Tom Seaver Fan Club

From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.

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April 28, 2010

Mets punish Dodgers 7-3 for 7th win in a row

by @ 8:31 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Mets starter John Maine struck out 9 while 7 of 8 regulars had hits as New York continued its strong play, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field. With the win(7th in a row), NY concludes their third 9-1 home stand in Franchise history and goes into the weekend leading the rival Phillies by percentage points for 1st place in the NL East. The teams have a 3 game showdown series this weekend in Pennsylvania.  The Mets plated 5 runs in 6 innings of Los Angeles starter John Ely, who was making his major league debut. CF Angel Pagan had a two run triple while RF Jeff Francoeur and 2B Alex Cora added rbi doubles. NY is now 13-9 and enters the Philly series with momentum and confidence.

MAINE EVENT: Maine was outstanding Wednesday in his 1st start since experiencing  pain in his non-throwing elbow April 23. He pitched passed the 5th inning for the 1st time in 2010, allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs while walking 3.  He threw fastballs probably 80% of the time and was around the plate all day.(66 strikes on 101 pitches,18 first pitch strikes to 26 batters)

WICKED WEATHER: Fall like conditions at the ball park with 25-30 mile per hour winds and temps in the mid 50s. Very tough for the fielders and pitchers a like.

RECORD WRIGHT: 3b David Wright hit his 226th double in the 4th inning and is now the Mets all time leader in the category, passing Mets legend Ed Kranepool.

STUD STARTERS: NY starting pitchers have allowed 3 runs or less in 14 consecutive starts.

JOY FOR JERRY: Very happy for everyone affiliated with the Mets for their recent strong play but really happy and excited for skipper Jerry Manuel. He came into the year (unfairly) leading on the first manager fired list and has done a great job with this club. It was not easy going to work everyday for the Mets in the murderous 2009 campaign yet  Jerry managed to remain upbeat and positive in an almost impossible situation.  Could not  happen to a better and nicer Man!

NEXT GAME:

Team is off Thursday, Start 3 game series with Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia Friday

7:05

Phillies RH Kyle Kendrick(0-0,7.71) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese(0-1,3.68)

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April 27, 2010

Mets sweep doubleheader vs the Dodgers for the 1st time since 1971, Club in 1st place by percentage points

by @ 10:09 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The New York Mets continued their run of outstanding play Tuesday, sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in a doubleheader at Citi Field for their 5 and 6th wins in a row while winning 8 out of 10 overall. NY won game 1 4-0 behind Ace lefty Johan Santana’s six scoreless innings and 2B Luis Castillo’s 2 rbi. LF Jason Bay also hit his first home run for a Mets in the 4th inning. An amazing stat from this game: The NY pitching staff has a 1.02 ERA in his last eight games.

Game 2 saw the Mets break open a close game with 7 runs in the 5th and 6th innings(4 in the later) for a 10-5 win. David Wright drove in 4 runs(3 with Bases loaded triple in the 6th) while rookie phenom 1B Ike Davis added 3 rbi. The unsung hero of the game 2 victory(and maybe the 2010 Mets SO FAR) was 35 year old rookie reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who got the win. He entered the game in the 4th when LH SP Oliver Perez was struggling with his control(4 walks in 3 and 2 thirds). Takahashi walked in run but he then settled down to allow only 1 run in 3 and a third innings with 5 strikeouts. SS Jose Reyes and CF Angel Pagan both scored 3 times for the winners. The Mets are now 12-9 on the season and lead the Philadelphia Phillies by percentage points(.571 to .550) for 1st place in the NL East, The two clubs play a 3 game series this weekend in Pennsylvania.

BIG NIGHT FOR DAVID: Wright’s go ahead single in the 5th was the 3rd Baseman’s 1000th career hit in his 868th game.  He also has 143 home runs since joining the Mets in 2004. An incredible stat released by the Elias Sports Bureau:  In the history of New York baseball, Only Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio have played in so few games and have as many hits and homers. “That can’t be right,” Wright said. “I don’t think I belong there.”

NEXT GAME:

Wednesday, Series finale vs the Dodgers at Citi Field

Dodgers RHP John Ely(ML debut) vs Mets RH John Maine(0-1,8.64)

1:10 pm

April 26, 2010

Monday’s game postponed….

by @ 10:05 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Doubleheader Tuesday starting at 4:10. Game One has Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Hiroki Kuroda(2-0,2.18) vs Mets ace LHP Johan Santana(2-1,2.59) with  Game 2 featuring Dodgers RH Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger(0-2,6.46) vs. NY Southpaw LH Oliver Perez(0-2,3,71).  Tickets for Monday’s game will not be valid for Admission Tuesday but can be exchanged in person at Citi Field.  Tuesday’s doubleheader will be single admission, for more info on the club’s rain-check ticket exchange policy please go to mets.com.

April 25, 2010

Pelfrey battles as Mets beat rain, Braves, 1-0 in 6

by @ 10:50 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Big righty hander Mike Pelfrey continued his incredible start to the 2010 season,leading the New York Mets to 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves in a rain shortened 6 inning game Sunday night at Citi Field. With the win, Pelfrey is now 4-0 with a save and his ERA stands at a major league best 0.69. SS Jose Reyes used his speed to create the lone run of the game in the home 1st.  With 2 outs, the Mets new 3 hitter singled to left and stole second. LF Jason Bay hit ball to Braves 3B Chipper Jones, who made a poor throw to 1st, allowing Reyes to score. Pelfrey, who did not have his best stuff, escaped a lot of “traffic”(Mets skipper Jerry Manuel’s term for jams) , battling to throw 106 pitches n 5 innings. The 6’7 starter allowed 5 hits while  matching a career high with 5 walks and K-ing three. Pelfrey induced two huge inning ending double plays as well.  “I was obviously pretty lucky tonight, ” Pelfrey said. ” I must be living right, or doing something.”The win ,which gave the Mets a 3 game sweep over the rival Braves, puts NY at 10-9 and improved the clubs record to 6-1 on their current 10 game home stand.

MAINE UPDATE: RH SP John Maine threw a bullpen session pre game and is good to go in his next start Wednesday. Maine was pulled from his last start Friday after feeling pain in his left elbow. Interesting note: Pelfrey’s shutout string in the longest since a 26 inning streak in Mid July-August 2006 by …. John Maine.

CHEERS FOR CHIPPER: Although he is public enemy number 1 to many Mets fans, you have to applaud Jones for even playing in that quagmire Sunday night with his bad hip(Pulled himself after 3 innings Saturday). Very obvious that he is seriously hurting  and he clearly sees his club needs him.

AWFUL ATLANTA: The Braves have lost 5 straight and have been outscored 19-6 during their skid. Defensively, they made 7 errors in 21 innings in the series while stranding 26 in 23 batting innings. Good to get the Braves while they are struggling, team has tremendous talent and good piching. Will beat up on someone down the road!

JOY FOR JERRY: Manuel has taken some unfair heat in his 2+ years as Mets Manager, losing a late division lead in 2008(Injuries to a bullpen the real issue) and having a MASH unit for a team in 2009. However, he has done some good things with this club early on(Line-up, Pagan in CF, Bullpen,etc) and regardless of the situation his team faces, he is always upbeat and cooperative. Great to see a good man win!

STRONG STARTERS: Entering Sunday’s game, New York’s starting pitchers posted a 1.39 ERA in their last 10 games, the clubs lowest mark since 1991. Dwight Gooden, Frank Viola, David Cone, SNY announcer Ron Darling and Wally Whitehurst formed that rotation.

DON’T LOOK NOW: Mets are tied for 2nd place and are only a game and half behind the Philadelphia Phillies!

NEXT GAME:

Monday, Host the Defending NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers for a 3 game set at Citi Field

7 pm

Dodgers RH Hiroki Kuroda(2-0,2.18) vs. Mets LH Oliver Perez(0-2,3.71)




April 24, 2010

Mets rally late ,defeat Braves 3-1 for 3rd win in row

by @ 2:06 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

OFs Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur produced rbi doubles in consecutive innings leading the suddenly surging New York Mets to a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. NY improved to -1 on their current 10 game homestand and have won three in a row for the first time since May 2009. LH Jon Niese started the game and was solid but struggled with his control.(5 walks in 5 and a third innings) Niese allowed a run on 5 hits while throwing 116 pitches.(67 strikes) C Henry Blanco added a sacrifice fly in the 7th while Bay, who has come on in the last week, had 3 hits. The Mets stand at 9-9 with the win and have clinched their 2nd consecutive series.

MAINE MEDICAL: RH SP John Maine, who left his start Friday night in the 4th inning with pain in his non pitching elbow, expects to make his next start Wednesday vs the Los Angeles Dodgers. If he cannot go, the team would like to start Hisanori Takahashi to avoid a roster move, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.

REYES RIGHT: SS Jose Reyes, who changes this entire team when he is healthy, made a great diving catch to save a run in the 8th.

FERNANDO!!!: Fernando Nieve appeared in his 12th game of the young season, throwing to 2 batters in the 8th.

WRIGHT WRONG: 3b David Wright had another tough day with the bat, going 0 for 4 with an inning ending double play in the 8th.

BLAZING BLANCO: The Mets backup catcher stole a base for the 1st time since 2001!

CITI SYTLE: You can see in the early season that the Mets hitters have figured out how to play their new ball park and more importantly, WHERE(Gaps to both Right and Left, Corners to poles)  to hit the ball. Reyes makes a huge difference obviously but a guy like Bay, who played in a stadium with a HUGE outfield in Pittsburgh, can really become a weapon in Citi Field. Others like Francoeur and CF Angel Pagan seem to have made adjustments as well.

MANNYS REVENGE: RH RP Manny Acosta earned the win vs his former team for his first victory since beating the Mets last July 16th. NY claimed Acosta off of waivers March 30th and today marked his 2nd appearance since being recalled April 21st.

BAD BRAVES: Lots of sloppy play in the  first two games for a Bobby Cox led team. I know they have some new players but you are used to seeing a certain level of play from the Atlanta Braves. Silly, stupid mistakes are not part of that.  Bobby Cox has to be steaming privately. Maybe retirement wasn’t such a bad idea!

plot of the romantics

JACKED JURRJENS: Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens(0-1,6.06) has struggled early in the year but had owned the Mets previously, going 6-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 8 starts. Good omen that NY found a way to beat him!

.500 FEELS GOOD: Team is at .500 for the first time since starting 2-2.

CORA CAN: 2b Luis Castillo was given a day off to rest with super sub Alex Cora taking his spot in the field and in the batting order.(2nd)

FUNNY GAME: For the 1st 2 weeks of the season, the Mets presented closer Francisco Rodriquez with 1 save opportunity. Today he notched his 3rd save in as many days.

NEXT GAME:

SUNDAY,series finale vs the Braves at Citi Field, Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN

8:10 pm

Braves RH Tommy Hanson(1-1,2.81) vs. Mets RH Mike Pelfrey(3-0,0.86)

Mets continue run of strong play as Ike Davis hits his 1st ML homer but Maine injured as they defeat Braves, 5-2

by @ 9:29 am. Filed under 2010 Mets

Phenom 1B prospect Ike Davis hit a 450 foot shot for his 1st ML homer while 3B David Wright drove in two runs, helping the NY Mets to a 5-2 win over the rival Atlanta Braves Friday night at Citi Field. Things were not all good  for NY, however, RH SP John Maine, who has battled injuries for the past 2 campaigns, left the  game with 2 outs in the 4th after experiencing pain and a muscle spasm in his non-throwing elbow. Mets Manager Jerry Manuel is not sure if Maine will make his next start. The right hander missed 3 months with a tired pitching shoulder in 2009 and left a start in 2008 with an almost identical opposite elbow problem, “Same Thing” said Maine. Japanese LH Hisanori Takahashi saved the day for the Mets, pitching 3 tremendous innings of long relief while striking out 7 Braves.  Closer Francisco Rodriquez made things interesting in the 9th,allowing a single and walk but he then K-ed the final 2 Atlanta batters to secure the win and K-Rod’s 2nd save in as many  days. NY has won 4 out of 5 on the current homestand and stands at 8-9 on the year.

NEW LINEUP A HIT: Friday marked the lineup change Manuel had wanted to break camp with,featuring Jose Reyes in the 3rd spot. The idea here is to lengthen the lineup and put LF Jason Bay in a position where he sees tons of fastballs with speedster hitting in front of him.(Bay KILLS fast balls- TRUST ME, I covered him with the Pirates and grew up in Boston. He homered of Mariano Rivera last year!) Here is the new order: CF Angel Pagan, 2B Luis Castillo, Reyes, Bay, 3B Wright, Davis, RF Jeff Francoeur, C Rod Barajas, Pitcher.  Reyes ignited a 2 run rally in the 6th with a triple, Bay followed with his own 3 bagger.  Wright then singled home Bay for the 3rd Mets run.

GAME NOTES: Braves leadoff man and CF Nate McLouth struck out 4 times in 5 at bats…. Very strange play in the 7th allowed the Mets to add a vital run. Reyes popped up and the infield fly rule is in effect, meaning the batter is out and base runners advance at their own risk. Braves 3B and professional Mets killer Chipper Jones and SS Omar Infante botched the pop-up and the ball went to C Brian McCann, who ran to 1B to tag Reyes. No one covered home and Pagan raced home for an embarrassing run. To make matters worse, Wright added another run with an rbi single. … The Braves made 4 errors for the 1st time since July 2008… Reyes, who looks to be almost 100%, had two hits and is smiling a lot. Great sign for Mets fans…. Braves rookie RF Jason Heyward, The talk of baseball, k-ed 3 times and was 0 for 4… Infante had 3 hits for Atlanta

NEXT GAME:

SATURDAY, 1:10, GAME 2 of 3 vs the Braves

Atlanta RH Jair Jurrjens(0-1,6.06) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese(0-1,4.08)


April 23, 2010

Santana pitches 7 strong as 4 run 6th powers Mets past Cubs, 5-2

by @ 9:11 am. Filed under 2010 Mets

Ace Lefty Johan Santana continued to pitch like Johan Santana while some of the Mets slumping batters came thru with clutch rbi, helping New York defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Thursday night at Citi Field. 3b David Wright(2 for 11 on the recent homestand) doubled home the first NY run  whle RF Jeff Francoeur(1st RBI since April 16th, followed with his own rbi single in the 4 run sixth. Santana allowed 8 hits and 1 run while throwing 103 pitches(78 for strikes) to earn his 2nd win. Closer Francisco Rodriquez pitched an inning and 2 thirds for his 1st save of the year while rookie 1B Ike Davis added 3 hits.  The victory gives NY their first win in a series(3-1) in 2010 and the Mets stand at 7-9 with the rival Atlanta Braves coming to town this weekend.


GAME NOTES: Mets skipper Jerry Manuel plans to adjust the batting order this weekend, moving SS Jose Reyes into the 3rd spot. Lineup should be resemble this model: CF Angel Pagan, 2B Luis Castillo, Reyes, LF Jason Bay, Wright, Davis, Francoeur, C Rod Barajas, Pitcher….1B Mike Jacobs accepted a minor league assignment to Triple-A Buffalo after clearing waivers….Wright’s double, 225 of his career, tied long time 1B-OF Ed Kranepool for the franchise record

NEXT GAME:

FRIDAY, 7:10, START 3 GAME SERIES VS THE ATLANTA BRAVES

RHP Kenshin Kawakami(0-2,4.91) vs. RHP John Maine(0-1,10.38)



April 22, 2010

Silva's arm, Soriano's bat leads Cubs over Mets 9-3

by @ 11:28 am. Filed under 2010 Mets

RH SP Carlos Silva threw 2 hit ball over 6 innings while LF Alfonso Soriano capped a three hit night with a 2 run shot in the 7th, leading the Chicago Cubs to a decisive 9-3 win over the New York Mets Wednesday night at Citi Field. Mets starter, Lefty Oliver Perez, battled for 5 innings, allowing 8 hits and 3 runs(two earned) while striking out 4. Olie walked 2 , threw 97 pitches(64 for strikes)  and tossed 16 1st pitch strikes to 26 Cub batters.  C Rod Barajas homered for the first Mets run while 3b David Wright and 2B Luis Castillo added rbi. The loss drops NY to 6-9 on the season with a 4-5 record at home.

ROSTER MOVES: Team DL-ed reliever Ryota Igarashi and promoted RP Manny Acosta pre game.


BAD BULLPEN: One of the few games in the early season that the relief corps pitched poorly. Acosta allowed 3 runs in 1 and a third innings, hi-lighted by Soriano’s 2 run homer. LHP Hisanori Takahashi allowed 3 9th inning runs on a bases loaded walk and a 2 run single from OF Marlon Byrd.

BELTRAN BRUISE: Reports have CF Carlos Beltran being told by his advisors to not resume running until the bone bruises in his knee are healed. I am beginning to think that #15 will not play a game this season.

release of harry potter and the deathly hallows: part 1 on dvd

NEXT GAME:

Thursday, Series finale vs the Cubs at Citi Field

7:10 pm

Cubs LH Tom Gorzelanny(0-1,1.93) vs. Mets Johan Santana(1-1,3.00)

April 20, 2010

Pelfrey continues to dominate while Reyes responds to rest as Mets handle Cubs, 4-0

by @ 10:52 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

RH Mike Pelfrey continued his strong start to the 2010 campaign with 7 shutout innings while SS Jose Reyes had 4 hits, leading the New York Mets to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night at Citi Field. Pelfrey allowed only 3 hits over 7 frames while matching a career high with 19 consecutive scoreless innings.   Reyes was the team’s offensive star Tuesday and he  looked like a brand new man after being given a day of rest by Mets skipper Jerry Manuel. “We thought that it would be time for him to get his stuff going,” Manuel said. “It was just a matter of him getting a bit of a physical and mental break.” Jose’s 2 run triple in the 2nd inning provided all the offense NY would need but PH Fernando Tatis added 2 important insurance runs with a two run homer in the 8th.  The Mets have now won 2 in row and 3 of 4,sitting at 6-8.

MAXIMUM MIKE: Pelfrey has 3 of the team’s six wins AND the Mets only save, while his ERA sits at 0.86.

BULLPEN BLUES: Reliever Ryota Igarashi strained his left hamstring slipping trying to field a ball in the 8th which brought Fernando Nieve into the game.(10th appearance in 14 games) Tatis’ homer spoiled a potential save possibility for closer Francisco Rodriquez in the 9th.

CARLOS CHECKED OUT: CF Carlos Beltran(Knee) saw his doctor in Colorado and is progressing but has not been cleared to resume baseball activities.

DAVIS DAY TWO: Mets phenom 1B Ike Davis went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his 2nd ML game.

NEXT GAME:

Wednesday, Game 3 of the 4 game series vs Cubs

7:10 pm

Cubs RH Carlos Silva(1-0,0.69) vs. Mets LH Oliver Perez(0-1,3.75)

April 19, 2010

5 run 7th help Mets punish Cubs in Ike Davis’ debut, 6-1

by @ 10:46 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Phenom 1B Ike Davis went 2 for 4 in his ML debut and his teammates exploded for 5 runs in the 7th inning, helping the New York Mets punish the Chicago Cubs 6-1 Monday night at Citi Field in Queens. LH SP Jon Niese pitched into the 6th(5 and 2/3rd innings) and was excellent, while Davis collected a single in his 1st ML at bat and added an rbi single in the big inning.  CF Angel Pagan delivered the big blow of the game with a 2 run shot in the 7th while RF Jason Bay had 2 hits including an rbi double. The victory puts NY at 5-8 and clearly the worm is beginning to turn with the recent string of solid starting pitching and timely offense.

NICE NIESE: Really, really liked Jon’s game tonight. I think he will win 15 games real soon, just looks comfortable and throws free and easy. His cutter/slider is deadly and he just needs to learn to trust his stuff more and maximize his pitches.(112 total, 67 strikes, only 12 1st pitch strikes to 27 batters)

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY: Both teams wore #42 jerseys in honor of the Brooklyn Hall of Famer who broke baseballs color barrier. The official anniversary date was April 15th but the Mets were on the road.

GAME NOTES: Bullpen continues to really pitch well, tonight Fernando Nieve(win, 1 1/3 innings, 1 hit) and Jenrry Mejia(2 innings, 2 walks and strike outs) did the honors…. 3B David Wright stole his 5th base of the season… SS Jose Reyes was given the night off with Alex Cora starting and going 1 for 2 with a run. Reyes pinch hit in the 7th and was hit by a pitch. He also flied out in the 8th… RHP Tobi Stoner was sent down to Triple A to clear a roster spot for Davis… CF Carlos Beltran will have an exam on his surgically repaired knee sometime this week by his surgeons in Colorado. GM Omar Minaya says it is a “standard checkup.”

NEXT GAME:

Game 2 of 4 game series vs Cubs

7:10 pm

Cubs RH Carlos Zambrano(1-1,9.45) vs Mets RH Mike Pelfrey(2-0,1.29)

April 18, 2010

Wainwright,blasts lead Cardinals over Mets, 5-3

by @ 10:40 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

SP Adam Wainwright  tossed a complete game while OFs Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick hit home runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-3 win over the New York Mets at Busch Stadium Sunday night. A day after winning in 20 draining innings, Mets SP John Maine picked a good night to throw his best game of the early season, allowing only a 3 run homer to Rasmus in the 5th.  OF Angel Pagan had two of the 4 Mets hits while driving in 2 runs.  The Mets are now 4-8 and have lost all 4 series to open the season.

MAINE ATTRACTION: Much better John Maine tonight  than in his 1st two starts(13.50 ERA in 2 games) and offered a ray of hope post game. “I don’t think it’s going to be too long before I’m comfortable again. Throwing has never been this hard before. I’ve got to keep working.” Over 5 innings, He allowed 6 hits and 3 runs(All on Rasmus homer) while walking 4 and K-ing 4. He threw 115 pitches(70 strikes) and got 15 first pitch strikes out of 25 batters faced.

JACOBS JERKED: The club designated 1B Mike Jacobs for assignment pre-game to make room for RP Tobi Stoner. The move also clears a spot on the 40 man roster and numerous sources have super prospect 1B Ike Davis being called up to take the roster spot when the bullpen refuels after Saturdays marathon. Stoner, who provided a fresh arm in the bullpen, followed Maine and threw a staff saving 2 and a third innings(Charged with 1 run on 3 hits). He was saddled with the loss when  RH Ryota Igarashi gave up a two run shot to Ludwick in the 8th.

BAD MEMORIES: Wainwright amazingly pitched against the Mets for the first time since his series ending strikeout of CF Carlos Beltran in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series.

REST AND REHAB: Mets understandably rested 2 regular starters Sunday: LF Jason Bay and 2B Luis Castillo. Meanwhile, 1B was manned by super utility man Frank Catalanotto.

NEXT GAME:

Monday, start rare 4 game series vs the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field

7:10 pm

Cubs RHP Randy Wells(1-0,2.92) vs. Mets LHP Jon Niese(0-1,6.55)

April 17, 2010

Mets win one of the more entertaining games you will ever see, 2-1 over Cardinals in 20

by @ 11:18 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Over the past 3 seasons, the New York Mets have had some excruciating and painful defeats, on Saturday, they won one of the more incredible contests you will ever see, 2-1 in 20 innings over a historic rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. SS Jose Reyes’ sacrifice fly of position player -Yes, a non pitcher- Joe Mather was the decisive blow after the teams plated runs in the 19th.  Both clubs exchanged wasted opportunities in extra frames with the each club struggling with runners in scoring position.(Cards 1 for 18, Mets 0 for 7) CF Angel Pagan(3) and 2B Luis Castillo(2) combined for 5 of theMets 9 hits.  The entire Mets staff pitched great, led by ace Johan Santana,who allowed 4 hits over 7 innings while striking out 9 and walking 1.  As great as the southpaw was for NY, Cardinals LH SP Jaime Garcia was better, allowing only a bloop single by Pagan to lead off the 6th over 7 frames.  SP Mike Pelfrey threw a tough 20th inning, getting OF Ryan Ludwick  to ground out with two on to end this historic game. Just an incredible win with so many twist and turns, this is why you watch sports and why I write about them. A great, great win for a team that needs one. I don’t care if Daffy Duck was pitching, the  Mets need any break they can get. NY now stands at 4-7 with John Maine throwing Sunday night.

PASS PUJOLS: Mets walked 1B Albert Pujols 4 times, twice intentionally. To quote one of my favorite ad campaigns: BRILLIANT!!!!

BADDD BULLPEN: Once again, a HUGE effort from the relief corps with some reinforcements from the starting staff.(more on this later) Lets Look at these numbers: 8 pitchers, 13 innings, 11 hits, 1 earned run, 10 walks, 10 Ks…. Just a great, great job. Hats off to Fernando Nieve(2 & 1/3rd), Hisanori Takahashi, Jenrry Mejia and  Raul Valdez for tossing 2 innings apiece.

SEVEN NOT UP: LF Jason Bay(4 Ks), SS Jose Reyes(run, rbi, walk) and RF Jeff Francoeur(rbi) all took the golden sombrero, going 0 for 7.  The “O for” also ended Francoeur’s season opening hitting streak at 10 games.


YUCK YADIER: Professional Mets killer Yadier Molina tied the game in the 19th off of closer Francisco Rodriquez. NY should do some type of vodo doll promotion with either Molina or Nationals Willie Harris, these two have CRUSHED NY in recent years.  An amazing stat on an amazing game: Molina had 9- NINE-plate appearances, collecting 3 hits.

CARDINALS CONCEDE: Rather than throw a starting pitcher in the game, St Louis Manager Tony Larussa used two position players on the mound late: first, INF Felipe Lopez in the 18th(Mets failed to score) then Mather for the final two innings.

MIKE THE MAN: Pelfrey approached Mets manager Jerry Manuel and asked into the game saying”Hey I can do this”.   You wonder why I think the world of the big man? Remember this game. Guts will get you real far in life. This kid has “it”.

HOLLIDAY ON VACATION: Larussa made a tactical move that might have cost him the game when he double switched his clean up hitter, slugger Matt Holliday out of the game in the 14th, and put the pitcher behind Pujols. With the bases loaded in that frame and St Louis out of players, Pitcher Blake Hawksworth struck out.

SOME GAME STATS: Team combined to use 19 pitchers… Not a single player reached third until the Cardinals loaded the bases in the 10th… All of the Mets hits where singles… This is the franchise first win in games lasting 20 innings, they are now 1-4… Who would have guessed Mike Pelfrey would have a save BEFORE K Rod!!!!

NEXT GAME:

Series finale, Sunday, 8  pm- Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN

Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright(2-0,1.20) vs. Mets RH John Maine(0-1,13.50)

April 16, 2010

Bullpen blows great outing from Perez, Mets lose 4-3

by @ 11:01 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The New York Mets wasted an outstanding start from LH Oliver Perez on one pitch, as INF Felipe Lopez hit a 7th inning grand slam, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a come from behind 4-3 victory Friday night at Busch Stadium in Missouri.  The Mets mercurial southpaw deserved better on this night, allowing only a run and 4 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Perez struck out 4 and walked 3 while throwing 97 pitches(59 for strikes). However, the NY bullpen could not hold the 1-0 lead and both Fernando Nieve and lefty specialist Raul Valdez struggled to escape the 7th. Lopez, a .368 hitters with 93 rbi in 94 at bats with the bases loaded, launched a 2-1 Valdez offering into the seats in left field. RF Jeff Francoeur had 2 hits and 2 runs for the Mets. The Cardinals bullpen fought off late rallies  in both the 8th and 9th but held on for the win, NY has lost 5 of 6.

CRAFTY CARPENTER: St Louis’ veteran ace was off early but Chris Carpenter put on a clinic on how to win and compete without your best stuff. Over 7 innings, he allowed 4 hits and a run(uneared) while K-ing 10 and walking 3.  Big difference compared to his last start in Milwaukee when he was touched for 7 runs and 3 home runs.

WOOO: Pro Wrestling legend Ric Flair threw out three first pitches. No truth to the rumor the Mets fans feel like they have been in the Figure Four  Leg Lock  for the past 4 years.

JUMBO JEFF: Francoeur has hit safely in the first ten games and is four shy of the record set most recently by 3B David Wright last season. The Mets RF is now hitting .457(16 for 35) and is one of the better moves made by GM Omar Minaya.

BAD BULLPEN: A huge strength in the early part of the season(1.95 ERA, 2nd best in majors) killed them Friday,  as  the relief corps did not get it done. To make matters worse , Top LH Pedro Feliciano was unavailable due to a stomach problem which put Valdez in the game. Just another rough night for NY, “It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt about it,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “You have to applaud the fact we have at least in these first 10 games given ourselves a shot to win.”

NEXT GAME:

Saturday, 4:10 pm

National TV Game on Fox

Cardinals LH Jaime Garcia(1-0,1.50) vs. Mets LH Johan Santana(1-1,4.91)



April 15, 2010

Pelfrey leads the way with both arm and bat as Mets defeat Rockies 5-0

by @ 9:47 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Big right hander Mike Pelfrey starred on the mound and in the batters box, leading the slumping New York Mets to a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies Thursday afternoon at Coors Field. Pelfrey, now 2-0, pitched 7 strong innings and plated a run with an rbi single in the 4th while 2B Luis Castillo and RF Jeff Francoeur both had 2 hits and drove home runs. The win ends a 4 game losing streak for NY as they move to St. Louis to face a powerful Cardinals club this weekend.

SMALL BALL: Mets scored 2 runs on ground outs(3rd and 4th innings) and another in the 5th on a wild pitch. These are the types of plays and breaks a team that is struggling needs to  turn the tide.

PLEASED PELFREY; Huge, huge start by the 6’7 righty and this franchise needed it… BIG Time! He allowed 5 hits while walking none(16/25 first pitch strikes) and threw 106 pitches. (69 for strikes) His teamates are noticing as well, “He’s pitching with some confidence,” said the Mets’ Jeff Francoeur, who singled twice and scored a run to extend his season-opening hitting streak to nine games.”He knows how good he is, what kind of stuff he has. He’s 6-7, pretty intimidating on the mound. I’ve told him, ‘Don’t let guys just dig in there,’ and I thought he did a great job, backing guys off the plate today and throwing the split-finger and slider. We needed that,” he said.

BAD BASE RUNNING: Mets made some mistakes on the bases(Botched double steal in the 2nd for 1) and Manager Jerry Manuel said he will address it, “We don’t mind the aggression, but we have to be a little smarter about it.” The team had 2 caught stealings(Castillo, SS Jose Reyes) in the game with David Wright getting his 3rd theft of the year.

SHOCKING SHUTOUT: Put this feather in the Mets cap, the Rockies were the only team in the major leagues to not be shutout at home in 2009.

OUTFIELD RESTS:  Rockies had only 2 hits off Pelfrey leave the infield!

BAY STARTS THE DAY: RF Jason Bay, whose bat has picked up as of late, drove home Castillo for the games first run in the opening inning.

THATS HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO WORK: Pitching wise, NY had the perfect 21st century model game: 7 innings from the starter(Pelfrey), 1 inning by the set-up man in the 8th(Perpetual Pedro Feliciano) and an easy ninth by the closer(Frankie Rodriquez).

GAME NOTES: CF Angel Pagan drove in a run out of the 8 hole… Reyes had 2 hits including a double….Mets beat one of the more underrated pitchers in the game today, Rockies LH Jorge De La Rosa(26-17, 4.65) over the past 2 years. Guy knows how to pitch and had gone 5-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his past 8 starts …  Wright drew 3 walks…. Manuel is still considering putting Reyes in the 3 spot in the lineup and said pre game he might try it this weekend

NEXT GAME:


Friday, start 3 game set at the St. Louis Cardinals(Busch Stadium)

8:15 pm

Cardinals RH Chris Carpenter(1-0,5.73) vs. Mets LH Oliver Perez( 0-1,6.35)


April 14, 2010

Mets rally but lose on Ianetta blast in 10th

by @ 10:27 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The early season struggles of the New York Mets continued Wednesday as C Chris Iannetta homered in the 10th inning, helping the Colorado Rockies win 6-5 at Coors Field in Denver.  Starter Jon Niese battled for 5 innings but was hurt by a 3 run homer from Rockies RF Ryan Spilborghs in the 3rd.  New York trailed 5-3 heading into the 8th but rallied for single runs in that frame and the 9th vs the Colorado bullpen.  RF Jeff Francoeur and 3B David Wright homered for the Mets while C Rod Barajas had 2 hits. Iannetta had 3 hits for the Rockies while veteran 1B Todd Helton and starting pitcher Aaron Cook added 2 hits apiece.  This tough loss dropped New York to 2-6 and they have lost 4 straight.

RISP:RIP: The Mets are now 12 for 72(.167) with runners in scoring position.

JUMBO JEFF: Francoeur has a hit in every  Mets game and also  has seven extra-base hits.

GLOVE GOOD: The club has not allowed an unearned run all season.

ROCKY ROCKIES: Atypical game for Colorado with some sloppy fielding, (3 errrors in big spots) hi-lighted by Iannetta’s throwing error in the 9th to help the Mets tie.

ROOKIE UNWELCOME: Iannetta’s game winner came at the expense of promising rookie Jenrry Mejia. Better days ahead for both the talented righty and the Mets.

JUST OK JON: Mets starter Jon Niese battled hard vs one of the better teams in the game. Over 5 innings, he allowed 9 hits and 5 runs(Earned) while striking out 2 and walking 1. The southpaw tossed 99 pitches(61 strikes) and was 50/50 on 1st pitch strikes(13/26).


NEXT GAME:

Thursday Series finale at Colorado

3:10 pm

Rockies LH Jorge De La Rosa(1-0,0.00) vs. Mets RH Mike Pelfrey(1-0,3.00)


April 13, 2010

Maine a mess as Rockies punish Mets, 11-3 for 3rd loss in a row

by @ 9:44 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Mets starter John Maine found out the hard way Tuesday night why many consider the Colorado Rockies one of the  best teams in the game as the righthander was pummeled for 3 innings as New York lost 11-3. Maine, who threw 75 pitches to 20 batters, allowed 8 hits and runs while walking 4 and striking out 3. He clearly lacks something stuff wise at this stage of the season. Colorado LF Seth Smith(who backed up NY Giants QB Eli Manning at Ole Miss) had a homer and 3 rbis for the Rockies while 2B Clint Barnes, RF Brad Hawpe and SP Greg Smith drove in 2 runs apiece.  Bright spots? SS Jose Reyes had 2 hits, 3B David Wright hit his 2nd home run of the season and LF Jason Bay drove in his 1st run as a Met. The loss, the 3rd in a row for NY, drops them to 2-5. Start looking for vultures around skipper Jerry Manuel, a good man who clearly does not have enough arms to compete with this rosters current state.

MANUEL MATTERS: In his postgame comments, Manuel sounded like a man who is considering pulling Maine from the rotation. The eyes do not lie, he is not effective right now and cannot  put hitters away. Shame on GM Omar Minaya for not adding starting pitching to this club.

MR. SMITH: The Rockies starter was outstanding, throwing 7 innings of 6 hit ball. He allowed 2 runs and walked 2 while K-ing 8.  He was ahead of the Mets hitters all night(22 of 28 1st pitch strikes) and kept NY off balance from pitch 1.

SNY=SNL: I hope Mets fans realize how lucky they are to have Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen in the booth(add an absent Ron Darling to the equation), the game was so bad they took fans calls late in the SNY broadcast. Keith talked about his diet(down to his playing weight:210) and crushed the steroid era cheats who  registered earth shattering stats in 2001.(4 NL players with 100 extra base hits) Great TV on an otherwise bad night.


NEXT GAME:

Wednesday, 8:40 pm

Rockies RH Aaron Cook(0-1,6.75) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese(0-1,4.50)

April 11, 2010

Willingham’s big day enough as Nationals defeat Mets 5-2

by @ 9:50 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The Washington Nationals jumped on Mets ace Johan Santana and never looked back, winning 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.  LF Josh Willingham’s 1st inning grand slam was the big blow while ex- Met Livan Hernandez had his former club off balance all afternoon, allowing only 5 hits over 7 innings.  Santana struggled with his control early(walking 2 of the first four) but rallied to pitch 5 innings.  The loss drops the Mets to 2-4 and they now go on the road for 3 games apiece versus two of the better NL clubs in the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals.

UNCLUTCH: NY entered the game hitting .205 with runners in scoring position and went 1 for 9 Sunday. CF Gary Matthews Jr. batted 4 times with runners in scoring position and 2 outs yet came up empty.(0 for 4)

JAKE JACK: 1B Mike Jacobs ended his season long 1 for 13 slump with a tremendous two run shot into the 2nd deck in Rightfield. Just crushed the ball and rewarded Manager Jerry Manuel for his loyalty.

BAD BAY: I love the guy and know the Mets made the right move signing him but as Bill Parcells says ” You are what you record says you are”… new Mets LF Jason Bay has zero home runs and rbi

KRAZY K-ROD: Love this guys fire and it was on display again Sunday. He hit Nationals OF(and Mets killer) Willie Harris  with a pitch in the 9th and Harris said something walking to First base. Rodriquez then moved towards him and both benches emptied.

BIG BULLPEN: Sunday saw another great outing from the relief corps, putting the pens shutout streak at 12 2/3 innings. LH Raul Valdez threw 2 innings in his ML debut while RH Ryota Igarashi continued his strong opening week with a clean inning.

EVIL LIVO: The Popular Hernandez had the Mets looking bad all day and needed only 88 pitches to throw 7 innings.  He walked 3 and K-ed 1 while getting first pitch strikes on 12 of 28 NY hitters.

SLAM SCORE: Willingham’s slam was originally called a triple(He was thrown out at the plate) but the umpires got the call correct after a video review.

GAME NOTES: RF Jeff Francoeur, the only Met regular hitting, had 2 hits. He is now hitting .476 thru the 1st week of the season… 3B David Wright drew 2 walks and stole a base… Santana and SS Jose Reyes had doubles…. RH RP Sean Green was placed on the DL to make room for Valdes on the roster

NEXT GAME:

Team is off Monday

Start 3 game series vs the Rockies Tuesday at Coors Field

8:40 pm

Rockies LHP Greg Smith(0-0,9.00) vs Mets RH John Maine(0-0,7.20)


April 10, 2010

Mets killer Willie Harris snags defeat from victory as Nationals defeat Mets 4-3

by @ 8:37 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Career Mets killer Willie Harris, who has hurt this team numerous times over the past couple of seasons with both his bat and glove, snagged Rod Barajas line drive in left to end the game with the bases loaded. The catch helped secure a 4-3 win for the Washington Nationals over the New York Mets Saturday afternoon at Citi Field in Queens. OF Willy Taveras drove in a career high four runs while reliever Tyler Clippard retired 9 of the 10 batter he faced while K-ing 7.  Mets RF Jeff  Francoeur continued his red hot start with 2 hits, a run and walk, the loss drops NY to 2-3 while Washington improves to 2-3.

REYES RETURN: SS Jose Reyes made his long awaited 2010 debut but looked a bit rusty, going 1 for 4 with an error. Reyes missed most of the 2009 season with a major hamstring injury then had a thyroid problem detected in Spring Training.

DINGED UP DANIEL: According to the Mets TV broadcast team,1B Daniel Murphy has started running but is “weeks” away from returning to the lineup after injuring his knee late in Spring Training. This is not good news for the 2nd year player with super prospect Ike Davis killing the ball in camp and playing well in Triple A.

OK OLIE: If Oliver Perez pitches like he did today all season, I can live with it. Not bad, not great, OK. He walked some batters(4) but also K-ed some(6) as well.  He was his normally wild self(59 strikes on 101  pitches) and escaped several jams. Not an awful performance for game 1, he needs to carry this over into his next start and  build from it.

BAD WILLIE: Saturday marked the 3rd time in 4 years Harris made a huge game changing defensive play in the 9th inning to deny the Mets runs. He robbed 1B Carlos Delgado off a tying homer in the ninth while he was a member of the Atlanta Braves in 2007. In 2008, his diving stab prevented an extra base hit from OF Ryan Church in the 9th with Washington holding a 1-0 lead. I am not sure if this will make anyone feel better but Harris was a career infielder until 2000 when his then Manager Jerry Manuel suggested he take some fly balls in the OF while they were both part of the Chicago White Sox organization. UNBELIEVABLE.

GREEN SICK: ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin is reporting that RH Sean Green will be placed on the DL Sunday due to a rib cage tear and the Mets will recall LH RP Raul Valdez, who was very impressive in Spring Training, posted 2.06 ERA in 6 outings, allowing 1 run and three hits while striking out four in 4 1/3 innings. The Cuban defector was in the Mets system in 2007, posting an 0-1 record with a 3.68 ERA in 20 for Double A Binghamton.

PERFECT PEN: The bullpen continues to be a huge positive in the seasons opening week. 3 relievers(Ryato Igarashi, Perpetual Pedro Feliciano and rookie Jenrry Mejia) combined to allow 1 hit over the final 3 and a third innings. A pleasant surprise so  far for the 2010 New York Mets.

GAME NOTES: Mets turned 3 double plays… Team continues to draw walks, 5 total, with 3B David Wright drawing 2… C Henry Blanco drove in a run with sacrifice fly… Alex Cora started at 2B in place of an ailing Luis Castillo, who is battling a calf issue…The Mets sent rookie INF Ruben Tejada to the minors to open a slot for Reyes…NY lost their third game of the season by 2 runs or fewer…Nationals star 3B Ryan Zimmerman, a youth league teammate of Wright’s, left the game in the 6th with a hamstring injury.. Nationals starter and Long Beach,NY native LH John Lannan entered the game with a 3-4 record and 3.62 ERA vs the Mets in 10 starts. He earned the win Saturday, throwing 5 innings while allowing 6 hits and 3 walks as well as all 3 NY runs…. Fernando Tatis started at 1B and Manager Jerry Manuel described the 1B situation as a Platoon.  He expressed confidence in Mike Jacobs pregame, saying his power will eventually show


NEXT GAME:

Sunday, series conclusion vs the Nationals at Citi Field

1:10 pm

Nationals RH Livan Hernandez(1st start) vs Mets LH Johan Santana(1-0,1.50)


April 9, 2010

Mets play best game of opening week, homer Nationals 8-2

by @ 9:42 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The Mets offense finally came alive, hitting 4 home runs(2 apiece from C Rod Barajas and RF Jeff Francoeur) while Mike Pelfrey pitched 6 strong innings, leading New York to a 8-2 win over the Washington Nationals. The win evens the Mets record at 2-2 and the club pounded out 12 hits.

PLEASING PELFREY: In my Mets season preview I talked about the need for 2 starting pitchers not named Johan Santana having to step up and pitch well. Jon Niese lost but pitched well Thursday, while John Maine was OK Wednesday. Mike Pelfrey, who struggled like most of the Mets in 2009, was very good Friday. Over 6 innings, he allowed 4 hits and 2 runs while walking and K-ing 4. The big righty threw 16 first pitch strikes out of 26 batters faced while throwing 94 pitches(57 strikes) total. I know it is one turn thru but 2 of the 3 starters look promising which brings us to Saturday’s starter: Oliver Perez.

METS MASH: In this game, the Mets matched their homer total at Citifield for the first EIGHTEEN games at their new park in 2009!!!!! Only CF Angel Pagan hit 2 in the same game last year but one of those was inside the park. St Louis Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols and Arizona Diamondback Mark Reynolds(44 bombs in 09) are among the handful of players to do it. Amazing to consider the Mets hit 49 the entire season in Citifield in 2009!!!

REYES RETURN: SS Jose Reyes worked out before the game and all systems are go for his return Saturday. He will start at SS and bat 1st, according to Mets Manager Jerry Manuel.

PLEASING PEN: The bullpen continues to pitch well with Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve and Jenrry Mejia combining to allow only a walk over the final 3 frames. You want a great stat? 1st pitch strikes: Hisanori(3/3), Nieve(2/4) and Mejia(2/3). If the Mets continue to get solid contributions from their remade pen, this team will contend.

WRIGHT WRONGED: 3B David Wright crushed a pitch in the 7th that  had homer written all over it. Unfortunately, it was about 2 feet short and the Franchise had to settle for a double. The Mets players had some fun at the expense of their leader, “They got on him pretty good,” Manuel said.”I think I just hit it a little too high,” Wright said. “I’m glad Jeff was able to go deep right after that and show me up.”Said Francoeur: “David, by far, hit the furthest ball tonight. He smoked that ball.He got it up above the stadium and we hit line drives,” he said. “Wright’s look on his face was priceless.”

ROOKIE RUBEN: INF Ruben Tejada collected his major league hit in the 8th inning and has displayed some great fielding instincts in his 1st week in the Majors. He will be sent down to the minors for seasoning but this kid will be a huge asset going forward.

ALEX ASSISTS: Veteran INF Alex Cora made 2 huge defensive plays when this game was still in doubt at 2nd base. With Reyes returning, he will fit the role he is best suited for: Super utility man.

WICKED WEATHER: Very tough conditions in Queens after some unseasonably warm weather earlier in the week.  50 degree temperatures and  wind so strong you saw food wrappers blowing all over the park, had both starting pitchers blowing on their hands. For the elements both clubs had to deal with a reasonably well played game.

GAME NOTES: Regular 2B Luis Castillo missed the game with a calf issue, not considered to be serious…. Wright, Francoeur and Barajas led the 12 hit attack with 12 hits apiece…. Angel Pagan started in CF and went 1 for 4 with an rbi and walk


NEXT GAME:

Saturday, Game 2 of 3 series vs the Nationals at Citifield

1:10 pm

Washinghton LH John Lannan(0-1, 12.27) vs Mets LH Oliver Perez(1st start)


April 8, 2010

Marlins win 3-1, take series 2-1 as Mets struggle with the bats

by @ 9:23 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

New comer Nate Robertson pitched 5 solid innings while 3B Jorge Cantu and 1B Gaby Sanchez added rbi doubles, leading the Florida Marlins to a 3-1 win over the New York Mets Thursday night at Citifield. Jeff Francoeur drove in the lone NY run in the 4th,doubling home Jason Bay.  After a rough performance by his pen Wednesday, Florida Manager Fredi Gonzalez had to happy to get 3 strong innings from Burke Badenhop. Closer Leo Nunez, a night after throwing 40 pitches, earned his 1st save of the season with a clean ninth. With the win, the Marlins took the series 2-1. Mets host the Washington Nationals for a 3 game set over the weekend.

NICE NIESE: In his first appearance since the horrific August 2009 hamstring injury that ended his season, the Mets got a solid performance LH Jon Niese. He allowed 8 hits and 3 runs over 6 innings, while K-ing 3 and walking 2. He threw 92 pitches(63 strikes) and was 19 for 28 on first pitch strikes. A truly positive performance, giving Mets fans hope for the future.

POWER OUTAGE: Only 3 extra base hits the past two games, 3 doubles for NY.

BULLPEN BRIGHT: Mets relief corps continues to pitch well and we saw the debut of the 2nd Asian import to the relief corps. RH Ryota Igarashi pitched  a shutout 7th, walking 1, which he quickly erased with a ground ball double play. Fellow countryman Hisanori Takahashi followed with an equally strong 8th. Fernando Nieve(1 batter) and Perpetual Pedro Feliciano combined to toss the 9th. The Pen total for 3 innings: 1 hit, 2 walks, no runs. Another very good sign for NY.

LINEUP CHANGES: Mets Manager Jerry Manuel went with a righty heavy line-up vs Robertson plus he wanted to get CF Angel Pagan a start in the series. Here is the lineup: Pagan, 2B Luis Castillo, 3B David Wright, LF Jason Bay, RF Jeff Francoeur, 1B Fernando Tatis, C Rod Barajas, SS Ruben Tejada(Major league debut), Pitcher

NEXT GAME:

Friday, start 3 game weekend series with the Washington Nationals at Citifield

7:10 pm

Nationals RH Garrett Mock vs. Mets RH Mike Pelfrey



DONE IN BY THE DOUBLE: Marlins hit 5 doubles out of their 8 hits vs Niese. C Ronny Paulino, Sanchez and Cantu(2) did the damage.

STAT SHEET: Pagan and Francoeur had 2 of the 7 Mets hits… No walks for NY…. Mets have gone 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the past 2 games… SS Jose Reyes went 0 for 4 in his rehab game in Class A St Lucie. He will work out with the team before the game Friday and is expected to be activated and start Saturday…. 2B Luis Castillo’s calves are bothering him and he will have Friday off. Look for Alex Cora to play at 2B and Tejada to stay at SS



Mets rally vs Marlins bullpen but Lose in 10, 7-6

by @ 1:09 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Tough loss Wednesday night for the Mets in the 2nd game of the season, as they rallied late down 5 only to lose in the 10th, as the Florida Marlins won 7-6.  NY trailed 6-1 going into home 7th  and took advantage of some wildness and ineffectiveness by the Marlins bullpen. Several story lines to look at from this one.

Maine attraction:  RH SP John Maine, who the Mets desperately need to step up, battled but just seemed a bit lacking in the power department. He is trying to throw more breaking ball as well as offspeed stuff. John  also struggled with 1st pitch strikes(11/24) but he escaped some jams and left with the team still in the game. Final stat line: 5 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs(all earned), 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. He allowed home runs to 3B Jorge Cantu and SS Hanley Ramirez,(More on them later) while throwing 53 strikes out of 92 pitches. About a “C” game for Maine.

Good fight: Mets showed tremendous guts and discipline to rally in this game. You also have seen over the first 2 games that the moves this club made in the offseason greatly improved the depth, making them  a harder team to play against. Jason Bay, Gary Matthews Jr and Rod Barajas make pitchers work and are not easy outs. You add these type of grinders to 3B David Wright, OF Angel Pagan and RF Jeff Francoeur, and you have a solid attack.  Very good sign for things to come in 2010. This team will fight and play til they have 27 outs.

WOW: I talked about the Marlins infield in my season preview and this group was on display Wednesday. 2B Dan Uggla joined Cantu and Ramirez with home runs, an amazing feat. Ramirez’ homer, a lined opposite field shot to right, was especially impressive.

NO FERNANDO!!!!: Fernando Tatis was out at the plate to end a Mets rally in the 7th. NY managed to rally and plate  2 runs vs Marlins SP Ricky Nolasco  and 2 relievers with 3 walks, a single, sacrifice fly from Barajas  and  bases loaded walk to 2B Luis Castillo. David Wright came to the plate with bases full and the score 6-3.  Julio Veras then threw a wild pitch that went towards the 1B side of the backstop, INF-OF Fernando Tatis tried to score and was thrown out at the plate on a great play from Veras and C John Baker.  Tatis was trying to make a play but he needs to realize who was up and the game situation. That said, a great play from the Marlins.

Rookie debut: Hot prospect RHP Jenrry Mejia followed Maine to the mound and had mixed results in his  major league debut.  He allowed 3 of the first four hits but then retired 3 o f the final 4 Marlins, inducing a ground out to Ramirez to end the frame. Solid job in his 1st ML game. Final stat line: 1 inning, 3 hits(rbi double), 1 r, 1 strike out, 13 pitches(9 strikes)

Bullpen Blues: Sean Green pitched the 7th(2 hits, 1 run(homer to Uggla), 1 K) then he was followed Perpetual Pedro Feliciano(1 inning, 1 walk) and Francisco Rodriquez, who looks great early, his stuff is on BIG TIME.(1 inning, 2 hits, 2 Ks) Hisanori Takahashi , making his ML debut after pitching in Japan for years, took the mound and the loss after allowing a leadoff hit, sacrifice and RBI single to C Rony Paulino to up the  middle.  Fernando Nieve then entered the the game to extinguish the fire, retiring the final two Marins.

Stat Leaders: Amazingly, Marlins outhit Mets 17-6. NY pitchers in jams all night.However, the Mets drew 9 walks compared to 3(1 intentional) for Florida. The Marlins pen walked an incredible 6 over 3 and a third innings… No Met had more than 1 hit while Wright, Bay and Matthews walked twice… Castillo had 2 rbi…. Bay(Double) and SS Alex Cora(Triple) had extra base hits.. Underrated OF Cody Ross had 4 hits for Florida… Wright stole his base of the year in the 9th

Good luck to Nelson: Popular P Nelson Figueroa, who was a controversial cut in training camp, was claimed off waivers by the 2 time defending NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies. He will more than likely  to report to the Minors but his versatility has to be viewed as a major asset with all of the injuries to both the starters and relievers on the Phils. GOOD LUCK TO NELSON! Real class act who deserves to be appreciated.

Medical Updates: SS Jose Reyes is on schedule to come off the DL Saturday and will play in a Florida State League game Thursday. CF Carlos Beltran has been cleared to run and is progressing as expected. Look for #15 to be back in Early May.

Next Game:

Thursday, Series finale vs the Marlins

7 pm

Marlins LH Nate Robertson vs. Mets RH Jon Niese



April 5, 2010

Mets start season with a bang, Punish Marlins 7-1

by @ 1:46 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

The season could not start better for the NY Mets Monday, as both the franchise pitcher(Johan Santana) and player(3B David Wright) had big days, helping them defeat the Florida Marlins 7-1 at Citfield. Wright homered in his first at bat with a runner on in the 1st while  Santana handled one of the better lineups in the NL over 6 innings. Newcomers LF Jason Bay, C Rod Barajas and CF Gary Matthews Jr. each got 2 hits and the Mets pen, a perceived weakness, pitched 3 strong innings. Florida was sloppy in the field(3 errors on routine plays) and looked out of synch.  Rookie 1B Gabe Sanchez(Error) made up for his struggles in the field 2 hits while 3B Jorge Cantu doubled off Santana for the Marlin run.  The Mets ace lefty tossed 103 pitches(69 strikes) allowing 4 hits and 1 run while K-ing 5 and walking 2.  Johan is now 4-1 on opening day and improves to 6-1 vs Florida.

GAME NOTES: OF Angel Pagan pinch hit, drove in a run and scored as well in the 4 run 6th…. RF Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs….2B Luis Castillo and Pagan stole bases… Fernando Nieve pitched the 7th and 8th innings, K-ing 2 while allowing two hits and throwing 35 pitches… Windy day at the ball park, every fly ball was an adventure. Outfielders really earned their money, Matthews Jr. in particular… Mets legend Darryl Strawberry threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Batting Coach Howard Johnson. The two  were teammates from 1985-1990 on the powerful Mets clubs of the mid to late 80s…. INF Ruben Tejada and RHP Jenrry Mejia are the youngest players on a ML roster at 20 years old.   Mejia is the youngest pitcher to break camp since Dwight Gooden in 1984( NO PRESSURE!!!) while Tejada, 16 days yonger than Mejia, is the youngest player in the field since Tim Foli in 1971.. Mets have won an incredible 32 of 41 season openers including 5 straight. They have also won 18 of 20   season openers in New York.  Even more amazing when you consider the club started 0-8 in season openers.


Good sign: Marlins starter Josh Johnson was 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 career starts vs the Mets. Today, he allowed 4 runs(5 hits) over 5 plus innings. Great confidence builder for a team that could use it.

Next Game:  Teams are off til Wednesday

Game # 2

7:10 pm

Marlins RH Ricky Nolasco vs Mets RH John Maine


April 4, 2010

Mets 2010 Preview

by @ 9:59 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

I would like to dedicate my work on the blog this year to Mike Dalton, one of the best of many from my home town of Andover, Massachusetts. Mike comes from one of the most respected families in Andover but his smile and spunk made him stand out. A  popular firefighter, he was a retired United States Marine and  football captain for Andover(1994). Mike died in my hometown March 24, he was 33.  His passing has hit many hard , this blogger included, Mike’s  spirit will be missed and lives on thru his wife Stephanie and his two boys, James and John. If I write half as well as Mike gave of himself, this will be one heck of a blog. We miss you, Mike!

METS SEASON PREVIEW

This team has had a rough past 3 seasons, with late collapses costing them post-season berths in 2007 and 2008 and an injury riddled nightmare of a season in 2009. Before we go forward, we must separate the three. 2007 is on them, the team completely fell apart and they have no excuse. The 2008 had a major flaw(Bullpen) exposed further when star closer Billy Wagner blew out his arm late in the year. The team was so starved for relief help that it became Community auditions almost nightly to be the Mets closer. In the offseason, GM Omar Minaya added the top two bullpen arms of the year in closer Francisco Rodriquez and 8th inning man JJ Putz. K Rod was good, not great and Putz battled numerous injuries. However, the team saw all 4 star players(SS Jose Reyes, 1B Carlos Delgado, 3B David Wright and CF Carlos Beltran) battle major injuries or have down years. Wright played almost on an island all year and the team struggled overall with power numbers in the New Citi-Field. These seasons aside, the 2010 Mets  enter the season with several unanswered questions and expectations low yet pressure high on both GM Omar Minaya and Manager Jerry Manuel.

Strengths: Improved lineup with off-season signings of LF Jason Bay(GREAT player) and C Rod Barajas(Power) while having RF Jeff Francoeur(A lone bright light in a nightmare of 2009 season) for a full year also helps… Health and Luck cannot be worse…SS Jose Reyes appears to be healthy. Like him or not, he is a key to this team… Johan Santana and K Rod are among the games elite…. Deep team with some viable bench players…. Defense behind the plate should be outstanding with Barajas and veteran Henry Blanco… 2010 Team appears to be better equipped to play in Citi-Field

Weaknesses: Can you pitch? Wow…. Every member of this staff, Santana(offseason surgery) and K Rod(Shaky 2nd half) has questions outside of LH RP Pedro Feliciano… Team will K… Bullpen could make Jerry Manuel cry…. Karma around the organization not good. Fans and media want blood

FUTURE BRIGHT: Mets farm system is better than many think with potential major league contributors not a far away at 1B(Ike Davis), OF(Fernando Martinez) and C(Josh Thole). P Jenrry Mejia made the club out of camp and will become a huge fan favorite. By 2012, these players and others will bring this club back. A few trades and/or  free agent signings and  you have the makings of a strong team.

Keys to Success:

1- Team must get off to a good start with 16 of 23 home games in April. Need to establish homefield and win back fans who are on the ledge.

2- 2 of these 3 starting pitchers must be good: John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. I think Jon Niese and Santana will be solid. They need 550 innings from those three and 40 wins. I think Pelfrey will have a solid year, not sure if Maine can hold up physically and Olie is Olie.

3- CF Carlos Beltran must be at least 75-80% of what he is normally. He makes a huge difference on this team, switch hitting CFs who can go 30-30 and play gold glove defense are hard to find. The club must stay in range until his return.

4- Mike Jacobs and Daniel Murphy must give solid play at 1B while keeping the spot warm for super prospect Davis. I am not asking for Ryan Howard but 20-25 homers-75-80 rbis from the platoon would make me real happy.

PREDICTIONS:

Team goes 83-79…. David Wright has a huge year and is a top 5 MVP vote getter…. Team adds a starting pitcher in June who is among the top 3 in the rotation…. Bobby Parnell comes back from the minors and fits a vital role in the bullpen



2010 National League Preview

by @ 9:17 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

NATIONAL LEAGUE PREVIEW

NL EAST

1- PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES(WORLD SERIES CHAMPION)-

Strengths- Tremendous power and speed… Added Roy Hallday, the premier pitcher in the game…. Great team chemistry.. Excellent organization top to bottom, led by GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Manager Charlie Manuel… Best left side of the infield in the game in 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard… Good defensive team.. Best NL club I have seen in years and this comes from a 25+ year Mets fan!

Weaknesses: Lots of banged up pitchers coming out of camp, specifically in the bullpen with closer Brad Lidge having numerous offseason surgeries… Team Ks a ton… Trade rumors involving Howard came up in Spring Training

2- ATLANTA BRAVES

Strengths- Solid everyday lineup with veterans and prime players… Best C in the NL in Brian McCann… Good rotation with youngsters Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson ready to take off… Rookie RF Jason Heyward is one of the most talked about players in all of baseball… Manager Bobby Cox could turn you into a functional ML player… Love the signing of future Hall of Fame closer Billy Wagner

Weaknesses- Counting on Chipper Jones to remain healthy and he has battled injuries the past 2 years… SP Tim Hudson is coming off an arm injury and fellow vet Derek Lowe was bad in 2009… Wagner is only a year removed from Tommy John surgery…. Not a great offensive team

3- FLORIDA MARLINS

Strengths- Excellent team power with 3 infielders who should hit 30 homers…. Premier player in SS Hanley Ramirez…. Good team speed and athleticism… Top of rotation should be solid led by RH Josh Johnson… Tremendous farm system and organization

Weaknesses- Not a strong defensive team…. Lots of questions among rotation spots 3 thru 5…. Close Leo Nunez can give up the odd homer…. Team Ks a ton

4- NY METS(See separate preview)

5- WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Strengths- Solid offseason with some subtle signings, adding a starter at C and 2B, as well as two top 4 starters, a set up man and closer… Elite 3B Ryan Zimmerman… Walks and power king in 1B Adam Dunn… Solid starter in LH John Lannan… Stephen Strasburg, minors or no minors, is the real deal

Weaknesses: Have too many prospects and suspects to compete in the best division in the NL… Another team that swings and misses.. A mess defensively…. C Pudge Rodriquez is known as a clubhouse problem throughout the game… Inexperienced rotation

WATCH HIM:SS Ian Desmond, who has put veteran Christian Guzman on the bench, is a spark plug who can really play. Will team with Zimmerman for years to come.


NL CENTRAL

1- ST LOUIS CARDINALS

Strengths- Best player in the game in 1B Albert Pujols…. Excellent 1-2 punch in rotation with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright…. Solid all around team…. Resigned FA LF Matt Holliday who joins Pujols and RF Ryan Ludwick to set a fierce 3-4-5 combo… Manager Tony Larussa always seems to get the most out of his roster… Good defensive team

Weaknesses- 3-4-5 spots in rotation do not scare batters… Closer Ryan Franklin does not K many batters…  Kids at 2B(Skip Schumaker), SS(Brendan Ryan) and 3B(David Freese)… Pujols has been banged up in camp

BREAKOUT PLAYER: CF Colby Rasmus, will bat 2nd and has really taken to new Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire. Not a bad guy to consult!

2- MILWAUKEE BREWERS(WILD CARD TEAM)

Strengths: Premier power combo in the NL with LF Ryan Braun and 1B Prince Fielder… Solid bullpen… Good team athleticism,can run and take extra bases…. Good rotation with additions LHs Randy Wolf and Doug Davis joining RH Yovani Gallardo… Exciting young SS Alcides Escobar… Bullpen added a 7th-8th inning vet in Latroy Hawkins

Weaknesses: Bad fielding team…. 2 rotation spots could be a mess… New CF Carlos Gomez is no Mike Cameron defensively… Age of closer Trevor Hoffman

3-CINCINNATI REDS

Strengths: Underrated lineup with power and speed… Upside potential of youngters Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs in the OF… Good bullpen, paced by closer Francisco Cordero… Can put out 4 quality starters if phenom Homer Bailey pitches like he did over the last 6 weeks of 2009

Weaknesses: Starting pitchers are good  not great…. Can be reckless defensively… 3b Scott Rolen cannot stay healthy and his glove helps this team a ton. Plus he was bad in Spring Training(.208)… Manager Dusty Baker has broken more arms than Steven Seagal

4- CHICAGO CUBS-

Strengths: Solid starting pitching… Good power at the corners with 3B Aramis Ramirez and Derek Lee… Solid D at SS and 2B…. Closer Carlos Marmol has 5 star stuff… Free agent OFs Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady wise signings

Weaknesses: Lou Pinella or Carlos Zambrano, who is crazier? … LF Alfonso Soriano has no position and is not an elite offensive player anymore… #2 SP Ted Lilly is coming off shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the season… They are the Cubs


5- HOUSTON ASTROS-

11Strengths: 1, 2 starting pitching combo of Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriquez… Good speed with CF Michael Bourn and 2B Kaz Matsui….Improved pen with additions of Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom… Corner OFs Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence.. No pressure or expectations

Weaknesses: Bad offensive team…. 3-4-5 starters are kids or projects… Young at SS and C… Bad drafts and trades have made this team talent starved… Rookie Manager in Brad Mills, who might miss Boston by May!

6- PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Strengths: Exciting young outfield with LF Lastings Milledge, CF Andrew McCutchen and RF Garrett Jones… Infield defense should be solid with the addition of 2B Akinori Iwamura. The Pirates made the fewest errors in the NL(73) in 2009…. Good closer in Octavio Dotel, who can still throw past many ML hitters…. Good baseball man in John Russell running the show… Beautiful ball park, check it out!

Weaknesses: Rotation has potential but a ton of questions and uncertainty… Bullpen could be awful… No power from the corners… C Ryan Doumit can play but cannot stay out of the treatment room. His bat is vital to this team

GOOD NEWS: The Pirates appear to be serious about rebuilding and have stockpiled a ton of kids and 2nd chance types. The future looks bright, be patient, Pittsburgh. I am with you, covered this team in 2008!

NL WEST

1- COLORADO ROCKIES

Strengths: Solid all around team that is strong in all areas… Great defensive team… Deep farm system… Great player development(look at the roster) and farm system… Elite SS Troy Tulowitzki…Manager Jim Tracy fits this roster very well… OF Carlos Gonzalez is among the most promising young talents in the game… Deep, talented bench

Weaknesses: Arm injury of stud closer Huston Street… Team strikes out a lot.. Rotation is solid but needs 1 man to step up and become elite(Ubaldo Jimenez?)

WATCH THIS GUY: 3B Ian Stewart, who I believe will top 30 homers and play solid D at third.

2- ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Strengths: Exciting young team led by 3B Mark Reynolds and RF Justin Upton…Added 2 starting pitchers(Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy) to a rotation that needed it…. Dan Haren is among the top starters in the NL… C Miguel Montero is a potential breakout player… Return of LF Conor Jackson(Played only 30 2009 games)… Underrated closer in Chad Qualls

Weaknesses: Health of ace Brandon Webb is a major issue. Has not pitched a major league game in over a year… Team Ks too much… Can be rough on defense…1 lefty among the entire pitching staff

3- LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Strengths: Solid lineup with speed and power… Budding superstar CF Matt Kemp… Two young stud starters in LH Clayton Kershaw and RH Chad Billingsley… Manny Ramirez: CONTRACT YEAR!!!…Strong relief corps led by flame thrower Jonathan Broxton… Manager Joe Torre protects his players and they return his loyalty

Weaknesses:  Ownership divorce has caused this team to cut costs… Health of SS Rafael Furcal is always an issue…Rotation might be a bit thin after losing Randy Wolf and Jon Garland… Manny Ramirez: CONTRACT YEAR!!!

STORE THIS AWAY: Ramirez will not be in a Dodgers uniform by August. He will be a major distraction(see Boston 2008) and LA will move him to an offensively challenged club.(Seattle? Detroit?Oakland?)


4- SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Strengths: Excellent pitching led by 2 time CY Young award winner LH Tim Lincecum and RH Matt Cain… Signed two offensive upgrades in the offseason in 1B Aubrey Huff and INF-OF Mark Derosa… Budding star 3b Pablo Sandoval… Deep bullpen anchored by closer Brian Wilson… New hitting instructor Hensley “Bam-Bam” Meulens preaches plate patience and discipline.. Ballpark is a HUGE advantage

Weaknesses: This is a  bad offensive team… Lack power and speed… Outside of C Bengie Molina,CF Aaron Rowand and 2B Freddy Sanchez, this is an average to poor defensive club…On bad days, LH Barry Zito could not get you out… SS Edgar Renteria is on the wrong side of 30, makes over 9 million a year and was bad in 2009 plus he has offseason surgery. Not exactly the combo meal you want at McDonalds!

5- SAN DIEGO PADRES

Strengths: Young team with some  speed and athletes… Better rotation than you think if RH Chris Young returns from injury… LF Lance Blanks has scary potential…Star 1B Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell could be prime trade candidates if the team struggles.. Aggressive team that will attack on the bases

Weaknesses:  Little power in a canyon of a Ballpark… Will make young mistakes & struggle to score runs… If I am a NL pitching coach and you pitch for me, if you throw Gonzalez a strike, you will be joining me on the bench. FAST!!!… Team will be careful with promising RH SP Matt Latos, limiting his pitch counts


MVP: Prince Fielder,1b, Milwaukee Brewers

CY Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

ROY: Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves

April 3, 2010

2010 American League Preview

by @ 10:46 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

AMERICAN LEAGUE PREVIEW

AL EAST

1- BOSTON RED SOX(AL CHAMPION)

Strengths– Pitching depth, all areas…. Outstanding top 3 rotation… Very good minor league system(6-7 developed stars on the team over the last 5 yrs)… Best right side of the infield in the AL… Deep team… Upgrade at SS… Underrated Manager in Terry Francona.. Potentially great defensive team with upgrades at SS, 3B, CF and LF

Weaknesses- Average power, MUST hope David Ortiz hits 3-35 home runs and new 3B Adrian Beltre pops 20-25…. Health issues with 3 of the 6 top starting pitchers: Lackey, Wakefield, Dice K… Mike Lowell situation cannot help the locker room…. Play in the AL East

FEARLESS PREDICTION:  C-1B-DH Victor Martinez has a big year and is a top 3 candidate for MVP

2- TAMPA BAY RAYS(WILD CARD)

Strengths: Overall team speed and athleticism… Huge upgrade at closer with Rafael Soriano… Great minor league system… Good Power,led by stud 3B Evan Longoria and AL home run champ Carlos Pena… Young, talented rotation…. Deep bench with call ups on the way …Excellent manager in Joe Maddon

Weaknesses: Young rotation in this division can hurt…. Soriano has had arm injuries… Potential trades of free agents to be Pena and LF Carl Crawford… Can be sloppy on defense.. Play in the AL East

3- NEW YORK YANKEES

Strengths: $$$$$$$…. Tremendous top level talent at 1b, 3b, #1 Starter and Closer…. $$$$$$$$…  Premier left side of the infield in the AL…$$$$$$$… Greatly improved OF defense with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner playing almost everyday… $$$$$… Solid starting pitching depth with Javier Vasquez and Phil Hughes in the 4-5 slots…$$$$$$

Weaknesses: More A-Rod noise with the latest steriod story…. Can Joba Chamberlain handle the 8th inning role?… Older team…. Manager Joe Girardi is about as likeable as an executioner…Play in the AL East… I HATE THEM

4- BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Strengths: Quietly, one of the most improved teams in the majors… Added a top 3 starting pitcher (Kevin Milwood), closer(Mike Gonzalez) and a  #5 hitter(3b Miguel Tejada) to one of the more talented young teams in the game…Brian Matusz is a potential stud starter…  Solid lineup with speed, power and athletes… Premier young catcher in Matt Wieters… Skipper Dave Trembley is a well respected baseball man

Weaknesses: Young starters outside of Milwood and RH Jeremy Guthrie… Not a great defensive team… Homefield is a launching pad… Play in the AL East

PAY ATTENTION TO:  Orioles RF Nick Markakis. Great, great player who has played in Baltimore, the AL euqivalent of the witness protection program. 5 tool talent and great kid, think of David Wright playing RF!

5- TORONTO BLUE JAYS


Strengths: Excellent young power combo in 2B Aaron Hill and DH Adam Lind…Made some wise moves over the last calendar year to enhance the rebuilding process… Excellent defensive SS in veteran Alex Gonzalez… Good baseball man in Cito Gaston running the show… Nice ballpark

Weaknesses: The less I say, the better…. Not a good team, little power or speed… Uncertain closer situation…. This market has been dead since the Strike of 1994… One of the worst contracts in MLB in CF Vernon Wells… Roy Halladay doesn’t pitch here anymore.. Play in the AL East

FEARLESS PREDICTION: Easily the worst team in the majors, playing in a brutal division with 4 teams I believe will finish above .500. If this team does not lose 100 games, I will be stunned. One bright spot? LH SP Ricky Romero.  Lots of Labatt and Molson for my Canadian friends!

AL CENTRAL

1- CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Strengths: Potentially the best rotation in this division… Balanced line-up with veterans and kids… Enhanced speed with OF Juan Pierre…Bright young talent in 2B Gordon Beckham…  Improved overall depth… Deep, talented bullpen with power arms… Dynamic GM in Kenny Williams

Weaknesses: Not a great defensive team… Strange to say this about the White Sox but do they have enough power?.. Manager Ozzie Guillen is always in the news and could implode at anytime… Top 3 starter Jake Peavy has not be exposed to the AL

2- MINNESOTA TWINS

Strengths: Solid starting pitching with depth…. Outstanding organization from top to bottom, led by manager Ron Gardenhire… Premier player in AL in C Joe Mauer…Excellent top 6 of the batting order… Pain in the butt leadoff  man in CF Denard Span… Good team power… Subtle veteran signings in 2b Orlando Hudson and DH Jim Thome

Weaknesses: Devastating season ending injury to stud closer Joe Nathan(Tommy John Surgery)… No true #1 starter… 1b Justin Morneau has battled injuries and his bat is vital to this club’s success…Nathan’s injury depletes a talented set-up core… How does this team respond to a new ballpark?(See the 2009 New York Mets)

3- KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Strengths: #1 starter Zack Greinke and closer Joakim Soria… Greatly improved every day line-up with some free agents(OFs Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik and Jason Kendall) and trades(2b Chris Getz)… Underrated 1b Billy Butler… Presentable top 3 of the rotation with veteran Gil Meche, Brian Bannister and Greinke…. Solid skipper in Trey Hillman.. Deep  bench with good role players… Decent team speed

Weaknesses: Losing culture… Not much power… 3b Alex Gordon, vital to this club’s rebuilding program, has missed almost all of Spring training with a broken thumb and will start the season on the DL… Bullpen has the AL’s worst ERA and highest walk rate

4-  DETROIT TIGERS

Strengths: #1 starter Justin Verlander… Good infield defense on the left side led by SS Adam Everett and all star 3b Brandon Inge… Veteran OF signing Johnny Damon gives them a professional left handed bat and leadership… Bullpen should be solid due to signings and trades,led by new closer Jose Valverde… Pitching oriented team playing in a huge ball park… Rookie starters in CF(Austin Jackson) and at 2B(Scott Sizemore) look like solid contributors

Weaknesses: September collapse of 2009. Ask Mets fans how this carries over… For this payroll, you would think the team would have a much better offense. 2 Everyday outs at SS and C plus two rookies. Not a recipe for success in the AL. Seriously, outside of Oakland, find me a worse offense in the AL… #2 starter Rick Porcello threw a career high in innings last year by a mile. Could he pay for it in 2010? Max Scherzer is a talent but was a mess in the NL. Max, Its a  little easier to pitch to David Bush than David Ortiz. Welcome to the AL!!!… 1b Miguel Cabrera must overcome his alcohol issues as well as win back fans after his late season arrest… Media worship aside, I do not think Jim Leyland is a great game manager. Locker room wise, he is fine but I would not trust this guy to manage a Wendys

EXPLAIN THIS TO ME: What was the Tigers off-season plan? Go young and cheap was the answer early. But.. ticket sales did not look good and WHAM the check book opened for Damon and Valverde. The club got a good package back for popular CF Curtis Granderson and SP Edwin Jackson but that move appeared to be about money. However, the late activity makes you  wonder if Tigers management believes the CF has topped out. More puzzling was the club not even offering arbitration to 2b Placido Polanco(would have earned the Tigers a 1st rd draft pick as compensation), who was going to get good free agent offers. Then this week, they traded LH Nate Robertson to the Florida Marlins while eating 9.6 million of his 10 million dollar salary. I guess the Tigers think often injured Jeremy Bonderman and mess Dontrelle Willis(7.49 ERA in 7 2009 starts, 9.38 in 8 2008 games) are solid! I don’t even want to mention the insane move to pick-up RF Maglio Ordonez 18 million dollar option. You want to have fun Tigers fans? Play GM and figure out who you could have signed for 18 million this offseason. Not a good job by GM David Dombrowski.

DO THIS: Oakland As cut DH-1B-OF Jack Cust today, he would provide the Tigers with 3 things they could use: a left handed bat, power and walks. SIGN HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5- CLEVELAND INDIANS

Strengths- In total rebuilding mode with 5-6 young kids in the everyday line-up. Absolutely no expectations here… Star CF Grady Sizemore looks healthy and is an elite player… Solid #1 starter in Jake Westbrook… Team is stacked with young talent after scoring several top minor leaguers in the past two seasons for SPs Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia as well as C Victor Martinez, hi-lighted by SP Justin Masterson, C Lou Marson and 1B Matt Laporta…. Manager Manny Acta is good with young kids. GREAT energy… RF Shin-Soo Choo is one of the better players you have not seen, 25 steals and homers reasonable for 2010

Weaknesses: Kids usually take time in the AL… Not much power… DH Travis Haffner cannot stay healthy… Back end of rotation could be horrible

AL WEST

1- LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Strengths: Solid team in all areas… Play like an NL team, speed, bunt, pressure the defense, field well… Bullpen has two potential closers in returnee Brian Fuentes and FA signee Fernando Rodney… Great skipper in Mike Scioscia… Bobby Abreu helped turn this team into a on base machine, the club wears pitchers out.. Division’s deepest rotation

Weaknesses: Not much power… Club Ks a lot… LH Scott Kazmir has battled arm issues most of his career but will start the season on the DL with a hamstring injury. It does not appear to be serious but this is not a good way to start the season… Losing staff  leader and tough guy John Lackey as well as OF-DH Vlad Guerrero has to hurt

2- TEXAS RANGERS

Strengths: Exciting young team, lineup has balance , speed and defense… Very good power that should feature 5 regulars who will hit 20 home runs… Deep bullpen… Excellent farm system… Tremendous young defender in SS Elvis Andrus… Love new leadoff  man Julio Borbon, who could lead the AL in runs or steals.. Decent rotation

Weaknesses: Do not like the starting pitching moves of the off-season, trading Milwood and signing injury prone enigma Rich Harden does not strike me as wise…  Team Ks a ton… Off field situation with popular Manager Ron Washington…. Injury prone stars in 2b Ian Kinsler(on the DL to open the year) and CF Josh Hamilton

3- SEATTLE MARINERS

Strengths:  The most improved team in all of baseball thanks to a great off-season by bold GM Jack Zduriencick, having added a co #1 starter (Cliff Lee), 2B(Chone Figgins), 1B (Casey Kotchman) and LF(Milton Bradley) in trades and free agency… One of the top 5 players in the game in Ichiro… Stud starter LH Felix Hernandez…. Oustanding defensive team, led by CF Franklin Gutierrez….. Good bullpen, led by waiver find David Aardsma

Weaknesses: No power…. Bradley is a talent but has played for more teams than  Led Zeppelin. Can all of them be wrong?.. 3-4-5 spots in rotation unsettled… Need DH Ken Griffey to stay healthy and he is a 155…Bottom of lineup does not scare many


4- OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Strengths: C Kurt Suzuki is a solid player…Excellent bullpen, led by rookie of year Andrew Bailey…. OF Rajai Davis could lead the AL in steals… Team has gone young and has no expectations(see Cleveland).. Young starters showed some stones, led by Brett Anderson

Weaknesses: Worst offense in AL… Signed Ben Sheets for 10 million dollars. Coming off major arm injuries, not a fiscally responsible move… Small market team with major stadium and financial issues

SEASON AWARDS:

MVP-  Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

CY YOUNG- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brian Matusz, SP, Baltimore Orioles



METS 25 MAN ROSTER SET

by @ 8:40 pm. Filed under 2010 Mets

Numerous reports have RH Sean Green making the team over LH specialist Raul Valdez.  Nothing official as of yet but below is the roster as reported.

Starting Pitchers

LH Johan Santana

RH Mike Pelfrey

Niese

Maine

Perez

BULLPEN

Righthanders:

Francisco Rodriquez

Ryota Igarashi

Hisanori Takahashi

Fernando Nieve

Sean Green

Jenrry Mejia

Lefties:

Pedro Feliciano

CATCHERS:

Rod Barajas(R)

Henry Blanco(R)

INFIELDERS:

Luis Castillo(S)

Alex Cora (R)

Mike Jacobs(L)

Ruben Tejada(R)

Fernando Tatis(R)

David Wright(R)

OUTFIELDERS:

Jason Bay(R)

Jeff Francoeur(R)

Gary Matthews(S)

Angel Pagan(S)

Frank Catalanatto(L)

Mets legend Darryl Strawberry is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening day Monday at Citi-field.



METS ROSTER CUT TO 26, FIGUEROA, PARNELL AMONG THE CUTS

by @ 10:50 am. Filed under 2010 Mets

The Mets cut 6 players Friday night, among them RHPs Bobby Parnell  (68 appearances in 2009, 16 holds)and fan favorite Nelson Figueroa. The team is now at 26 healthy players and has to make one more move before Sunday’s 3 pm deadline to be at the required 25 man roster. The team will announce that spot after the final Grapefruit League game against the Orioles Saturday. Infielder Russ Aadams, RHPs Kiko Calero(a good bet to be back up, just needs to build up his arm) and Elmer Dessens. OF Chris Carter, one of the top NY hitters of spring with a .393 average, 4 home runs and 9 rbi, was also sent down . Veteran Frank Catalanotto, who can play almost any position, was kept and his veteran  bat will be a weapon off the bench. These moves almost assure that fireballing rookie Jenrry Mejia  has made the club. The 20 year old right hander has impressed many with his cutter and has been  the talk of camp,  Mets Legend Darryl Strawberry went as far as to say he has closer’s stuff. Somewhere Jerry Manuel is smiling!

April 1, 2010

BREAKING METS NEWS: REYES & MURPHY TO OPEN SEASON ON DL

by @ 9:11 am. Filed under 2009 Mets

Mets GM Omar Minaya just finished a brief with the media, here are some of the hi-lights.

1- Closer Francisco Rodriquez has left the team to deal with a family issue in Venezuela. He is expected to rejoin the team on Opening day.

2- SS Jose Reyes will open the season on the DL, staying in St. Lucie for an extended spring training. No time table on his return but speculation has it sometime next weekend.

3- The club will start the season with 12 pitchers.

4- 1B Daniel Murphy will also start the season on the DL with a sprained MCL. He is expected to miss 2 to 6 weeks, this leaves Mike Jacobs as the likely opening day first baseman. Chris Carter(.407 BA with 4 homers in 15 spring games) is the other option out of camp.

TEAM PREVIEW BY THIS WEEKEND



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