 4: Mets @ Phillies

Here is the line-up that will face LHP Cole Hamels, who's scouting report is here:

J Reyes SS
A Pagan CF
D Wright 3B
C Beltran RF
S Hairston LF
I Davis 1B
B Emaus 2B
M Nickeas C
C Young P

Chris Young (click for scouting report) will face the Phillies for the first time since 2009, when he had 2 starts, and his ERA was 9+ and his WHIP 1.96. His one start at CBP he lasted 3 2/3, allowed 9 hits, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, and 2 k's. Don't read too much into that since the Phillies offense has significantly changed since then.

My prediction: Chris Young won't make it through the 5th inning, and the Phillies add on a couple insurance runs on the Mets bullpen, and the Phillies roll to a 6-2 win.

Scouting Report Cole Hamels

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 is a fly-ball pitcher. He throws his fastball 89-93 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 has added a cutter last year (89 mph), but it wasn't effective last year versus right handers. 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 13 career starts versus the Mets, he's struggled. He's 2-8 with a 3.83 and a 1.51 WHIP. 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.

He is an ace on many National League teams, but on the Phillies he starts game #4.

Series Preview: Mets @ Phillies

New York Mets (2-1) @ Philadelphia Phillies (3-0)
The Mets won a road series versus the Marlins, while the Phillies were in the comforts of Citizens Bank Park, and looked like the Phillies of old on opening day when they got 6 straight base hits to come from behind and win it in the 9th inning versus B Lyon and the Astros. The next two days went as expected, as the Phillies beat up on a bad Astros team, winning 9-4, and 7-3.

The pitching match-ups for this series
Chris Young RHP vs Cole Hamels LHP 7:05
Mike Pelfrey RHP vs Joe Blanton RHP 7:05
Jon Niese vs Roy Halladay (0-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) RHP 3:05

The Mets need to avoid getting swept, and more realistically win 1 of the 3 games; the Mets would drop to .500, and the Phillies would improve to 5-1. I think most fans would take a .500 start to the season after 6 games based on last year's road woes.