Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homer Happy Mets Beat Up On Braves

Following a rain delay at the start of the game, the Mets went on to beat the Braves tonight by a score of 11-7. The highlight of this game was the offense, which clobbered four home runs off Atlanta's Tommy Hanson.



  • Jon Niese went five innings, giving up five runs on ten hits, while striking out six and walking two. Niese looked like he was falling apart earlier than usual tonight, giving up five runs in the third inning. He was able to get through the next two innings unscathed, however, it wasn't pretty.
  • Justin Turner hit two home runs tonight. His first was a solo shot in the first inning, and his second was a two-run homer in the fourth inning. This was Turner's first career multi-home run game.
  • Jason Bay hit his eighth home run of the season in the third inning.
  • Even Josh Thole got in on the fun, belting his second home run of the season in the fourth inning. Thole finished the night with three hits.
  • Angel Pagan was 3-4 with two runs scored.
  • Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless eighth inning. He did walk Michael Bourn, but then got Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman to fly out and strike out respectively.

Next Up: The Mets and Braves play the rubber game of this three-game series tomorrow afternoon. Dillon Gee will take the mound against Mike Minor. Game time is 1:10 p.m.

Mets Try To Snap Losing Streak Against Braves, Move Up In Wild CardStandings

August 6, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field

TV: SNY

RADIO: WFAN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: Jon Niese (10-8, 3.94 ERA)

Niese pitched well before imploding in the sixth inning of his last start, which cost him his 11th win of the season. This season against Atlanta, he is 1-0 in two starts. In his career, he is 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA against the Braves.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Starting Pitcher: Tommy Hanson (11-6, 3.20 ERA)

Hanson has struggled since the All-Star break, going 1-2 with a 6.56 ERA in four starts. He's allowed 17 runs over that stretch. He is 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA against the Mets.


METS LINEUP:

Reyes-SS, Turner-2B, Murphy-1B, Wright-3B, Pagan-CF, Bay-LF, Duda-RF, Thole-C, Niese-LHP

Mets Morning News: Roster Move, Ike's Season Likely Done, Advice FromChipper

The Mets made a roster move following last night's game. They optioned Mike Nickeas to Triple-A Buffalo, and have recalled Nick Evans.

Ike Davis is most likely done for the season. After being re-evaluated on Friday, the Mets decided Davis will rest another four weeks before he will likely undergo microfracture surgery. Davis has been battling a bone bruise and cartilage damage in his left ankle.
"I've been working hard, but it just hasn't come around the way we want it to," Davis said. "I've been out for over three months now. That's like more than an offseason. I feel I would have to go and start a new season if I came back this season anyway.

"It sucks, but I have to get healthy and not have this nag me for years."
Kevin Kernan of the NY Post writes that the Mets need to take Chipper Jones' advice about stockpiling minor league talent.
"One thing we try not to do is mortgage the future," Jones said. "I think we can be guilty of that in the Teixeira trade but we still have beaucoups prospects down there. The future looks bright. It's been proven time and time again that pitching and defense win you a championship no matter what your offense looks like."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Los Mets, Try Lost Mets

The Mets lost to the Braves, 4-1, and are now nine games behind Atlanta in the Wild Card. They are also back to below .500.



  • R.A. Dickey pitched well tonight, but had absolutely no offensive help from his teammates. Dickey went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking none.
  • Braves pitchers held the Mets to just four hits all night. David Wright was responsible for two of those hits, including an RBI double in the first inning to give the Mets their one and only run.
  • Daniel Murphy and Jason Bay had the Mets other two hits. Murphy hit a single in the first inning, and Bay hit a ground-rule double in the fourth inning.
  • Tim Byrdak and Ryota Igarashi let the game get away in the eighth inning. In just one inning, the two allowed two runs to score.
  • As easy as it would be to blame this loss on an ineffective bullpen, a large amount of the blame must also be placed on the offense. The Mets were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
  • The Mets announced after the game that Mike Nickeas has been optioned to Buffalo and Nick Evans has been recalled.

Next Up: The Mets play game two of their three-game series with Atlanta tomorrow night. Jon Niese will get the start against Tommy Hanson. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Meet the Met: Mike Baxter

This will be a weekly segment where I delve into the Mets farm system for a new face. It could be a player that has recently been acquired by the organization, or a player who many people may not know about, but has outperformed his expectations this season.

To begin, let me introduce: Mike Baxter.

Baxter, 26, was a fourth round pick of the San Diego Padres in the 2005 draft. He is a corner outfielder by trade, but played centerfield this past Saturday for the first time since 2009. Mike had been on the 60 day DL with the Padres for most of the season, after having surgery on March 28 to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. However, after Orlando Hudson was injured making a sliding catch, he was placed on waivers, where the Mets picked him up on July 22.

Over the course of his minor league career, which now spans seven seasons, Baxter has consistently improved. Take a look at these numbers:

BAOBPSLG
2005 – A.219.267.311
2006 – A.256.304.363
2007 – A+, AAA.271.339.401
2008 – A+, AA.264.345.406
2009 – AA, AAA.317.394.469
2010 – AAA.301.382.517
2011 – A+, AAA.321.404.440



At 26, his best years are still in front of him. Looking at his history, he has the ability to make adjustments and improve his craft no matter what level he is at, so he has some major league potential.

Los Mets Welcome Los Bravos To Citi Field For Fiesta Latina Night

August 5, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field

TV: SNY

RADIO: WAFN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: R.A. Dickey (5-9, 3.77 ERA)

Dickey had some trouble the last time he faced the Braves, giving up six runs in four innings of work. In his career, Dickey is 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA against Atlanta.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Starting Pitcher: Tim Hudson (10-7, 3.31 ERA)

Hudson hasn't fared too well against the Mets this season, but in his career, he is 13-8 with a 3.66 ERA against New York. In his two starts against the Mets this season, which he lost, he hasn't gone more than four innings.


METS LINEUP:

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

Mets Morning News: Santana's Tired Shoulder, A Mature Isringhausen,Reyes' Music Career

The Mets open up a three-game series with Atlanta tonight at Citi Field. R.A. Dickey will get the start against Tim Hudson. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

If you missed it, after being examined in New York on Thursday, Johan Santana was diagnosed with shoulder fatigue. He will begin throwing again once his shoulder is at full strength.

As Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger writes, this time around, the Mets have a much calmer and wiser Jason Isringhausen. It's been evident after his last game in which he blew what could have been career-save number 299.
"Unless you want to just drive yourself absolutely nuts …" Isringhausen said. His voice trailed off. His shoulders shrugged. "It’s just doesn’t affect me anymore."

In his early days as a closer, Isringhausen admits he struggled with anger after blowing a game. Some clubhouses come equipped with punching bags presented as targets for frustration. Some don’t. “I used to get a lot of bills from [stuff] being broke,” Isringhausen said.
The New York Times takes a look at Jose Reyes' off-the-field music career. In July, Reyes released his first music video, "No Hay Amigo."
"This is my hobby," Reyes said of his music. "A lot of baseball players like to fish and have other hobbies. My hobby is music. When it’s the off-season, I like to go to the studio, hang out with friends and make music."
Check out the music video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VorzKV5g498

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Santana Has Shoulder Fatigue

Johan Santana flew to New York today to have his shoulder examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

According to a press release from the Mets:
His shoulder exam was otherwise normal.  Johan will spend the next week with the Mets in New York.  He will rest from throwing but maintain a fitness program.  He will resume his throwing program once his shoulder is at full strength.
This is obviously good news. As soon as the news broke that Santana was going to miss his next rehab start because of discomfort, I'm willing to bet most fans were fearing the worst.

As much as I would like to see him back this season, I would rather he just spend the rest of the season rehabbing, and return in 2012.  Better safe than sorry.

Jason Bay And The Worst Mets Trades Of The Last 15 Years

Earlier this week, I broke down the Mets worst free agent signings of the last decade, highlighted by the disastrous Jason Bay signing last year. Of course, the Bay signing was a double edged sword - the Mets get the bad Bay now, and missed out on the terrific Bay nearly a decade ago.

They traded Bay, along with Bobby Jones and Josh Reynolds to the Padres for Jason Middlebrook and Steve Reed in 2002. Bay would bash 181 homers over the next seven years, production the Mets were hoping for when they signed Bay last year. If only they'd held on to him back then, those homers would have been at Shea!

Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and the Mets have traded plenty of guys who turned into stars later on (Nolan Ryan anyone?). This list strikes a healthy balance between those guys who came out of no where to become stars, plus trades that looked bad at the time and got worse as time went on.  Get ready for some All-Stars lost, outstanding seasons missed and an awful lot of valuable arms traded away for nothing. (All trade info from the indispensable UltimateMets.com)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tonight's Mets, Marlins Game Rained Out

Tonight's game between the Mets and Marlins has been rained out. A make-up date will be announced sometime in the next few weeks.

For more information, go to Mets.com or call (718) 507-TIXX.
For this week's update, the focus will be on players who, throughout the Mets system, are regarded as their "top prospects" or players that will have an impact at the big league level. In the following weeks, stay tuned for players who have had surprising seasons, good or bad, and updates on how recent draftees and international signings are handling their first taste of professional ball.

In Buffalo, the Mets AAA affiliate, there are not too many top notch prospects. With Kirk Nieuwenhuis injured, the roster is composed mainly of guys who have the potential to be good role players on a major league team, but not high impact stars.

Three guys that come to mind are Ruben Tejada, Fernando Martinez and Nick Evans.

Mets Try To Get A Win In Series Finale With Fish

August 3, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field

TV: SNY

RADIO: WFAN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: Dillon Gee (10-3, 3.69 ERA)

With the win in his last start, GeeƂ  became the first Mets rookie to reach double-digit wins since Doc Gooden did it in 1984. He is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA against the Marlins.

FLORIDA MARLINS

Starting Pitcher: Clay Hensley (1-3, 3.09 ERA)

Tonight's game will be the third Hensley has started against the Mets in his last four starts. In his career, he is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA against New York.

METS LINEUP:

Reyes-SS, Turner-2B, Murphy-1B, Wright-3B, Pagan-CF, Bay-LF, Duda-RF, Paulino-C, Gee-RHP

Mets Morning News: Santana's Setback, Carter Improves

Slow news day...

Johan Santana will miss his second rehab start in St. Lucie due to discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder. Instead, he will fly to New York to see a doctor. In regard to when Santana could return to a Major League mound, general manager Sandy Alderson said:
"I don't really believe this is about this year. I believe it's about a timetable that will get him ready. If part of that timetable is pitching in the major leagues this year, good. If it's not, it's not. We certainly aren't going to rush things. Right now, I think a window in September is open to us. If it closes, that's the way it goes."
Gary Carter, who is battling Grade-4 brain cancer, got some good news recently. According to his daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, Carter's tumors have shrunk by 80 percent.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Day, Another Dumb Loss

The Mets lost to the Marlins by a score of 4-3, dropping their fourth straight.



  • Chris Capuano went six solid innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out five and walking two. He gave up two home runs, both solo shots off the bat of Omar Infante.
  • Jose Reyes hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth inning. It was his first home run of the season from the right side.
  • Bobby Parnell was actually decent tonight. Parnell pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
  • The ninth inning was awful. Jason Isringhausen entered to close it out, and one walk, one single, one hit batsman, and one throwing error later, the Mets were losing 4-3. Starting to become a recurring theme here. You can blame Izzy for loading the bases ( as you should), but as a pitcher, you rely on your defense to help you out. Izzy finally got a ground ball, and Justin Turner threw the ball away, allowing the tying and go-ahead run to score for the Marlins.

Next Up: The Mets finish their series with the Marlins Wednesday night. Dillon Gee gets the start. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Mets Look To Bounce Back After Last Night's Fiasco

August 2, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field

TV: SNY

RADIO: WFAN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: Chris Capuano (9-10, 4.51 ERA)

Capuano looks to even up his record tonight to 10-10. He has started against the Marlins in two of his last three starts, and he lost both games. In his career, Capuano is 4-4 with a 3.60 ERA against the Marlins.

FLORIDA MARLINS

Starting Pitcher: Brad Hand (1-3, 2.73 ERA)

Hand had a rough go of it in his last start, lasting just 3.2 innings, and walking six. The rookie has never faced the Mets.

METS LINEUP:

Reyes-SS, Turner-2B, Wright-3B, Hairston-RF, Bay-LF, Pagan-CF, Duda-1B, Nickeas-C, Capuano-LHP

NOTE:

You may have noticed Daniel Murphy is not in tonight's lineup. According to Adam Rubin, manager Terry Collins had planned to play Scott Hairston in tonight's game, meaning a lefty would be sitting the bench. Murphy is that lefty.

Jason Bay and the Worst Mets Free Agents of the Last Decade

Jason Bay clubbed his eighth double of the season this weekend, that's right, 8. As in, less than 10. As in, not even half of the 20 he smacked last year in only 95 games. He already has the same six homers he managed in 2010, but he is slugging a paltry .333 and hitting a limp .238 overall. With just two months left in the regular season and Bay's tenure as a Met not even halfway finished, it is fair to say that the Bay signing has been an outright disaster.

It is not just Bay's performance in a Met uniform that has been so distressing. Rather, it's the track record he established for Pittsburgh and Boston and how his talent seemingly dried up the moment he stepped to the plate on Opening Day 2010. Take his home run numbers since his first full year in 2004: 26, 32, 35, 21, 31, 36. In two years and 175-plus games with the Mets, Bay has managed just 12 home runs. He has hit .249 with the Mets, with an OPS of just .700, all for the low, low price of $32,000,000 so far.

He will almost certainly be put on waivers this month, the real question is whether anyone will claim him, even for free. One of the premiere power hitters since 2004 could not have a lower value right now, and the Mets are stuck footing the bill for at least two more seasons.

Is he one of the worst Met free agent signings in recent memory? Absolutely, but there are some worthy contenders for the title of worst in the last decade.

Mets Morning News: Wheeler's Debut, Santana's Start Pushed Back, InjuryUpdates

In his Mets debut, Zack Wheeler took the mound for St. Lucie and gave up four runs on seven hits, while striking out four and walking none. He struggled in the first inning, giving up three runs, but soon settled down.

Johan Santana's second minor league rehab start will be pushed back one day, to Thursday, because he wasn't feeling strong enough following a bullpen session on Monday.
"He came back and didn't feel quite as strong as he would've liked," said [Sandy] Alderson. "So rather than force it, we backed it off a day, and we'll see how he feels (today). I don't view that as a setback necessarily. I think it's a tweak in the schedule. We'll know (today) if it's anything more significant."
Injury Updates:

Ike Davis has been running this week. By the end of the week, the Mets will decide whether the first baseman will have season-ending surgery to repair his left ankle.

Taylor Buchholz, who has been out since May 30 with depression and anxiety, is most likely not returning to the team this season.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mets Lose In Grand Fashion

The Mets lost to the Marlins in extra innings, 7-3.



  • Mike Pelfrey went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking three.
  • Gaby Sanchez continues to be a Met killer. He drove in the Marlins' first two runs, with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and an RBI single in the third.
  • Jason Bay got the Mets on the board in the fourth inning with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to right field to make it 3-1.
  • Lucas Duda came up big in the ninth inning, hitting his third home run of the season, a two-run shot to tie the game.
  • Things got ugly quick as the Mets and Marlins went into extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Jason Isringhausen entered the game. After getting Omar Infante to ground out for the first out of the inning, he then gave up three consecutive singles. Izzy then gave up a grand slam to Mike Stanton.
  • Daniel Murphy made yet another idiotic play on the field. Murphy wasn't able to get DeWayne Wise out at first base, which resulted in the bases being loaded for Stanton. Wise found himself in a run down after over-running first base. Murphy, who cut off the throw from Lucas Duda, hesitated when tossing the ball to Justin Turner to try and make the out. Murphy has no clue what to do out there. Manager Terry Collins recently described Murphy as "exciting." I like to call it pathetic.

Next up: The Mets send Chris Capuano to the mound Tuesday night as they try to snap a three-game losing streak. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Didn't We Just Play These Guys? Mets Begin Three-Game Series AgainstMarlins

August 1, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field

TV: SNY

RADIO: WFAN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: Mike Pelfrey (6-9, 4.55 ERA)

Pelfrey looks to build off the success of his last start where he threw a 108-pitch complete game victory over the Reds. He'll take on the Marlins tonight, a team he has had hardly any success against. In 14 career starts against Florida, Pelfrey is 1-7 with a 5.29 ERA. In case you're wondering, his one and only win against Florida was his Major League debut back in 2006.

FLORIDA MARLINS

Starting Pitcher: Javier Vazquez (7-9, 5.10 ERA)

Vazquez limited the Nationals to just one run over seven innings in his last start. In his career, Vazquez is 10-9 with a 3.19 ERA against the Mets.


METS LINEUP:

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

Mets Morning News: Pelfrey's Sinker, Collins Sees More Trades InFuture, K-Rod's Option

Tonight's starter, Mike Pelfrey, told the Daily News that after his last start, he has his sinker back. Guess we'll find out if that's true tonight.
Pelfrey seems to be feel reborn after his last start, when he seemed to use the Beltran trade that day to fuel his complete-game victory over the Reds, which raised his record to 5-9.

"It started with Dan (Warthen, pitching coach) saying to me as I was warming up, 'Hey, why don't you go out there and throw 100 fastballs,'" Pelfrey said Sunday. "That's what I used to do. So I took that attitude out to the mound, and for the first time in two years, maybe, I thought my sinker was really good, like it used to be.
Manager Terry Collins said the Mets will probably have a different look once September rolls around.
"It's not over -- believe me, it's a long way from over," Collins said, referring to the possibility of the Mets making August waiver deals. "When you get close to Sept. 1 and teams feel they are one piece away, things happen."
David Waldstein of the New York Times writes that former met Francisco Rodriguez was willing to waive his $17.5 million vesting option with the Mets before he was traded to Milwaukee. K-Rod felt it was keeping him out of save situations for the Mets.
According to two people with knowledge of the events, Rodriguez spoke with Manager Terry Collins in the weeks before he was dealt to Milwaukee, a day after not being brought in to close a game in a nonsave situation. Rodriguez had warmed up and expected to enter the game. He was upset by the implication that the Mets had not used him that day to avoid his finishing 55 games this season, which would have activated the option. He finished 34 games before being traded to Milwaukee on July 12, and has not finished any games for the Brewers.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mets Can't Get It Done Against Nats, Lose Series

The Mets lost to the Nationals this afternoon, 3-2. They finish their road trip with a 6-4 record.


  • Jon Niese went 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out six. He did not walk a batter. Niese was throwing a gem until he imploded in the sixth inning. He started the inning by giving up three doubles in a row, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead. He was finally able to get Jayson Werth to ground out before being pulled.
  • Ryota Igarashi did a nice job of getting out of the sixth inning unscathed, striking out Laynce Nix and Jesus Flores.
  • Imagine what Scott Hairston could have done if he started today's game. Hairston pinch-hit in the seventh inning for Lucas Duda and hit his sixth home run of the year. Two innings later, Hairston hit his second home run of the game off Nationals closer Drew Storen.
  • Daniel Murphy. He's lucky he can hit, because other than being at the plate, he has no business being on a field. He was 2-4 at the plate today, but his base running hurt the Mets. With the bases loaded in the third inning and no where to go, Murphy strayed too far off first and was doubled off on a fly ball to right field. He was able to make a nice play in the ninth inning to throw out Flores at third. Dumb luck if you ask me, seeing as how he wasn't even looking at third when he made the throw.
  • If Bobby Parnell has proven anything this year, it's that he's not a closer. Inconsistency is the name of Parnell's game. He's dominant on the mound for two games, then he'll blow the next three. This afternoon, after giving up a lead-off single to Flores and hitting Rick Ankiel, Parnell was able to get Brian Bixler to ground out into a force out at third base. A wild pitch allowed Ankiel to advance to third. Parnell then gave up the walk-off single to Ian Desmond. After the game, manager Terry Collins told reporters that Parnell twisted his ankle.

Next Up: The Mets head home to Citi Field for a ten game home stand. New York will take on the Marlins Monday night. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Mets Looking To Take The Rubber Game In Series Finale With Washington

July 31, 2011

1:35 PM ET

Nationals Park, Washington D.C.

TV: WPIX

RADIO: WFAN 660


NEW YORK METS

Starting Pitcher: Jon Niese (10-8, 3.97 ERA)

Niese goes for his career-high 11th win of the season this afternoon as he takes on Washington. He is 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA against the Nationals in his career.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Starting Pitcher: Jordan Zimmermann (6-9, 3.27 ERA)

Zimmermann got off to a hot start this season, but has cooled off as of late. He's allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts alone. Against the Mets, he is 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA.

METS LINEUP:

Reyes-SS, Harris-2B, Murphy-1B, Wright-3B, Pagan-CF, Bay-LF, Duda-RF, Thole-C, Niese-LHP

Mets Morning News: What Happened Last Night?, Six-Man Rotation, Izzy,Dickey Takes The Train

In case you missed, the Mets lost to the Nationals last night by a score of 3-0. Yunesky Maya was a late replacement for Washington, filling in for Jason Marquis who was traded to Arizona. Maya and the Nationals bullpen shut out the Mets, and silenced New York's bats for much of the evening. The Mets made things interesting in the ninth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Willie Harris stepped to the plate. He would go on to take a called third strike to end the game.

According to the Daily News, manager Terry Collins may use a six-man rotation once Johan Santana returns from the disabled list.

Despite rumors of possible interest from other teams, Jason Isringhausen doesn't expect to be traded before the non-waiver trade deadline ends at 4 p.m. today. Izzy told the NY Post:
"I think I'm going to be sticking around, but stranger things have happened."
Finally, look for R.A. Dickey on a train near you. Dickey tells the New York Times how he occasionally takes the subway to various stadiums.This season he is recognized more by his fellow passengers, but last season he was able to ride the train without hardly being noticed.
"It was kind of like an out-of-body experience," Dickey recalled. "It was as if I was a fugitive going incognito."