Archive for June, 2009

Smithers, even you could throw a gem against the Mets these days.

Smithers, even you could throw a gem against the Mets these days.

The Mets lost their fifth straight game tonight, falling 6-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Mike Burns (who?) tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, allowing just a two-run homer to David Wright in the first. Nice to see David go yard, but that was one of the few Mets highlights in this one. The offense went into a complete slumber after that homer, and Johan Santana simply didn’t have it tonight. Ryan Braun’s bases-clearing double in the fourth gave the Brewers the lead for good, with Prince Fielder later adding a solo shot to chase Santana in the seventh.
To say the Mets are in deep trouble is akin to saying Roseanne could stand to lose a few pounds. It’s very apparent they’re in a tremendous funk. The team just looks defeated, and to top it off, they face Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo tomorrow afternoon to try and avoid the sweep. Not a pretty picture.
One other positive: Fernando Martinez hit his first major-league homer, a solo shot with two outs in the ninth to make the final score 6-3.
Phillies lose to the Braves, who are now just one game behind the Mets for third. Marlins win again, and I hate to see those annoying pests close to the division lead.
Philadelphia 39-35 —
Florida 40-39 1.5
METS 37-39 3
Atlanta 36-40 4

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I’m disgusted

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Mets

This team is absolutely terrible right now. Mets are down three in the bottom of the seventh and I have no faith they’ll score another run, let alone win this game. Johan didn’t have it tonight and some dude named Mike Burns is the latest pitcher to turn into Greg Maddux against the Mets.

Alex Cora, SS
Fernando Tatis, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Nick Evans, 1B
Fernando Martinez, CF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P

Another new lineup, but at least this one doesn’t have Argenis Reyes in it. Tatis actually showed signs of life last night, so maybe he can heat up. Lord knows they need someone with pop in the lineup other than Sheffield. I’d include Wright but he’s got four homers thus far in what is one of the strangest statistical seasons I can remember. His average has been great all year (although it’s fallen in the last 2 weeks), his steals are up (19) but he’s racking up a ton of strikeouts and much lower power production.

Pirates, Nats swing deal

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Odds and Sods

Two of the NL’s perennial bottom feeders made a trade this afternoon, with the Nationals sending former Met uber-prospect Lastings Milledge and struggling reliever Joel Hanrahan to the Pirates for speedy outfielder Nyjer Morgan and dime-a-dozen lefty reliever Sean Burnett.
Apparently, the Nationals were already tired of Milledge’s attitude, also wanting to upgrade their woeful defense, which Morgan will certainly do.
On potential though, I believe the Pirates won this trade. Hanrahan has great stuff, if he ever regains his confidence. Milledge still has major skills, he just needs to grow up. He’s still just 24, while Morgan is 28 and probably is what he is, a guy that plays great defense and can swipe some bags.
In another move, the Pirates sent utility infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske to the Yanks for a pair of fringe prospects.
Meanwhile, all quiet on the Mets front.

Mets ship sinking fast

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Mets

The Skipper is obviously reacting to the latest Mets embarassment.

The Skipper is obviously reacting to the latest Mets embarassment.

The Mets dropped their fourth straight game, falling 10-6 tonight to the Milwaukee Brewers in a game that wasn’t even that close.
Fernando Nieve, who had pitched brilliantly in his first three Mets starts, crashed to earth with a thud tonight, allowing three runs on 11 hits in just 3 1/3 innings.
Yet as bad as Nieve was tonight, the Mets’ pen was much worse. Hard to believe the pen actually looked good at one point this year, it seems so long ago. After Elmer Dessens pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings (a miracle in and of itself), the combination of Brian Stokes, Pat Misch and Bobby Parnell surrendered eight runs on eight hits over the final three innings.
The critical blow was a two-out sixth-inning grand slam by Casey McGehee off Stokes, giving the Brewers a 7-2 lead. Misch allowed a run and Parnell two more to give Milwaukee a 10-3 lead after 8. Parnell was magnificent in the first two months of the season. He’s been awful in June and could be ticketed to AAA soon.
The Mets did just enough in the ninth to make me somewhat interested again. Daniel Murphy and David Wright hit back to back doubles for a run, and Gary Sheffield blasted a two-run homer to close the gap to 10-6. Brewers manager Ken Macha, obviously wanting a save chance for Trevor Hoffman, let a clearly struggling Carlos Villanueva give up two more hits to Ryan Church and Fernando Martinez before Macha called on Hoffman.
Just as I started to believe a little bit, Brian Schneider hits the first pitch and grounds into a game-ending double play. Ahh, the life of a Mets fan.
It’s becoming apparently clear that this team simply isn’t good. The injuries have reduced this squad to a shell of itself, and I’m not so sure it was that great of a squad to begin with. Unless major changes are made or guys magically start coming off the disabled list, I’m afraid it’s going to be a long summer for Mets fans.
The Mets are now in third place, as the Marlins beat the Nats tonight 4-2. Mets under .500 for the first time since early May. We may have to get used to it. And by the way, just as I knew he would, the great Argenis Reyes went 0-5 from the leadoff spot tonight. This guy is terrible, AAA filler at best.
Here are the standings, although I don’t know why I bother.
Philadelphia 39-34 —
Florida 39-39 2.5
METS 37-38 3

Roddick advances to quarters

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Odds and Sods

American Andy Roddick breezed to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, crushing Tomas Berdych in straight sets.
Roddick next gets a revitalized Lleyton Hewitt for a spot in the semifinals.
Although Hewitt has certainly turned the clock back a bit, Roddick has won four straight times against him and the American is playing well this year. Roddick in straight sets, as he continues his long pursuit of that second major championship.

Another day, another lineup

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Mets

More and more, Jerry Manuel irks me. Here’s tonight’s lineup, courtesy of the NY Daily News.
A. Reyes, SS (are you kidding me?)
Murphy, 1B
Wright, 3B
Sheffield, LF
Church, RF
Martinez, CF
Schneider, C
Castillo, 2B
Nieve, P

First off, Argenis Reyes isn’t a major-league player, let alone a leadoff hitter. If he’s going to play, he should bat eighth and Castillo in the leadoff spot. Maybe Jerry got confused. I’ve got a Reyes on my team, gotta put him in the leadoff spot. Nonsensical move. Hope I eat my words and Reyes goes 3-4 with 3 runs. Just don’t see that happening though. Fernando Nieve (3-0, 1.31) faces Braden Looper (5-4, 5.16) tonight. Mets try to avoid falling under .500, beginning a key stretch of games which includes series against NL playoff contenders Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Cincinnati, with a makeup game in Pittsburgh thrown into the mix Thursday.

No Macca-Dylan duet after all

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Beatles

Guess this was just something that got stoked on the internet coals. It’s a shame, because I would have loved to see a McCartney-Dylan collaboration.

http://www.digitalspy.com/music/a162585/mccartney-no-plans-for-dylan-duet.html

Lost weekend

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Mets

Terrible weekend for the Mets as they were utterly dominated by their crosstown rivals from the Bronx in one of the worst Subway Series I can remember.
Last night’s game was winnable, as Livan Hernandez did a nice job after a bumpy first with more bad defense by the Mets (although no errors were charged). The most frustrating play of the night came in the ninth, something that could only happen to the Mets.
Francisco Rodriguez, who has been brilliant for the Mets this year, suddenly morphed into Armando Benitez. He couldn’t find the zone and didn’t have command. With runners on first and second, two outs and Mariano Rivera on deck, the Mets smartly walked Derek Jeter intentionally (after foolishly throwing three pitches to him).
Rivera, the future Hall of Fame closer, has no career hits or RBIs. All K-Rod has to do is throw his best fastball down the middle and see if Mo can catch up to it. Instead, he falls behind 2-0 and eventually walks Rivera on a 3-2 pitch, forcing in a run to make it 4-2 Yanks.
Only to the Mets, I say. Rivera closes the door in the bottom of the ninth for his 500th save (how good has this guy been during his career, that cutter is still lethal even though its lost a few MPH over the years). Mets get swept, ending a 1-5 Subway Series slaughter to the Yanks. Overall, the Mets go 5-10 in interleague play, losing nine of their last IL contests after taking the first series against Boston.
Now it’s on to Milwaukee, with the Mets back at .500, 2 1/2 games back of the Phils, who took two of three in Toronto. Fernando Nieve tries to keep his amazing string of starts going. He’ll oppose one-time horrendous Mets closer Braden Looper, who has turned out to be a serviceable back of the rotation starter the last couple years.

The standings:
Philadelphia 39-34 —
METS 37-37 2.5
Florida 38-39 3

rolaidsI’ll be leaving here shortly to pick my wife up from the airport, so it’s unlikely I’ll have any postgame analysis until sometime tomorrow. I know, all two of my loyal readers will be upset, but that’s the way it is.
Looks like Murphy’s defensive blunders will cost the Mets the game, although he wasn’t charged with an error on either one. Jeter leads off the game with a double, then Nick Swisher hits a grounder to Murph, who foolishly tried to get Jeter at third. What was worse is he double-pumped on the throw, losing any chance he had of getting him (not that he should have been throwing there in the first place). In the first inning, you take the sure out, I don’t know how major-league players can have brain locks like this, they’ve been playing the game their whole lives. Mark Teixiera promptly doubles in two runs and after a walk to A-Rod, Robinson Cano hits into what could have been a double play, but Murphy couldn’t hang on to the throw at first. The Yanks score their third run on a sac fly. It’s these little fundamental mistakes that will kill a baseball team.
On to the good: Livan Hernandez pitched a great game, and although he was charged with three earned runs in seven innings, it could have easily been one (as previously noted). Fernando Martinez made a nice sliding catch to rob Chien-Ming Wang of a hit in the second, also delivering an RBI double off the wall to give the Mets their first run. It’s 3-2 in the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs. Sean Green just walked A-Rod and I need a TUMS…..
UPDATE: Green got out of it, as Cano smashed a two-hopper to second to strand the bases loaded. This could be the Mets’ best chance, with Wright and Sheff due up in the eighth. Mariano Rivera is sitting on 499 saves, so the Mets had better get moving.
FINAL UPDATE: F-Mart just chased a pitch over his head for a strikeout, Rivera enters the game with runners on first and second and two outs. He’s four outs away from his 500th save and Omir Santos is due up. He homered to win a game off Papelbon earlier this season. Could he do it again off Rivera? I’m off to pick up my wife and listen to the last inning-plus on the radio….LET’S GO METS!