I’ve always been a cynical sports fan. That’s what happens when you root for the Mets and Jets. But I think I sank to a new low last night when, watching David Wright poke a two-run shot in the second inning, my first reaction was “this isn’t going to be enough.” And after the tornado rain delay in the seventh, the Mets went on to prove me right, as Joe Smith and Duaner Sanchez shit a collective brick to give the game away to the struggling D-Backs. By the way, John Maine needs to figure out a way to get his pitch count down. There’s no excuse for having to turn to the bullpen so early when the team’s elite young pitcher is on the mound.
As a Mets fan, last night’s game was hard to watch. But as a baseball fan, there was something very refreshing that happened in the seventh inning. As Pedro Feliciano took the mound, Shea Stadium became the stage for a revival of the Wizard of Oz, with everything and anything swirling around the field. My experience in the last few years with impending weather at ballgames is that umpires will assume nothing until it becomes impossible to play the game. Everyone knew that the heavens were about to open on Flushing. Everyone expected to get wet. But instead of letting this happen, the umpires decided to stop the game right then and there. It turned out to be a great decision, as the grounds crew (with the help of Scott Schoeneweiss and Billy Wagner) got the tarp out there just in time.
MLB’s handling of rain delays has really bugged me this year. Baseball is so inclined not to postpone or cancel games due to so many factors that players are often put in harm’s way as a result. Recently I saw Odalis Perez leave a soaking wet Washington mound injured after it started pouring at a Nationals Cardinals game. The injury, no doubt, was a result of the conditions on the field. It just isn’t worth the risk.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Billy Wagner, Cardinals, David Wright, Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith, John Maine, Mets, Nationals, NL East, Odalis Perez, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Schoeneweiss
And…we’re back. With apologies about the long layoff, we’ve retooled our approach to NL Beast and are looking forward to going forward. With that, here’s the Mets Beast (and least) of the week.
The Mets Beast of the week is…
Carlos Delgado, 1B. I never thought the day would come, but Delgado takes the top honor for the week. Carlos hit .318, .423, .455 for the week. He walked three times and struck out four, which is a huge improvement for him. Not the most impressive numbers, I know. But to say that the Mets have been mediocre of late would be a gigantic understatement.
Runners-Up: Jose Reyes, Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith
And the Mets least of the week is…
Fernando Tatis, OF. Tatis was a nice surprise when he was thrust into duty for an injured Moises Alou, but he has recently returned to Earth, hitting .105, .150, .158 in 19 at-bats this week. Obviously he is not going to be the kind of replacement player that Mets fans were hoping for in lieu of Alou, Ryan Church, and Angel Pagan.
Runners-Down: Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Oliver Perez
Posted in Mets
Tagged Angel Pagan, Carlos Delgado, Duaner Sanchez, Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Joe Smith, Jose Reyes, Mets, Moises Alou, NL East, Oliver Perez, Ramon Castro, Ryan Church
Much better game for the Mets tonight, as John Maine pitched very well from the start (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR). Ryan Church picked up his 30th RBI and 8th HR of the season. Brian Schneider and Jose Reyes also drove in runs.
For the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman homered off of Maine in the third for his sixth of the season. Rob Mackowiak also drove in a run. John Lannan wasn’t great tonight, going 6 innings with 4 earned runs off of 12 hits, with a walk, two strikeouts, and a home run. Luis Ayala continued to struggle, surrendering an earned run in the eighth on two hits and a walk.
Matt Wise allowed a run in the 7th, but was still credited with a hold, as was Duaner Sanchez, who apparently still has the confidence of Willie Randolph. Billy Wagner notched his eighth save of the year.
Maine continues to be the Maine man, as the rest of the Mets pitching staff remains a wild card. Other than Johan Santana, there’s no one I’d rather see on the mound for the Amazin’s. Should be interesting tomorrow as Claudio Vargas goes against Tim Redding.
Posted in Mets, Nationals
Tagged Billy Wagner, Brian Schneider, Claudio Vargas, Duaner Sanchez, Johan Santana, John Lannan, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Luis Ayala, Matt Wise, Mets, Nationals, Rob Mackowiak, Ryan Church, Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Willie Randolph
Hard decision here, but the Mets Beast of the Week is CF Carlos Beltran. The Mets’ cleanup slugger had been hitting .181 over his last 28 games before this weekend, when, apparently, something clicked. Over his last three games, Beltran has gone 5-11 with 8 RBIs, 2 BB, and a homer. Beltran is key to the success of the Mets lineup, and even if he has gotten hot off of two ineffective Reds pitchers (Matt Belisle, Johnny Cueto), it’s about time that Mets fans have seen some life out of the cleanup spot.
Runners-Up: John Maine, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Church
I hate to do this, because I love the guy, but I have to give the Least of the Week distinction to RHP Duaner Sanchez. Having “earned” the set-up role (after the implosion of Aaron Heilman), Sanchez was clearly expected to show the same flash as he had in 2006, before his tragic, season-ending shoulder injury. It’s a miracle that Duaner is pitching at all, much less in his current role. But with a fastball that tops off at 89, he’s clearly not capable of being a set-up man. After a horrible performance last Saturday (when he gave up five earned runs), Sanchez continued to struggle. His line on the week: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. That contributes to a 2.40 WHIP and 10.80 ERA for the last 7 days. Duaner might be a decent middle reliever this season, but he is not a quality set-up man for Billy Wagner.
Runners-Up: Johan Santana, Luis Castillo, Endy Chavez
Posted in Mets
Tagged Aaron Heilman, Billy Wagner, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Duaner Sanchez, Endy Chavez, Johan Santana, John Maine, Johnny Cueto, Luis Castillo, Matt Belisle, Mets, Ryan Church
The Mets scored early and often off of the Dodgers and their ace Brad Penny today, erasing the possibility of a sweep in Los Angeles and going 3-3 on their short West Coast swing.
John Maine put in a superb outing for the Mets, going 8.1, allowing just one earned run off of 4 hits, striking out four and walking two. Maine looked absolutely dominant, and was within easy reach of a complete game shutout until the ninth inning, when he ran out of gas and was quickly replaced by Duaner Sanchez, who quickily retired the side. It says something that Maine was still throwing 94 mph fastballs in the top of the ninth (albeit ones that missed completely). Maine improves to 4-2 on the year.
Penny got hit hard by the Mets bats. His line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO. Ouch.
It was nice to see an actual team effort today, with almost every Mets batter driving in at least a run, with the exceptions of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Endy Chavez (who replaced Angel Pagan after he left the game with shoulder soreness after an incredible foul ball catch). It was nice to see David Wright contribute after two big 0-fers in LA, with a ground-rule double off of Scott Proctor that drove in two.
These past two nights have highlighted the Jekyll & Hyde nature of this year’s ballclub. One night, an emotionless team throws a game away–the next day, they come out angry and stomp all over the opponent. The problem is, Maine and Johan Santana can’t pitch every day. Other pitchers are going to have to step up, or there’s going to be a lot more of last night and a lot less of today down the stretch.
The Mets now return home to face the Reds and Nationals next. Two very beatable teams that the Mets need to beat up on.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Angel Pagan, Brad Penny, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Dodgers, Duaner Sanchez, Endy Chavez, Johan Santana, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Proctor
Diamondbacks 10-Mets 4
Mike Pelfrey did not pitch well for the Mets, throwing more than 100 pitches in 5 innings, allowing 5 earned runs, walking 4 and striking out 1. He was charged with the loss, and is 2-2 on the year Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb pitched well enough, but was not dominant, giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 full innings of work with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Augie Ojeda, replacing the injured Orlando Hudson, terrorized the Mets, driving in 6 runs. For the Mets, Carlos Delgado hit a 3-run shot, but was one of the only Mets whose bat showed up. Combined, Jose Reyes and David Wright were 0-7 with a walk on the day. Duaner Sanchez‘s line on the day: (0.1 innings, 4 H, 5 ER) Ouch.
Nationals 9-Pirates 8
The Nats barely squeaked one out against the Bucs, as mediocre pitching gave way to clutch offense from the Nats. Cristian Guzman was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, and totaled 6 RBIs on the day. Guzman and Felipe Lopez jumpstarted the Nats offense, combining to go 6-9 on the day in the 1 and 2 spots. Matt Chico might have bought himself some more time to try and fix his pitching woes, but was not all that good, going 4.1 and letting up 5 runs, 4 earned, with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Jesus Colome picked up the win and Jon Rauch notched his 7th save of the year.
Giants 3-Phillies 2
The Phillies lost a heartbreaker as Bengie Molina hit a go-ahead RBI double off of Rudy Seanez in the 10th. Brett Myers pitched very well, going 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 10. But he received almost no run support other than home runs by Chase Utley (again) and Geoff Jenkins and an RBI from Pat Burrell. Giants starter Matt Cain was very effective, shutting the Phils down on 7 innings of 3-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 1.
Braves 9-Reds 1
Yunel Escobar led the Braves to a hit parade Saturday as he went 3-4 with 2 runs and an RBI. The Braves had 15 hits on the day compared to 4 for the Reds. Jo-Jo Reyes pitched well for Atlanta, allowing just 1 earned run on 5.1 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. Brian McCann had 2 RBIs for the Braves, who now sit just a game below .500.
Padres 7-Marlins 2
Young Ricky Nolasco continues to struggle for the Marlins, giving up 10 hits over 4.2 innings of work yesterday as Padres ace Jake Peavy cruised. Peavy went 5.2 and struck out 8, allowing just 2 earned runs. Mike Jacobs‘ 2 run blast in the bottom of the first was all the offense the Marlins could muster. After a hot start, the Marlins are just 4-6 in their last 10.
Posted in Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies
Tagged Augie Ojeda, Bengie Molina, Brandon Webb, Braves, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Carlos Delgado, Chase Utley, Cristian Guzman, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Duaner Sanchez, Felipe Lopez, Geoff Jenkins, Giants, Jake Peavy, Jesus Colome, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jon Rauch, Jose Reyes, Marlins, Matt Cain, Matt Chico, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Orlando Hudson, Padres, Pat Burrell, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Ricky Nolasco, Rudy Seanez, Yunel Escobar
What a way to open the roadtrip, as the New York Mets defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on the backs of their superstars, David Wright and Jose Reyes, and on their most valuable player so far, Ryan Church. David and Jose each fell one hit shy of the cycle–Wright needed a triple, Reyes a home run. Church hit his fourth home run of the year and drove in three on the night, bringing his RBI total to 19.
It doesn’t get much better than this. Reyes gets on base, Church advances him, David drives in runs, and the rest of the team follows the lead. These 3 guys are key to winning, as is John Maine, who looked shaky at times, but got the job done, going 6 full innings to pick up his 3rd win of the year (surprising after his pitch count got way up there–he even had 12 pitches on just one Micah Owings at bat), and surrendering 2 earned on 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking 2. Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano, and Duaner Sanchez combined for 3 scoreless innings in relief.
The Diamondbacks were a shadow of their usual self tonight. Owings took the loss, going 5.2 giving up 7 earned runs on 11 hits, striking out 2 and walking 3. He’s obviously banged up, as anyone watching the game could tell based on his motion. 2B Orlando Hudson had to come out of the game with a minor leg injury (he’s day to day). Here’s my observation of the D-Backs. They have a ridiculous amount of talent (especially in Justin Upton who is a phenom to say the least), but they are very, very young. Their pitching needs to be solid to carry them, and tonight it obviously was not. But this is a team that is going places.
A happy note for the Mets, LF Moises Alou made his return to the lineup, batting in the 5 spot behind Carlos Beltran. Alou went 1-4 with an RBI on a hard hit ball up the middle that could have easily been a double play ball. Weird to see the bottom of the lineup consisting of Carlos Delgado, Raul Casanova, and Luis Castillo. Those 3 combined to go 2-11 on the night, by the way.
Great win tonight for the Amazins, it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow as Mike Pelfrey takes on Snakes ace Brandon Webb.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Brandon Webb, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, Luis Castillo, Mets, Micah Owings, Mike Pelfrey, Moises Alou, Orlando Hudson, Pedro Feliciano, Raul Casanova, Ryan Church