Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Take Back Everything Bad I've Said About Scott Hairston

The Mets beat up the Phillies this afternoon, winning 11-2.

  • Jon Niese went seven outstanding innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking one. He did not allow a lead-off base runner through the first six innings.
  • Scott Hairston had one of his best days at the plate as a Met, going 3-5 with a double and a three-run home run. He had a career-high five RBIs.
  • Daniel Murphy continued to produce at the plate. He was 3-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
  • Even Jason Bay got in on the fun, ending his 0-18 slump, and going 2-4 with a run scored.
  • Ruben Tejada committed two errors in today's game. That is now three errors in the past two games.

Next up: The Mets send Mike Pelfrey to the mound in their series finale against the Phillies Sunday afternoon. Game time is 1:10 p.m.

Mets Have To Go Without Beltran Against Hamels, Phillies

July 16, 2011

4:10 PM ET

Citi Field




Starting Pitcher: Jon Niese (8-7, 3.88 ERA)

The last time Niese faced the Phillies, he allowed one run over 6.1 innings to get a win. In his career, he is 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA against Philadelphia.


Starting Pitcher: Cole Hamels (11-4, 2.32 ERA)

Hamels finished the first half of the season going 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA. Luckily for the Mets, he hasn't fared particularly well against them, posting a 3-9 record against New York, with a 4.22 ERA.


Pagan-CF, Turner-2B, Hairston-RF, Murphy-3B, Bay-LF, Paulino-C, Evans-1B, Tejada-SS, Niese-LHP


According to Adam Rubin:
Carlos Beltran is not expected at the ballpark today because of the flu, except possibly to see a team trainer or doctor, Terry Collins said. Collins said Beltran had "very high" fever during Friday's game and was nearly pulled from the series opener.

Mets Morning News: Wright & Reyes Updates, K-Rod Works Out New Deal, &The Bullpen

In his first rehab start since going on the disabled list with a fractured back, David Wright was 1-2 at the plate with a double and a strikeout. He played five innings for Class A St. Lucie Friday night.

According to the NY Post, Jose Reyes could be back from the disabled list as early as Monday. Reyes plans to spring in straight lines today, and run the bases on Sunday.
"We have to wait and see how I'm going to perform on Sunday...and then we'll determine what we're going to do after that," Reyes, who has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring since July 2, said before last night's opener against the Phillies. "The last five days, it's been very, very good. So hopefully it can continue to feel like that."
Francisco Rodriguez dropped his $17.5 million dollar vesting option that was picked up by Milwaukee in his trade to the Brewers.
The new buyout eliminates the 55 games-finished clause that would have activated the $17.5 million option and allows the Brewers to use Rodriguez as a closer without worrying about the option. It also calls for Milwaukee to pay Rodriguez $4 million if he opts out.
Meanwhile, the Mets will have a closer by committee. The top three to get a chance to save games are Bobby Parnell, Jason Isringhausen, and Pedro Beato. Isringhausen seems to think it will all work out just fine.
"We move on, so to speak," Isringhausen said. "Nobody is going to take K-Rod's place, we know how good he was so I think we're going to mix and match in the ninth between myself, Bobby and Beato.

"If nobody gets an ego, it'll work just fine. I don't think any of us will, I know I won't and I know they won't so it will work out just the way Terry wants it to work out."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Second Half Off To An Ugly Start For Mets

They couldn't hit, couldn't pitch, and they couldn't field. Stellar start to the second half, boys.

  • R.A. Dickey went seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking two. He allowed one home run, a solo shot to Raul Ibanez, in the sixth inning.
  • Daniel Murphy picked up right where he left off at the plate in the first half of the season. Murphy was 2-4 with a double.
  • Carlos Beltran was 1-2 at the plate with a home run. Beltran hit his 14th homer of the season, a solo home run to center, in the eighth inning.
  • The Mets were 0-5 with runners in scoring position, and they left eight men on base.
  • As for the defense, it was non-existent in the eighth inning. Tim Byrdak came in to pitch the eighth, and was let down not once, but twice by his middle infielders. Justin Turner botched a potential double play ball. Two batters later, Ruben Tejada committed a fielding error to load the bases.
  • Ryota Igarashi, who was called up from Buffalo following the trade of Francisco Rodriguez, comes in with the bases loaded and proceeds to give up a three-run double to John Mayberry.

Next up: Jon Niese takes the mound as the Mets and Phillies play game two of their three-game series on Saturday. Cole Hamels will start for Philadelphia. Game time is 4:10 p.m.

Mets Open Second Half With Series Against Philadelphia

July 15, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field




Starting Pitcher: R.A. Dickey (4-7, 3.61 ERA)

In his last outing before the All-Star break, Dickey went seven innings against the Giants to get a no-decision. He gave up two runs on seven hits, while striking out four. In his career, he is 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA against the Phillies.


Starting Pitcher: Vance Worley (4-1, 2.20 ERA)

Worley last pitched for the Phillies on July 4, going seven scoreless innings and giving up just two hits. In order to help him maintain his routine over the All-Star break, the Phillies sent Worley to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Against the Mets, he is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA.


Pagan-CF, Turner-2B, Beltran-RF, Murphy-3B, Bay-LF, Duda-1B, Thole-C, Tejada-SS, Dickey-RHP


If a save situation presents itself for the Mets, manager Terry Collins stated that veteran reliever Jason Isringhausen will take on the role of closer.

Mets Morning News: No-Trade Lists, Davis' Ankle

The Mets open up the second half of the season with a three-game series against Philadelphia starting tonight. The pitching match-ups go as follows:
  • Friday: R.A. Dickey v. Vance Worley
  • Saturday: Jon Niese v. Cole Hamels
  • Sunday: Mike Pelfrey v. Kyle Kendrick
According to General Manager Sandy Alderson, Francisco Rodriguez's former agent, Paul Kinzer, never submitted a no-trade list to the Mets. This list was made up of ten teams K-Rod would have vetoed a trade to.
"His contract provided for a 10-team limited no-trade provision, so long as a list was provided by a certain date, which was roughly 2-1/2 years ago," Alderson said. "To our knowledge, that list was never submitted, and we proceeded with the trade market on that basis."
In case you missed it, Ike Davis will stay off his injured left ankle for another three weeks. If it does not show significant improvement by the end of that time, he will be undergoing microfracture surgery.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Davis Resting Another Three Weeks, Surgery Possible

Here's some Ike Davis news:

Apparently, after running last weekend, Davis felt pain in his ankle. He then flew to North Carolina to receive a cortisone shot. Out of curiosity, are there no doctors in Arizona who can give a guy a cortisone shot?

Davis will stay off his left ankle for the next three weeks to see if it will get any better, and possibly avoid season-ending surgery. If his ankle does not show much improvement by the end of the three weeks, however, he will be undergoing microfracture surgery.

Sorry to sound pessimistic, but I have a feeling the Mets will be without Davis for the remainder of the season.

Mets Morning News: Possible Roster Moves, Bay Against Lefties, Wright'sReturn

According to ESPN New York, Ryota Igarashi is expected to take Francisco Rodriguez's spot on the roster. In 15 major league appearances this season, Igarashi is 2-1 with a 4.63 ERA.

Michael Salfino of the Wall Street Journal believes Jason Bay would be better off batting exclusively against lefties.
If Bay had the 16 more plate appearances versus righties, which he needs to technically qualify, his .565 on-base plus slugging percentage versus them would be the fourth-worst in all of baseball. What's more discouraging for Bay is that this has never been a problem before. In his career, he has done fine against righty pitchers, .852 career OPS against them vs. .912 against lefties. In 2010, he hit righties and lefties almost equally (.748/.750).

Fortunately for the Mets, Bay has hit like his old self against lefties (.892 OPS). But that's in just 66 at bats. And there lies the problem, less than 40% of pitchers are left-handed.
Sandy Alderson confirmed that David Wright will play in his first rehab game for Class A St. Lucie at Lakeland on Friday night. Assuming everything goes well, Wright will return to the Mets on July 22.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mets Morning News: K-Rod Traded, All-Star Game, Einhorn

Late last night it was announced that the Mets had traded closer Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later.

The National League defeated the American League 5-1 in last night's All-Star Game. The NL will once again have home field advantage in this year's World Series. Carlos Beltran went 1-2 with a run scored and one strike out while batting as the DH.

Speaking of Beltran, Giants closer Brian Wilson made it clear he would like the All-Star outfielder playing in San Francisco.
"He's a pretty awesome hitter," Wilson said after notching the save as the National League beat the American League, 5-1, on Tuesday night at Chase Field. "I have no qualms about it. Come on over. I don't want to be the guy that's traded, though. OK? Let's make sure that doesn't happen."
Things are looking good as far as David Einhorn's stake in the Mets. He also has the approval of commissioner Bud Selig.
"What the hell, he played baseball in my backyard. How can I turn him down?" Selig quipped, referring to Einhorn growing up in Milwaukee and playing baseball in a yard neighboring Selig's house. "... Yes, he's cleared. They have to finish the deal. And, by the way, I think they're making very good progress toward that end."

Mets Trade Francisco Rodriguez To Milwaukee Brewers

Last night, the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later.

Below is the press release sent by the Mets:

FLUSHING, N.Y., July 12, 2011: The New York Mets tonight announced that they have traded RHP pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and cash considerations to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later.

Rodriguez this season was 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 23 saves in 26 appearances. Last year, he was 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 25 saves in 53 games; in his first year with the Mets in 2009, he was 3-6 with a 3.71 ERA and 35 saves in 70 games. For the Mets, Rodriguez was 9-10 with a 3.05 ERA with 83 saves in 165 games.

The 29-year-old was signed as a free agent by the Mets on December 10, 2008, after seven seasons with the Angels. Since breaking into the Majors in 2002, Rodriguez has a 32-27 record with a 2.54 ERA and 291 saves in 573 appearances.

"We thank Frankie for his contributions to the Mets and wish him well with the Brewers," said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. "This trade allows us to develop and more fully utilize other members of our 2011 bullpen and offers some payroll relief as well."

Alderson will address the media via conference call Wednesday at a time to be determined tomorrow.

Don't expect the Mets to get much back when it comes to the players to be named later. Milwaukee has little to offer after acquiring Zack Greinke last year.

This deal essentially makes Milwaukee responsible for K-Rod's 2012 option.

Despite his switching agents this past week, and having it announced that he did not want to go any where to be a set-up man, I don't see him being anything other than that.

The Brewers already have John Axford as their closer, and they will not want K-Rod's option to vest.

Whatever happens, the important thing is he's gone and so is the threat of having to pay him $17.5 million.

So, who will close for the Mets? I would have to believe it would be either Bobby Parnell or Jason Isringhausen. The only reason I say Isringhausen is because he is only seven saves away from 300 in his career.

I wouldn't mind seeing Pedro Beato also given the opportunity to close.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mets' Chances of Getting 2013 All-Star Game Are Good

Well, if you thought the home run derby was boring before, just wait until 2013. Maybe they'll change the name├é temporarily├é to the Warning Track Derby? Just a thought...

Mets Morning News: Beltran To DH, Carter Update, & K-Rod

Carlos Beltran will be the National League's designated hitter for tonight's All-Star Game in Phoenix. He will bat second in the lineup.
"It is special," Beltran said. "I see this as a gift from God after everything I went through last year, through the rehab and trying to get back to the field. Thank God I was able to put a good first half together and being rewarded by being here at the All-Star Game. It's a great feeling."
According to ESPN New York, Gary Carter is feeling better following a case of walking pneumonia, as well as coughing and cramping hands. In a journal entry, Carter's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, writes:
"I am happy to report that my dad has had a great week! Aside from some fatigue, dad is doing very well!!! We are thankful that his hair loss is the only side effect right now. His mind has been sharp and everything else is functioning as it should. It has been refreshing to have "dad be dad" this week. We focus on the praises and the prayers that have already been answered....
Bloemers also shared that Carter plans to continue as head coach of Palm Beach Atlantic University's baseball team.
"A committee has met at school and interviewed different candidates for the new position that is now open, the associate head baseball coach. We are praying for the perfect fit and so far we have some highly qualified coaches who want to be a big part of dad's program. Dad has been involved in the hiring process and each interview. We should have someone hired very soon."
Mets GM Sandy Alderson isn't bothered by the fact that Francisco Rodriguez has taken on Scott Boras as his new agent, and he doesn't know how the hiring will affect his ability to possibly trade K-Rod.
"It can create some complexity, but in other cases, it doesn't make it any more complicated," Alderson said. "We'll have to see how this plays out."

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Metsies: First Half Awards

With the first half of the season officially over, it's time for the first annual Metsies.

MVP Award: Jose Bernabe Reyes

Come on. Who else did you think would get this award? In the first half, Reyes led the league in just about everything. He is first in hits (124), runs scored (65), triples (15), and is second in stolen bases(30).

Best Blow Up Award: Terry "Stinkin" Collins

Does he have a future as a motivational speaker? You decide.

I, for one, found his rant to be refreshing. This team needed to be called out. For what it's worth, the Mets have gone 21-16 since Collins' outburst.

Worst Import Award: Jason Bay

This year has been particularly ugly for the Canadian, who at one point, was 0-24 at the plate. Don't think that his recent home runs are going to put him back in my good graces either. It'll take more than that to appease the fan base. I will give him this, despite all of his offensive woes, his defense has not suffered. So, I guess that only makes him half bad.

The "He's still here?" Award: Manny Acosta

Seriously. Why is he still here?

Most Surprising Player Award: Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran

This was a toss up. If you had told me in the beginning of the season that Turner would eventually get called up and then be one of the most clutch hitters on the team, I would have said you're crazy. Alas, here he is, the most clutch hitter of the first half. Turner was named the National League Rookie of the Month for the month of May after batting .325, with 20 RBIs, eight doubles, nine runs scored, and two stolen bases. His on-base percentage was .378, and his slugging percentage was .458. Not too shabby.

Carlos Beltran. The player everyone believed would play, at the most, three days a week and never a day game after a night game, has played in 89 games this season. On top of that, he leads the National League in doubles (28). He also leads the Mets in home runs (13), as well as RBIs (58).

Mets Morning News: Izzy Doesn't Want To Be Traded, Futures Game, Hitting

The Mets finished the first half of the season with a 46-45 record.


According to the Daily News, Jason Isringhausen asked general manager Sandy Alderson not to trade him.
"I have two places in my heart," he said. "St. Louis, because I'm from there, and New York, because this is where I started. Those are my two favorite spots, and I don't think I'm going back to St. Louis anytime soon. And I love it here."

"To be able to get close, or maybe even make the playoffs, coming from a team that wasn't supposed to do anything, that's fun," he said. "If there is a chance that we can do that, I want to be a part of it."
2010 first round pick Matt Harvey got the save for USA's 6-2 victory over the World in the Futures Game.

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens, and his emphasis on plate discipline, has helped the Mets offense in a big way in 2011.
In 2010, the Mets were a team of hackers, ranking among the worst teams in the N.L. in the percentage of pitches swung at outside the strike zone. But they have a new identity this season.

Entering Sunday, they had swung at only 29% of pitches outside the strike zone, the third lowest rate in the N.L. As a result, they led the league with 320 walks and ranked second with a .333 on-base percentage.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

That Was An Ugly Way To End The First Half

Well, that stunk. The Mets lost to the Giants by a score of 4-2. They go into the All-Star break with a 46-45 record.

  • Mike Pelfrey wasn't necessarily bad, but he wasn't all that impressive either. He went six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out five and walking two. For the most part, he kept the Mets in the game.
  • Justin Turner was 4-5 at the plate, with two singles, a double in the fifth inning, and an RBI ground-rule double in the ninth.
  • Nick Evans hit his first home run of the season in the eighth inning.
  • The Mets were 1-12 with runners in scoring position, and left ten men on base.
  • For some reason, Jon Niese came in to pitch the seventh inning. It didn't go well. He allowed a lead off single to to Mike Fontenot, and a double to Nate Schierholtz.

Next up: The Mets will have the next few days off thanks to the All-Star break. They return to Citi Field on Friday night to take on the Phillies.

Mets Look To Head Into All-Star Break With A Win

July 10, 2011

8:05 PM ET

AT&T Park, San Francisco




Starting Pitcher: Mike Pelfrey (5-7, 4.64 ERA)

Pelfrey went six shutout innings in his last start against the Dodgers to get his fifth win of the season. Against the Giants, Pelfrey is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA.


Starting Pitcher: Matt Cain (7-5, 3.22 ERA)

Cain took the loss in his last start against the Padres, giving up five runs in seven innings. He is 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA against the Mets. 


Pagan-CF, Turner-2B, Beltran-RF, Murphy-3B, Bay-LF, Duda-1B, Paulino-C, Tejada-SS, Pelfrey-RHP

Mets Morning News: Bankruptcy, K-Rod Switches Agents, Injury Updates

According to the Daily News, now that the $1 billion lawsuit against the Mets owners has been moved out of bankruptcy court, it's less likely that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz will remain in control of the team.
According to sources who have followed the deal, Judge Jed Rakoff''s July 1 ruling that moved Irving H. Picard v. Saul B. Katz et al into the Southern District of New York has changed the landscape for the Mets' owners, who face the massive suit filed against them by Picard, the trustee for victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, and has given them a better chance at a more favorable outcome in the case. That, in turn, makes it much less likely that Wilpon and Katz will be forced to sell control of their team to pay what would be a debilitating judgment, and less likely that Einhorn can "short sell" the Mets, or bet against the owners' ability to settle the claim for far less than the $1 billion Picard is seeking.
Having the case pulled from bankruptcy court also means that the Mets owners may be forced to pay a much smaller amount.
Translated, that means that Wilpon and Katz might be on the hook for more like $150-$200 million in profits from their investments with Madoff, not the $700 million in principle and $300 million in fictitious profits that Picard is suing them for.
Adam Rubin writes that Francisco Rodriguez has reportedly switched agents. K-Rod has supposedly left former agent Paul Kinzer, and switched to Scott Boras.
Since this is K-Rod's last deal with the Mets, the impact may be minimal to the organization. The only issue that could arise is if the Mets try to trade K-Rod to one of the 10 teams on his no-trade list, and Boras has a difficult stance as far as securing an extension or some other additional compensation.
Injury updates via MLB's Anthony DiComo:
  • David Wright has been running at full speed, and he will begin running the bases and sliding on Monday.
  • Ike Davis felt great after running on a treadmill and putting 100 percent of his weight on his left ankle.
  • Jose Reyes began hitting, throwing, and fielding during batting practice on Saturday in San Francisco.
Here is Ike Davis talking about his rehab: