Tag Archives: Luis Castillo

Church [finally] to DL

The Mets announced that Ryan Church would head to the 15-day Disabled List yesterday, three weeks after sustaining his second concussion of the year on a nasty collision with Braves’ shortstop Yunel Escobar.

That’s a roster move made three weeks too late. The Mets management have shown time and time again that they have a knack for making the wrong decision at the wrong time–resigning Luis Castillo, trading Scott Kazmir, etc. How obvious should it have been that Church needed to be placed on the DL at the time? It was staring Omar Minaya in the face.

When the Mets left Atlanta for Colorado, Church jetted along with the team, seemingly unaware of the negative effect that the altitude would have on his already woozy state. I’m no doctor, but it’s obvious to me that the last thing someone needs to do after sustaining their second concussion in three months is fly across the country to a place with thin air. And then play baseball of all things? Terrible idea.

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So is this Mr. Hyde?

This year’s New York Mets have shown flashes of brilliance, but have quickly slid back into mediocrity. The Mets limped home to Shea Stadium last week having gone 2-5 on the week, including a four-game sweep by the Braves at Turner Field. But they came home and made a statement, winning important series against the Marlins and the Dodgers.

Leading the way for the Mets was good starting pitching, including a great performance by Mike Pelfrey and, of course, an awesome outing by Johan Santana. Backing those efforts on the mound were superb weeks by Mets hitters, led by David Wright. David hit .407, .515, .741 with 2 HR and 6 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.256. Jose Reyes hit .367, .457, .767 with 3 HR and 4 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.224. Luis Castillo emerged from mediocrity, hitting .348, .464, .652 with 2 HR and 4 RBI for an OPS of 1.116. And Carlos Beltran woke up, hitting .320, .438, .600 with 2 HR and 5 RBI for an OPS of 1.038.

Of course, there are still problems. Carlos Delgado is still not hitting. The starting rotation is still sketchy behind Santana and John Maine. Any reliever not named Billy Wagner, Scott Schoeneweiss, or Joe Smith terrifies me. But Ryan Church has returned to the lineup, as has the swagger of 2006. The question is, will this Mets team continue to play to its potential and win these important games, or will it go lose a series to a terrible San Francisco team and continue its slide from grace? Will Willie Randolph be redeemed by his club’s performance, or will he become a scapegoat yet again? It’s time for the Mets to step it up and prove that this last week was not a fluke, and that the 12th inning victory against the Marlins was a true turning point, not a rare glimpse of what could have been.

-Jonathan Kraft

A Character Win

When people speculate what can spark a team’s turn-around, they often look to an extra-innings win as a catalyst. It’s impossible to say that one game can remedy a season of mediocrity, but the New York Mets certainly made a statement Wednesday night, winning in the 12th inning on a Fernando Tatis walk-off double.

On the back of Tatis, an unlikely hero, the Mets take the series from first-place Florida, making a strong statement in the first series of the homestand after a roadtrip to forget. Of course, taking two from the Yankees elicited the same sort of “turn-around” talk from Mets fans.

But what was different last night was the fact that every part of the Mets team contributed to the victory. Oliver Perez wasn’t dominant, but still struck out seven despite giving up four earned runs in six innings. Aaron Heilman looked brilliant in two innings of work, striking out four in two innings. Scott Schoeneweiss and Billy Wagner were phenomenal in an inning each. Endy Chavez forced extras with a pinch-hit home run. Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes also homered. David Wright walked twice. And then there was Tatis, the forgotten star, who is to the Mets right now what Angel Pagan was in Spring Training–invaluable.

Sure, there were faults. The Mets left ten on base, to start. That’s been a problem all year, and it continues. The Mets are a talented team. What they have needed all year is a spark, something to start the engine of a lineup that should be producing a heck of a lot more than it has. Only time will tell, but a win like last night’s, a series win like this one, might be what it takes to jump-start this team.

-Jonathan Kraft

Around the Beast

Nationals 5-Brewers 1

Jeff Suppan pitched well for Milwaukee until the sixth, when the [long-absent] Washington offense came alive. After J.J. Hardy mishandled a double-play ball, the Nats broke through, scoring on doubles by Ryan Zimmerman and Jesus Flores and on a Lastings Milledge sacrifice ground ball. Wily Mo Peña his his first home run of the year earlier in the first inning, and Suppan drove in the Brewers’ only run of the game.

Odalis Perez pitched well for the Nationals (5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 84 P) but left with a no-decision. Brian Sanches, just called up from Triple-A Columbus, struck out the side in the sixth and was credited with the win. Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala, and Jon Rauch closed the door for Washington.

Rockies 5-Mets 4 (F/13)

The Mets dropped their fifth straight game as Matt Holliday hit a walk-off single in the 13th off of Aaron Heilman after homering off of Billy Wagner in the ninth to tie the game (Wagner’s second blown save of the year). It was a back and forth game as neither team dominated on the mound.

Oliver Perez was all over the place for the Mets, going 5 innings allowing 6 hits for 4 earned runs, walking 8 and striking out only 2, and allowing a home run on 110 pitches (just 56 for strikes). Rookie starter Greg Reynolds never dominated for the Rockies, going 6 full innings allowing 4 earned runs on 4 hits, walking 3, striking out 5, and allowing 2 home runs on just 84 pitches thrown. He left the game after allowing back-to-back home runs to Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis (who replaced the injured Marlon Anderson) in the 6th.

Driving in runs for the Mets were Luis Castillo, Delgado, Tatis, and Jose Reyes, who got in the home plate umpire’s face after being called out on a very low strike three in the 13th. Garrett Atkins, Clint Barmes, and Holliday drove in runs for the Rockies.

Astros 5-Phillies 4

Brandon Backe was superb for the Astros, giving up just one run in 7.1 innings pitched, striking out 6 and walking one. Adam Eaton didn’t pitch terribly for the Phillies (7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO,2 HR, 96 P), but couldn’t keep the ball in the park, giving up two home runs to Hunter Pence.

Also driving in runs for the Astros were former Phillie Michael Bourn (who also stranded three on base), and Carlos Lee (his 36th of the season). For the Phillies, Pat Burrell homered in his second-straight game and Pedro Feliz and Jimmy Rollins also drove runs in.

Diamondbacks 11-Braves 1

Doug Davis returned from cancer surgery in unbelievable fashion, shutting the hot-hitting Braves lineup down for 7 innings, allowing just one earned run on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4 on 89 pitches. His team responded, taking batting practice off of Jo-Jo Reyes (5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR) and Chris Resop (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR).

Homering for the D-Backs were Stephen Drew, Eric Byrnes, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, and Mark Reynolds. Whew. Kelly Johnson drove in the only Atlanta run of the night.

Giants 8-Marlins 2

Scott Olsen finally came back down to Earth, surrendering 5 earned runs off of 8 hits in just 3.1 innings pitched, walking 3, striking out 2, and allowing a home run on 81 pitches. Olsen drops to 4-2. He was relieved by Doug Waechter, Renyel Pinto, and Tyler Tankersley, who all pitched much more effectively. Dan Uggla homered for Florida (his 15th of the year) in the ninth, driving in both Marlins runs of the evening.

Barry Zito finally got his first win of the season, giving up just one earned run in 6.1 innings of work, walking 4 and striking out 5. Bengie Molina and Jose Castillo homered for the Giants. Aaron Rowand drove in three runs, and Rich Aurilia drove in two more for San Francisco.

Brett Carroll had to leave the game in the fourth inning after separating his right shoulder. He’ll be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

 

Postgame: Braves 6-Mets 1 [BEAST-OFF]

It was clear that Tom Glavine would have to face his former team at some point this season. Glavine’s first start against the Mets ended in his second win of the year and an outing far better than the last time Tom Glavine pitched in a game that included the New York Mets.

Glavine was very effective, surrendering just one earned run in six innings of work on a home run to Luis Castillo, of all people, in the first inning. He walked one and struck out four on just 82 pitches. The Mets countered with John Maine, who did not pitch well. Maine was unable to keep his fastball down in the zone and paid dearly, surrendering four earned runs in just four innings of work on eight hits, walking three and striking out two on 99 pitches–hardly the dominant stuff he showed in his last few starts. Maine drops to 5-3 on the year.

Aaron Heilman continued his fascination with giving up the long ball, giving up his fifth of the year in just 22.2 innings of work, this one a three-run shot to Brian McCann in the 7th. Also driving in runs for the Braves were Mark Teixiera, Yunel Escobar, and Kelly Johnson.

David Wright and Jose Reyes combined to go 2-8 on the day. Once again, when Jose doesn’t get on base, the Mets don’t score runs. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues.

-Jonathan Kraft

Postgame: Mets 7-Yankees 4

Johan Santana surrendered three home runs, but got the job done, combining with Billy Wagner to shut down the Yankees bats in Game One of a shortened Subway Series. Santana pitched 7.2, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits, walking three and striking out five on 100 pitches. Billy got the final four outs, racking up his ninth save of the year.

For the Mets, Jose Reyes and David Wright homered. Carlos Beltran, Brian Schneider, Luis Castillo, and Carlos Delgado also drove in runs.

For the Yankees, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, and Bobby Abreu homered. Andy Pettite took the loss, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7. Yanks goat Kyle Farnsworth gave up three runs in an inning of relief on two home runs.

Game two today features Oliver Perez against Chien-Ming Wang on Sunday Night Baseball at 8:05.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pregame: Nationals at Mets [BEAST-OFF]

The Game:Washington Nationals (17-24) at New York Mets (20-18)

The Matchup:Jason Bergmann (0-1, 11.68) at Mike Pelfrey (2-3, 4.86)

The Story: Aaron Heilman blew last night’s game for the Mets, surrendering three runs in one-third of an inning before being booed off of the field at Shea Stadium. Today, the Mets look to move on and go for the split against Washington. Mike Pelfrey got credited with the loss in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Reds, but has pitched better of late. He needs to be more aggressive and not get behind in counts in order to find success against the thin Washington lineup, which has the next to lowest batting average of any team in Major League Baseball.

Jason Bergmann returns to the Nationals after being demoted to Triple-A Columbus after a rough April 12 game against Atlanta. Bergmann pitches in the zone–his K/BB ratio this year is 6–so Mets hitters will look to attack the ball.

Should be interesting to see if Scott Schoeneweiss makes it to the game today; he was hospitalized after his arms turned blue and his hands went numb. According to Adam Rubin, this was just a complication from the flu-like symptoms that have been going around the Mets clubhouse lately. Scary stuff.

Late word that Nationals 1B Nick Johnson is being placed on the DL after an MRI revealed a tear of the tendon sheath in his right wrist (whatever that is). Dmitri Young will be recalled from his rehab assignment tomorrow.

For the Mets, Luis Castillo returns to the lineup after missing a couple of games with knee soreness. Marlon Anderson takes Moises Alou‘s place in the day after night lineup despite Alou’s early exit after being ejected last night. Ramon Castro gets the start behind the plate for New York.

For the Nationals, Lastings Milledge shifts to right field after appearing to have lost his center field job. Austin Kearns replaces him. Rob Mackowiak gets the start in left today begging the question, where have you gone, Wily Mo?

Lineups:

Nationals: Lopez (2B), Guzman (SS), Zimmerman (3B), Boone (1B), Milledge (RF), Kearns (CF), Mackowiak (LF), Flores (C), Bergmann (P)

Mets: Reyes (SS), Castillo (2B), Wright (3B), Beltran (CF), Church (RF), Delgado (1B), Castro (C), Anderson (LF), Pelfrey (P)