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ESPN and NY Media can follow Willie Out

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I just don’t know where this team is going.  I have no issue with firing Willie.  Manuel…eh.  I dunno.  This team is expected to win, and there’s still over half a season left I don’t get just inserting an interim manager in. 

I am more disgusted by the media handling of this, the media that has been ripping Willie and calling for his firing, and now that it happens, the Mets are classless organization.  I honestly don’t know if I can follow this team other than watching home games anymore this season.  For 3 weeks Buster Onley writes column after column, “not if but when will the fire Randolph.”  So they do, and now because the allowed him to manage one game of a west coast road trip, they’ve embarrassed him?  I didn’t realise plane rides where so horrible.  I didn’t realise, knowing he was on outs, letting him talk to his players on that flight and when they got in,, probably saying goodbye to them, it was a dastardly act.

It’s complete and utter BS the way this is being covered.  Should Omar now be on the hot seat?  Hell yes.  But I am so disgusted by fans and media, who now LOVE Willie.  Get out.  All of them.  I’m sorry this isn’t a classy team like the Yankees who have never made a manager a scape goat or treated him like less of a man….OH WAIT, THEY DID 8 months ago and for the better part of the previous seasons!!!

Every single one of you bandwagon fans for bought your #57 jerseys in the offseason…Go away.  Buster Onley?  Tell us more about Vanderbilt and shut up.  Yankee fans who are mocking the Mets “dysfunction,” handle your own issues.  All the NY writers and radio hosts who spent the past 4 weeks begging for Willie to be fired and now are appalled at the way it was done, go cover the Yankee and Knicks and report how great their front offices are.

Look, there is no doubt this who Omar/Bernazard stuff is bad.  I have from early last year been wary of it.  But for the love of the Mets stop acting like it’s the reason the Mets aren’t very good this year.  No clutch hitting, no power, no left feilder.  THAT’S WHY THEY ARE THE WAY THEY ARE.  It doesn’t matter what race or colour the GM or Manager are.  What matters is, the Mets front office wasn’t prepared to deal with injuries to older players that they knew were coming.  It was Willie sticking to the Clueless Joe Torre, “Stay with the vets, they’ll come through” schtick.  It wasn’t Jose Reyes clapping when he hit a double or celebrating on the top step of the dugout.  It wasn’t Carlos Delgado not taking a pointless curtain call. 

What was it?  It was the lack of a power/authority figure to take a stand, one way or another, and not give the ol’ tired, “That’s the way he plays the game.  I may not always approve, but that’s (insert player name here).”

Why would any player feel accountable when the manager basically said, “I’m better than that, but I won’t enforce my feelings because I want people to like me” or whatever Willie’s rationalization is.

I supported Willie coming back in 2008.  That was a mistake.  I don’t know if I support Omar, but I’m leaning towards the “not supporting him” side of things.  He’s got one more go round with me.  Find a legit manager and a legit staff.,,if they don’t get it done, then it’s Omar’s turn.

There will be no fair coverage of this.  ESPN clearly forgets how inept at times Steve Phillips was and now his opinion on executive and player decisions are looked at with a rose coloured pair of glasses never seen before.  The NY press just wants a story.  They used Willie’s frustrations to make him appear to blame race on his situation and now they’re gonna martyr him. 

For the team itself, it’s time to move past it.  Just play baseball.  Hopefully the SNY team cares enough about the team and the REAL fans to call a baseball game in the same light hearted and insightful way they have been doing and Bill Webb won’t have to be on his toes to make sure he cuts to the dugout every time Willie pumped his fist.

Sadly, I don’t live in the NY area anymore, so for at least a few series, as long as I can only get the road teams feed which undoubtedly rake the Mets over the coals, I will have to stick to box scores.

Don’t get me wrong, I HATE homers with a passion; but this hypo and hyper-critical analysis of the AWFUL WILPONS AND OMAR is not something I care about right now.  If my team wins, I’m happy.  Willie Randolph seems like an honestly good human being.  That doesn’t mean he deserved one more day as Mets manager.  What if they had lost Monday night?  Would all this garbage have happened?  Who knows.  As long as it gives people at the NY papers, WFAN and ESPN a few days/weeks of material, I highly doubt it would have mattered.

 So long pseduo-Mets fans.  For those of you who are staying with this team, you don’t have to like the way the handled this change and a free to voice your opinions.  This has been mine.

Who kidnapped Carlos Beltran? And to whoever did, can you keep him?

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Long before the entire Mets’ team (sans David Wright) took September off; a memory that has been indelibly marked into fans heads for 6 months now, there was a previous not so distant memory Mets fans cringed thinking about…Carlos Beltran watching a called third strike from Adam Wainwright in the 2006 NLCS.  Really, up until the last 17 games of last season, that moment, above all else, is what ate away at fans.  Even worse, was the ease and casual attitude Beltran took allowing the teams push for the World Series that year with his bat on his shoulder.

 

But wait…2008 spring training is upon us, and even though everyday players are not yet required to show up, many of the Mets veterans have.  Or have they?  Carlos Beltran, in what seemed to be an innocent meeting with some press in the dugout at Tradition Field all of the sudden spoke.  What came out of his mouth however, was not something that Carlos Beltran would say.

 

“To Jimmy Rollins: We are the team to beat.”

 

WHAT?!!?  Ever since acquiring Johan Santana and being named the uncrowned champion of the NL East, every Met player that has been asked about it, has stuck to their guns and said, “Yes we’re better, but the Phillies won the division last year, so they are indeed the team to beat.”  So imagine the shock to many fans ears and eyes when they hear and read Carlos “I do my talking on the field” Beltran had the balls to say what his teammates won’t.

 

Beltran’s complete comments were:

“Let me tell you this, without Santana, we felt, as a team, that we had a chance to win in our division. With him now, I have no doubt that we’re going to win in our division. I have no doubt in that. We’ve got what it takes.”

That was enough of a statement to make.  Like I said, a statement David Wright has refused to embrace.  Even afterwards, Wright stood by the idea that the Phils are the team to beat.  When asked about becoming enemy #1 in “The City of Brotherly Love” Beltran didn’t back off either. 

“I don’t care,” Beltran said. “They boo me in Houston. One more city won’t make a difference.”

 

But the biggest question is, does he finally care what fans in his team’s home city think?  Willie Randolph attributed Beltran’s confidence to being a new father and laughed the comments off.  Myself, I don’t know what to think.  If Carlos Beltran starts to show even the slightest bit of effort to be more than a really talented player who is content with doing his job and collecting his check, then sign me up to the “New” Carlos Beltran fan club.  Yes, in just a matter of a few weeks there’s enough of a chance that this will be a one time thing that Vegas won’t even put it up on the board.  Yes, there is a great chance that come his first 0-4 with 3 K’s day at Shea he’ll retreat to his shell and never be heard from again.  And yes, there is even the chance that this might backfire as the Mets fans had hoped Rollins’ comments last year would (his mis betrothed MVP award would say is didn’t). 

 

Seriously though, as Billy Wagner said in response after Beltran made his comments:

“There’s no use in us showing up if we don’t believe that we are that type of team.  For me, I don’t think I would ever go out and say it just because I believe in going out there on the field and doing it, but hey, you know what? He’s my teammate. I got his back.”

 

For anyone who thinks that this is actual fodder for people in Philadelphia, as someone who (sadly) lives there, let me assure you, they’ve already taken up to crowning themselves the best and have downplayed the addition of Santana to such a degree you’d think the Mets had just gotten Kris Benson…ooops, sorry Phillies fans…he’s your headache now (though I’m more inclined to subscribe to a newspaper here now if Anna Benson-mania runs wild here).

Here’s what you hear, if all you do is read Philly papers and watch Phillies coverage on Comcast down here.  “Pedro Feliz is a great addition.  We have the best home grown talent of any team.  Our only weakness is depth on the bench.  Yes the backend of our ratation has some questions, but it did last year and we won. The Mets can add anyone they want, we have a better team.”  This is a city with the shortest long term memory in the world.  Let me explain.  In late June last year wanted it’s manager’s head, wanted Pat Burrell gone, wanted Brett Myers to just keep his mouth shut.  Now their world beaters in the fans and sadly their beat writers eyes, but believe you me, the minute they start to slide, these fans and writers will remember.

 

So kudos to Carlos Beltran, because down here, they’re already trying to convince themselves that they are atually better than the Mets and even if no one on the Mets came out and said what Beltran did, this city already convinced themselves they had, so why not just come out and say it, if, like Beltran says he does, believe it. 
 

I solve crime (and talk baseball) with NUMBERS

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

As I type this, the numbers are flying all over the place. 7 years, $150.75 million at an apy of $21.5 million per.  Well, all those numbers sound nice in early February, but at this same time of year, I have a few more numbers to throw out there.

14 Days…1 Hour…12 minutes.  Yes, those are the numbers that matter the most to me.  You see, those numbers will get smaller and smaller until February 14th at 12 noon, when a 28, soon to be 29 year old Venezuelan arrives in a sleepy little town off the east coast of Florida known as Port St. Lucie.  That will be the time, when Johan Santana steps into the home teams locker room at Tradition Field, looks across the room, and sees yet another number, albeit a more firmiliar one. 57. However, this number won’t be on the back of a Minnesota Twins spring training jersey, it will be that of the New York Mets.

At that point, the numbers, the money, the potential of past prospects and the ghost of bad deals past will not matter.  At that moment, it’s all about an amazingly talented man and his ability to throw a baseball; and throw it as well if not better than almost anyone else on this planet.  The only numbers that will matter between that time and October will be the one’s that precede the letter “W.”  Even the numbers on the patch on his sleeve that will read “1964-2008″ will mean nothing.  This isn’t about the past, it’s about the future.  2008 will mean nothing without those numbers in front of that “W.”  And even though all year, Johan Santana’s numbers will be dissected more than a frog in a High School Biology class, it’s all about winning.  Winning is every bit as much of an attitude as it is anything tangible.  An attitude that eluded this Mets ball club in the dog days of last summer.

Monday, David Wright, The Carlos’, Jose Reyes and many others were probably still practicing their answers to the question, “What happened?”  By this coming Monday, they will be asking questions of their own and looking forward to introducing themselves to the one man who can potentially take the pain of game 162 away.  You see, Johan Santana brings more to this club that a stellar left arm and knee buckling change-up, he brings simple change.  He brings the 2008 version of the New York Mets onto the field, and while many of them still feel the pain of last September, make no mistake about it, Johan Santana didn’t come here to be a footnote on the worst collapse in baseball history.  He may not be the savior…but he also sure as hell isn’t Livan Hernandez.

Mets won’t balk at win, defeat Giants 5-4 in 12

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

“Balkin” Bob Davidson made his impact felt Tuesday night at Shea, more than Ben Johnson’s debut did. Johnson wen 0-2 as a late inning replacement, whereas Davidson raised the ire of Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca on a called swinging strike 2 during an at bat on which it appeared neither the Giants nor home plate umpire Randy Marsh seemed to believe warranted an appeal an inning before his true effect on the game could be felt, as the Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-4 in 12 innings to improve to 33-17 on the season.

The game was actually quite a spectacle is you like young pitchers with electric stuff. Tim Lincecum made his 5th career start and looked everybit the stud roto geeks have been cheering about since the spring. With a quirky delivery, a mid-upper 90’s fastball that explodes in the zone, and change up that comes at you sometimes 20mph slower than his fastball…he has the goods. He also shows no fear to go at hitters and works at a frantic pace. For the Mets, they sent Oliver Perez to the mound for the 10th time this season, Ollie was coming off a tremendous outing in Atlanta and having won 4 of his last 5 games.

The game didn’t start pretty for Perez, as he gave up a lead off Home Run to Randy Winn and then 2 batters later gave up another solo shot, this time to one of the hated Molina’s, Benji. After the second home run though, something impressive happened. Not only did Perez not allow another hit until the 6th inning, he didn’t allow a base runner…in other words, no walks.

Lincecum was simply awesome, not allowing a base runner until there were two out in the 4th when Carlos Beltran took his 36th walk of the season (later he got his 37th) and then served up a long bomb to Carlos Delgado off the base of the RF scoreboard to tie the game at 2. Lincecum would then strike out 4 of the next 5 batters he faced though, and held the game at 2-2 until Jose Reyes led off the 6th with a single and then, on a play only a handful of players can do, went from 1st to home on a double down the right field line by Beltran with out a hitch or a single doubt not only that he would try t do it, but that he would.

If you want to hang anything bad on Perez from this start, it would be that he have up the long ball. Two in the first, and then another one in the bottom of the 7th, the latter to Giants left fielder Dan Ortmeier, tying the game back up, 3-3. It would have been nice to see Perez not give up the lead a half inning after his team got him the lead. However, he was composed on the mound an never once did he fall into a situation where he couldn’t find the plate. That’s Both Perez and Lincecum would go 7 innings and both would strike out 8 and allow 3 runs. Perez wouldn’t be in line for a decision, but his past 4 outings, he has pitched 30 innings allowed 6 ER 24 Ks and 6 BBs. I’m not saying this is now “who” Oliver Perez is, he has had two implosions this season, but it’s getting harder and harder to say, “eventually we’ll see the real Oliver Perez.” …That might be who was are seeing.

Back to the game, it would remain 3-3 and would head to extra innings thanks to an outstanding diving stop of a Julio Franco line drive up the middle by perennial gold glover Omar Vizquel. Earlier in the inning, David Wright had thought he hit a walk off HR, but the ball hit off near the top of the wall and came back onto the field of play. The 10th inning would lead to a scare, as once again Scott Scheoenweis would not do his job, allowing a walk to some guy pinch hitting named Bonds and a ground rule double to 2B Kevin Frandsen to make it 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Aaron Heilman, another guy I have no confidence in, came in and got a line out to Damion Easley at second. Heilman would then pitch a perfect 11th inning as the Mets were held at bay on offense in both the 10th and 11th. Joe Smith came on for the 12th and just did not have it. He had no control with his slider darting every which way. He walked Vizquel, the Vizquel advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then, following a sacrifice, and hitting pinch hitter Mark Sweeney, the Giants had 1st and 3rd and one out. With the infield in, Randy Winn hit a hard ground ball to 1st and Delgado snagged.  He decided to take an extra step and step on the first base bag to get the out before throwing home, and by that time it was too late as Vizquel slid just under Lo Duca’s tag. I personally have no problem with what Delgado did. He had to spin towards first base anyway from the way I saw it and I don’t know how much of a difference the extra second would have made. However, had he thrown home w/o getting the out at first, and Vizquel still got in safely, then you have a potential for a big inning. As it was, Smith would get Frandsen on a check swing (which looked to me like a make up call by Davidson for the Lo Duca call the previous half inning) strike 3, to bring the Mets up for their last licks.

If I were a Lit major, I would type something as silly as, “It looked very bleak for the Metropolitans, as the fans that remained, who had rooted so hard for their team, started preparing for a late night trek back to the homes when all of the sudden, a ray of light appeared from the outfield wall…” Instead, I will put it this way…ARRRMAAAANDO! BENITEZ!!! It is games like this that I need to remind myself of when Billy Wagner gives up a hit or two or a walk or two in the 9th inning of games, “AT LEAST IT’S NOT BENITEZ.” Jose Reyes would lead off the inning, and instantly was up there the annoy. After getting 2 pitches out of the strike zone, Reyes almost in jest showed bunt on ball three. He would then take 2 strikes, the second very questionable, before fouling the 6th pitch off and taking the 7th for ball four clapping all the way to meet HoJo at the 1B bag. Enter “Balkin” Bob. With Endy Chavez at the plate trying to sacrifice Reyes over to 2nd, Benitez would be called for a balk, sending Reyes freely to second base. What Benitez did, I have no idea. Crew Chief Randy Marsh said after the game, speaking for the crew, “he started and stopped.” Hey, I’ll take it. Chavez would get the job done and move Reyes over to third. Once at third, with Benitez on the mound, I was sure Reyes would find away to get to that plate. It would not be immediately though, as Beltran came up with a RISP and grounded sharply to the drawn infield for an out. So with 2 away and down to their last out, Benitez, now was out to prove he could implode with the best of them. I was surpirsed Reyes haddn’t been jumpy at 3rd with Beltran was up, but apparently he decided that he would save his patented “fake a steal of home” move for Carlos Delgado’s at bat (you’ll remember it was Delgado last year who was actually a bit annoyed at Reyes’ antics when he debuted his 3rd base shenanigans. This year, using it more sparingly, it finally worked. Before even throwing a single pitch to Delgado, after Reyes sprinted halfway down the line when Bentiez was coming to his stretch, Armando clearly flinched and a second balk of the inning was called, this time seemingly by multiple umpires (3B ump Hunter Wendelstendt was the original caller), forcing Reyes home to tie the game, 4-4. Come on Mets fans, you all know how this one ends…Once you start pulling on that thread, Armando Bentiez completly unravels, and this was no exception. A few pitches later, Delgado would deposit his second home run over the right center field fence, his thrid walk off RBI of the season, to “Put it in the books;” a 12 inning, come from behind 5-4 victory.

The win combined with a Braves loss in Milwaukee to the Brewers, gives the Mets a 5 game lead in the NL East. They will play the second of this three game set Wednesday night at Shea, as would-be Met Barry Zito hauls his absurd contract to the mound and will counter Tom Glavine. Game time is 7:10 ET

NOTES:

The day started out like most have for the Mets the past few weeks, with uncertainty. By mid afternoon, Shawn Green was on his way to the DL for the first time in his career. Green broke a bone in his right foot in the series against the Marlins over the weekend. He wanted to try and take another day or two off, saying he was starting to feel better, but doctors warned that playing on the foot could further injure it and the team chose to send him to the DL. Green will be eligible to come off the DL on June 10th in Detroit, however doctors have said it will take almost 6 weeks to completely heal, so don’t expect him back immediately unless the Mets desperately need him.

Because of the open spot on the roster, and Moises Alou not ready to come back just yet, the Mets activated Ben Johnson who had traveled with the team from Miami in case he would be needed.

Also, Tuesday was the Mets’ 50th game of the season. With that, Guillermo Mota’s 50 game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs has come to an end. Mota, who has not been allowed to play all season, was immediately re-called follow Tuesday’s game. In 7 games with New Orleans this season, Mota has a poor 7.02 ERA with 7 Ks and 5 BBs in 7.2 innings. To make room for Mota, the Mets optioned Ambiorix Burgos to AAA. Not that Burgos has been anything to be excited about, but after re-signing Mota to a 2 year deal worth 5 million dollars even AFTER the suspension was announced, Omar may not need to come out looking smart here, but it wouldn’t hurt, because the baseball world will keep a close eye on Mota early on.

Pink Panther Mustache will begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday in Class A St. Lucie.

Perez dominate as Mets take series from Brewers

Monday, May 14th, 2007

With few updates lately, I’ll just do some catch up here and hopefully we can do a little better with updates. Since I only saw one game this weekend, I’ll just hit the major points that came to light going into and coming out of Sunday’s game.

Willie Randolph insisted that Mike Pelfrey was his number 5 starter following Saturday’s thumping by the Brewers that saw Pelfrey suffer his 5th loss in 6 starts to “improve” to 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA. However, when the Mets arrived at Shea for Sunday’s matinée against Brewers, Pelf was on his way to the Big Easy, and Carlos Gomez was trying on his pristine brand spankin’ new #27 Mets jersey. From where I sit, there was nothing else the Mets could do. It was obvious Pelf had no confidence in his stuff, aiming his fastball and throwing up in the zone time after time. 17 walks in 30.1 innings, and a terrible WHIP of 1.75 just doesn’t cut it even as a #5. Pelfrey is at his best when he pounds the strike zone low and gets ground outs. So far this year, his ground out to fly out ratio is 1.43 and that is no where near where he needs to be. Now he’ll go down to AAA where hopefully he can work out these issues, because the Mets can’t afford to allow him to do that at the major league level.

As to who will take Pelfrey’s place in the rotation, that remains a mystery, but the organization appears to be looking at left hander Jason Vargas. Vargas, who was acquired in the off season from the Marlins, was scheduled to start for New Orleans Sunday against Las Vegas, however he was scratched and replaced by Phillip Humber (who lead the Zephs to an 10-3 win). This move certainly makes it look like he will be called up Thursday to face the Cubs. If it isn’t Vargas, Willie Randolph called Aaron Sele “a possibility.”
The other ramification from this move is the calling up of 21 year old OF prospect Carlos Gomez. Gomez, who had been with New Orleans in AAA, was hitting .286 with 24 runs scored, 17 walks, eight doubles, two triples, two home runs, 13 RBIs and 23 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. He also led the PCL with 17 steals.

As for the games themselves, On Friday, Jorge Sosa pitched his second solid game since being called up a little over a week ago, leading the Mets to a 4-3 victory. The Mets got long balls from Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley. Sosa gave up 2 runs on 4 hits through 6.2 innings, striking out 4 while walking 3. Aaron Heilman continued to look terrible, giving up a 2 run home run to JJ Hardy in the 8th. Billy Wagner on the other hand was efficient if not extremely impressive, pitching a 1-2-3 9th, throwing only 7 pitches.

Saturday was a game he Mets would like to put behind them in every conceivable way, losing 12-3. Pelfrey gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and walked 3 in 5 innings. Pedro Feliciano gave up 2 runs, Joe Smith’s perfect season was spoiled and spoiled hard, as he gave up a grandslam to J.J. Hardy, and Scott Schoeneweis gave up 3 runs. To say it was a bad day is a vast understatement. Offensively besides David Newhan finally doing something by hitting a meaningless HR, there was very little the Mets could hang their hats on.

When the lineup was posted Sunday, it had all the makings of an “uh oh” game. Oliver Perez, coming off a frustrating loss in San Francisco where the defense let him down and he subsequently imploded, was at best, an unknown. Would that loss mentaly defeat him for starts to come? Also, Paul Lo Duca would get the day off, although if you don’t feel confident in Ramon Castro at this point, you need to start watching a different sport. Moises Alou was out with a quad issue, Endy Chavez started in left. Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green also got the day off against a lefty, Julio Franco would start at first and Gomez would make his major league debut starting in right.
With all that said, this game was complete reversal of fortune from Saturday. The Mets dominated the Brewers, winning 9-1. Perez was brilliant, only allowing one run on 2 hits in 8.1 innings, and one of those hits was a 9th inning home run by Bill Hall, coming off the bottom half of the 8th where Perez gassed himself scoring all the way from 1st on a Jose Reyes triple. I know it sounds like an excuse, but after 8 innings pitched and a exerting himself on the base paths, it might be valid. Either way, the line of 8.1 1ER 2H 2BB 6K is impressive as Perez improved to 4-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.00. Offensively, the Mets used their speed on the bases to capitalize, even against Chris Capuano who is reguarded as having one of the better moves to first in baseball, stealing 5 bases. 3 of those steals were by David Wright, who seeming is doing whatever it takes (shaving his head, pulling up his socks and using his secondary skills) to help himself break out of his season long slump. Wright had 3 steals all season coming into this series and will head into the series against the Cubs with 7. Jose Reyes also stole his league leading 21st base. The other steal came from Gomez, who I mentioned was getting his first major league start. Gomez was 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored. He also made a terrific diving catch in right field. Carlos Beltran, who must have felt he was getting a day off in the outfield, flanked by the speedy Gomez and Chavez, both of whom are natural center fielders, had a two run home run in the 8th inning, his 8th of the season. Damion Easley hit his 5th home run and drove in 4, going 3 for 5 in his 13th start this year.

Other notes: Moises Alou appears to be on his way to visting a very firmiliar place to him…the DL. Alou has made 14 trips to the DL in his 15 full (if you can call it that) major league seasons…looks like he’ll make it 15 for 15. After an MRI Saturday showed bleeding in his quad, Alou was quoted saying, “I don’t feel very good right now, I’m not very optimistic about it. How long? I’m not going to come back any time soon.” He will be re-evaluated today, and if there isn’t marked improvement, he’ll be hitting the DL. Alou’s injury necessitated the call up of Gomez on Sunday. Gomez got the call because Lasting Milledge has been out since April 28th with an injured foot, and figures to be out another 2 to 4 weeks. If Alou does go on the DL, Ben Johnson, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres during the off season, could be an option to fill the empty spot on the roster until they need a 5th starter Thursday. Johnson has struggled in limited action at AAA New Orleans, hitting just .268 in 30 ABs with 1 homerun.

In news that shouldn’t be news but was a big story, Jose Reyes finally acquiesced and joined the rest of the team of shaved heads with Aaron Sele being the lone exception. Carlos Gomez was met with the razor upon arriving at Shea.

Oliver Perez went 1 for 4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI on Sunday. He’s now hitting .353 and is tied with the Marlins Scott Olsen for most hits by a pitcher with 6. In the most unusual stat of the year for the Mets so far, Perez has more hits in less at bats than both Julio Franco and David Newhan. He has also scored 5 runs, which is more than Franco, Newhan and Ramon Castro. GET THAT MAN ANOTHER GLOVE!

Tom Glavine was not in uniform Sunday, nor was he even at the ballpark. He may not have even been in New York. Glavine has asked, and was given permission to attend a “family function” on Sunday. While this isn’t quite Roger Clemens-esque, it does bring up the question, if Glavine does decide to play next year and wants to stay with the Mets, will they have to take a step closer to the Clemens deal the Yankees singed the pitcher two recently.

The Future: The Mets will start a 4 game series with the Chicago Cubs today as Tom Glavine takes to the hill looking for career win 295. Glavine is 4-1 on the year with a 2.98 ERA. He will go up against Jason Marquis. Marquis, who singed with the Cubs in the off season, is 5-1 with a 3rd best in the majors 1.70 ERA and a major league leading .90 WHIP (tied with teammate Ted Lilly). The rest of the series will see John Maine (5-0 1.79) face off with Carlos Zambrano (3-3 5.83) on Tuesday, Jorge Sosa (2-0 2.77) against lefty Rich Hill (4-2 2.51) on Wednesday, and Thursday will either see Aaron Sele (0 starts, 1-0 4.11 in relief) or Jason Vargas (2-3 5.30 for AAA New Orleans) for the Mets while the Cubs will most likely pitch Angel Guzman (2 starts and 4 relief appearances 0-0 3.57). The series will also see the return to Shea of Cliff Floyd. Floyd played 4 seasons with the Met before not being re-signed following last season and signing with the Cubs. Floyd is still close friends with his bag caddy while in NY the previous 3 seasons, David Wright.

The Past: A year ago on this exact date, the Mets had an identical 23-13 record.

Speaking of the Mets last year, Jorge Julio, who was with the Mets this time last year will now pitch for his third team since the Mets, as he was traded from Florida to Colorado for Byung-Hyun Kim. I bring this up simply because I love the quotes from the teams including:

  • “It’s a trade of one guy struggling for another guy struggling,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “There are not a lot of players available in the game right now. We got a guy with a track record of doing all right.” He’s kidding, right?
  • “Julio needs to be fixed. So we have some work with him.” SOME?
  • “I wish we would’ve fixed him,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I wish we would’ve got him to help us.” So does Rick Peterson.
  • “He’s not on top of his game right now but we wouldn’t have gotten him if he was,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said.” Good times…Good Times.

Easley Does It, Mets mount comeback to beat D-Backs 9-4

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Get it? Instead of “easy does it.” Yeah, I know, they aren’t very good if you need to explain them. Anyway, I’d like to apologize for a lack of updates on my end, which I can only blame the good people at MLB.tv for. If you want to know why, then clearly you don’t subscribe. Neither do I…anymore. Good riddance; welcome back ExtraInnings. With that, here’s a brief recap of what I did see of the game tonight, thanks to my late switch over Thursday night. Oh, and I’d also like to thank ESPN for helping me keep up to date with the Mets while I was “blacked out.” Yes, thank you ESPN for 20 minute Baseball Tonight recaps of the games of the day with 20% devoted to the Yankees, 20% to Barry Bonds, 20% to replaying Home Runs and a few defensive plays. That usually leaves about 4 highlights per baseball game. Oh well, can’t expect them to have time for anything else when they need to ram the NFL down our throats in April and May.

As far as the game itself, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, who called the game on SNY, made a very astute observation in the 3rd inning, pointing out how the Mets just looked “slow,” attributing it to the possibility of a quick turn around from a day game on Wednesday and then a flight to Arizona for a game the next night. And slow they were for 8 and a third innings.

Tom Glavine got the start and didn’t seem to want to win this game. He didn’t pitch poorly, but did give up a few poorly timed home runs. The D-Backs (as their horrible new uni’s tell us they are to be called) took an early 1-0 lead when Eric Byrnes, who had turned a badly played ball by Moises Alou into a triple, scored on a Stephen Drew hit in the second inning. Alou would redeem himself in the 4th, when he took a Micah Owings pitch to right field for a double to score Carlos Beltran on the Mets first hit of the game. Paul Lo Duca would later dive Alou home with a single up the middle to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Drifting away from the offensive side of the game, the bottom of the 4th featured two outstanding defensive plays from the boys on the left side of the infield. First Jose Reyes made a great stab on a ball the bounced up to his left going up the middle followed by a ball hit back to the box that popped off of Glavine’s glove to his right; David Wright charged in, picked it up, spun around, and nailed Byrnes a first.

The D-Backs would strike back in the bottom of the 5th. Following a lead off single by Drew, catcher Chris Snyder hit a 2 run home run to left to give them a 3-2 lead. The lead didn’t last long however, as Carlos Beltran led off the 6th with an absolute tape measure shot (”officially,” and I use that term loosely, measured at 442 feet) to right center to tie the game at 3. Not to be out done, Orlando Hudson, in the bottom of the 6th, homer to right center to put the D-Backs right back in the lead, 4-3.

The game would remain 4-3 until the 9th inning, when the wheels would fall off for the home team. After Endy Chavez struck out to lead off, Shawn Green would reach on an error by first baseman Tony Clark, who had been inserted at the beginning of the inning as part of a double switch when closer Jose Valverde entered the game. Lo Duca would then draw a walk and lead into our Foxwoods turning point of the game. Damion Easley came up huge for the second time in as many weeks, taking Valverde to the deepest part of the feild for his third home run of the season and putting the Mets up 6-4. 3 batters later, following a pinch walk by Julio Franco and a single by Reyes, David Wright hit his second home run of the reason, making it a 9-4 game. Scott Schoeneweis would come in for the bottom of 9th to close it out in unimpressive style giving up a couple of hits and getting some help from Shawn Green on a diving catch in right, but he did the job.

The win was the Mets 11th straight win at Chase Field, their last loss coming on May 11 of 2004. Even though he didn’t get the win, Tom Glavine did notch his 2,502 strike out, tying him for 28th all time with Christy Mathewson. They also improved to 17-10 on the season, putting them back into a first place tie with the idle Braves.

The two teams return to the field for the second of this four game series later tonight with another 9:40pm ET. NL Pitch of the Month for April John Maine takes his 4-0 record and NL Leading 1.35 ERA to the mound against Randy Johnson.

Notes…Before the game, the Mets optioned Chan Ho Park to AAA New Orleans and called up Lino Undaneta, who has been the closer for the Zephyrs this season, saving 6 games. No starter has been named yet for Saturday’s game in place of Park who had been called up Monday to take the place of Orlando Hernandez who went on the 15 day DL.

Mets rebound after Ollie’s Folly; take series from rival Phils

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

A day after Oliver Perez laid one heck of an egg against the Phillies, the Mets rebounded after a poor early inning performance from Tom Glavine, to beat the Phillies 5-3 and take the series two games to one, over their NL East rivals.

First I’ll address the game from Wednesday night (to justify the use of my pun-eriffic title for this article and since I assume, like myself, Joe and Wilcox were so ill following that game, we didn’t recap it). It was one of those games that makes you worried as a Mets fan. Poor starting pitching and a lack of hitting from everyone not named Jose Reyes. Perez was downrigh dreadful and showed everything that made him a virtual throw in at the trade deadline last summer, in the deal that sent “The X-Man” to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez as well as Perez.

Of his 73 pitches (in only 2 and 2/3′rds innings of work), Perez threw 41 balls (and those are just the pitches that counted as balls, not the one’s the Phillies chased out of the zone), matching his career high with 7 walks, including a nauseating 4 straight walks and a hit basman in the 3rd inning. Perez had been shaky early, loading the bases in the second only to get out of it by getting opposing pitcher Adam Eaton to ground out to end the threat. Then, in the 3rd he got 2 quick outs, and then following a single by Chase Utley, walked Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell to load the bases, then walked Wes Helms to force in a run, Arron Rowand to force home another and hit Rod Barajas to bring in yet another before Willie finally pulled the plug on him.Worse yet, the Mets only managed 5 hits, two of which were by Jose Reyes against the Phils. The only positive I took from the game was the performance of the Mets bullpen, including a very good outing from Aaron Sele, who pitched 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits.

So with that awful outing, things could only get better, right? Well, early on, not really. Tom Glavine gave up a lead off home run to Jimmy Rollins then walked Shane Victorino who was erased on a caught stealing by Paul LoDuca. Glavine walked Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell before getting Wes Helms to strike out to end the inning.

The Mets came back to tie the game at 1 in the bottom of the first, once again feuled by Jose Reyes who led off with a single and later would score on a single by Carlos Beltran. David Wright ended the inning grounding into double play.

Glavine’s struggles continued in the second inning, giving up a lead off single to Aaron Rowand. After getting two outs, Jimmy Rollins continued to own Glavine hitting his second home run of the game, this one a two run shot, to put the Phillies up 3-1.

After that though Glavine and the Mets settled down, thanks to the help of some poor Phillies defense and some great bunting on two different occasions by Glavine (who has looked great in all 3 of his starts doing that). They would get one run in the bottom of the 2nd after Wes Helms threw the ball away on a Glavine sac bunt, scoring Moises Alou. Then in the 4th inning, after Alou had doubled to lead off the inning, Glavine would lay another beauty of a bunt down, moving Alou and Damien Easley over. Jose Reyes then came up and delivered a single to left, scoring Alou and Easley for his team leading 10th and 11th RBI of the season, to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.

Glavine would go on to pitch through the 6th inning, giving up a total of 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 3. Joe Smith came on in the 7th and after giving up a lead off single to Helms, struck out Rowand on an insane call and got Ruiz to hit into an inning ending double play.

David Wright would then help the Mets get a very important insurance run, tripling to right field and scoring on a single by Alou to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

In the 8th, Scott Schoeneweis gave up a leadoff walk, but then got Rollins to pop up, and got Shane Victorino to hit into another Phillies inning ending double play. Billy Wagner came on in the 9th to get the save. He did give up a double to Ryan Howard and he looked very average with his stuff, but hopefully the weather has a lot to do with it. Wagner got Wes Helms to ground out to Wright to end the game, and give the Mets the 5-3 victory.

Overall, I am pleased with this win. It wasn’t pretty, but I take a few positives from it. First, Glavine pitched tough.. He didn’t have it, but he still fought through it and did everything he could and really earned career victory 292. Second, Jose Reyes is everything we hoped. He’s being pitched around in big situations now…who would have though that would ever happen 3 years ago? Thrid, and maybe most important, Moises Alou is doing what he was brought in to do…hitting lefties. Last year the Mets were terrible at doing just that. So far, this has been a very good move by Omar. Lastly, the Mets bullpen continued to look good…Joe Smith belongs on this team.

In other good news, the Nationals actually won a game, against John Smoltz of all people, to give the Braves only their second loss of the season.  I know it’s early to be watching the standings, but the Nationals are a team that most of the NL East will get fat on this season, so any chance to gain ground and/or extend a lead in the division when the Phillies, Braves or Marlins are playing the Nats, it’s a good thing.

Live Blog: Mets @ Braves 4/7/07

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

-Paul LoDuca introduces us to the Mets lineup, which is he same as the past 4 games. He calls himself, “Eddie Munster.” And we also have “Jose ‘Tony (maybe he meant ‘tiny’)’ ‘Pink Panther Moustashe’ Valentin.” HAHAHAHA…What happened to just showing baseball?

-Joe Buck just said he and MacCarver have “cuddled up many times”, referring to the cold. Greaaaaaat.

Top of the 1st

-Reyes grounds out w/ a check swing to second.

-LoDuca fouls one off, and Joe Buck enjoys a Chewbacca sound effect over the PA. Yes, this is your #1 announce team!

-HOME RUN LoDuca!! Fastball got up and he rocketed it into the left field stands. Joe Buck tells us it’s now, 32-3, Mets.

-LARRY! LARRY! LARRY! Jones drops an easy pop up infront of the mound. Now we’re supposed to believe it was Smoltz’s fault, even though all the time people you NEVER let the pitcher catch it if a fielder can get to it. Beltran is on with one out.

-Delgado up. Two quick strikes up and in. Buck tells us the weather has kept fans away. It’s 44 degrees. GET OVER IT! If you’re a fan, come to game. Braves fans stink!

-3-2 count, Beltran runs, Delgado weakly pops it straight up and it’s an easy double play. C’mon Carlos. Baby Carlos needs a new pair of diamond earrings!! End of the inning.

Bottom of the 1st

-Tim Hudson introduces us to the Braves lineup…what a hick.

-Kelly Johnson grounds to second…CARLOS drops it! C’mon man!!! Buck just says, “That’s the first error for the Mets and that ought to count as 2.” SHUT UP! Die!

-3-0 count to Renteria. 4 pitch walk. I can see how this game is going; and I don’t like it. MacCraver is saying, “Touchy feely” WAY too much.

-Yes..we know Larry has great numbers against the Mets. .333 average and Larry pops out to Valentin. MacCarver says, “touchy feely” again.

-Andruw Jones is bundled up like it’s the arctic. It’s in the 40’s!!! Andruw’s slow start is the fault of the cold…yup. Glavine runs the count full…and he loads the bases with a walk. Super.

-Francoeur chops one to short…Reyes makes the play to first, runner scores. 1-1.

- I have a bad feeling about this one…McCann up. Glavine pitches him carefully and runs the count full again. McCann grounds to Valentin and this time Delgado catches it. End of 1, it’s 1-1.

Top of the 2nd

-As the game goes on, don’t worry, I won’t cover every at bat. Just trying to get into it. I hate this Chevy commercial. Makes me long for “This is ourrrrrrr country!” (thanks to Bill Simmons for that)

-OMG…a full count to David Wright? NEVER! Next thing, he’ll go to right field with this…well, that is if he had hit it. Smoltz’s first K.

-A-Rod hits a walk off grandslam for the Yankees. So now they’ll talk about A-Rod for another 10 minutes. Moises pops out to interrupt the A-Rod love fest.

-Lastings is a “shadow” handing over Shawn Green, who bounces out to Larry at thrid. Middle of 2, 1-1.

Bottom of the 2nd

-Buck pontificates about Glavine getting to pitch to Smoltz perhaps with no one on, and sneaking a smile to him. Awwww…so sweet.

-Another full count by Glavine…this time he gets Craig Wilson to strike out.

-Glavine tells us “This is different” and calls Smoltz his best friend in baseball…And he just gave his friend a lead. Matt Diaz homers to left. 2-1 Atlanta…The Mets finally trail…MacCarver calls him MIKE Diaz.

-Smoltz taps it back to Glavine…HOW CUTE! They’re hitting it to eachother! Smoltz doesn’t run and retreats to the clubhouse.

-Johnson grounds to deep 2nd, and Valentin boots it. They call it a hit. Not so sure about that.

-Johnson steals 2nd. Decent throw, ball hits Johnson in the arm. MacCarver tells us how bad the head first slide is, and how great Lou Brock was and he’d never do it. Yeah, and Rickey sucked didn’t he?

-Edgar flies out to Green in right. End of two, 2-1 Braves.

Top of the 3rd

-Pink Panther moustashe laces a single to right to lead the inning off

-Glavine lays a beauty of a bunt down to Larry…PPM advances to second.

-Ken Rosenthal tells us Bobby Cox was asking his coaches is Reyes is the best leadoff hitter ever…as this is happening, Reyes lines back to Smoltz, catches PPM in a rundown, but PPM keeps it going long enough for Reyes to make it to second.

-Smoltz walks LoDuca, as we have a Lenny Kravitz video of Jose…it’d be nice if they lasted more than 5 seconds so the national audience could get to know him better.

-Quickly ahead of Beltran, 1-2…grounds out to second. Middle of two, 2-1 Braves

-THIS IS OUUUUUUR COUNTRY!

-Tuesday on an all new Houuuuse…sick people on a plane!

Bottom of the 3rd

-Two quick outs…Delgado makes a nice pick on a low throw for the second out.

-Nice play by Glavine to the hit back to the box, end of 3. Braves 2-1.

Top of the 4th

-Delgado flies out to left. Now we get the Bobby Cox lovefest.

-Wright goes 3-2 again…and strikes out again. Maybe Joe had something questioning his bat speed after all.

-Now we compare Bobby Cox to General Douglas MacArthur…Alou singles through the hole between short and third.

-The “in game” box score shows us the Mets aren’t hitting…Green take offense to that and hits a weak double to right, Alou advances to third. First base is open.

-Valentine will be intentionally walked to bring up Glavine. Buck decides Smoltz won’t “tease” around with Glavine with the bases loaded. YOU’RE KIDDIN’? (who’s’s this?)

-MacCarver calls Matt Diaz, “MIKE Diaz” for a second time. Glavine fouls out to Larry, who apparently with a lead is actually hustling. Middle of 4, it’s the Braves on top, 2-1.

-THIS IS OUUUUUR COUNTRY!

Bottom of the 4th

-Homeplate is now offically covered in shadows…not sure if it’s Lastings who is casting it or not.

-Shadows are really working…just not the right way. Glavine goes 3-0 on McCann, who according to MacCarver, has it tougher than Reyes cause he has to handle the pitchers. He doesn’t handle yet another full count by Glavine as he lines out to PPM.

-Apparently Francoeur and McCann are engaged…But not to each other.
- Glavine hits Wilson and we’re told what a MAN Craig is to let a pitch hit him on such a cold day.

-”Mike” Diaz is up. Glavine throwing more balls. 37 balls, 37 strikes. Not good. Pitch 75 is a fly out to Beltran.

-Here’s Smoltz with a man on and two outs…Guess Glavine can’t get “cute” here. Dag nabbit! MacCarver is having flashbacks…Smoltz is gone looking. End of 4, Braves still lead 2-1.

Top of the 5th

-Reyes leads off…it’d be nice for him to get on. MacCarver tells us Wright batting #2 is a bad idea. Now I think I wanna change my opinion. He even made some of my same points. I hate myself. Full count on Reyes…and walks!

-Willie tells us about Jose’s energy. Says it’s the tip of the iceberg. What about global warming?

-Smoltz keeping an eye on Reyes…1-0 count, Reyes runs on a strike…in to second easily. Reyes comes up a little hobbled. LoDuca punches one to second, Reyes advances to third.

-More talk about Pedro…Beltran knocks it through the hole into left to tie the game at 2. Smoltz is now up to almost 90 pitches.

-Buck mentions Gomez and Martinez as chips for the Mets. Rosenthal tells us Pedro may throw off a mound by May 1…and we’re told to add foxsports.com to our favorites…please don’t. 2-2 to Delgado as MacCarver guesses wrong on pitch location. 3-2 count, Delgado goes to left AGAIN (did he do that twice in one game all last year?), this time a single as Beltran was running and makes it to 3rd easily.

-Wright down 0-2 early…he doesn’t look good at the plate. Joe Buck ran into Wright at a Giants football game. Chad Paranto up in the Braves pen…Wright down on k’s again! I apologize Joe…you were right.

-Pitch 100 by Smoltz is grounded to short by Alou to end the inning. Middle of 5, 2 all.

Bottom of the 5th

-Glavine gets Johnson to ground out to PPM. 84 pitches by Tommy so far.

-Buck and MacCarver are “sitting on it.” Oh, the trivia question answer. My bad. Answer to the trivia question I say is HoJo.

-Edgar flies out to right. And I got the trivia question right! Go Me! HoJo needs his #20 back.

- Larry drills it deep to right…Moises makes a nice running grab. That’s 92 pitches for Glavine as we go to the 6th, 2-2.

-THIS IS OUUUUR COUNTRY!

Top of the 6th

-Smoltz remains in, even over 100 pitches…Green hits one to short, Renteria reads it wrong but makes a nice stop…it goes for an infield single.

-PPM steps to the plate. Paranto is still up…Gonzalez is getting steched out too. PPM pops out foul…Wilson barely catches it.

-Tommy Glavine will hit for himself…looks to bunt…another beauty. Green to second, two away, Reyes up.

-No one up in the Mets pen. 2-0. MacCarver says Reyes doesn’t chase up and away anymore…3-0…ball 4. LoDuca stride to the plate.

-Swings through a fastball for strike one…and a silder for strike two. Crowd to their feet…and they boo a clear ball. LoDuca doesn’t chase low for ball 2. He does chase low and away but fouls it off. MacCarver calls for it inside, so of course…it isn’t. Foul ball. Still 2-2. He chases a slider low and away and strikes out. Mets have 9 LOB, middle of 6, 2-2.

-Another annoying Chevy commercial.

-FOX has some really lame drama version of Cannonball run. I think I can miss that.

Bottom of the 6th

- Glavine starts out 2-0 on Andruw. Rick Peterson’s mullet gets on the horn to the pen…Glavine goes full…AGAIN. Joe Smith is up now as well as Feliciano. Andruw rips a double down the line…I’m gonna second guess leaving Glavine in here.

-Isn’t this Tom-a-hawk chop thing old by now? I smell a big inning here. Francoeur singles to right, Jones to third…more tom-a-hawk chopping. McCann could really hurt them here.

-PPM makes a sweet diving catch on a line drive. Can’t double anyone up. Still a nice play.

-Joe Buck gives us a Masters update…Glavine goes 3-0 on Wilson. Wilson swings on 3-0, just foul down the 3rd base line…Ball 4. Bases Loaded. Willie isn’t moving…now he is. But he leaves him in. It’s his mess to clean up.

-”Mike” Diaz up…ball one. Say goodbye to 162-0 is my thinking here. Diaz flies it to Green…and he drops it! UGH!!!! He got turned around the wrong way and probably lost it. Feliciano will now come in. Scored a sac fly and an error. 3-2 Braves.

-Chris “don’t call me Buck” Woodward steps in. Bases are juiced. Buck flies to right…Green makes a nice play this time, but it’s still a sac fly as an air raid siren goes off, because that was an exciting play.

-Feliciano goes full to Kelly Johnson…ball 4. Edgar Renteria will come up with the bases loaded and two outs.

-Willie comes out and wants the righty…the righty will be…

-Joe Smith. This could get dicey. Chopper off the plate goes a mile high…No chance for Reyes. 5-2 Braves.

-Larry Jones is the 9th man to bat this inning. Smith makes two good pitches to get Larry in an 0-2 hole. Bobby Cox is now wearing sunglasses…he’s drunk. Smith barely misses with an 0-2 change…and almost hits him on the next pitch. Larry flies out to Alou to end the ugly…ugly inning. I told ya so. Smith did okay…6 innings done, 5-2 Bravos.

-I can’t even describe the commercial I just saw for an Easter Mass. It basically told you to show up to save your marriage.

Top of the 7th

-Mike Gonzalez is in and gets Beltran to fly out to left.

-After being told how disconcerting Gonzalez’s delivery is to a left hander by MacCarver, Delgado drills a single up the middle.

-MacCarver tells us Smoltz is the Dennis Eckersley of 25 years ago…Wasn’t Dennis Eckersley the Dennis Eckersley of 25 years ago? Wright flies to center. Two outs.

-Gonzalez gets Alou to chase a 1-1 pitch up in the zone…just misses on 1-2. Alou checks on 2-2, Gonzalez hops off the mound…1st base ump Bob Davidson says no swing. We follow a napkin as it blows down the third base line (This is the coverage I choose Fox for)…Alou walks

-Green is the tying run…why is he hitting here?!?! Oh wait, that’s why. RBI single for Green, 5-3 Braves.

-Ken Rosenthal interviews Smoltz live…I hate these interviews mid-game.

-PPM is up with 2 on and 2 out. Gonzalez is hopping around when he doesn’t get calls. I knew there was a reason I didn’t like him. PPM pops out to short right, Kelly Johnson makes a nice play on it. Middle of 7, 5-3 Braves
-Thank God I don’t have a need for Flomax while doing this live blog.

-I will never by a Chevy.

Bottom of the 7th

-Joe Smith still in there, faces Andruw Jones too lead off. 3-1 count to Andruw. Joe Buck wasn’t paying attention to the count.

-Smith starts Francoeur off with a ball…but then induces a 6-4-3 double play.

-The next 4 weeks the national game has either the Red Sox or Yankees in it. I’M SHOCKED! MacCarver is complaining about how old his telestrator is…Not as old as he is though.

-McCann chops one the Delgado, Smith covers to end the inning. 5-3 Braves after 7.

Top of the 8th

-David Newhan pinch hits for Smith and is facing Soriano. He grounds to first for the first out of the 8th.

-Soriano strikes Reyes out. Mets are showing very little energy here.

-LoDuca trying to make something happen fighting off a few nasty pitches. Soriano looks good…real good (except for that stupid hair on his chin). Ground out to third ends the inning as hope for a 162-0 season fades even deeper (please realise the sarcasm there). 5-3 Braves

Bottom of the 8th

-Schoeneweis is in here to face Craig Wilson…Wright makes a nice play into foul territory on a grounder and bounces the ball the first and he would have had him…had Delgado picked it.

-Delgado drops a throw over to first…he’s Adrian Beltre’ing this game. Very bad.

-Langerhans breaks his bat on a grounder to Wright who gets a force a second base.

-Scott Thorman pinch hits…Schoeneweis picks off Langerhans who is off to second, throw by Delgado to Reyes for the second out.

-Thorman breaks his bat and grounds out to PPM. No runs, a hit, a pick off and two broken bats. We got to the 9th, Mets need 2 to tie, trailing 5-3.

Top of the 9th

-Burly Bob Wickman is in for the save. He’ll face Carlos Beltran to start things off.  MacCarver tells us Wickman’s favorite “sport” is Ice Fishing.  Yes…he said, “sport.”  Wickman goes 3-2 to Carlos B…swing and a miss, strike 3.  Beltran strikes out on a curveball…::shudders::  At least he swung.

-Carlos D is up.  It’d be nice if he atoned for his lazy defensive play today.  Carlos D works a full count…deja vu?  He fouls off a curveball and works a walk.

-Our Chevy player of the game is John Smoltz…Now I hate Chevy more.

-Wright, having a terrible day, steps in as the tying run…Wickman throws one in the dirt and gets my McCann, Delgado goes to second.  A quick 3-0 count…A very iffy called strike.  3-1, Wright bounces a single through the hole on the left side, moves Delgado to third.

-Alou with a chance…flies out on the first pitch to center, no one advances.

-Shawn Green is the Mets last hope here….and we all know that is never good.  First pitch is a ball outside.  Second pitch is a curve for strike one, Wright steals second uncontested.  Green hits a LINE DRIVE…CAUGHT.  MacCarver makes his only good point of the day, saying how ironic it was had Wright been on first, that would have been a single.  3 outs…inning over…game over.  Braves win 5-3.

So to recap, 3 hours and 19 minutes, half a pack of cigarettes, way too many words to count and a disappointing loss for the Mets.  Please don’t say those 5 words I know every Mets fan will say today (one of the words is a contraction).  This was a poorly played game and I am not pleased.  Mets and Braves are now both 4-1 and will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon with Kyle Davies facing El Duque.

Ugh…Fox.

Friday, April 6th, 2007

After being forced to sit through the TBS telecast of the Mets vs. Braves yesterday, I am currently sitting through the FOX pregame. Some great things so far: Tim MacCarver looks like he’s 90. Joe Girardi has said about 10 things incorrectly. And Kevin Kennedy, talking about the Braves, talked about how “no one” is talking about them and everyone is picking the Mets and Phillies and overlooking them. Then, when Kennedy makes his picks…he has the Phillies winning the east, and the Mets getting the wild card. WHAT?! But you just said…I…you…but…WHAT?!? Shoot me now! Tim MacCarver is wearing Tony LaRussa-esque sunglasees…Oh yeah, he’s drunk.

“Sweep” me in St. Louis

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Before you ask, let me just say, “Yes!”  I am determined this season, in my MiracleMets debut, to parlay this into a job writing headlines for the New York Post (and judging from THIS ONE, I have my work cut out for me because they’re already in mid-season form). 

So with that out of the way, let’s get to the Mets clubbing of the defending World Series champs, St. Louis Cardinals, completing an opening series sweep with a 10-0 victory. 

John Maine, who pitched very well in his last 12 starts of the 2006 season and the playoffs, was simply masterful in his season debut, allowing just one hit (as well as two walks) in seven innings of work.  Maine looked calm throughout, despite heavy pressure to really help round out the top of the Mets’ rotation this season.  He came right at the Cardinals hitters, throwing 65 of his 97 pitches for strikes, and even after allowing his first hit of the game in the 5th to Scott Rolen and following that with a four pitch walk to Jim Edmonds, he came back to strike out Preston Wilson, got Yadier Molina to line out to Wright at third and Arron Miles to fly out to Beltran to end the threat. 

On the other side, Braden Looper (yes…THAT Braden Looper) made his first Major League start for the Cards, and early on was excellent.  The Mets finally broke through in the 6th when, following Paul LoDuca’s third single of the game, Carlos Beltran took Looper deep right down the right field line to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.  They would tack on another run later in the inning when David Wright, who had reached on a hustling infield single, scored on a Shawn Green basehit to center. 

The Mets took command of the game in the 7th, when Jose Reyes hit his first home run of the season off of Josh Hancock and two batters later, Beltran delivered again with another shot to right, making it a 5-0 Met lead. 

Then came the most enjoyable inning of the season, as the Cardinals were reduced to looking like a minor league team in the field, especially Preston Wilson (I think even in 2007, Mookie would put his step-son’s defensive play to shame), who looked particularly awful on a line drive fly ball by the 48 year old pinch hitter, Julio Franco, that hit off his glove and trickled by him, allowing David Wright and Moises Alou to score the 6th and 6th runs of the game.  Jose Reyes would then knock in his second and third RBI of the night with an opposite field double to make it 9-0.   Two hitters later, Beltran knocked in his 4th of the game on a groundout to put the finishing touches on the Mets offensive strike. 

Willie Randolph inserted Ambiorix Burgos into the game in the 8th, and after what could be described as ANYTHING but a positive spring training, pitched a perfect inning, including a strike out of Molina.  Aaron Sele finished it off in the 9th striking out two (including getting Albert Pujols looking) sandwiched around a double by Chris Duncan, the only other hit the Cards got all night.  So Taguchi ended the game with a ground out to Reyes at short, as the Mets “PUT IT IN THE BOOKS” for the third time in 3 tries this season. 

The Mets will have a day off Thursday (during which Carlos Delgado will go visit baby Carlos in Puerto Rico) and travel to Atlanta where they will start a 3 game series with the Braves (2-0) Friday night at Turner Field, as Oliver Perez makes his 2007 debut for the Metropolitans, facing Mark Redman.