Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mets vs. Braves: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Mets and Braves tied their first Grapefruit League game 5-5. Below are some of the highlights (and a few lo-lights).
  • Jenrry Mejia got through the first inning unscathed. He walked one batter, Nate McLouth, and moved him to third on a wild pitch. Things got a little ugly in the 2nd inning. Freddy Freeman hit a double off Mejia, and advanced to third on a throwing error by Fernando Martinez. Later in the inning, Mejia threw yet another wild pitch allowing Freeman to score an unearned run.
  • Pedro Beato had three ground ball outs for a scoreless 3rd inning. Beato ran into trouble in the 4th inning, giving up a solo home run to Eric Hinske, followed by a double off the bat of  Freeman. 
  • Everyone's favorite Met, Luis Castillo, hit a single off Braves starter Jair Jurrjens, and the crowd went wild. Not really. He did hit into a double play in his next at bat though. He also turned a double play in the 4th, so it all evens out. I have to say, after watching him turn the double play, I have to admit I don't see Murphy making that turn.
  • Fernando Martinez showed some power, hitting a two-run shot to right field in the 5th inning. 
  • Jordany Valdespin doubled in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game 3-3.
  • Willie Harris hit a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th. Harris must have forgotten he is ON the Mets now, but I'll take it.

    Starting Lineup Against the Braves

    1. Jose Reyes SS
    2. Luis Castillo 2B
    3. David Wright 3B
    4. Angel Pagan CF
    5. Jason Bay LF
    6. Ike Davis 1B
    7. Josh Thole C
    8. Scott Hairston DH
    9. Fernando Martinez RF

    Braves Lineup:

    1. Schafer-DH 
    2. McLouth CF 
    3. Heyward RF 
    4. McCann C 
    5. Hinske LF 
    6. Freeman 1B 
    7. Conrad 2B 
    8. Hicks 3B 
    9. Hernandez SS

    With maybe a few changes, this looks an awful lot like the opening day lineup.

    The game will be televised on WPIX at 1 p.m.

    Old Rivals Kick Off Grapefruit League Action In PSL

    The Mets begin Grapefruit League play this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. The Mets will send Jenrry Mejia to the mound, while Atlanta will start Jair Jurrjens. Game time is 1:10 p.m. in Port st. Lucie.

    Mejia is fighting for a spot in the big league rotation. While with the Mets last season, Mejia went 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA. His season ended in early September when the team shut him down after he suffered a rhomboid strain in his right shoulder blade.

    Manny Acosta, Pedro Beato, Taylor Buchholz, John Lujan, and Armando Rodriguez are also scheduled to pitch for the Mets.

    Jurrjens is looking to bounce back in the 2011 season. In 2010 he went 7-6 with a 4.64 ERA.  His season also ended early with a torn meniscus in his right knee.

    Jurrjens is expected to throw just two innings. Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters, both of whom are vying for the closer role, are slated to pitch an inning a piece.

    This will be the first game I have seen in my life where Bobby Cox will not be the manager of the Braves. It will be a little strange seeing Fredi Gonzalez over there in the dugout.

    Anyway...Go Mets!

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Mets Got $25 Million Loan From MLB

    According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, and several other media outlets, the Mets received a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball in November as the team had a liquidity issue.

    The Mets are expected to repay the loan quickly, but it only provides further evidence that the team has been going through a financial crisis.

    The Wilpons are nearly $400 million in debt, and are facing a $1 billion lawsuit by Irving Picard, trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims.

    The last time MLB provided a loan to a major league team was in 2009 when the Texas Rangers received roughly $15 million in financial assistance.

    Nick Evans is Alive and Well

    Worry not Mets fans. Nick Evans is no longer missing. He is on the roster for Team A in the intrasquad game this afternoon.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Roster Is Pretty Predictable with the Exception of a Few

    Anthony DicComo over at Mets Cetera wrote up what the opening day roster should look like. Take a look:

    C - Josh Thole
    1B - Ike Davis
    2B - Brad Emaus
    SS - Jose Reyes
    3B - David Wright
    OF - Jason Bay
    OF - Carlos Beltran
    OF - Angel Pagan
    Bench - Chin-lung Hu
    Bench - Daniel Murphy
    Bench - Scott Hairston
    Bench - Willie Harris*
    Bench - Mike Nickeas

    SP - Mike Pelfrey
    SP - R.A. Dickey
    SP - Jon Niese
    SP - Chris Young
    SP - Chris Capuano
    RP - Francisco Rodriguez
    RP - Bobby Parnell
    RP - D.J. Carrasco
    RP - Tim Byrdak*
    RP - Taylor Buchholz
    RP - Jason Isringhausen
    RP - Manny Acosta

    At this point, I don't disagree with this. It's pretty obvious who will be in the starting lineup. The only real question is second base, but I think even that will be settled soon enough.

    I have to say, the person I want to see most when I get down to Florida is Jason Isringhausen. He's come out of nowhere and taken the team by storm. He could be the feel-good story of the season. 

    Catcher Mike Nickeas will have a chance this spring and in the beginning of the season to prove he belongs, thanks to Ronnie Paulino's eight game suspension and never-ending visa issue.

    It's Picture Day

    All the Mets are smiling pretty, as today is photo day. To see photos, check out the Mets' twitter page:

    I'll be taking my own photos down at Spring Training next week. I am going to two games; one against the Cardinals, and one against the Marlins.

    This is exciting because it will be my first time going to Spring Training.

    Is there anything you would like to see covered at Spring Training that you are not finding anywhere? Let me know, and I'll see what I can do.

    Kelly can be found on Twitter at @KellyL1332, or you can e-mail her at

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Let's Stop with Pitching Match-Ups

    In an article by Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger, Terry Collins doesn't think much of pitching match-ups.

    “I think you can burn your bullpen out, if you’re just worrying about matchups,” Collins said. “Because they’re pitching every night. There’s going to be some guys, I’m going to let them go out there for two innings.”

    I can't stand pitching match-ups. Jerry Manuel may have been the most annoying manager when it came to pitching match-ups. Bring a guy in for one pitch, get the out, and then bring in another guy because the next batter is a righty or a lefty. 

    By the end of the game, the Mets would have used their entire bullpen.

    A good pitcher, at the Major League level, should be able to pitch to both sides, and do it effectively. This is the level where the best of the best play, not where the best only against lefties, or righties, play.

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Luis Hurt Already?

    According to Steve Popper, "Castillo came off field speaking to trainer and now he is being taken to clubhouse in a golf cart."

    Is it bad that I almost feel bad for Castillo?

    Updated 11:25 a.m.
    Rest easy Mets fans. Castillo is back and healthy.

    In other news....
    Popper also tweeted that Fred Wilpon almost ran Jose Reyes over with a golf cart.

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Any Respect I Had For Pujols Is Fading

    Albert Pujols is by far, the greatest hitter to stand at the plate, ever. He's played the game well, and he's played the game clean.

    That being said, the more I read about his contract talks; what's been offered to him, what he wants, the more respect I lose for him.

    Before today, I hadn't read too much about the Pujols saga because I didn't care. He's not coming to the Mets, so why bother reading about it.

    But when I hear about the numbers being exchanged, it makes me a little sick.

    I would like to know what in the world you can do with $300 million, Albert, that you can't do with $200 million. I think it's amusing he has stated this is not just about the money.

    Really, Albert? What is it about then? Do tell.

    The fact that anybody thinks they are worth that much money is disturbing.

    Also, any fool that is willing to give an athlete a long-term contract (10 years), is asking for trouble. The first few years will be great, but what about the final years of the contract when Pujols will be in his late 30's early 40's?

    What if he gets hurt?

    You are the greatest hitter ever, and in my opinion, any respect you had for that will change the longer the greedy contract talks take place.

    Jimmy Rollins: Yeah, We'll Win 100 Games

    According to Buster Olney, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has declared, "Yeah, we'll win 100 games."

    Oh Jimmy...shut it.

    The Phillies have a pretty good starting rotation. I'll give them that. Don't forget, however, they also have to hit to win ball games.

    Castillo Had a Family Issue

    According to Adam Rubin, Luis Castillo met with Terry Collins this morning and told the manager, "There was a medical issue in his family that prevented him from arriving earlier."

    His brother, Julio Cesar, is having surgery on Monday.

    How does that make you feel Mets fans?

    I do wonder why Castillo did not tell Collins this tidbit of information during their phone conversation this week. Maybe it would have stopped some of the unwarranted Luis hate these past couple of days.

    Luis Castillo Has Arrived

    Sorry Luis, apparently if you're not early, you're late.

    There has been so much criticism over Castillo not arriving to camp early, as well as Castillo in general, and I don't get it.

    The man is most likely going to be cut. He's been working out in the Dominican Republic. Maybe he has a perfectly good reason for not showing up earlier. Perhaps he didn't want to leave his family until the last minute, or he figured he would just show up on the day he was actually required to arrive.

    Who knows, maybe he's been sharpening his bowling skills. Afterall, he is arriving the same day that the team will begin their unity-building bowling event. Honestly, I don't care what the reason is.

    He's in Port St. Lucie. That's what matters.