Saturday, April 23, 2005


Mets 10, Nationals 5 (WAS: 9-9, NYM: 10-8, 1 GB)

This game turned out to be the best-case scenario for the Mets. Ed Coleman brought up a valid point on WFAN Friday, saying that a rain out might be the best possible thing for the Mets on Saturday, after it was revealed Kaz Ishii was going to miss the start and be placed on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his side. The Mets did one better than the rain out, playing the game, and winning quite handily, 10-5.

I didn't get to watch this one, but I tuned in for a half-inning on the radio as I drove to work. By that point, the Mets were already up 10-0. The Mets beat up Tomo Ohka and Joe Horgan. Jae Seo was called up to make the start on Saturday, after pitching 4 and a third innings for Norfolk on Tuesday - so that was short rest for him. He was very good - going 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, no walks, just one run, and striking out 4 to pick up the win. Seo has been very inconsistent at the major league level, but sometimes he just pitches brilliantly, like he did today. He was starting to get knocked around a bit in the fifth inning (I heard on the radio that Carlos Beltran made an outstanding catch, diving headfirst into the gap to rob a hit, after Seo started to tire), but the Mets probably won't need him to be the answer to their pitching woes...for a while at least.

Here's the deal with the Mets' rotation. Thursday is an off day, so the Mets can skip the five spot. Then the following week, they can get away with skipping number five again. So the Mets won't need a fifth starter until the second week in May, and by then, Kris Benson is expected back. So a bullet might have been dodged today by a great outing from Jae Seo.

Notes from this game: Cliff Floyd went 2-for-4, he now has a 10-game hitting streak. He NEEDS to stay healthy....Future Hall of Famer David Wright went 2-for-4 - is he breaking out of his slump?....Carlos Beltran* was 2-for-2, which is great, but Mike Piazza was 0-for-4, which is not great.

Two points that I want to get into further. First is the asterisks following the names of Beltran* and Pedro Martinez*. If you don't know why they're there, go back to the end of spring training in my archives and see if you can find the article where they started. The point here, though, is that I feel like I should get rid of them, because these guys are doing awesome, and aren't like those free agents of the past who shy away from the Mets uniform. The problem, though, is that these guys have been doing great with the asterisks attached to their names, so I'm afraid if I take the asterisks away, one of them will get hurt or something. So I'm going to keep asterisking, although it might not be relevant any it's superstition.

Secondly, Victor Diaz. Diaz went 4-for-4 on Saturday, with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBI. He's sixth in the National League with a .362 batting average. When Mike Cameron gets back from the DL, Willie Randolph wants to send Diaz back down to Triple-A to get him regular at-bats, rather than sitting on the bench at the major league level. I understand Randolph's point there, but the Mets need to keep Diaz's bat in their lineup. I think at this point, Diaz is better than Cameron. Cameron showed he wasn't as great a center fielder at Shea Stadium as he might have been anywhere else last year...he's the reason Beltran* and Martinez* have asterisks after their names! He also showed he wasn't willing to move to right field for a clearly better player, and it wasn't until he realized the Mets' potential with Beltran in center that he agreed to move to right. The Mets don't need Cameron over Diaz. I say trade Cameron as soon as he shows he's back and healthy, and give Victor Diaz right field at Shea.

Speaking of Shea, the Mets are now 7-1 at home, and they've won 10 of 13. A big test comes on Sunday, against Livan Hernandez. Victor Zambrano will try to outduel him. The Mets have shown they can beat up the lesser pitchers...I'd love to see them get 10 runs off a quality pitcher (Livan Hernandez would qualify...I'm not so sure about Al Leiter). After the Nationals leave town, the Mets will host the Braves.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Mets 10, Marlins 1 (NYM: 8-8, FLA: 9-7 - 1 GB)

Things are starting to turn the Mets' way. During the first week of the season, the Mets couldn't buy a break. On Thursday night, the baseball gods more than made up for that as the Mets cruised to a 10-1 win. Here's what I mean:

The Marlins jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Pedro Martinez* and the Mets early - Juan Pierre led off the game with a double, and came around to score to make it 1-0 in the first. So right away you think, with Al Leiter on the mound, having shut down the Mets just 5 days ago, and with the Mets' bats having been silenced on Wednesday night, that this won't be a good night.

But in the second inning, Cliff Floyd walks. Then he steals second! Wait a second, you think...wait a second. Then future Hall of Famer David Wright walks. Then Ramon Castro drops down a bunt, which actually is a pop-up, but it floats over Leiter's head, and lands in between Leiter, Carlos Delgado, and Luis Castillo!! Bases are loaded, Doug Mientkiewicz steps in, and BAM grand slam, 4-0 Mets. That's just the kind of thing that hadn't been happening that first week of the season - if it was the first week, the pop-up would have been caught, and both Mets on base would have been doubled off (or tripled off, as the hypothetical case may be).

So anyway, there are still no outs in the second, and after Mientkiewicz, Victor Diaz walks. Pedro* sacrifices him over, and then THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, singles him home. Then Kaz Matsui singles. Then Carlos Beltran* hits a fly ball to left, scoring Reyes, and on the play Matsui even tags up to second. Then up comes Cliff Floyd (again - he led off the inning, remember), and he singles home Matsui. Then, with the Mets now leading 7-1, he again steals second base!! Wright grounded out to third to end the inning, but the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate, scored seven runs, and stole two bases.

Let's put this in perspective...Marlins starters had the best ERA in the league - the Mets did some damage to that. The Marlins hadn't given up more than four runs in a game so far ALL YEAR....the Mets got seven in the second inning!!! The Mets went on to a 10-1 win - Carlos Beltran* added a 2-run homer. A couple of thoughts overall:

It's really awesome when the Mets' offense gets going like it did tonight, and on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. I think they're capable of doing it against good pitchers...unfortunately we haven't really seen that yet. We've seen it against Vicente Padilla (who has owned the Mets in the past...let's keep that in mind), and Al Leiter, who they were seeing for the second time in less than a week. But the offense can be explosive...they just need to be a little more consistent.

Here's why I'm not so bothered whenever David Wright gets into a slump like he is in right now. He still gets on base. In Thursday night's game, Wright walked ahead of Mientkiewicz's grand slam. He went 0-for-2, but still got on base and scored. Reyes will hit his way out of slumps...Wright will work his way out of slumps with patience.

Doug Mientkiewicz is a bit of a hothead. I've brought up this point earlier in the season - during spring training. I mentioned he has a bit of a big mouth - I think it was probably around the World Series baseball controversy. But in his next at-bat after the grand slam Thursday night against Leiter, the first pitch was high and slightly inside (sort of like Manny versus Clemens in Game 3 of the ALCS in 2003). In other words, just high. Mientkiewicz took a couple of steps in Leiter's direction and stared at him. I don't think Leiter was sending a message. He was trailing 7-1 at the time, and couldn't find the plate. I think it was just a high pitch...but Mientkiewicz took issue.

Also intriguing, was the fact that Cliff Floyd stole two bases in the second inning. The first one I understand completely - Leiter has a long motion to the plate, and doesn't hold runners well. The Mets were down 1-0, so Floyd took the opportunity to put himself in scoring position. Great work by him. But then, with the Mets up 7-1, in the SAME INNING, Floyd did it again. I thought that broke one of those unwritten baseball rules (I don't mind - I love when the Mets run it up like that...I'm just pointing it out). I wonder if Floyd feels slighted by Leiter leaving the Mets, or if there's some bad blood there, and Floyd just wanted to prove to Leiter he could steal the bag. Just wondering. I have a feeling this win by the Mets got in the Marlins' craw a bit. Jack McKeon got very upset when the Marlins got crushed by the Red Sox in 2003 (I think that game was 25-7). This one was different, but embarrassing to Florida nonetheless. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some animosity between the Mets and Marlins the rest of the season.

That's all I have for tonight. The Mets take on the Washington Nationals for the first time this weekend at Shea.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Mets 16, Phillies 4 (NYM: 7-7, PHI: 7-7)

It's tough to single anyone out for a great performance on Tuesday night, because everyone was great. But the headline nod goes to Victors Diaz and Zambrano, who both ranked among the offensive stars for the Mets.

THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, set the tone for the night by leading off the game with a home run. It was one of a team-record 7 home runs for the Mets on the night, and one of two for Reyes. Victor Diaz also added two, and Victor Zambrano had a two-run triple in the fifth inning, granting him status as an offensive star.

Zambrano didn't have the best night on the mound, giving up a couple of bombs himself, but he finished up OK. Zambrano gave up just two earned runs in six innings, striking out 5. Most importantly, he settled down when things got rough, and kept the Mets in the game early. He loaded the bases in the first inning with no one out, but got a double play ball from Jim Thome, instead of allowing the Phillies to break the game open.

Monday night, though, was all about the Mets' offense. The Mets scored at least a run in the first six innings - knocknig around Vicente Padilla (making his first start of the year), and Gavin Floyd. Besides the four home runs out of Reyes and Diaz, Mike Piazza, Doug Mientkiewicz, and future Hall of Famer David Wright went deep. Wright's was a grand slam, and most likely proves that he reads my website. Yesterday I said Wright needed a big game to get back on track offensively, a la Milwaukee last year. What does he do? A 2-for-4 night, 3 runs, 4 RBI, and the homer. Way to go, David.

I think this game was huge for the Mets. Citizens Bank Park is supposed to be a hitter's park, and every time the Mets had been there, they didn't really light it up. I think they had some decent games there last year, but by no means anything like this. So that's got to give a team some offensive confidence. Now hopefully the Mets can take this to Florida, and then against Washington, and build another winning streak. This is a pretty big stretch, considering it's April - there's a lot of games against division opponents in a row....and the Mets are holding their own.

Time to check the mailbag:


Here's the rub...Im getting into the Mets this year. I really like watching Pedro, Reyes, Wright and Beltran are exciting, and I still think every Piazza at-bat is a potential for something incredible to happen.

Obviously my top priority is still the Yanks, but these New look Mets are something special...That being said...I CANT WATCH THE METS DURING THE WEEK. Time Warner and Cablevision are having another one of their pissing contests. When they first took MSG off and replaced it with NBATV i was happy, because i am one of 17 NBA fans left in the country, and being forced to watch knick games was making that fandom precarious at best. But then baseball season started, and i feel like Im missing out. Thank god for channel 11 on the weekends.

so, my question is this...You stayed in Boston, claiming its because you have a job there and a "wife". Is the real reason because you knew three years later it would be easier to see the new look 2005 mets in New England than it would be in Queens?

Justin "big house" schrager..(clarence "big house" gaines died today, and Im taking his name, dammit)"

Justin - I don't care what you call yourself, I'm just so glad you wrote!

First of all, I'm not sure what happened to all your capitalizations and apotrophes - I think some e-mail gets screwed up in my e-mail system, and I didn't want to mess with the content of your e-mail.

Secondly, I'm sorry for you. I don't know what I'd do if I was in New York right now. Luckily, my parents now have RCN, so it wouldn't be a problem for me there, but the fact remains I definitely think it stinks that I can get every Mets game 200 miles away, while someone down the street from Shea can't get any.

I am very glad to hear, though, that you're on board with these Mets. I'm glad to hear you appreciate the excitement they can generate. This is going to be a good year.

Wednesday night is another night I will be "watching" the Mets on ESPN's revamped Gamecast. Let's hope it goes as well as Tuesday night's did. Aaron Heilman tries to repeat Friday night's outing against the Marlins, this time in Florida.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Phillies 5, Mets 4 (PHI: 7-6, NYM: 6-7)

Kaz Ishii's first inning did in the Mets Monday night. Ishii gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins, then walked two straight to load the bases. I think he threw something like 11 straight balls - he just couldn't find the plate. Then Ishii bore down, he gave up an RBI single to Pat Burrell, struck out Jim Thome, gave up a long fly ball to score another run, then got a nice play by future Hall of Famer David Wright on a foul pop to end the inning, trailing 2-0. The Mets made a run at the end of this game - but if Ishii finds the plate in the first, it could be a whole different game.

A couple of bright spots on defense to mention - Kaz Matsui went way far to his left to pick up a grounder by Bobby Abreu in the second inning and throw him out at first - he's been struggling lately, so it's good to see him do something well. Then in the third, as the Phillies expanded their lead to 4-0, Cliff Floyd made a running catch into the left-center field gap that saved a run (there was a runner on second). It's the second time I've seen Floyd cover a ton of ground like that and make the running catch - the first was one of the first two games of the season in Cincinnati. Floyd, by the way, made his first start since April 11th, after missing some time with a strain.

In the bottom of the sixth, with the Mets down 5-0, Felix Heredia all of a sudden lost the plate. He was throwing all over the place, with the Mets announcers making comparisons to Rick Ankiel. He had to leave the game - it looked like he had a problem with his thumb. I'm not positive about this, but I think Heredia missed a bunch of time in spring training with numbness in his hand. If so, this could be a recurrence. I wish the announcers would have mentioned something about his problems during the spring (I know he had some problem, I'm just not sure it was the numbness), but they didn't. Fran Healy and Ted Robinson are driving me nuts again this season - but that's a topic I'll save for another night.

In the top of the eighth, the Mets were in a position to start a comeback, after a 1-out double by Victor Diaz. The key here - one out. After the next batter flew out to center field, Diaz was doubled off second - he lost track of the outs. The worse news? Third base coach Manny Acta seemed to have lost track of the outs too. Not a good thing.

The ninth inning shows why the Mets are going to be very exciting all year. I wrote down before the ninth, with the Mets down 5-0 and the top of the order coming up, if any top of the order can start a team towards five runs, it's this team. So then THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, singled, and so did Kaz Matsui, and so did Carlos Beltran*, scoring Reyes, making it 5-1. After Mike Piazza struck out looking on a pitch down the pipe (Piazza actually hit well in this game - he might be coming around), Cliff Floyd blasted a 3-0 pitch into the upper deck to make it 5-4. Unfortunately, future Hall of Famer David Wright struck out, then Doug Mientkiewicz hit it on the nose but right at the second baseman to end the game.

The problem with the Mets' winning six in a row last week was that they lost 5 in a row to open the season. Now, after two losses, the Mets are again a game below .500. They need to go on another run to put some distance between them and the .500 mark.

In order to do that, they need Wright to start hitting again. After he hit his second homer of the year last week, he has cooled way off. Teams are starting to pitch him way inside, and I think it's messing with his head. He doesn't look comfortable at the plate these days. I seem to remember a slump like this at the major league level for him last year, and I think he broke out of it with his 2-homer, 7 RBI day in Milwaukee. He needs a game like that real soon (Philly is a great park for slump-breaking) to get him back on track.

I hate to admit it, but Roger Clemens is having a lights-out season. He pitched another seven scoreless innings Monday night against Atlanta. That game, incidentally, is going to the 11th right now, still 0-0. The second straight night Atlanta has gone 9 innings 0-0.

Which brings me to another point - Sunday night, Atlanta and Philadelphia went into extras, tied 0-0. The Braves got a run in the top of the tenth, then Dan Kolb blew the save (he was horrid - he threw a ball away on a bunt, and then loaded the bases before the Phillies won it). I'm starting to wonder if the closer is going to become a less-important part of the game. I wonder if teams are just going to start getting away from gearing their whole game towards the closer. Right now, it's still the case that if you're up by 3 runs or less, the ninth inning belongs to the closer. But I think that may start to change, especially if it's a one-run game and you have a starter going good. I think Jack McKeon's view (I have a guy out there doing a great job, I'm not going to buy into this closer stuff) might start rubbing off on other people...especially if it's working. I don't think teams will start going with a closer-by-committee, I just think we're seeing the end of the dominant closer/saves category as guys like Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, Troy Percival, etc. near retirement, and the closers around baseball continue to struggle.
Sorry I didn't write yesterday - I didn't watch the Mets lose to the Marlins, so I didn't have much to say. Also, sorry about the phone problems - hope you enjoyed the wife's take on things. I have to admit, I did. I have to earn some money this week (I'm on spring break - which means work at Channel 4), so I won't be able to watch the Mets Tuesday night or Wednesday night. I will, though, try to post what I follow of those games on the AP wire.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Mets 4, Astros 3 (NYM 4-5, HOU 4-4)

I didn't see much of the game last night, but I did see the end and got to see my husband happy about the Mets for the first time in a long time. I also know that the ball game was won by THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED after he beat out a dribbler, stole second and made it to home on an error.

John's back this weekend (hopefully -- let's hope the phone line is fixed), so this is my last mail bag before signing off. Oh surprise, it's from Dave in Brighton:

"Dear KathyMets,

Here is the Dave in Brighton saves analysis. According to ESPN's 2004 regular season statistics, there were 533 saves last year, in 726 save opportunities. That makes for 193 blown saves, and a successful conversion rate of 73 percent. (Obviously, this figure does not include the 2 biggest blown saves in the history of baseball, those being in games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS.)

So far this season, there have been 23 saves recorded in 45 opportunities, making for 22 blown saves and a succesful conversion rate of 51 percent.

It would seem that JohnnyMets' theory about there being more blown saves so far this year than some years in total is wrong, unless you counted the years before saves were counted as a stat.

No worries, though, I know to discount almost all of the statistics Johnnymets provides on the blog.

Dave in Brighton"


I'm glad you realize that JohnnyMets is full of B.S. I had to accept that long ago, and even still married the guy. JohnnyMets is very perceptive though, in recognizing that percentage-wise, this season is incongruous with other seasons. Continuing at the same rate, I would estimate that at the end of the season, there will be 350-400 blown saves. Of course, we know that won't happen, but is an interesting point.

OK - that's it for the wife's say. Have a good weekend folks.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Mets 1, Astros 0 -- 11 Innings (NYM 3-5, HOU 4-3)

Tension was building at the House Sponsored by DirecTV last night. Yes, the Mets were on. Ishii was pitching a great game; Clemens was pitching a great game. (I confess, I only saw from the 8th inning on.) John was pacing the room, nearly pulling his hair out. Let me tell you, I give my utmost thanks to THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED (Jose Reyes), who blooped a hit in the bottom of the 11th to win the game for the Mets.

I don't have much more to say than that, because from my point of view, it was a great win, yay, shut off the TV. Whereas from John's point of view, the game warrants endless paragraphs of muckety-muck analysis. I'll leave the analysis to him for next week.

I will say that the Mets are making a respectable comeback from their dismal start to the season. Let's hope they can keep it up.

Also, John tells me that I need to issue a mea culpa for dissing Pedro* in yesterday's blog. Apparently, Pedro*'s comments about not wanting a ring were "taken out of context". Which to us fans in Boston, we know that means that Pedro* opened his big mouth and then later realized he shouldn't have and backpedaled. So Pedro* apparently says he wishes the Sox luck and he doesn't know when he'll get his ring, and something about the Sox being champions and he's a champion too. Champion might not be the word I'd use...

Sorry for the short blog today, but there's work I should be doing and I have few comments except for "Yay, the Mets won last night!"

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


OK - so upper management of JMDBSDC has told me that I am NOT allowed to turn this into a Red Sox blog for the week. I must discuss the Mets. Hmm ... that's a toughie. So I'll turn to JohnnyMets himself (since that's why you read anyway) and get his thoughts.

1) John says he's going to be really p.o.'ed if he can't watch the Mets tonight. As you recall, John hasn't seen the last two Mets games, which they've won. As you may also recall, the House Sponsored by DirecTV needs a working phone line to get full reception, which we don't have right now. However, John insists that we can get some of the games, and hopefully the Mets will be one of them. I'd better hope so, else I have one grumpy husband tonight.

2) The Mets square off tonight against Roger Clemens and the Houston Astros. This should be one exciting game, which is why it's even more important that we receive the game tonight. Will there be a beaning? A fight? Tune in to JMDBSDC tomorrow for details...

3) And here's John's insight at its best. He thinks that in the first week and a half of this season, there have been more blown saves than there have been in some entire seasons. Latest victim: Armando Benitez, who blew a 3-run lead last night. Funny, I wasn't even watching that game. For those of you who don't know the story, I am the official Armando Benitez jinx, and he blows every game I watch him play. As you can imagine, that was not a good thing when he played with the Mets. Dave from Brighton, I expect you'll do some numbers-crunching on John's theory and get back to us on that.

OK - now for the mail bag:

"Dear KathyMets,

That's too bad about the sadly misnamed House brought to you by
DirecTV. One of the most frightening perils of homeownership is being
responsible for fixing problems like that one. I hope you take good
care of the 'blog. Maybe you can spice it up with some vitriolic
anti-Mets views. Or some pictures.

Since you specifically requested some "Around the League" Sox talk...

--Is it too early to say "Renteria, gimme a break." They should change
his number to 643.

--I say Wells ends up with a 5.35 ERA. Do you take the over or under
for entertainment purposes?

--And on the Sox WS rings... Not enough bling, too much, or just right?

Dave in Brighton"


You raise several points. I hope I can address all of them. First of all, I am not going to fill this space with vitriolic anti-Mets views. You see, marriage is all about supporting your spouse, even if you think they're going to be disappointed every year by the teams they root for. I'll leave it at that, because if I say more, John is going to get mad. Not good for the marriage.

I'm looking into the picture thing. I'm just getting used to this blog thing, so pictures are asking for a lot. But I'll try.

RE: Renteria. It's probably a bad thing to sign the player who makes the last out for the opposing team, letting you win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. But I'm willing to give him a chance. It's only April. Early May, I'll reassess.

RE: Wells. I was vehemently opposed to signing him in the first place. What kind of drugs did Theo take after that Championship?? Signing on an overweight, 41-year-old, drunken man who gets into bar fights is not cool. I say he ends up with OVER a 5.35 and at least one barstool thrown in his face.

RE: rings. Beauties. I love 'em. Just enough bling for me.

OK - our next writer:


Seeing the ring ceremony yesterday was great. It was good to see Lowe and Roberts come back...because they were such key parts of last year.

But a player who was a key part of the franchise is set to get a ring too, and I wonder if they'll do a ring ceremony for him...or give it to him in private. I'm talking about Nomar.

Nomar is the one that brought the fans back to Fenway when the team wasn't very good. He was the one who all the kids bought jerseys of. He's the one that made the Red Sox cool again....remember...for a long time...they were bad...and that stadium was far from sold out.

Then he got hurt...the media soured on him....then skewered him...then traded him....and you know the rest.

Fact is...he still gets a ring because he was on the 2004 team. Question for the house....should the Red Sox have a ceremony for Nomar at Fenway before a game?? Or...should they give him the ring in June when they play each other at Wrigley in front of the Cub fans?? Or....just ship it FedEx??

I would like to see the Fenway faithful get to say "thank you"....but I don't think that will happen.

JMDBSDC Southern Bureau Chief"


I sadly don't think that will happen either. I think the situation with Nomar and the Red Sox is just too bitter right now. It would be cool for the Sox to give the ring to him at Wrigley, but I think it will really come via DHL sometime this week. (Yes, not FedEx. The Sox made a big point during the telecast that the rings were shipped via DHL.)

Also, my final comment for the day: I used to be a Pedro* fan. I cheered him when he knocked Zim to the ground and threatened to pop Posada in the head. However, the fact that he says he doesn't even want his ring makes me mad. Just friggin' take it and be happy that you won the World Series! Pedro*'s whole shenanigans make me hope he stinks with the Mets. (Sorry, John)

That's it for the day - hope you're enjoying the blog this week. (Though I also hope you're looking forward to the return of JohnnyMets next week.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


So as you may guess from the title here, this is John's wife writing in his place today. You see, our phone line is down again and isn't getting fixed until Saturday. Since our DirecTV also goes through the phone line, that means that John can't watch the Mets for the week. Boo hoo. Also means that the House Sponsored by DirecTV is now looking for a telephone company sub-sponsor to replace Verizon, since they're not living up to their end of the agreement. RCN, perhaps? We'll have to see if they present us with a good deal.

I was looking forward to answering today's mail bag, but there's nothing there. So please write in! This week is the only week that John will actually let me write the blog. Dave from Brighton - want to discuss the Sox? I'm all ears! Kevin from the Southern Bureau - let's talk Pedro* and Beltran and David Wright!

OK - two quick notes before I sign off for the day:

1) The Mets won the last two games, and John saw neither of them. Maybe it's a good thing for the team that our phone line is down.

2) Best two moments from the Sox ring ceremony yesterday (yes, I have to discuss the Sox, it's my only chance): Tedy Bruschi throwing out one of the first pitches and Mariano Rivera getting a standing O from the Fenway crowd. Rivera was very classy in the way he laughed with the crowd and tipped his hat. Dare I say, I actually like him? Man, this curse being gone has done strange things to me.

OK - that's it for the day. Send in your mail. We'll have some fun with it. John will be back after this weekend.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Braves 6, Mets 3 (ATL 4-1; NYM 0-5; 4 GB)

Two things I can't believe I'm saying after the first week of the season:
1) The Mets are 0-5, off to their worst start since 1964.
2) Cliff Floyd has been playing some outstanding baseball this past week.

The record speaks for itself. I'll speak for Floyd. He says he's feeling better than he has in five years. He looks it. Friday night he made an outstanding running catch in the left-center field gap that saved the game from being broken open. Last night he made two throws to the plate (granted, they were three-hoppers) that nailed Chipper Jones (in the first inning), and Adam LaRoche (in the sixth inning), again, keeping the Mets in the game. He's also swinging the bat really well. Too bad, though, he couldn't climb the wall and rob Brian Jordan of a grand slam....more on that in a minute.

I really thought things were starting to break the Mets' way after Floyd threw out Jones. Chipper could have been safe (I think he slid around the tag)...but the Mets got the call. That momentum was lost in the top of the second - after future Hall of Famer David Wright reached on an error, and Doug Mientkiewicz singled him to third, the Mets went down 1-2-3. Then in the bottom of the second, Brian Jordan hit a grand slam off Aaron Heilman. Just like that, it was 4-0, Braves.

THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, homered in the fifth, and the Mets actually got the go-ahead run to the plate, but Kevin Gryboski, relieving starter Horacio Ramirez, got Wright to pop out to end the inning with Atlanta up, 4-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, after Heilman looked like he settled in, retiring nine in a row, he gave up a solo homer to Chipper Jones, and the game was just about over.

I'm seeing some signs that some players are getting disheartened. Carlos Beltran hit a liner in the seventh, with a runner on, that was knocked down by the second baseman. He didn't even run it out, and there was a play at first that wasn't even close because Beltran gave up on it so early. No excuse for that...actually, 119 million reasons why there should be no excuse.

I'm getting a little disheartened too - especially since Braden Looper gave up a run in his one inning of work - he needs to get some confidence soon, or else he's going to be ineffective all year.

Another interesting piece - it seems that Willie Randolph is hitting David Wright sixth against lefties, Doug Mientkiewicz sixth against righties. I didn't realize that when the season started.

Here's another positive comment about something non-Mets. Though I don't necessarily like the broadcasters (particularly the addition of Ron Gant), TBS has some added features I like this year. The first thing I noticed was a lead measuring graphic when a runner is on first base. Using the third base camera angle where you usually see the pitcher, runner, and first baseman, TBS now has a graphic marking 9 feet off the bag, and shows whether the lead is a big one or a small one. TBS also has a cable cam, a la FOX and ESPN in football, which shows some different-looking overhead shots. The baseball version of cable cam is limited because of the fair territory, but this has some potential. The shots I saw last night weren't "great", as the broadcaster called them, but they were unique. I wouldn't be surprised if other stations started using these two features in their productions in the near future.

Also, kudos to the producer/director at TBS for this: In the second inning, Brian Jordan steps to the plate with the bases loaded, and the broadcaster says, "The last time Jordan faced the Mets as a member of the Braves, September 29, 2001, here's what happened....Grand Slam off John Franco." Then, the next pitch, was Jordan's grand slam. That's the type of stuff I'm looking for in a baseball game...which is why I was diappointed no one at ESPN last Monday commented on Kaz Matsui starting off two seasons in a row with a home run (a feat I learned was matched by Darryl Strawberry in 1987 and 1988, I think).

I've been meaning to touch base on a couple of former Mets. Franco has pitched in two games for the Astros, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up 0 runs. Armando Benitez is now closing games for the Giants - he has two saves. And Scott Kazmir is the number two starter for Tampa Bay - he pitched five innings in his first start, giving up 1 run, 3 hits, and striking out 2.

Pedro Martinez looks to get the Mets into the win column today against John Smoltz.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Braves 3, Mets 1 (ATL 3-1, NYM 0-4)

Before we get to Friday night's game, two things. First of all, I posted on Thursday, after the Mets dropped to 0-3 against the Reds after an afternoon loss...but blogspot erased it. That's frustrating. The only thing I mentioned that was worth repeating was in that game, future Hall of Famer David Wright went 1-for-1 with 3 walks. He may have walked more in that one game than Jose Reyes, THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, will all season.

The other note has to do with Friday night's game. I watched it on Turner South, with broadcasters Pete van Wieren and Skip Caray. These guys are so annoying...and they introduce the Mets lineup by saying Doug Mee-ehn-kee-wiz and Eric VAHL-ent. It's Va-LENT. I will say this about TBS and Turner South's coverage of the Braves games this year and last - they have a great running bottom line that updates scores and relevant statistics. They do a good job with that, at least.

I'm working a morning shift early Saturday morning, so I couldn't stay up too late for Friday night's game...and I don't know how much I'll watch of tonight's game. But I saw most of the action last night before I had to turn in. Another bad inning for a Mets pitcher pretty much did them in. Victor Zambrano had a rough first inning, giving up two runs, seeming to be unable to punch out the last batter...he was saved by Cliff Floyd, who made a great running catch into the left-center field gap off Raul Mondesi to keep it 2-0, Braves.

The Mets couldn't get much going against John Thomson. I refuse to believe this guy is good...he has to hit a wall soon. They made him look great last night. It could have been different though. TGBWEL Jose Reyes led off the game with a single, then was thrown out trying to steal second. I have an issue with this, because he slid headfirst, and was tagged on his foot. There's no way he was out...but oh well. Kaz Matsui then singled to center - it could have been 1-0 Mets...but instead, Carlos Beltran* grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The lone offensive bright spot was Mike Piazza's solo home run in the fourth inning - the first of the year for him and 379th of his career. That made it 2-1, Braves, and the Mets never got closer. Offensively, the Mets aren't playing too bad. They're hitting .289 as a team so far this season (as opposed to the Braves' .213), but I think the Mets are either hitting into an inordinate amount of double plays, or they're leaving a lot of men on base. Either way, things have to start breaking their way - because it's been a lot of tough luck so far this year.

Friday night, the Mets had one last chance in the eighth inning, down 3-1, but with Jose Reyes on second base (he successfully stole second this time), Matsui struck out.

Aaron Heilman makes the start for the Mets today, against Horacio Ramirez. Tomorrow, it's Pedro Martinez against John Smoltz. The Mets need a win.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Reds 9, Mets 5 (CIN 2-0, NYM 0-2)

I'll start on a positive, on a night when I'm not feeling too positive. I watched this game on FSNOhio, and I have no complaints at all. George Grande (the old ESPN guy) is the play-by-play guy (I think), and he does the games with some former pitcher named Chris (I think). They did an outstanding job - not homers, very fair, very easy to listen to. Far cry (in the good direction) from Ted Robinson and Fran Healy.

Now the bad news. Tom Glavine pitched poorly - and I think he let some bad umpiring get to him. Glavine got into a jam in the first inning - first and second, no out. He gets a double play, then loads the bases. Glavine goes to 0-2 on Joe Randa. Randa takes a pitch - right down the middle - and home plate umpire Chuck Meriwether calls the pitch a ball. Unreal. This pitch was RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. I mean, there are close calls...but this one was a no-doubt-about-it. So, two pitches later, Glavine gives up a 2-run single to Randa, it's 2-0 Reds, and Glavine's in trouble.

Future Hall of Famer David Wright and big mouth first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz swapped spots in the batting order Wednesday - Wright hitting sixth, Mientkiewicz seventh. Not sure why that was reversed on Monday - perhaps it's a lefty-righty thing. Wednesday night, Mientkiewicz homered in the top of the second off of lefty Eric Milton - Mientkiewicz isn't supposed to be able to hit lefties well. The aforementioned unknown color guy mentioned Mientkiewicz's recent wrist problems, and how Mientkiewicz says they're behind him, and the replay showed Mientkiewicz's wrists were clearly not a problem on the homerun swing. Then unknown color guy made a joke about Mientkiewicz getting the home run ball back from the fan and keeping it, like he did the Red Sox ball. It was well done.

In the top of the third, future Hall of Famer Wright tied the game at two with a solo home run to the opposite field (career home run number 15).

The tie didn't last. In the bottom of the fourth, Glavine again threw a close pitch, called a ball, could have been a strike - definitely should have been a strike - just as much down the middle as the pitch to Randa. That would have gotten Ken Griffey, Jr. with the bases loaded. But Griffey comes back with a 2-run single off Glavine, making it 4-2, then Sean Casey made it 5-2 with another RBI single.

The Mets got the tying run to the plate in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. In the sixth, Mientkiewicz hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded, making it 5-3, Reds. And the thing about the Mets lineup is that you feel that if one guy gets on at any time, they have a chance to score. When the top of the lineup is up, Reyes and Matsui are setting the table for Beltran*. Then it's Piazza, and Floyd, who's come out of spring training ripping the ball. Then Wright, Mientkiewicz are a pretty darn good 6-7, and in Wednesday night's case, Victor Diaz was the 8 hitter, in right field. So it doesn't seem too hard to build a rally...but the Mets couldn't on Wednesday. Beltran struck out looking at a pitch down the middle (surprised, maybe, that Meriwhether didn't call it a ball), and the Mets never got closer.

Mike DeJean came in in the bottom of the eighth inning, and a huge argument delayed the game for a good five minutes - maybe even ten. The gist of it was that Willie Randolph didn't announce a double switch before DeJean started warming up, so DeJean had to lead off the ninth inning (the Mets pinch-hit), but the delay definitely affected DeJean. He couldn't find the plate...he loaded the bases, then served up a grand slam to Joe Randa. The Mets added a couple of runs in the top of the ninth to make it a 9-5 final.

A couple of things I noticed watching baseball the past couple of days - the Dodgers weren't wearing names on the back of their road uniforms in San Francisco. Not sure if that's a permanent change or a throwback occasion or something. (If it was a true throwback game, though, they would have been playing in New York.) And I have to admit, seeing the way the Red Sox lost to the Yankees on Tuesday made me feel a tiny bit better about the Mets' loss on Monday. Just a tiny bit. Let's check some mail:


You told us that you expect the Mets to win the NL behind MVP Carlos Beltran and Cy Young Pedro Martinez*. But you did not tell us how you expect them to fare against your predicted AL champion Anaheim Angels.

Wait. Let me guess. 4-0 sweep.

Dave in Brighton"

My bad, Dave. First of all, let's remember that it's now the Los Angeles Angels, and it would be a five-game World Series win.

"Dear JohnnyMets-

OK. So we've been together for five years. And you've LIVED with me for one year. So let me ask you... *how* can you pick the Yankees to win the AL East this year??? Yes, they have Johnson, Jeter, Matsui and the two BALCO boys. And yes, the Sox looked like crap against them Monday night. But honestly, do you want to continue having our house sponsored by DirecTV? Because with predictions like that, it might just be shut off and we'll have the House Sponsored by Rabbit Ears Antenna.


Your Wife"

Wow. The wife weighing in. I think she meant the Sox looked like crap on Sunday. We'll keep this e-mail handy and re-evaluate in October.

The Mets-Reds series wraps up Thursday afternoon, 12:30, in Cincinnati. Mets need to come out with a win.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Reds 7 (1-0), Mets 6 (0-1)

I don't know what I can't believe more. Here are the options:

1) The way the Mets lost this game.
2) The fact that of all the suspects likely to blow this game, the least likely man was the one who did it.
3) The fact that I screwed up my entire tape-the-game-avoid-all-human-contact-then-watch-the-tape plan.
4) The fact that even after I screwed that up, I still watched the entire game, convinced myself I saw the wrong outcome, and worked myself up when the Mets blew the lead. (I'll tell this story later.)

The first surprise in this game was that Doug Mientkiewicz hit sixth, and future Hall of Famer David Wright hit seventh. Perhaps Mientkiewicz had good career numbers against Paul Wilson (when Wilson was in Tampa Bay).

It's getting into the realm of torturous listening to Joe Morgan. I'm not going to get into why, but for example, at the end of the game, he says, "What's that Yogi Berra saying? It's never over until the game ends?" Or something like that - he butchered it. Along the same lines...Kaz Matsui homers in the top of the first inning, putting the Mets up 1-0. A good color commentator (or me) might say "For the second straight year, Matsui homers in his first at-bat of the season." But Morgan didn't. I am starting to strongly dislike him. (Not just for missing the chance on the Matsui comment - I'm half-joking about that. But I really think he's slipping into Alzheimer's a little. Something's seriously wrong. Listen to him a couple of times and make a case he isn't slipping...I challenge you.)

Bottom of the first, the Reds take the lead off Pedro Martinez*. Adam Dunn capped a rough first inning with a three-run bomb, putting Cincinnati up 3-1.

Carlos Beltran* drew the Mets even with a 2-run homer in the third, making it 3-3. Meanwhile, Pedro Martinez* was striking out everyone and their brother. He struck out the side in the 2nd and 3rd innings, and got the first two guys in the fourth. He didn't allow another hit after Dunn's homer, and finished with 6 innings, 3 ER, 3 hits, 2 walks, and 12 strikeouts. Pedro* threw 103 pitches, and actually left the game with a chance to win. (Red Sox fans are thinking - we've seen this before.) I think I might be able to find it in my heart to root for Pedro*.

On the offensive side, I can't complain. Carlos Beltran* was 3-for-5 with a single, double, and homer. Beltran* and Martinez* are on pace to lose their asterisks by the opening homestand. My only complaint, ironically, comes against future Hall of Famer David Wright. Twice, with two men on, he grounded into double plays. (He did, though, double to the wall in right field.) We need more activity in the clutch from a future Hall of Famer.

Paul Wilson started for the Reds. This allowed for a half-inning or so of talk about "Generation K", the Mets' high hopes for Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen. Ah, memories.

The Mets took the lead in the seventh. After Jose Reyes, THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, led off the inning with a double, and Matsui bunted him to third, Beltran* drove home the go-ahead run with a single to left. Cliff Floyd then homered to make it 6-3 Mets. More good news on offense - first of all, Reyes didn't get hurt. He's still a free swinger, and isn't going to lead the league in walks (ever - he swung at a pitch that hit him in the foot in the eighth inning), but he showed flashes of being THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED Monday when he singled to right-center field and stretched that into a double. Great speed. And the other good sign on offense was Cliff Floyd was swinging the bat well. He had a great game - 3-for-4, with the homer (that should have provided the insurance in the win). If Floyd can keep this up, and not show signs of fatigue after the first month of the season (he looks in May like other guys look in October after a full season), the Mets will be in good shape in the outfield.

The Mets' bullpen is not one of their strong points. But Braden Looper is supposed to be the strongest part of it. Ironically, he blew this one, while Manny Aybar and Dae-Sung Koo turned in surprisingly good performances to set him up with the 6-4 lead entering the ninth. But Looper gave up a single, homer, homer to end the game, 7-6 Reds. Mets pitchers struck out 16 Reds. The Reds didn't have a hit between the first and seventh innings. But the Reds still won. Very frustrating.

Here's something else that's frustrating. I managed to make it all the way home from work without hearing how old friend Pedro* did (a tough feat in greater Boston, in my opinion). So when I got home, the VCR was still going (but I had no picture), and for some stupid reason, I turned the channel from ESPN to ESPNEWS. I came back to the TV after the VCR timer stopped, and turned on the TV to rewind the VCR. I tried not to look at the bottom line, but before I changed the channel, I saw that Joe Randa had hit a walk-off homer. My thought process was as follows:

"Hmm. Joe Randa hit a walk-off homer. I shouldn't have read that. It could have had to do with the Mets game. Good thing it was just the Royals game. So the Royals must have won, if Randa hit a walk-off. That's good, I guess. I don't mind seeing the Royals win.............wait a second. Randa doesn't play for the Royals anymore. He plays for - (mind racing) - not the Reds. No, he doesn't play for the Reds. OH YES HE DOES YOU STUPID MORON WHY DID YOU LOOK AT THE TV?!?! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST DID THAT. IF RANDA HIT A WALK-OFF, YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS??!?! IT MEANS THE METS LOST, YOU *!?!$#. "

What a dope I am. And then.....and then, I watched the freakin' game. And then.......and then, when the Mets took a 6-3 lead, yes, I believed they were going to win the game. "There must be another Randa in the majors now, because I can't imagine a scenario where the Mets can lose this one," I think. Then Aybar and Koo get the game to Looper, and I think, "There's no way Randa hits a walk-off here. For that to happen, Looper would have to give up three straight hits, or something bad." Needless to say, I am not happy right now.

I don't feel too confident in Looper. I know I put up a good front, saying he's the strong point of the bullpen, but I feel like if the Mets can get someone to fill that closer spot, i.e. Ugueth Urbina, even though he got roughed up a bit on Monday, I'd feel a bit more comfortable with the Mets' chances. In that same game (Urbina's game), Dmitri Young homered three times. Watching his stats on the bottom line during the Mets game was pretty unbelievable. The more believable thing will be when he finishes with 23 homers or so, and everyone says, remember when he hit three on Opening Day?

In other Mets news, Kris Benson was placed on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle. Marlon Anderson replaced him on the roster. It'll be interesting to see how the Mets replace Benson when they need a fifth starter...on Saturday they traded away Matt Ginter for a minor leaguer. That would have been Ginter's spot.

A quick mailbagger: (Subject: OPENING DAY SPOILER SPOILER DO NOT READ)

"Dear JohnnyMets,

Hope that subject line was enough to keep you from reading before you'd seen the game.
A question and a comment this opening day....

The question is did you see the look on Looper's face when he gave up the game-winning homer? He looked like a horrible mix of pain and disbelief.

My comment is that Pedro has bad luck on opening day. I can think of 3 instances where the Sox pen blew his win. 12 K in his debut, by the way. Not bad.


Dave- I did see the look on Looper's face, and though I was not near a mirror, I'd say your description of "horrible mix of pain and disbelief" would also fit the "I can't believe I just watched that tape knowing full well that Joe Randa was somehow, some way, going to hit a walk off homer to beat the Mets." I'm starting to think right now that this blog might be a little funnier if I started including profanity. I have choice words for Looper. But that's an easy trap to fall into...then all I'd be doing was cursing at the Mets. We don't need to go there.

As for your other comment, I do remember Pedro (no asterisk - we're not talking about him as a Met here) having bad luck on Opening Day, but if I remember correctly, at least one of those games was a 13-10 decision (or possibly no decision) to the Blue Jays in which he actually got rocked.

My hope for the Mets now is to bounce back from this very difficult loss and take two out of three in Cincy. They don't play again until Wednesday.

The blog will hopefully be daily from here on out. I am also going to try to include headlines daily (or at least on game recaps). Some will be hits, some misses. Just giving you fair warning. And because of the move, I never had a chance to do my season predictions. Here they are:

NL Rookie of the Year: Garrett Adkins (even though he just went on the DL)
AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Reed
AL Cy Young Award: Randy Johnson (he looked good Sunday night - might not have picked him if I did this before the season)
NL Cy Young Award: Pedro Martinez*
AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero (not very original)
NL MVP: Carlos Beltran (not very original)

NL Champion: Mets (not very original....for me, anyway)
AL Champion: Angels

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Rangers

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Astros
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Cardinals

Those are just my picks - don't ask for justifications. I will reassess at the All-Star break.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The first posting from the House sponsored by DirecTV. And it's not going to be long - I have to go to bed. Just wanted to let everyone know that the aforementioned house is now connected to the internet, just in time for Opening Day. I'm so psyched that there's actually a baseball game that counts going on right now - even if it is the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Here's the deal - I'm going to be in school when the Mets and Reds play the opener on Monday. So if you have even the slightest thought of calling me during the game and leaving a message on my cell or house phone, please don't. I am going to try to tape the game, then avoid all human contact until I get to watch that tape. Then I'll post my first recap of the season tomorrow night, and maybe check the mailbag - it feels like weeks since I've been online.

So please don't ruin the Mets game on me on Monday. I'll probably have the game watched by 8 o'clock. Enjoy the baseball season.