Archive for July, 2009

I’ll be away until Tuesday

Posted: July 30, 2009 in Odds and Sods

Heading to a Snoop Dogg concert in Tampa with my wife tomorrow, and then my parents are in for a weekend visit. I’ll be off the blogging trail for a few days, but will be back for my throng of fans by Tuesday. As always, Let’s Go Mets.


Mets’ winning streak ends

Posted: July 30, 2009 in Mets

Well, we knew the Mets weren’t going to reel off a season-ending 60-game winning streak. They saw their five-game streak end with a 4-2 loss in Game 2 of tonight’s doubleheader. Rookie Jon Niese pitched relatively well, working 6 1/3 innings while being charged with all four runs. I thought Jerry Manuel left Niese in an inning too long. After he wriggled out of a tough sixth inning (in which he surrendered a 1-0 lead), I thought Niese’s night should have been done. Let the kid have a positive taste in his mouth after six solid innings. Several balls were hit hard tonight, so I just thought that would catch up with Niese eventually and it did in the seventh. The opposing pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (who pitched a nice game tonight) doubled to center and after another hard out, Clint Barmes launched a two-run homer and Todd Helton followed with a single. Manuel then lifted Niese in favor of Brian Stokes, who promptly gave up an RBI triple to Troy Tulowitzki. Game pretty much over there. I can’t complain too much though. It certainly would have been nice to sweep the series and move a game under .500, but when the series started, I would have been ecstatic with three out of four. The Mets now get the Diamondbacks for four, and hopefully another series victory is on the horizon. They really can’t afford too many series losses from here on out.

Santana dominant in Mets’ win

Posted: July 30, 2009 in Mets

I can’t help but be a little excited about the Mets’ play of late. Left for dead at 44-51, the Mets have now reeled off five straight wins. What’s better, most of these wins have been convincing victories over solid ballclubs. The Mets took Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader earlier this afternoon, 7-0, over the Colorado Rockies. Johan Santana was brilliant, rebounding from a terrible start against Houston by throwing seven shutout innings of four-hit baseball. He struck out eight and walked one, a truly encouraging performance by the Mets’ ace who has been up and down after a brilliant first two months of the season.
New York struck for five runs in the second off Jason Hammel, effectively ending the game early. The Mets used five consecutive hits to produce the first four runs – Cory Sullivan and Omir Santos drove in runs with RBI singles and then the powerful Angel Berroa, in the lineup today because Luis Castillo’s wife was giving birth, ripped a two-run double to make it 4-0. One batter later, Angel Pagan’s RBI single chased Hammel and the Mets were never threatened.
David Wright drove in the final two runs, including a well-struck RBI double in the seventh. The Mets go for the sweep (of both the doubleheader and the four-game set) later tonight when Jon Niese takes on Jorge De La Rosa. Let’s Go Mets!

Mets rained out

Posted: July 29, 2009 in Mets

Bummer. The Mets’ game with the Rockies tonight was rained out and will be made up as part of a split admission day-night doubleheader tomorrow. Tough to have one rained out when the team is on a bit of a roll, but that’s the way it goes.

The Philadelphia Phillies bolstered their starting rotation and bench with one fell swoop Wednesday, acquiring reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco prospects Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and Jason Donald. Knapp and Carrasco are pitchers, Marson a catcher and Donald a middle infielder.
THE SOD TAKE: Great move by the Phillies in that they added Lee and Francisco without surrendering J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor. The prospects (especially Knapp) are nice, but if I were a Phillies fan I wouldn’t be losing too much sleep over losing these guys. They’re building the team to win now, yet still managed to make the deal without coughing up major pieces of their future. Francisco is a nice righty power bat for their bench. Maybe they’ll wise up and finally cut Eric Bruntlett’s sorry ass from the team. Anyway, Francisco is a better player than Ryan Spilborghs, another guy they were rumored to be looking at for a righty off the bench. I hate the Phillies but they made out rather nicely here.

Do you believe it? Four in a row

Posted: July 28, 2009 in Mets

Mike Pelfrey tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings for the Metropolitans on Tuesday night.

Mike Pelfrey tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings for the Metropolitans on Tuesday night.

The Mets continued an out of nowhere string of inspired play, topping the Wild Card-leading Colorado Rockies 4-0 tonight at CitiField for the team’s fourth straight victory. Don’t think they’ve won four in a row since a season-best seven-game winning streak in early May, so it’s nice to see the team winning some games.
Mike Pelfrey pitched in and out of trouble all night, but he had great stuff, escaping jams in the fourth and sixth innings in a very encouraging outing. With a fastball that reached 97, Pelf allowed seven hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, but he kept the strong Rockies offense off the board. Pedro Feliciano relieved with one out and a man on in the second, retiring all five men he faced with three strikeouts. Sean Green finished up for a well-earned run.
The offense did its job against a pitcher having a great year in Jason Marquis. They scored three runs (two earned) during Marquis’ six-inning stint, touching him up for seven hits. Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single plated Dan Murphy in the second, and Luis Castillo plated a run in the third with a two-out RBI single. Brian Schneider’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in the fourth, and Murphy’s RBI single off Josh Fogg capped the scoring.
Murphy went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, with David Wright and Alex Cora each adding a pair of hits.
The Mets are now 5 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the NL Wild Card chase and have the definite edge on paper for Wednesday’s pitching matchup. Jason Hammel for the Rockies against Johan Santana, who will try to bounce back from a forgettable outing in Houston last time around. With how bleak things were looking a week ago, there is suddenly some life. I won’t get too excited until they reach .500, but a win Wednesday or Thursday will make it two series victories in a row against a pair of solid clubs in Houston and Colorado. A sweep would be great, but I’ll take a series win.

Tonight’s Mets lineup

Posted: July 28, 2009 in Mets

The Mets (47-51) go for their fourth straight win when they host the wild-card leading Colorado Rockies (54-45). The inconsistent Mike Pelfrey (7-6, 4.99) takes on the suddenly ace-like Jason Marquis (12-6, 3.49). The lineup is very similar to the last three days, with only the catcher (and pitcher of course) changing:
Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Alex Cora, SS
Mike Pelfrey, P

Mets win, Mets win

Posted: July 28, 2009 in Mets

On an embarrassing day for the organization off the field, the Mets posted a nice win on the field tonight, their third straight to be exact. I’m lazy tonight and didn’t look it up, but I believe it’s the first three-game winning streak since May. The Mets topped the Rockies 7-3 tonight, with Fernando Tatis blasting a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning to snap a 3-3 tie. Tatis has been a source of ridicule on my blog (as have many others), but it was nice to see him come through big-time and not weakly ground into a double play. Oliver Perez had a typical Perez outing, going five laborious innings in which he threw over 100 pitches, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and five Ks. He also surrendered a pair of homers, which accounted for the scoring. The Mets’ pen did the job after that, with Brian Stokes, Pedro Feliciano and Francisco Rodriguez combining for four shutout innings. Jeff Francoeur continues to impress, blasting a solo homer in the second and moving a runner into scoring position with a deep flyball. That runner (David Wright) eventually scored the tying run in a two-run sixth for New York. Mets now 47-51, 6 1/2 games behind the Wild-Card leading Rockies. They really need a series win here and tonight was a good place to start. The teams are back in action for Game 2 of the four-game set with 12-game winner Jason Marquis taking on Mike Pelfrey. Let’s Go Mets!

The Mets can’t even get a simple firing right. They did the right thing today and got rid of Vice President of Player Development Tony Bernazard, whose alleged outbursts have been in all the NY papers over the last week. The guy has been viewed as a loose cannon for awhile now, it seems, and with the Mets’ minor league system underperforming anyway, it became easy to get rid of the guy. However, the interesting part came in today’s press conference. I only read about this, but I can’t wait to see what happened. Apparently, Minaya called out Daily News writer Adam Rubin, the guy who broke the Bernazard story, saying Rubin was lobbying for a job in the Mets’ player development department. There may be an element of truth here, but it was pretty stupid for Omar to bring it up at a press conference, as he was implying Rubin wanted to get Bernazard fired. This incensed Rubin and the two got into some kind of verbal sparring match. Unbelievable. The soap opera continues.

Wow, 18 runs in two games!

Posted: July 26, 2009 in Mets

The Mets took two of three from the Houston Astros this weekend and honestly, if Johan Santana produced a typical Johan start Friday night, then the Mets would have swept. But I digress. Since I’m working right now, I’ll comment more after my shift is complete, but I will say this: The Mets’ offense was much, much better this weekend. They produced double-digits in hits all three games and even knocked a few balls out of the park (and we all know how rare that is from this team). Jeff Francoeur had two more RBIs today, giving him 14 in his 12 games with the Mets. For a comparison, Ryan Church produced 22 RBIs in over three months with the team. The Mets won 8-3 today to follow last night’s 10-3 win. It certainly helped to have Russ Ortiz and Brian Moehler starting the last two games, but let’s face it, for the better part of a month, it hasn’t mattered who has started against the Mets, so we’ll take what we can get. The Mets are now 46-51, 7 1/2 games behind the Wild Card-leading Rockies. The Mets are stuck behind seven teams in the Wild Card standings, so they’re the very definition of longshot. But, the Rockies come to town for a four-game set Monday, the start of a 10-game homestand (Rockies for 4, D-Backs for 4, Cardinals for 2). If the Mets could somehow produce a 7-3 homestand, they’d be 53-54 with a seven-game road trip to the NL West bottom feeders (San Diego and Arizona) following. If they go 4-3 on that swing, they’re back at .500 at 57-57, hopefully jumping over a few teams and getting within 4-5 games of the Wild Card lead. That’s 12-7 over the next 19 games. Is it doable? Still doubtful but if they could somehow take three of four from the Rockies and Omar could pull off a deal for either another starter or bat before the deadline, the fans may have hope, especially if any of the injured stars returns soon. It would be refreshing to see a Mets team stage a dramatic rally when all seemed lost. It would help erase some of the awful taste the last two seasons/collapses have left in our mouths. While my belief is on life support, a strong homestand can make me feel good about this team again. Come on, guys. Get it done!