Mets vs. Dodgers live blog

10:03 update
OK, here’s how this is going to go; every time there is a commercial break during the game, I’ll post the most recent update. I am hopeful for a Mets win, but who knows what Tim Redding has after coming back from injury (and frankly, he’s not that great), and Randy Wolf typically kills the Mets.  Plus, Angel Pagan is leading off tonight, fresh off his superb performance last night grounding into a double play with the bases loaded, so spirits are not exactly high.  We’ll see what happens.

10:17 update
Your starting lineup for the Mets:

  1. Angel Pagan, LF
  2. Luis Castillo, 2B
  3. Carlos Beltran, CF
  4. Gary Sheffield, RF
  5. David Wright, 3B
  6. Fernando Tatis, 1B
  7. Ramon Martinez, SS
  8. Ramon Castro, C
  9. Tim Redding, P

Horrible lineup.  Pagan sucks, Wright should be hitting ahead of Gary Sheffield…I have to say, I have not been a big fan of the AG’s gameplan this season thus far.  Losing Cora hurts, he’s played better than any reserve Mets middle infielder I can ever remember.  Also, why isn’t Murphy starting?  I thought he wasn’t a platoon OF.

Pagan leads off with a single, because I’m so down on him.

But he isn’t on first for long, because Castillo grounds into a double play.  As I’ve said, because he puts so many balls on the ground, Castillo should not be batting second.

Nice at-bat by Beltran drawing a walk.  Beltran’s at-bats are so fun to watch, he just works pitchers over with his patience.  He really does just excel at every aspect of the game of baseball, we really are fortunate to get to watch him so often.

Sheffield presenses his way to a weak chopper back to the pitcher and that ends the first inning.  The Mets fail to score.

10:32 update
The lineup for the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight:

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Rafael Furcal, SS
  3. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  4. Andre Ethier, RF
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. James Loney, 1B
  7. Matt Kemp, CF
  8. Juan Castro, 3B
  9. Randy Wolf, P

I have to say, not terribly imposing without Manny.  I mean, it can’t be a good sign that Orlando Hudson is their #3 hitter, right?  I remember thinking he’d be good for the Mets because he’d be a good #8 hitter.

An inauspicious debut for Tim Redding, as he walks Juan Pierre, who has never been known for his patience.  Not a guy you want on base to start the game.

Tim Redding is taking a Trachsel-like amount of time between pitches.  He is not going to be a fun guy to watch pitch this year.

And…Rafael Furcal singles with Pierre running.  First and third, no outs.  Tim Redding is REALLY becoming unfun to watch in a hurry.

Gary Cohen just called Orlando Hudson, who is at the plate, “an elite player,” talking about how it took so long for him to sign.  I love Gary, but man, Hudson is not that good.  He wasn’t good at the plate or with the glove last year, particularly on the road.  If he’s an elite player, Mike Nichols is an elite blogger.

Redding fakes to third and then to first twice in a row.  Man, this is brutal.

Hudson dribbles one to the first baseman.  Tatis throws home, when it would have taken a perfect throw to beat the runner, and Tatis’ throw is far from perfect.  1-0 Dodgers, and runners at first and second with no outs.  C’mon Fernando, you have to get the out there.

Andre Ethier has apparently not been following the game, as he swings at the first pitch and flies out to Pagan.  One out.

And Redding hits Russell Martin with the first pitch to load the bases.  The Tim Redding era is not off to much of a start.

Angel Pagan stinks in the outfield.  He took such a bizarre route to a fly ball by James Loney, Beltran says “screw this,” and catches it himself.  His throw to the plate, however, is not in time and the Dodgers score again.  2-0 Dodgers.

Matt Kemp grounds out to David Wright and that ends the first inning.  The batters have some work to do.

10:39 update
Nice double by David Wright down the line to lead off the 2nd.  David Wright has been so amazing in May.

Fernando Tatis moves Wright over to third with a groundout.  Ramon Martinez then drives Wright home with a groundout.  2-1 Dodgers.

Ron Darling is now blathering on about “team baseball.”  I’m sorry, I’d prefer my hitters to not make outs, even if they are “productive.”  You don’t have big innings playing smallball.

Ramon Castro strikes out to end the inning.  At least they got on the board, because I have a feeling they are going to need to score some runs.

10:45 update
Ramon Castro ended the Mets’ 2nd and Juan Castro leads off the Dodgers’ 2nd.  I am guessing I will call him Ramon accidentally at least 428 times tonight.  He’s starting tonight because of an injury to Casey Blake.  Juan strikes out much like “brother” Ramon.

Redding gets Randy Wolf to strike out as well.  I’d say that Redding is settling down, but…well…he just struck out Juan Castro and Tim Redding.  Let’s see hiim get a good player out.

Juan Pierre grounds the first pitch out to Castillo and Redding gets the Dodgers 1-2-3.  Let’s see how he does facing good hitters in the third.

10:51 update
Tim Redding is a lifetime .148 hitter, which might make him the 2nd best hitting pitcher on this team by default.  Then again, the best hitting pitcher on the team is Livan, and he’s near worthless as a starting pitcher.  Doesn’t help him here, though, as he strikes out without putting up much of a fight.

The team’s other #9 hitter, Angel Pagan, is now up.  I will not stop complaining about Angel Pagan until he’s off the team.  He grounds out for the second out.  Can somebody explain the appeal of Angel Pagan?  No power, a poor defender…literally, his only asset is speed.  Yet today he’s leading off despite not being a good baseball player.

Luis Castillo pops out to end the inning.  So much for that!

10:59 update
Rafael Furcal tries to catch the defense sleeping with a swinging bunt, but Redding makes a nice grab on the chopper and throws out Furcal easily.  Nice play by Redding.

Redding gets ahead of Orlando Hudson 1-2, but can’t seal the deal and walks him.  Runner on first, one out.

Ethier strikes out on a ball in the dirt.  Two outs.

Russell Martin flies out to center to end the inning.  Hey, his jersey says “J. Martin.”  I wonder why that is, and I wonder why the broadcast team hasn’t brought it up yet…

11:05 update
Carlos Beltran pops out to lead off the fourth.  Hudson and Kemp almost collide going after the ball, but avoid disaster.  That at-bat was not as great as his first inning one I raved so much about.

According to Wikipedia, “Russell Martin announced that for the 2009 season, the name printed on his jersey will be changed to “J. Martin” in reference to one of his middle names “Jeanson”, in honor of his mother.”  Wonder if/when Gary and Ronnie will point this out.

Gary Sheffield ends a run of seven straight hitters retired by Randy Wolf by drawing a one-out walk.  Nice at-bat there.

Damn, David Wright just made a nice bid for an extra base hit, but Juan Pierre runs down the fly ball and gets the second out.  Pierre isn’t known for his range in the outfield, despite being very fast, but he made a nice defensive play there.

Tatis weakly lines out to Orlando Hudson, and the inning comes to an end.

11:15 update
James Loney gets ahead of Redding, but grounds out to Ramon Martinez for the first out.  Ramon’s first play and we’re in the 4th inning.  That’s probably not a great thing.

And after I finish typing that, Martinez mishandles a grounder and can’t throw out Matt Kemp, putting a runner on.  It was a hard play, but you’d still like to see that play get made.

Castro doesn’t make a great stop on a bad pitch by Redding, and Kemp takes second.

Juan Castro pops up to shallow right field.  Castillo makes the play and we’ve got two outs now.

Kemp takes off for third, realizes he won’t make it, and goes back to second.  Nobody covered second on that play so he’s able to walk back despite going halfway to third.  Castillo and Martinez looked at each other.  This has been a weird defensive inning.

Mercilessly, Wolf grounds out to Wright to end the inning.  That had the feeling of an inning that could have gone worse.  Redding has seemed to settle in after a tough start.

11:28 update
Ramon Martinez flies out to center field to lead off the fifth.  This is a brutal stretch right here…Castro is the only batter resembling a good hitter until Beltran.  And he pops out for the second out.

Redding with a nice two out single.  Unfortunately, the pitcher’s spot is up after him.  Oh wait, that’s just Angel Pagan…

Maybe I have to stop crapping on Pagan.  He just singled to keep the inning alive.  First and second, two outs, and the RBI machine Luis Castillo is up.

He taps a little grounder back to Orlando Hudson, who throws him out for the final out.  At least the Mets will have good hitters to lead off the 6th…it almost feels like a victory that the cleared the Castillo spot this inning.

11:37 update
Juan Pierre flies out to Angel Pagan to lead off the 5th.  One crappy speedy corner outfielder who plays poor defense flies out to another.

Rafael Furcal strikes out for the second out.

A Texas Leaguer gets past Castillo and Beltran can’t get there, and Hudson picks up the second hit for the Dodgers tonight, the first since Furcal singled two batters into the ballgame.  Not bad.

Hudson breaks for second, but it’s made irrelevant when Ethier skies out to Beltran to end the fifth.  Redding has settled down nicely since the rough first inning.  Good game so far.

11:45 update
Ethier makes a nice diving catch to rob Beltran.  That was a ball heading towards no man’s land, but Ethier had just enough time to make a play and retire Beltran.

Sheffield lines out softly to Juan Castro for the second out.

David Wright with a nice piece of hitting, going the other way for a ground rule double.  Wasn’t too far from getting out of here, either.  Two outs, runner on second.

Wolf gets another soft liner that Hudson is able to grab, and that ends the sixth with a runner on second.  The bad news is, it might not be until the 8th when the Mets get another decent hitter to the plate.

11:55 update
Wait, did they pull the “WHO’S KIDDING WHO” part of the Daily News Live promo?  How could they do that to us?  That has been part of that promo for over a year now (he was referring to the Mets and their attempt to bring in Johan Santana).  I am disappointed.  Beningo has been doing some awful radio with Evan Roberts talking about this Mets team this year, but dammit…”WHO’S KIDDING WHO” is damn near an American institution.

J. Martin flies out to Gary Sheffield, and that’s the first out of the bottom of the sixth.

James Loney draws a one-out walk, without having taken so much as a strike.  Hate those 4-0 walks.

Eighty-four pitches through 6 innings for Redding.

Kemp flies out to Carlos Beltran for the second out.

Loney steals second, and the Mets decide not to take any chances with Juan Castro at the plate by walking him intentionally.  Dumb dumb dumb.  It’s not like Castro is any sort of real hitter.  Try to get him out!

It doesn’t hurt the Mets too much, though, as Wolf flies out to Beltran to end the 6th.

12:04 AM update
Ramon Martinez skies one a little deeper than Matt Kemp might have anticipated, but he’s able to get the out to lead off the inning.

Looks like Redding is done for the night, with Daniel Murphy on deck.  He will bat with no runners on base, as Castro grounds out to Furcal for the second out.  It wasn’t a great throw by Furcal, but Loney was able to grab the throw and make the out.

Murphy with a fly ball out to Andre Ethier, and that will end the 7th for the Mets.  Redding hasn’t even thrown that many pitches, so we might be stuck with him until at least the 9th.  The Mets just can’t seem to ever hit this guy.

12:13 update
Tonight’s AFLAC trivia question – who is the youngest player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?  Since they are in LA, I’m going to guess Sandy Koufax.  Notice the AFLAC trivia question usually has at least something to do with the team they are playing.

Bobby Parnell into the game in a more familiar spot for him – the 7th inning.  It’s a big spot nonetheless, as he faces Pierre, Furcal, and Hudson.

I love watching Beltran play defense.  Pierre hits the ball hard, and Beltran just eases back, playing the ball perfectly from the spot, and makes the out.  Everything he does looks effortless, whether it is or not.  He really is a joy to watch.

Furcal finds more luck grounding it past David Wright for a one-out single.

Whoa, Phil Coke got a save for the Yankees tonight?  They are running the crawl of the scores on SNY right now.  Mariano wasn’t available?  That’s…odd.

Hudson squares to bunt, for some reason, with one out and an 0-1 count.  Hate the bunt.  Hate hate hate the bunt.  Too bad he fouled it off.  Hudson runs the count full, but he strikes out and Furcal is thrown out trying to steal for the inning-ending strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out double play.  Nice pitching by Bobby P. in the big spot, and so ends the 7th.

12:19 update
And it’s time to answer the AFLAC trivia question.  It is indeed Sandy Koufax – he was inducted into the HOF at the age of 36.

Here’s something we never saw the past two days – pitchers warming up in the bullpens.  JJ Putz warming up in the Mets bullpen, and Cory Wade in the Dodgers bullpen.

Angel Pagan is trying to make me feel bad for hating on him, as he rips a double down the left field line.

HATE THE BUNT.  Castillo pops up the bunt and it gets caught, and the Mets waste a precious out.  For a guy like Castillo who has high on-base percentages from being able to draw walks and avoid outs, he sure seems to get himself into dumb outs with the sacrifices.

Beltran grounds out to Juan Castro at third base, who makes a fine play to get the second out.  Thanks, bunt, for wasting a perfectly good out.

Torre is going to bring in Wade to face the two Mets right-handers, Sheffield and Wright, so we’ll be back in a jiffy.

12:28 update
Gary Sheffield comes through!  He pokes a single just past Orlando Hudson, but he’s able to throw home.  However, Pagan is just able to get his foot across the plate sliding feet-first and beats the block at home to score the tying run.  Nice slide by Pagan.  Guess I should stop hating.

David Wright with a nice comeback from down 1-2 and he draws a walk to move Sheffield to second with Tatis at the plate.

However, Tatis gets the Dodgers out of it by popping up behind home plate.  We’re all knotted up going into the bottom of the eighth.

12:41 update
That Keith Hernandez SNY commercial with the mustache is just weird.  I’m not sure I get it.  The Yankee fan won’t wear the mustache because he isn’t a Mets fan?  And Keith Hernandez isn’t happy with this?  I guess it’s no weirder than the other SNY commercial where they poke fun at MSG and YES for being the “Rangers and Knicks” and “Yankees and Nets” networks.  Meanwhile, SNY went into round the clock coverage when the Mets traded for JJ Putz, and nothing nearly as extreme for other signings.  They can try to brand SNY as a channel for all New York sports, but let’s face it, it’s pretty much the Mets, and to a much lesser extent the Jets, network.

JJ Putz is now in the game for the Mets and Church is in for defense in LF for Sheffield.

I love Keith Hernandez.  He’s not even calling tonight’s game, but he made sure to text Gary Cohen to let him know he’s got a first baseman’s glove for Jeremy Reed (who despite having played first base the past few days, does not own a first baseman’s glove – Nick Johnson is supposed to send him one) but it’s in his trunk.  I miss Keith’s wit in the booth when he’s not around.

Ramon Martinez is not a shortstop anymore.  He makes a nice stab on a hard grounder by Russell Martin, but makes a dreadful throw to Tatis and Martin is safe.  Two errors on the night for Martinez.

It might come back to haunt the Mets, as Loney singles to put runners on first and second with one out and Matt Kemp, a pretty good hitter, coming up.

Martinez is able to make up for it, somewhat, by getting a force at second on a grounder by Kemp.  No shot at a double play, though.  First and third, two outs.

Juan Castro is out of the game, and Mark Loretta is now in the game, using “My Sacrifice” by Creed as his at-bat music.  Awful, awful choice, Mark.

Wow, the Dodgers have a 13 man pitching staff?  Eight relief pitchers with Joe Torre at the helm just seems to be begging for trouble.  The answer for having a manager like Torre would seem to be fewer pitchers, not more.

Loretta pops out to end the eighth.  Martinez’s error winds up not costing the Mets…THIS TIME.

12:52 update
Gary Cohen pushes as a hook for staying up for Lincoln-Mercury Post Game Live that it includes Jerry Manuel’s press conference, and to use it to find out about Castillo’s bunt and who’s call it was, as well as why they double switched.  It seems like they are saying “Watch Lincoln Mercury Post Game Live to figure out why your manager makes incredibly questionable decisions.”

Jonathan Broxton is in the game now for the Dodgers.  He’s been very good to start the season so far, but Torre is wasting him facing Ramon Martinez, Ramon Castro (who might become Omir Santos if Martinez can find his way on, not looking good with the count 2-2 right now), and Ryan Church.  Wouldn’t you rather have your best reliever facing your opponent’s best hitters, and not their worst?

Martinez with another soft liner to first and that’s the first out.

Castro with a slow grounder near the 3B line and Loretta easily throws him out.  At this rate, maybe they would use Broxton to go two innings if need be.

Churchy takes it the other way for a single, and he keeps the inning going.  I’d like to see Churchy get more at-bats, but he seems to be residing with Daniel Murphy in Jerry Manuel’s doghouse right now.

That leaves our chance at ending this game with a win in regulation in the hands of Angel Pagan.  Terrific.

Wow, the Mets just caught a huge break.  Martin tried to throw Church out on a ball, and Loney actually tagged Church out, but the umpire said he was safe for some reason.  I mean…he was pretty clearly and obviously out, but the umpire called him safe for reasons I don’t understand.

The baseball Gods exact karma though, as Pagan strikes out to end the Mets’ ninth.

1:02 update
Sean Green is now pitching for the Mets in the bottom of the ninth.  He had a good outing last night, and to quote Herm Edwards, “WE CAN BUILD ON THIS.”  At least, I hope we can.

After getting me nervous by falling behind 3-1, he gets pinch hitter Xavier Paul to ground out to Luis Castillo for the first out.  Nicely done, Sean.

Not so nicely done with Juan Pierre, who draws his second walk of the game.  When was the last time Juan Pierre drew two walks in one game?

Furcal strikes out on a nice slider by Green.  Two outs, Pierre still on first.

That was almost disastrous.  A short dribbler back to the mound, Green tries to throw to first to get Hudson, but an awful throw by Green allows Pierre to take third.  First and third, two outs, and that’s it for Green – Pedro Feliciano is coming in to pitch to Ethier.

1:05 update
FYI, the last time Juan Pierre walked twice in one game was over a year ago, on April 25, 2008 against the Rockies.  He actually walked three times, but one was an intentional walk.  Thanks, Baseball Reference Play Index Finder.

Feliciano gets the weak grounder, but this one Feliciano is able to make a clean play, throwing out Ethier to send this game into extras.  Of course the first game I choose to live blog this year is an extra inning game.

1:19 update
Just for fun, today is the 22nd time Pierre has had a multi-walk game.  He’s a leadoff hitter who doesn’t draw walks.  That’s not so good.

Ramon Troncoso is now in the game to pitch for the dodgers.  He’s a righty who has good numbers for the season.  He’s now being asked to face the middle of the order in the 10th inning.  Xavier Paul stays in the game for Ethier and plays right field.

Castillo doesn’t swing at a single pitch.  Trancoso has never faced Castillo before, but he realizes that Castillo isn’t going to swing at anything, so after he falls behind 2-0, he manages to strike him out.

Beltran hits it directly to Mark Loretta, and Beltran is 0 for 4 tonight.  If this live blog has done anything to jinx Beltran, we will cease live blogs imminently.

Jeremy Reed pinch hits for Feliciano and slaps a base hit up the middle.  The inning hangs on by a thread.

Wright draws another walk, and much like the eighth inning, the go ahead runner is on second with two outs for Tatis.

For what it’s worth, that was Wright’s 67th career multi-walk game, including six this season alone.

Tatis grounds out weakly and so ends the Mets’ chances of winning in the 10th, and probably the 11th considering who will be batting.

1:25 update
Brian Stokes is now in the game for the Mets, and Jeremy Reed stays in the game and is now at first for Tatis, presumably not with Keith Hernandez’s glove.

Russell Martin hits the ball hard to right field, but Churchy is able to get out there and make the out.  On the replay, it looks like Church almost dropped it, but he manages to hang on to make the play.  No mention by the announcers of the J. Martin jersey thus far.  Maybe they are saving that for later in the week?  Maybe they don’t know?

Loney flies out to Angel Pagan fairly unceremoniously for the second out.

Martinez manages to handle a ground ball without incident and Stokes gets the Dodgers 1-2-3.  We might be seeing Stokes for a while.

1:36 update
Despite having enough relief pitchers to start a Grateful Dead tribute band, Torre sends Ramon Trancoso to start the 11th.

Ramon Martinez lines it to center field, but it hangs up in the air a little too long and Matt Kemp records the out.

Ramon Castro makes it two for two on lineouts, as he lines it hard but directly at Juan Pierre, and that’s your second out.

Churchy makes a bid for increased playing time by hitting a two out single that keeps the 11th alive for the Mets.

They are showing crowd shots of the LA crowd falling asleep.  C’mon, it’s only 10:30 local time!  It’s 1:30 here in New Jersey, and I’m ready to stay up as long as this takes!  10:30 is nothing.

Holy crap, Angel Pagan gives the Mets the lead!

God dammit!  Son of a bitch!

Ryan Church missed third base!

Pagan drives the ball into the gap for a double.  On his way home, Church misses third.  The Dodgers then throw the ball out at third and that ends the inning!

Fuck!

1:54 update
Still not over that.  I was hoping to go to bed with a Mets win, we were in a position to do so, and Ryan Church misses third base.  Dammit!  How does that happen?

Oh, and he came up limping on the play, but the only player left on the bench is Omir Santos, so we’re kind of screwed if he is hurt.

God dammit.

Shit.

Still not over that.

That was the baseball Gods definitely exacting karma on Ryan Church.

Brian Stokes starts the bottom of the 11th by walking Mark Loretta, who isn’t very good.

Angel Pagan’s first ever four hit game.  I’ve spent the entire game running him down, and he’s spent the entire game proving me wrong.  The worst part is, he’ll probably get increased playing time out of this and slowly but surely come back down to Earth.  God dammit.

STILL pissed about that play last inning.  How does that happen?  Do the Mets just figure out new and excruciating ways to lose games?

Pagan just completely screwed up a play in the OF and now the Dodgers have 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.  Pagan kept calling it and calling it and then bailed at the last minute, but was in Beltran’s way and Beltran couldn’t make a clean play as a result.  The official scorer called it an error on Beltran, but Beltran makes a play if Pagan doesn’t screw that up.  Pagan remains AWFUL defensively.

Juan Pierre is walked intentionally and the Dodgers have the bases loaded and nobody out, but the only runner that matters right now is on third.

The Mets are now playing a 2-5 defense with Church and Pagan in the outfield and Beltran is playing at second base, a five man infield.  Any ball hit to the outfield ends the game anyway, so why not stack the line of scrimmage?  It’s the Mets’ goal line defense.

Somehow, despite only having two outfielders, the Mets managed to get a fly ball by Furcal that Pagan can grab for the first out.  It’s not deep enough to score Loretta from third.

The Mets are keeping the goal line defense for Hudson.

Son of a bitch.

God dammit, that was a double play ball.

Hudson hit a ground ball to Reed.  Reed throws home, poorly, and Loretta scores.

I guess it’s just as well, after Churchy missed third they probably didn’t deserve to win anyway.

So what did we learn tonight?  I think we learned that staying up late and live blogging games like this will slowly and surely take your will to live before very long.

FYI, Stokes pitched well, but had bad defense behind him, he won’t deserve to take an L for this one.  I hope Jerry doesn’t sit him for two weeks because of it.

Oh well…if I’m feeling the stamina to try this again tomorrow, I’ll go for it.  For now, this has been painful.

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