Wednesday, May 31, 2006
So here is my fantasy team:
Leading off would be CF JOHNNY DAMON. In his long-haired Red Sox years, not the new short-haired Yankee years. The short hair makes him look like a dork. The long hair was fabulous.
Batting second would be SS DEREK JETER. Yes, he's a Yankee, but a good-looking Yankee at that.
Batting third, 1B SHEA HILLENBRAND. Hillenbrand was my favorite player back when he played for Boston. But alas, he was traded. At least the Blue Jays play the Sox 19 times each year, so I can still see him now and then.
Batting cleanup, 3B DAVID WRIGHT. I think my slight crush on David Wright has been well-documented. (For evidence, see yesterday's entry on "David Wright and Puppies".) He's well-deserving of the cleanup role.
Batting fifth, LF CLIFF FLOYD. Another former Red Sox player who I'm glad is now on the Mets. He's not only good-looking, but he has excellent fashion sense off the field.
Batting sixth, 2B CRAIG BIGGIO. I'll admit, this was a tough one to come up with. There just aren't any good looking second basemen out there. But Biggio is the best there is.
Batting seventh, RF GABE KAPLER. Yes, yes, another former Red Sox player. What can I say? The Sox had a good looking team once upon a time.
Batting eighth, C BRAD AUSMUS. He's good looking and a fellow Dartmouth grad. That's an extra two points in my book. However, Ausmus is a little too "pretty boy" for me, so once in a while I might bench him in favor of...
C PAUL LO DUCA. I think this picture of him is really lame. And JohnnyMets can't believe I'd pick him for my team. But when he's mad and trying to throw someone out at second base, he looks good.
Batting ninth, P MIGUEL BATISTA. This was an interesting last-minute pick on my part. I was debating between pitchers, but I saw Batista pitching against the Mets last night and he has these great green eyes. Yes, the eyes did it for me.
And closing, I would pick P HUSTON STREET. I got my first glimpse of Street out in Oakland. True, he blew the game, but all the girls in our group were talking about how cute he is.
Finally, what's a team without a manager? Truth be told, I couldn't find a modern-day manager hot enough to take charge of my team. So I decided to hire my own, former Red Sox player PHIL PLANTIER. Back in the early 1990's, when I was in high school, I had a huge crush on him. I think I still have his baseball card around here somewhere. He's coaching for some college out in San Diego right now, but I figured he'd jump at the chance to manage my team.
So there you have it. Feel free to offer your own suggestions. I realize I'm pretty biased towards the Sox and Mets.
Diamondbacks and Mets are tied 0-0 in the top of the 10th right now. Nice pitching matchup between Pedro and Webb.
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets won 10-3 last night, bringing their record to 29-21, 1st place in their division. They're playing the Vero Beach Dodgers again tonight.
LASTING IN THE MAJORS?: Well, Lastings Milledge got his first major league hit last night after I wrote the blog -- a nice double to left field. Tonight, he's not as lucky, currently 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.
FANTASY UPDATE: Again, no access to the What If? League, but I have a What If? question of my own: What If JohnnyMets comes face to face with a bear during his camping trip? I'd certainly pay money to see his reaction. (But I, of course, hope he would be okay. Come on, now...)
BEAT THE STREAK: John and I both blew it yesterday. Tonight, I had Biggio, who only pinch hit (and flew out) and John had Jason Bay, who got a hit. So he has a one-gamer. I'm back at zero.
Well, that's it for today's blog. You have one more day of me, then JohnnyMets is back. I'll be a little relieved, I think -- this is hard work.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
You can also join me in another chuckle, because JohnnyMets is away on the day that he's been anticipating all season. Yes, he is going to be royally P.O.'ed because the Mets called up Lastings Milledge from Norfolk! Granted it's only for 2 weeks while Xavier Nady recovers from an appendectomy, but this is his real chance to prove himself as a big league player. And John is nestled in a sleeping bag wondering what that strange noise was outside the cabin.
Because of this development, I am renaming the "Last-Place Lastings" daily feature and calling it "Lasting in the Majors?" I'm not sure if JohnnyMets will approve of this ... however, he's not here to argue, and as The Wife, I always get my way anyway, right? So, it will be called that at least for the next three days and then The Husband can reassess.
So the Mets won last night 7-6, with a walkoff hit by David Wright in the bottom of the ninth. Speaking of David Wright, tonight is "Dog Day" at Shea Stadium, and they had some video on SNY of David holding two puppies. Sigh. Is there anything better in the world? David Wright and puppies? Given his hit last night, I think even John would agree with me.
Reaching into the mailbag, Dave from Brighton assures that someone is reading this blog while John is away:
"Dear Mrs. Johnnymets,
Do you look just like Johnnymets, except with a pink bow, a la Pacman and Mrs. Pacman? For your sake I hope not.
I'm interested in getting a fresh outsider perspective (i.e., a perspective different than that of the hopelessly optimistic Johnnymets) on three Mets and Mets-related questions:
1. Tom Glavine looks great this season. Do you think he'll get to 300 wins?
2. Sometimes Mets fans are really tough on Carlos Beltran. But he's got 14 homers, including last week's game winner, and seven steals. Is he worth all that dough?
3. I know you've followed Pedro for a number of years. Do you think he'll 'hurt' his big toe right before the Red Sox series at Fenway?
3a. If he does pitch against his former team, how do you think he'll do? My money is on 7 IP, 3 ER, 10 K (3 by Ortiz), but a ND courtesy of Billy Wagner.
Dave in Brighton"
I guess you could compare JohnnyMets and me to Pacman and Ms. Pacman. Except I'd wear a pink Mets (or Red Sox) hat instead of a pink bow. That's really the only difference between us. That, and I'm pregnant.
Getting to your other questions-
1. Tom Glavine does look great this season. I do think he'll get to 300 wins -- but not this year. That would be awfully tough. He'd have to win 17 more games. As well as he's pitching, I don't think he'll have that blockbuster of a year. Let's get realistic.
2. I'm slightly encouraged by Carlos Beltran's performance as of late. He's really picked up his game and is finally starting to deliver. But no way is he worth all that money. For $119 million, I'd expect Albert Pujols numbers. Carlos is heading in the right direction, but he still has a ways to go.
3. I don't think Pedro will hurt his big toe before the Fenway road trip, but I also don't expect to see him take the mound either. I think the Mets will "conveniently" schedule Pedro to pitch right before the Sox series and right after. It's all stupid, though. Sure, some people would boo Pedro, but I'd clap for him. And I'd bet that most Fenway fans would too. I don't think Pedro thinks that way though -- thus, we won't see him pitching here.
3a. On the off-chance that I'm wrong, I say 7 IP, 4 ER (3 of them in the first inning), 8 Ks, but Beckett will out-pitch him.
Thanks for your mail, Dave. Always appreciated. On to the regular features:
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets are playing the Vero Beach Dodgers tonight. I'll let you know the outcome tomorrow. I did find out some interesting stuff about Gary Carter last night though, that even JohnnyMets didn't know. I'm reading this book called Marley & Me, which is about a crazy yellow lab named Marley and all of his hijinx. I learned that back in 1993 or thereabouts, Marley played himself in a movie called The Last Home Run. You probably haven't heard of the movie -- it went straight to video -- but it was about a 79-year-old guy who lives in a nursing home and he becomes a 12-year-old for 5 days and gets to play Little League ball. Marley was cast as the dog of the Little League coach -- played by none other than Gary Carter. You can bet Mr. and Mrs. JohnnyMets will be renting this movie.
LASTING IN THE MAJORS?: Lastings Milledge has been up to bat twice as of this writing. He received quite an ovation from the Shea fans, and followed that up with a bullet of a hit -- unfortunately, it was right to the shortstop. Second time up, he grounded out to third. However, the SNY announcers astutely pointed out (with help from their research department), that Milledge and Daryl Strawberry were the exact same age (21 years and however many days old) when they were called up to the majors. Strange coincidence... let's hope Milledge can live up to the Strawberry comparisons.
FANTASY UPDATE: John didn't give me access to the What If? League, so I have no updates. However, I'll make it clear right now that I think this what if stuff is bull. I told John from the outset that I don't trust a league that's all based on scenarios and not REAL matchups and/or statistics. Even though he's now in second place, I think he now understands my concerns. What If he just stopped playing? I think we'd both be much happier.
BEAT THE STREAK: John has Paul Lo Duca tonight (currently 0 for 2) and I have Manny Ramirez (0 for 1 right now). So we both need big hits tonight.
FOOTNOTE: John just called in from his camping trip. Good thing they have cell phone service up there. I updated him on the Lastings situation and his response was "HOLY COW, THEY CALLED UP LASTINGS!" He was in a bit of disbelief. I'm sure he'll have much more to say about it when he's back.
Monday, May 29, 2006
First of all, I hope they finish the game. It's looking like a win (despite how early it is), and the Mets' bats are hot. Paul LoDuca extended his hitting streak to 13 games, and has 2 doubles. Cliff Floyd ripped a double, continuing the good hitting run he's been on (he'd lifted his average to .219 entering the game), and David Wright walked in his first at-bat, but he's now hitting .333. The Mets need to be able to get their at-bats in tonight. Carlos Beltran* is 0-for-2 before the delay, but he's been hitting the ball too - he hit his 14th homer on Sunday - he had 16 all of last year! Willie Randolph has kept Jose Valentin's bat in the lineup, too - he's playing for Kaz Matsui again.
So I won't be up for the end of this game - and I won't be back until Friday, due to an overnight school trip - Tuesday through Friday. But don't fear - The Wife will be running things here for the next few days. I guarantee it will be entertaining - she does a very nice job whenever she fills in for me. I just hope this doesn't turn into Red Sox central. If you have questions or comments for The Wife, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE KID'S KIDS: St. Lucie had Monday off - they're still two games up on Brevard County, at 28-21.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Monday was the big day where we got an up-close, live look at Lastings Milledge and the (tied for) last place Norfolk Tides. Milledge and the Tides beat Pawtucket 11-1, and stayed tied with Richmond, who also won, for last place, so the name sticks for now. Milledge was 3-for-6, with 3 RBI, and now is hitting .291. The most excitement in the game came in the sixth, when Milledge hit one into the right-centerfield gap with the bases loaded, driving home the three runs, and then getting thrown out at third. It was a double, but it showed off Milledge's hitting ability, and showed that he doesn't have the best speed in the world...because it very easily could have been a triple. I liked what I saw from Milledge, and Jeff Keppinger at the plate. Evan MacLane was also pretty impressive on the mound for the Tides. I brought a camera to take pictures, but, alas, the battery was dead. There are a couple of pictures that may be posted next weekend....if I deem it still worth putting on the site.
FANTASY UPDATE: Another 3-0 day - the What If Mets swept the Cardinals. Needless to say, I'm loving this game again right now. If the season ended today, I'd be the wild card - in fact, I'm two games ahead of all wild card contenders. So I'm in pretty good shape right now, about halfway through the season. There are 3 games against the woeful Cubs, then the All-Star break. Unfortunately, that's only a demarcation in the entire season - there's no real break. And that means I miss 12 games, being gone Tuesday through Friday, and not being able to adjust my lineup...hopefully I'll still be loving this game when I get back.
BEAT THE STREAK: Another streak killing by Craig Biggio. Don't know why I keep picking him. I need to pick four players for the next four days - I'll let you know when I get back whether any of them got me started on a streak.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets made a nice little recovery after their little slide late last week. They've won 3 in a row, with John Maine on the comeback road, getting the win on Saturday, and beat Vero Beach in 10 innings on Sunday. Hall of Famer Gary Carter's team is 28-21, 2 games up in their division.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Hmm...It's finally happening. Norfolk is making their move out of the basement. The Tides came back from down 5-0 on Sunday to beat Pawtucket, 7-5, and Richmond lost...so the Tides are no longer in last place. We'll see if they keep this up - then I'll consider changing the name here. New acquisition Dave Williams got the win, Lastings Milledge was 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. He's hitting .284.
FANTASY UPDATE: I won two out of three on Sunday, but the big news is that I made a couple of high-profile moves. Edgardo Alfonzo (1999) and Nolan Ryan (1971) were on the waiver wire, and I couldn't pass them up. I dropped Mookie Wilson (a huge disappointment) and Pedro Martinez (very overpriced) to pick the two new players up. Ryan is already 0-1, but the team is 1-1 since the move (Alfonzo is hitting .125). The biggest repercussion of this move will be the financial flexibility it allows me when a true closer hits the market.
BEAT THE STREAK: I'm up to a 2-gamer, after Jeter got a hit Saturday, and David Wright got me a hit on Sunday. I don't love anyone on Monday, but someone's got to get a hit - I'll go with Craig Biggio...no real reason...with a 2-gamer, why not?
COMING THIS WEEK: Monday is the big trip to Pawtucket to see Lastings Milledge and the Norfolk Tides, so I'll give a full update Monday night, with a Mets-Diamondbacks update possible. Then I need to go away from Tuesday to Friday with my class - but The Wife is taking over. She'll be doing daily (hopefully) updates on the site all week. It's bound to be entertaining.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Phillies averted disaster by beating the Mets during an afternoon game at Shea. The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first against Jeremi Gonzalez, the Mets tied it at 3 in the second on a 3-run homer by the suddenly powerful Jose Reyes, and then Pedro Feliciano gave up two runs in the seventh to let the Phillies win it. Gonzalez pitched OK, but he'll be sent down, as El Duque will take his rotation spot on Sunday. Heath Bell pitched well - and he's been pitching very well at Norfolk - I wouldn't be surprised if Bell takes Jorge Julio's bullpen spot.
Brett Myers pitched very well. The Mets are allowed to lose one out of every three to the Phillies - I'm OK with that. Now a three-game series at Florida - the Mets need to sweep. Simple as that. And Pedro* needs to get a win against the Marlins - finally breaking his string of no-decisions.
I didn't get to see much of Thursday afternoon's game - but I made it home in time to see the bottom of the ninth. And it should be noted that the Mets again managed to get the tying run to the plate against Tom Gordon. Even in a game where it didn't seem likely that the Mets would win, they had a faint threat of tying the game. Good signs, when that happens.
MEDIA CORRECTION: Since I was out all day, I was going to TiVo this game, and I said yesterday Mike & The Mad Dog were going to broadcast it on SNY. Turns out I forgot to TiVo the game, but as I was driving home, faintly I got WFAN on the car radio - and Mike and the Mad Dog were broadcasting the game on WFAN (which makes sense, since that's where their radio show is, and since YES carries it on TV, not SNY). So I ended up hearing a little of their play-by-play. It was OK. They did it for charity, so I guess I can handle that. But since it's always been my dream to do play-by-play, I still get a bit jealous when guys get these chances that would never in a million years fall my way.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DEAL: Omar Minaya said Wednesday after he traded for Orlando Hernandez that he had other deals cooking. He proved himself Thursday, when he traded minor leaguer Robert Manuel to the Reds for pitcher Dave Williams. Astute readers will remember I've mentioned Dave Williams before. (In case you're too lazy to click the link, here's what I wrote:
"BEAT THE STREAK: Back to taking it seriously, after vacation. I'm on a modest 3-gamer, after a Jimmy Rollins hit tonight (actually, 2 hits, I think). I took Alfonso Soriano for Tuesday, against Dave Williams of the Reds (formerly with the Pirates). He is bad.")
He is bad - he's been sent to Triple-A, probably to learn how to pitch. The Mets didn't give up much - Manuel was in Single-A...with decent numbers, but who knows what he'll turn into. Minaya says you can never have too much pitching. We'll see what else he's got going on.
WRIGHT IN SI: David Wright is the subject of a story in this week's 'Sports Illustrated'. Everything you hear about Wright is positive. He and Derek Jeter are two of the best people ever produced by a New York city farm system (actually, you could probably throw Bernie Williams in that category too....maybe even Mariano Rivera - although I don't know much about him as a person). Wright is just such a good person - everyone raves about how humble he is, and has stayed, even with his success. I just hope it lasts - and based on the type of person he is, and was raised to be, I think it will.
THE KID'S KIDS/LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Both St. Lucie and Norfolk entered Thursday's action with just a game difference between themselves and their next-closest competitor. The Tides were just a game away from tying for last place, and the St. Lucie Mets were just a game up on Brevard County for first place.
St. Lucie was playing too late for this writing...I'll update them over the weekend.
Norfolk is really close to leaving last place - they beat Syracuse again on Thursday, 7-2. Milledge followed up his 3-for-6 in last night's game with a 1-for-5 on Thursday - and it was a solo homer. He's hitting .291.
FANTASY UPDATE: The Southern Bureau, owner of the What If Nationals/Expos, e-mailed me to say, "What's going on with this what if league? I win 12 in a row, lose 8 in a row, it's the same team! Nothing has changed...why are they so streaky?" I agree. Wholeheartedly. A day after winning all three of my games, I've lost all three of my games. I just had a feeling it might happen. What a pain. I go back and forth between liking this game and HATING it. Right now, I hate it. But I'm still 5 games out of first, tied for second.
BEAT THE STREAK: Ichiro didn't get a hit - Rodrigo Lopez picks today to throw a gem. Wonderful. Back to 0 again. This is the most frustrating part of 'Beat the Streak' - trying to get a streak past 9 or 10 games, so that you can actually care about it. Maybe this will be the streak that gets me going. I'll take Jose Reyes against the Marlins, since he's swinging a hot bat these days.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
It's getting to the point where we might not have to worry about the Mets rotation anymore. It didn't look like that would be the case early on in Wednesday night's game....but by the end of the game - it's like the Mets are a whole new team.
Alay Soler, Cuban Defector, started for the Mets, and walked the first three batters. (I forgot to mention this in my posting Tuesday - but 5 of 7 batters the Mets walked through the first nine innings on Tuesday scored. The three Soler walked in the first inning Wednesday, scored.) They all scored (helped by a bad error by second baseman Chris Woodward), and it looked very, very bad for Soler. But he settled in VERY nicely, and gave the Mets six innings, walking only one more batter, giving up 5 hits, 2 ER, and striking out 5. I can't wait for his next start, when he won't be nervous from the get-go, to see what he can do.
(Speaking of Cuban Defectors, the Mets acquired Orlando Hernandez on Wednesday, trading Jorge Julio to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hernandez is not having the greatest season, statistically, but this is going to be a great trade for the Mets. Historically, it takes Hernandez a little while to get comfortable in a new place...and he's already comfortable in New York. That's one thing. Secondly, the true value in this trade will come in September and October, when Hernandez really shines. Thirdly, although I liked the direction Julio was heading, I feel a little better thinking about the Kris Benson trade, and seeing the Mets net a starter out of that trade. John Maine, the other man acquired in that trade, is due back soon from his injury - I wonder if he now heads to the bullpen to replace Julio. Either way - looks like Jeremi Gonzalez heads back to Norfolk.)
Unfortunately, Soler did not get the win, because Pedro Feliciano served up a late homer to Met-Killer Pat Burrell, which tied the game. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The Mets started cutting into that 3-0 lead very early. In the first inning, Carlos Beltran* homered, making it 3-1. Later, Future Hall of Famer David Wright hit career homer number 49 (8 on the season), making it 3-2. A bloop single tied the game, and a sacrifice fly later gave the Mets the lead.
After Feliciano blew the lead, David Wright came through in the clutch again, lining a single to left with men on the corners to give the Mets the 5-4 lead. And "The Closer" looked good in the ninth, closing the door for the save. (Full Disclosure: I actually went upstairs to watch the final minutes of American Idol to see who won in the bottom of the eighth, and missed a little of the top of the ninth. Oops. But it was worth it to see the cutaway to David Hasselhoff, who looked like he was wiping a tear from his eye after they announced the winner. HA!)
The thing about the Phillies, which we all know, is that they don't scare me. And I don't think they scare the Mets. It doesn't look like the Mets ever feel like the Phillies can slam the door in a game they play - no matter what the score is. So even if Philly takes a 3-0 lead in the first inning....it's worth watching to see how quickly the Mets even things up.
Jeremi Gonzalez starts Thursday afternoon for the Mets. This will most likely be his last Mets outing. The Mets now lead the Phillies by 5 games...a sweep would really do some psychological damage to the Phillies, I think, especially with the bad news they got Wednesday. Their phenom, Cole Hamels, who was supposed to start Wednesday, was placed on the DL after hearing a 'pop' while playing catch. That's not good. I know I say a lot of bad stuff about the Phillies, but I hope the kid is OK. I would hate for a young star like that to be seriously hurt. He has real potential - the veterans on the staff were pointing to this kid they just called up and saying he was their new number one starter. That's high praise. They're a team on the ropes right now - the Mets can really hurt them on Thursday.
TUESDAY NIGHT LATE EDITION: Just to wrap up the 16-inning game from Tuesday, which ended at 12:22am, and would have ended at 11pm had Steve Trachsel not been the starting pitcher, that was a great win. For the Mets to come from behind so often, and then not win would have been a shame - so to go on to the 16-inning win was huge. And for Carlos Beltran* to finally hit a game-ending homer as a Met (if he's done it before, I don't remember it)...he's really starting to put last year behind him...and most Mets fans.
There was never a point Tuesday night, when the Phillies led, where I didn't feel like the Mets were NOT going to come back. That's a really good sign.
LINE OF THE NIGHT: This was really good - I had to repeat it. Ramon Castro started at catcher Wednesday night, spelling Paul LoDuca after the 16-inning game. In the early-going, Soler shook off a few of Castro's calls, and Gary Cohen says, "That seems about right, the Cuban defector is shaking off Castro." (I hope that translated OK from aural to written form.)
MEDIA: I forgot about this, until they showed the radio booth during Wednesday night's game on SNY, and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo was there, and Gary Cohen said, "There's tomorrow's broadcaster with Howie Rose!" I think tomorrow Mike & The Mad Dog broadcast the Mets game on SNY. I wasn't going to TiVo the game, but now I think I have to, just to see what that's like.
MINOR LEAGUE NEWS: Before I get to the Mets-related stuff, I noticed something that involves a player I love watching, but who's been cursed the past couple of seasons. Rocco Baldelli began a 20-game rehab stint with the Durham Bulls Tuesday - and hit a game-winning single. So good news - hopefully Baldelli makes it the whole way back without getting hurt. I like him a lot.
THE KID'S KIDS: St. Lucie's lead in their division is down to a half-game, after a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Yankees. This is where Hall of Famer Gary Carter really needs to show off his managing skills, and get that team to believe in itself again!!
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS (AND MAIL): This, from Dave in Brighton:
Will you rename your Last-Place Lastings feature if the Tides overtake Richmond to get out of the basement of the International League's South division?
Dave in Brighton"
I guess I would probably have to, Dave, but I don't know if that will happen. I will acknowledge....it's getting very close.
The Tides were also working extra innings on Tuesday, beating Syracuse 3-2 in 11, winning the game on a Lastings Milledge double. I gave Milledge's numbers Tuesday night, but didn't have the details of the game.
The Tides are on their way to another win (and taking another step towards getting out of the basement - they're leading the Sky Chiefs 10-3 in the ninth. Milledge is 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored - his average is now .289.
A couple of things of interest - I'm starting to wonder if there will be suspensions from the brawl the other day, and hopeful that Milledge won't be suspended for Monday's game. Also - Monday is five days from today, meaning tonight's Tides starter should start Monday's game, meaning we should get a look at Evan MacLane, someone who I don't know anything about. Former Met Matt Ginter should be pitching for Pawtucket that day.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets have won three in a row - I wonder if I've done that before, where I've won all my games in one day....it doesn't seem familiar. Anyway, I won one against the Braves, and two against the Nationals/Expos. I'm now alone in second place, but I'm still 3 games out of first. It's the Blue Jays and Dodgers tomorrow.
BEAT THE STREAK: Vladimir Guerrero continued his massive hitting streak versus Texas with a weak 1-for-5 on Wednesday, upping my hitting streak to 4. I'll take Ichiro to keep it going on Thursday against Rodrigo Lopez and Baltimore.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
This was one of the best games the Mets have played all year (from an offensive standpoint). Whenever they play the Phillies, I get the feeling that they're never out of it, no matter what the score is. It seems like, eventually, the Mets will get back even with Philadelphia - it's just a matter of when. Sometimes it doesn't happen, most of the time, the Mets at least threaten, Tuesday night, the Mets did it three different times.
Cliff Floyd is really, really swinging the bat well - he homered again on Tuesday. And Julio Franco had a key pinch-hit, getting the game to 6-5. (Full disclosure, I missed the Franco RBI double - I was watching a live in-dugout interview with Boof Bonser on the Twins' telecast.) Chris Woodward also had a big pinch-hit. And David Wright hit career homer number 48 to get the Mets' scoring started.
The negative - not a good start for Steve Trachsel. He gave up the Phillies' first 6 runs - but in fairness, could have been out of a jam tied at 2 - Endy Chavez had Pat Burrell nailed at the plate, but Paul LoDuca dropped the throw. That led to a big 4-run inning, when it should have been 3 outs. But Trachsel still gave up a 3-run bomb - he's still too inconsistent - he pitched into a lot of tough situations Tuesday.
Interesting note - the Phillies are 17-0 this season (as of this writing) when they led after 7 innings. The Mets came back on them in the eighth...when THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, hit a game-tying 2-run homer, with 2 outs.
It's 8-8, top of the tenth, and I need to get some sleep. Or, more specifically, watch the rest of the game in bed, and not blog afterwards.
MAIL: Guess who this is from?
Pedro would have had 4 days rest and would be available to pitch Thursday against the Phillies. However, Willie has decided to give Pedro another day of rest and start him against the Marlins on Friday. This makes no sense to me. I understand that Pedro needs a few extra days here and there. But, do you think it makes sense to give him that extra day against the Phillies. What if Thursday's game turns out to be the rubber game, or worse yet, a game to avoid a sweep? Is Willie thinking clearly that Jeremi Gonzaliez should get the start at such an important game? Don't you think Willie should push Gonzalez to Friday against the mostly Triple A Marlins? What do you think?
Annoyed Mets Fan from Queens"
The "Annoyed Mets Fan from Queens" always keeps me grounded when things are going well for the Mets. He'll always find that dark lining on the cloud...but he makes sense here. The thing is, Pedro* pitches very, very well in Florida. And I bet that Willie Randolph is considering the fact that Pedro* needs to get another win, not another no-decision, just to keep things upbeat in the clubhouse. So that should come against Florida. I bet that's a factor....finally getting Pedro* to 6-0.
The other thing is, Jeremi Gonzalez has to start either Wednesday or Thursday. He's not really up for debate. Up for debate is the fact that Alay Soler, the Cuban defector, is going to start one of the games against Philly (I don't think the Mets are sure yet whether he's going Wednesday or Thursday). But I think they have enough confidence in Soler that they feel he is the best arm to go for them in this series. I am pretty excited to see Soler - he's a big guy. About 6'1'', 240 pounds. In summary, I give Randolph the benefit of the doubt here.
***Update after I wrote this...Soler will definitely start Wednesday, with Thursday's start going to either Gonzalez or Darren Oliver. Apparently, Gonzalez has been battling the flu.
THE KID'S KIDS: The big rivalry started Tuesday night - the St. Lucie Mets taking on the Tampa Yankees. Too late for me write about it here - but the Mets still have a 2-game lead in their division, entering Tuesday night's action.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Apparently last place is getting to Milledge and the Tides. I didn't realize this in yesterday's posting, but Milledge sparked a benches-clearing brawl with a slide that spiked Richmond's third baseman - the son of Atlanta GM John Scheurholz. (Curiously, this isn't mentioned on the minor league website I'm checking for results.) I wonder if he's going to get suspended for that - he didn't spike the guy maliciously, it seems it was on a slide.
On Tuesday night, a big win for Norfolk, with an 11th-inning run giving the Tides a 3-2 win over Syracuse. (They're still in last place.) Lastings Milledge had a big game - going 3-for-6, with 2 doubles and an RBI. He is now hitting .286 on the season.
FANTASY UPDATE: I'm mad - the What If Mets' bullpen blew a 4-0 9th inning lead (hmm...sound familiar), and went on to lose in 11. So I've lost two straight to the Braves. I'm still 3 games back of the phillies, two behind the Nationals, and 2 ahead of Atlanta. I need to take game 3 Wednesday morning, then at least split with the Blue Jays - they're one of the toughest in the game right now.
The Wife is getting tired of the What If updates. "What If you stopped telling me about those games?" she said Tuesday night. I think it's that pregnancy, making her cranky.
BEAT THE STREAK: Of course Vlad got a hit against Texas Monday night...and he already homered early on in Tuesday's game. So I'm working on a little 3-gamer...one more night of Guerrero against the Rangers, who just can't get him out.
Monday, May 22, 2006
The Mets didn't explode offensively - they just had one good inning. Tom Glavine wasn't great, but he was good enough for six innings. The bullpen wasn't great, but got key outs when they needed them. "The closer" (I forgot the quotes yesterday) was OK, but the fact that he was able to locate the strike zone was a step in the right direction.
All told, it was a good win for the Mets, and it was a great win when you consider Saturday's circumstances. It sure feels better to have the Mets heading into a series with the Phillies having won two out of three games against the Yankees than having dropped two out of three (even if they came very close to sweeping the series).
It's the Phillies for three starting Tuesday, then the Mets go to Florida for three. This could be a very good week.
E-MAIL: From Dave in Brighton:
Boof is available in my fantasy league. Should I drop Houston's Wandy Rodriguez to pick him up?
Dave in Brighton"
The whole reason I am not playing regular fantasy baseball this year (the only fantasy baseball I am playing involves only teams from the AL and NL East) is because I make decisions with my heart, not my head....and therefore I am very bad at fantasy baseball. That said, I say absolutely, positively, grab Boof Bonser. He's a star in the making.
THE KID'S KIDS: The Mets look for a split with Fort Myers Monday night, having lost two games so far in that four-game series. The Mets are still atop the division with the 25-17 record.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: The Norfolk Tides have Monday off - but it's worth mentioning here that while I'm going to Pawtucket to see the Tides' centerfielder (Milledge), the wife and our companions, Dave and the fiance from Brighton, might get a treat and see CoCo Crisp in center field for Pawtucket. He might begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A real soon. Wouldn't that be funny if our first look at Crisp is in Pawtucket instead of at Fenway.
FANTASY UPDATE: My 5-game winning streak ended in the evening game Monday, but the What If Mets are now 30-27, 3 games back of the Phillies, with whom I have another game in the morning. I would love to take 2 out of 3. The Nationals are just a game ahead of me - they've lost 8 in a row. Streaky team.
BEAT THE STREAK: Jose Reyes had a hit last night, so it's a one-gamer for me. It's Vladimir Guerrero the next few nights.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I'm going to start with this. I didn't see Friday night's game, where the Mets won in their last at-bat, but the bullpen pitched awesomely. And I heard on the radio (I was listening to the bottom of the ninth in the car) that the closer for the Mets pitched very well. So I'll start by saying I don't blame Willie Randolph for going to the closer to slam the door on the Yankees on Saturday, with a 4-0 lead, after he dominated them the night before. I blame no one for Saturday other than the closer.
I will say this next: we had big phone problems this weekend at the ol' House sponsored by DirecTV. So I had no internet until late Saturday. And it's a good thing I didn't have a chance to write after the game on Saturday, because otherwise I would have cursed....a LOT....and I pride myself on keeping the language clean here.
And I think I'll end with this. I think the closer is hurt. He's not pitching like Billy Wagner of any other year. He looks awful most of the time coming into games. Right now, he's no better than Braden Looper or Armando Benitez. There's no confidence when he's coming into a game. I'd just as soon not see him. He's just another Mets closer right now, and that's a stigma you don't want. the closer needs to start pitching like Billy Wagner, or take some time on the DL, and make sure the finger that was hurting during spring training is healthy. Because I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he's hurt - and that problem is still lingering. Otherwise...that's an expensive set-up man.
Also....the beat goes on for Pedro Martinez*. He should be 9-0 right now. I guess we'll have to settle for a 25-0 season.
The good news is the Mets are still controlling the division, with the Phillies coming to town on Tuesday.
PITCHING NEWS: Lots to update on the pitching front. I'll start with the Mets - interesting note by Peter Gammons in the lead-up to the Mets game Sunday night - he says it will most likely be Alay Soler pitching for the Mets Wednesday night at Shea against Philly. A bit surprising - since I haven't heard about this until now, and for Soler to make his debut in such a big game is a bit strange. Hope he can handle it. Also, I wanted to update two pitchers who started in the majors Sunday who have garnered lots of interest on this site lately:
- SCOTT KAZMIR: Pitched Sunday against the struggling Florida Marlins, and was pretty brilliant. Kazmir went 8 innings, giving up just 4 hits and a walk. He struck out 11! He is now 7-2, and has a 2.39 ERA. I think I want Kazmir to succeed. I feel like he needs to for the Mets (and other big market teams) to think twice...maybe three or four times...before they make a move just to stay in contention (especially when they're only on the cusp of contention, as the Mets were at the time of this deal.)
- BOOF BONSER: This story just gets better and better. I read a graphic on ESPN during Baseball Tonight, before the Mets-Yankees game, that said Bonser legally changed his name from John to Boof in 2001 (it was a childhood nickname). That's just awesome. The whole Boof Bonser experience was nearly ruined by Chris Berman, hosting said Baseball Tonight (he abused the name)...but I realized Berman's love of "Boof" probably only began sometime Sunday afternoon. Johnnymets.blogspot.com was on this one since spring training. So take that, Berman. Anyway, Bonser pitched well - he had a no decision for the Twins against the Brewers. He went 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, and one earned run. He struck out 8! (That's pretty much what he was doing in the minors - a good sign if it's translating at the Major League level...but it was one start...let's not get ahead of ourselves.) Credit Bonser also with controlling what could be a tough Milwaukee offense.
THE KID'S KIDS: The Mets lost to Fort Myers on Sunday, 7-4...but are still in good shape. They're 25-17, and still have a 3-game lead in their division.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Norfolk actually won Sunday, but they're still in last place. Milledge was 0-for-5 with a strikeout, dropping his average to .277. I'll update his full stats only occasionally, especially after I get a look at him in person next Monday in Pawtucket.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets have survived me not being able to adjust lineups. They've actually won 3 in a row, and are picking up games - they're the hottest team in the East. They're 3 out of first...and more symmetry this week - when the real Mets play Philly on Tuesday, the What If Mets will be wrapping up a 3-game series with their own Phillies.
BEAT THE STREAK: I have no streak going. I have Jose Reyes Sunday night, and Vladimir Guerrero Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, since the Angels are playing Texas, and Texas has never gotten Guerrero out.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The Mets turned in a 3-6 road trip, making 1-2 stops in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and St. Louis. Now they have to face the Yankees, and then the Phillies again....the difference being, they'll be at Shea Stadium. They need to take advantage of that and find their winning ways again.
The bad news is, we might yet have to suffer with Jose Lima some more. (Lima gave up 5 runs in 4 and two-thirds on Thursday afternoon.) Brian Bannister hurt his leg again during his rehab stint with Norfolk on Thursday. Sounds like he pulled something trying to cover first base - but they're not sure if he aggravated his injury or if it's just that the muscle isn't used to the work, after the time off. More information should come out Friday.
Some of the Mets' bats are waking up - Jose Valentin homered on Thursday, after getting very hot last weekend, and I feel like Cliff Floyd is ready to break out (he doubled off Jason Isringhausen in the ninth inning Thursday). And the Mets got the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, after threatening but failing to come through in the ninth Wednesday night. There have been encouraging signs...but the Mets need to put up some W's, fast.
AROUND THE NL EAST: The Mets again got help from the Brewers, who beat the Phillies Thursday, so the Mets still lead the NL East by 2 games. The bad news is that Atlanta beat the Marlins again, so they're now just 3 and a half games back of the Mets.
THE KID'S KIDS: The game I mentioned last night turned into a 7-inning final somehow. The Mets lost to Dunedin, 3-2. Oh - it was the second game of a doubleheader, from the rainout the previous night. The Mets won the earlier game, 1-0. Must have 7 inning games for doubleheaders. The Mets are 23-15...with Thursday night's game too late for this edition. (I'm taking advantage of the early Major League game, and going to bed at a normal time.)
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Lastings Milledge again led off for Norfolk, and went 1-for-3, with a double and an RBI, lifting his average to .281. The Tides lost to Toledo, 8-2. (Anderson Hernandez is playing shortstop for Norfolk, by the way.) For the season, in 40 games, Milledge has 9 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, and 11 RBI.
FANTASY UPDATE: Not a good day for the What If Mets. Not only did I lose 2 out of three, but the second loss was 20-0. What a disappointment. And I don't know what I could have done differently to make it any closer. Not even 19-0. I just don't know. I'm only a game over .500 again, 5 games out of first, and 2 games ahead of 4th place in the division. And I have to face Randy Johnson, then Curt Schilling, then Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks in the next three on Friday. This weekend will feature some great symmetry, though, when my What If Mets play the What If Yankees, while the real-life Mets play the real-life Yankees. It's like back in 1994, when the Rangers and Knicks were both playing in Washington, one day after another and they were staying at the same hotel, and there were shots of the players as one was checking in and the other checking out. Sort of.
BEAT THE STREAK: A 2-for-4 for Miguel Cabrera, and I have a 2-gamer. I'll go with Ryan Howard against Matt Clement on Friday.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The story of the past few seasons for the Mets is that they haven't been able to drive home runs. They've been getting plenty of runners on, but they just haven't been bringing them home. So far this season, a much better season than any of the ones in recent history, that still has been the case. It's one of the few flaws of this team...but it's a major flaw, and one that could be costly. Granted, Mark Mulder pitched a great game, but the Mets had their opportunities, and they couldn't come through with the game on the line.
In the fifth inning, the Mets had David Wright on third base with one out. Kaz Matsui popped up, and Steve Trachsel didn't get him home, so he was stranded. Then the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, and Wright struck out, and Cliff Floyd grounded to first to end the threat (both outs came against closer Jason Isringhausen - who looked a lot better Wednesday night than I've been giving him credit for all year so far). The Mets just haven't been producing with runners in scoring position...it's tough to even say the runners were in "scoring position"- because they haven't been scoring from that position for the Mets recently.
A big of hindsight, which I questioned at the time. THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, doubled to lead off the ninth. Paul LoDuca came up and bunted the first pitch he saw to put Reyes on third, with one out. Part of me says, yes, bunt him up, then let Carlos Beltran* or Carlos Delgado get him home (the Cardinals pitched around Beltran* and hit Delgado). But I'm thinking at the same time, how LoDuca is one of the hottest bats in the lineup, and after coming through with the game-winning RBI on Tuesday night, all the Mets are talking about how clutch he is. He did a nice job getting the bunt down, on a high pitch, but with the Mets' potential firepower, I say let LoDuca swing away. I'm sure Willie Randolph was questioned about that move. But still - bases loaded, one out, the Mets should have at the very least tied Wednesday night's game.
It should also be noted that Steve Trachsel came through big time - pitching 7 innings of one run, 4-hit ball. The Mets need a lot more of that from him.
Day baseball Thursday. Jose Lima. Mets NEED to score some runs for him.
OTHER BASEBALL: I forgot to talk about this last night, but doesn't it seem like anytime the Rangers and Yankees play, one team is blowing a huge lead, and the other team comes back, and then they trade the lead a couple more times before one team wins in its final at-bat? Those games drive me nuts - it happens at least a couple of times a year with them.....
The Mets are getting a lot of help from Milwaukee - they blew a 2-run lead in the ninth against the Phillies - but Geoff Jenkins just drove home the winning run for the Brewers in the bottom half - so that's two in a row for the Brewers over the Phillies, and the Mets keep their 2-game lead....
The Marlins blew a ninth inning lead against Atlanta for the second night in a row, but right now, in the 11th, Florida has the lead again. Hope they don't lose it again. But I can't stay up for the end of that one....Well, won't have to - Chipper Jones just hit a game-winning homer. Ugh. The Marlins are brutal.
MEDIA NOTES: I just realized that I won't see the first two Yankees-Mets games this weekend. The Friday night games are on networks in New York. Then Saturday's is on FOX, and I'm 99% sure the Red Sox are playing opposite the Mets-Yanks....oops. Never mind. I should get to see Saturday's game...Red Sox are a night game.
Another SNY note - almost everyone on that station (at least two of the broadcasters, anyway) pronounce "Beltran" as though the "ran" is the past tense of "run". I'm 100% sure it should be "Belt-rahn". Or "ron". It drives me nuts - the station is run by the Mets, for crying out loud. Learn how to pronounce the star's name.
HAPPIEST I'VE EVER BEEN ABOUT A NON-MET: The Minnesota Twins did what I've been saying they should do since spring training...they called up pitcher Boof Bonser. With big-time pitching problems at the Major League level, the Twins sent down Kyle Lohse, and called up Bonser, who will start Sunday against the Brewers. What I did not know is that Bonser came to the Twins from the Giants, in the A.J. Pierzynski deal. Bonser is 3-2, with a 2.01 ERA, and 47 strikeouts in 49 innings at Triple A this year. The Twins, though, say this move is more about Lohse's ineffectiveness than Bonser's pitching at Rochester.
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets are going late too...must have been a rain delay or something...they trail Dunedin 3-2 in the 7th. I'll update that on Thursday. The Mets still have a 3-game lead in the division, with a 23-15 record.
LAST-PLACE LASTINGS: Welcome to the newest addition to the johnnymets.blogspot.com lineup. In the traidition of the "Wright Watch", "The Kid's Kids", and the never-named Boof Bonser tracking...I bring you "Last-Place Lastings", watching the performances of Mets prospect Lastings Milledge for the Norfolk Tides. The name of this feature is no reflection on Milledge himself, just that Norfolk is probably going to be in last place all season, and it's a catchy name. Milledge has been leading off for the Tides all year, and started off very hot. He must be struggling lately, because he went 1-for-3 Wednesday night, which actually increased his average to .279. I thought he was doing a lot better than that. From know on, we'll KNOW, thanks to "Last-Place Lastings"!
FANTASY UPDATE: Almost perfect...I won two out of three from the lowly Cubs. But I realize there is a definite need for a lights-out closer in this league - I won 11-4, then 11-8, and in game 3 I led 4-2 in the ninth, and lost, 9-4. Roger McDowell and Randy Myers are to blame. I really needed that sweep - and with Dwight Gooden starting, I thought I had it. Very disappointing. Sadly, if Armando Benitez shows up on the waiver wire, I'm going to have to grab him.
BEAT THE STREAK: Nomar got the hit in the final at-bat for me to start a new streak on Wednesday - I'm taking Miguel Cabrera on Thursday.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The Cardinals tied it off of Tom Glavine after 6, and Glavine was going to leave the game with a no-decision, when the Mets rallied with two outs in the 7th, and Paul LoDuca singled home Reyes, who had walked and then stolen second base. So the Mets put Glavine in a position to move within 19 wins of 300...and more importantly, win an important game for the team, when this happened:
So hopefully the bullpen doesn't blow the win on the team, or for Glavine. Bad enough for me this was an 8pm start - a rain delay makes it impossible for me to do a post-game blog. Good night.
ZAMBRANO/KAZMIR: Scott Kazmir won again for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, beating the Chicago White Sox, 10-7. The final score doesn't show how well Kazmir pitched - the Devil Rays gave up 6 runs in the 8th. Kazmir gave up just 1 run in 7 innings, striking out 8. Kazmir is 6-2, and his ERA is 2.73. I've kind of held my tongue for a while now on this whole Kazmir thing. I've been waiting to see a little bit of panning out...but Kazmir looks really good (and now it's not just when he pitches against Boston). And the Daily News reported Tuesday (and there's a VERY good chance this is a bit overblown) that Zambrano's surgery was more intense than they expected, and his career could be over. At the very least, it would be a risk for the Mets to even take him back next year. It's frustrating, because my thought was maybe Zambrano could contribute something, even if it was out of the bullpen, to the Mets' success. But the way it stands now (and this doesn't look like it's going to change) is that they got absolutely nothing for a legit pitcher. Who knows if Kazmir would be as effective in the Mets rotation (or if he'd be in the Mets' rotation right now...or if he'd be pitching this well, not having had the time to adjust to the Majors, like he did in Tampa), but he couldn't be worse than Zambrano, and at the very least, the Mets could have dealt him somewhere else and got someone worth a prospect like Kazmir. What an awful trade.
THE KID'S KIDS: A rainout for St. Lucie on Tuesday night. So the 14-5 loss to Dunedin will sting for another night. It should be noted, though, that Dunedin does lead the other division.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets are 20-19...and they're not picking up wins against the Twins and White Sox like I thought they would - splitting with both teams. But the last game was a 2-0 complete game shutout for David Cone. 3 games are next against the Cubs, who have been awful. I need to win all three. Jerry Koosman is the question mark - he'll start game one against Chicago - he's 0-5 right now. Then I have Seaver and Gooden - I should easily win those.
BEAT THE STREAK: Craig Biggio was facing a pitcher who had never beaten the Astros on Tuesday night. But Jamey Wright beat the Astros, and Biggio didn't get a hit, so back to no games for my streak. I'm going with Nomar Garciaparra on Wednesday.
Monday, May 15, 2006
It's only mid-May, but in many ways this is a make-or-break week for the Mets. They're coming off their roughest stretch of the young season against two good teams (the Phillies and the Brewers - it's also the first time all year the Mets have lost back-to-back series). Now it's 6 straight against two very good teams - among the Major League's elite (the Cardinals and Yankees). At the same time, the Mets have seen their lead in the division slip to one game over the Phillies...and once the Yankees series is over, the Mets will be hosting Philadelphia. The rotation is in a bit of disarray, and the Mets are not getting what they really need from their ace, Pedro Martinez*.
The good news is that after losing two out of three to the Brewers - including a very tough 6-5, 10 inning loss on Sunday - the Mets aren't down. That's a difference from previous years, where a drop like this would end the Mets' season. The Mets are realizing a few things right now:
- They're still the team in first place.
- It's early in the season - they're not going to win the division title in May.
- The season has ups and downs, and right now's a down - they're going to get back up.
It's very encouraging to hear the Mets talk like that, because that shows there's a winning mindset around the club, which hasn't always been the case.
But to keep that positive vibe going, the Mets need to take at least 2 out of three from the Cardinals...and then have a good weekend against the Yankees. One of the knocks on the Mets is that they built their early division lead against some poor teams (the Marlins and Nationals, primarily). The Mets managed to have a good West Coast trip, and have done well against Atlanta, but didn't take care of Philadelphia and Milwaukee like they should have. They need to show they can beat the good teams - starting Tuesday.
As for this weekend - it was not a good one. And I guess this is where I should answer my critics/friends (if you didn't see the comments, here's what was written - the first by Dave in Brighton, the second by the Southern Bureau):
"Yeah yeah yeah. We've seen it all before. JohnnyMets going strong, so long as the Mets are winning. Give them a 2-5 stretch and the posts dry up.We'll see you again when they host Pittsburgh in July."
First of all, there's no guarantee the Mets will beat Pittsburgh in July...in Pittsburgh or at Shea. I've logged a lot of miles to both places the past few years, and have seen nothing but L's when those teams meet. Secondly, I didn't post Thursday night because the game was called after I already turned off the computer, expecting a long rain delay and a late-night finish to the game. The joke was I was only going to write a half an entry, because it was half a game...but I didn't think the 4-and-a-half innings merited a posting. And now I'm recapping the weekend. So there.
Jose Lima is done. I don't want to see him pitch another game for the Mets. Jeremi Gonzalez can take that spot - he pitched well Saturday night, but I missed that game. Duaner Sanchez has suddenly imploded - he gave up 4 runs on Saturday night to cause Gonzalez to not get a win. And on Sunday, when the Mets needed Pedro* to go out and get them a win, he fell victim to the long ball again, giving up 4 runs on 2 homers, and the Mets went on to lose in 10 innings on a homer given up by Chad Bradford.
I forget if I addressed this before, but I don't know if I'm crazy with Willie Randolph's bullpen rotation. He always sets it up so that if there's an extra innings game, Bradford is getting multiple innings...and I don't think that's where he's most effective. He throws 60 miles an hour. The other teams are going to figure him out after an inning or so, and he's going to lose the game. I think they need a stronger arm that late in the game. That said, Willie has pushed the right buttons most of the year - most recently seen by getting Endy Chavez and Jose Valentin's hot bats into the lineup.
The Mets have been struggling getting runs home with runners in scoring position. This might be turning around, though, because the Mets managed to tie the game on Sunday in the ninth inning, with two outs, and a runner in scoring position. That's big. Especially with the game-tying run being driven in by Xavier Nady, who had been 0-for-17 with two outs and runners in scoring position before that hit. That might be the hit that keeps things going for the Mets in that regard.
And finally, during Pedro*'s outing on Sunday, I got to thinking. I wonder if he's the pitcher with the most scoreless innings of all time (or at least the highest percentage of scoreless innings of all innings pitched, since he hasn't pitched as many innings as many others). Here's what I mean - it always seems Pedro* has one bad inning (or two, like Sunday), and then is dominant the rest of the game...having stretches of retiring something like 9-15 straight, but losing in the game, 3-0. He must be up there - because that's been the story of his career - 7 innings pitched, 3 runs, with all the runs coming in the 2nd. Know what I mean? I wish someone would look that up. Also, so much for 27-0....another no-decision for Pedro* - I guess he'll have to settle for 26-0 this year.
COMMENT ON OTHER MEDIA: You know, I used to really enjoy reading Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy on ESPN. Then I turned...I don't know if I was jealous and figured I could do better, or if it just hit too close to home, or if he was getting too full of himself (I think that might have been it)...but I'm starting to enjoy reading his stuff again. I stumbled on a couple recently - one about a fantasy league he wanted to create using entertainment magazines, and another logging the Mike & The Mad Dog YES simulcast. Both were awesome, and very much in tune to my life. I might go back to reading him regularly...I just don't know if I have the time.
Funny thing about the fantasy league thing, though. It made me think of starting up my baseball pool this year (which I definitely should copyright), and how he'd probably enjoy it. But then I thought about how there have been years in my life where I'd think up an idea like that and not follow through on it, and let the idea whither away and die. Makes me wonder...maybe I have a book in me, yet. Also, it makes me feel like I'm really growing up, following through on creating a new baseball pool. That, plus the fact that I'm going to be a dad. Wow.
THE KID'S KIDS: The first update is that I am in possession of tickets to the Norfolk Tides-Pawtucket Red Sox game on Memorial Day afternoon. So I'll get an up-close look at Lastings Milledge (his numbers will start appearing here semi-regularly soon), and let you know about the other Triple-A Mets. As for The Kid's Kids, after an off-day on Mother's Day, the Mets got crushed by Dunedin, 14-5, on Monday night. The Mets are 22-15, still good enough for first place by a couple of games in their division.
As for Boof Bonser, his last start was Friday - he got a win, 2 runs in 6 innings, 8 strikeouts. I'm noticing some trouble in Minnesota.....Francisco Liriano is replacing Carlos Silva in the rotation while Silva works out some troubles....There's help in the minors, Twins!!!
FANTASY UPDATE: It's been a while since I updated the What if Mets, and not much has changed. Still hovering around .500, at 19-17, 3 GB. Time to gain some ground, though, because I have some weak competition coming up - the Cubs are giving up about 20 runs a game. The biggest news comes from the fact that Jose Reyes wasn't doing anything leading off, so I picked 1995's Brett Butler off waivers, and he's been on fire...hitting .343 in about 5 games. I'll keep you posted - I really need a winning streak there.
BEAT THE STREAK: I went with David Wright times 3 in Milwaukee, because he always hits well there. He only had a hit per game...but it's got me a 3-game hitting streak. Monday night was Mike Lowell against the Orioles. He tripled and homered, so the streak's at 4. I had a tough time picking a player for Tuesday night, but finally settled on Craig Biggio versus Jamey Wright of the Giants.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The Mets bounced back against Philadelphia Wednesday night in just about the best way they could have. They ended Tuesday night's heartbreaker with the Phillies scoring on a bad error. They began Wednesday night's laugher with a couple of runs off Phillies' errors...and then poured it on. They showed what they're made of - it was a great win. The Mets were the team we've seen all year....and the Phillies were the team they've been the past few years. All you need to see from this game is this:
What's not seen there is Tom Glavine's pitching line - 7 innings, 3 ER, 4 hits, 4 K's. The Mets need a night like that from Steve Trachsel on Thursday.
Jose Lima is going Friday in Milwaukee, Jeremi Gonzalez Saturday. Interesting nugget from Wednesday night's telecast - Lima is 10-0 in his career versus the Brewers.
BELL-Y LAUGH: Heath Bell is back with the team, having been called up when Bartolome Fortunato was sent down this week. Gary Cohen told a funny story about Bell when he got up to warm up Wednesday night. Bell was commenting on how close the fans are to the visitors' bullpen in Philadelphia, and he says he's the perfect target for them. He says (and I'm paraphrasing) - "They can make fun of my first name. They can make fun of my last name. I wear the high socks, they can make fun of that. And I look fat in the uniform."
THE KID'S KIDS: St. Lucie completed that 13-7 win over Fort Myers Tuesday night, and started a 4-game series at Sarasota on Wednesday. Three runs in the seventh, another in the eighth, and the Mets notched a 6-3 win over the Reds. E. Alfonzo picked up the save, pitching 3 nnings...I wonder if he's related to the other Alfonzo's (Edgar and Edgardo) the Mets have had in their system. The St. Lucie Mets have opened up a 3-game lead in their division, with a 21-11 record.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What if Mets won the overnight game, but that was the high point of the day. Looking for the 4-game sweep, the Mets got drilled by the Braves, 22-7. Then they lost game one to the Rangers, 10-5. I can't figure it out. My pitchers just don't respond sometimes. I do know I'll never pitch Jerry Koosman against Atlanta again. One more game against the Rangers, then I play the Indians.
BEAT THE STREAK: Conor Jackson got me a hit in his first at-bat (I like when they get it out of the way early), so it's up to a 6-gamer. I really like the way Carlos Beltran* is swinging the bat right now, so I'm taking him to make it 7.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
The Mets have lost their first big game of the year. The Phillies came into Tuesday night's game with an 8-game winning streak, just 4 games behind the Mets in the division. They left with a 9-game winning streak, and are now 3 games back of the Mets.
The game came down to two bad half-innings. Pedro Martinez*, the starter, had one - giving up 3 runs in the second. He came back nicely from that early struggle, striking out 10 over 7 innings, giving up only those 3 runs. He was spared a blemish on his record (staying 5-0...maybe he'll go 27-0 now) by the bats of Xavier Nady and Carlos Delgado.
Nady made it 3-2 with a 2-run homer in the top of the 8th inning off Brett Myers, who pitched very well starting for the Phillies. In the bottom half, Duaner Sanchez gave up his first run of the year, and the Phillies handed Tom Gordon a 4-2 lead. Paul LoDuca led off the ninth against Gordon with a single, though, and Delgado faced Gordon having just 2 hits against him in 30 career at-bats. He proceeded to homer, making it 3-for-31, and tying the game at 4, getting Pedro* and Sanchez off the hook.
Aaron Heilman was the man behind the second bad half-inning. He got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but then gave up a triple to David Dellucci, hit Jimmy Rollins, and walked Chase Utley. (Doug Eddings, the home plate umpire, started calling pitches that were strikes all night balls against Heilman. He also called out Kaz Matsui on a very, very high third strike to end the top of the ninth with runners on second and third, and in between innings, tossed Julio Franco, who was letting him hear it from the on-deck circle. I wonder if that had anything to do with his shrinking strike zone in the last of the ninth....in fairness to Heilman.) Anyway, bases were loaded for Bobby Abreu, and he hit a nubber in front of the plate. Heilman tried to play it instead of letting LoDuca get it, and Heilman threw it away. An awful play. And the Mets lost, 5-4.
This was not a great start to a 9-game road trip...the ace on the mound, problems in the pitching rotation - the Mets needed a win. But they can still get 2 out of 3 in Philadelphia - it's not time to hit the panic button yet. Tom Glavine goes Wednesday, and Steve Trachsel on Thursday. It's time for Trachsel to step up and be a good starter for the Mets. They need him to come through.
The good news - the end of the week, when the back end of the rotation is scheduled to pitch, the Mets will be in Milwaukee. And there's something about that park - the Mets' bats really seem to come alive there.
SNY: Everyone's favorite network had a 3-man booth Tuesday night, with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez together. They did very nice together. I'm not sure whether or not this is the first time they did that, because I missed a lot of SNY games at the beginning of the year - but the three worked very, very well together.
Also...'Simply Amazing' is coming soon on SNY - not sure if it's a one-time show about the '86 Mets, or a series about them...but it's definitely about the 1986 Mets, so that'll make it worth watching.
PEDRO* OFF THE FIELD: For those of you who ignored the link left in the comments section by Dave from Brighton....Pedro* likes to garden. And there's nothing wrong with that. I don't have anything close to a green thumb. Matter of fact, I am a plant murderer. So I have no problem with Pedro*'s ability to keep such a beautiful garden. (You might say I'm green with envy.) It's true what Jeff Wilpon says - the abstract thinking Pedro* shows in his garden is what helps make him such a good baseball player. I might have a small problem with Pedro* talking to his flowers though - he's quoted in that article as asking one of his flowers, "What about you, beauty? Aren't you going to grow up to be so pretty?" That's going to get back to him on the baseball field.
MAIL TIME: Steve from Queens is back, talking about the Victor Zambrano injury:
I have heard rumors of a possible Zito for Lastings Milledge trade. I have also heard that the Mets brass have said they are not trading their prospects for anyone. Now, given the Zambrano fiasco (I think his injury is a blessing in disguise), I understand why the Mets would never want to trade a prospect for anyone out of fear of another flop. But, wouldn't it make sense to make a trade for a guaranteed #2 starter for the next few years for someone unproven in the Bigs? how about Willis for Milledge? The Mets are a team that is trying to win the Series this season. Milledge will not be in a Mets uniform this season unless catastrophe strikes the outfield. What do you think?
Steve from Queens"
Steve - I heard someone call into the pre-game show on Sunday asking if the Mets would get Zito now. I think as the trading deadline approaches, rumors like this are really going to pick up (look for the rumor regarding Washington's Zach Day to pick up steam, as well as all kinds of Dontrelle Willis scenarios), especially if the Mets are struggling because of their lack of pitching depth. For now, I think we're going to see Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez get some long looks. (Gonzalez is at Norfolk right now - he's pitched for the Cubs, Devil Rays, and Red Sox. His numbers at Norfolk - 35.2 innings, 31 hits, 9 walks, 30 K's, 3.03 ERA.) The problem is, neither one is going to be the solution for the rest of the year.
I think by mid-to-late June the Mets will make some sort of deal to get a pitcher. Nothing major, but an upgrade over what they have now in the back end of the rotation. (This might happen sooner if Brian Bannister doesn't come back as scheduled.) I don't think the Mets are going to raid the farm to try to get a number 5 starter for this year, because I think they'll be able to survive with what they have this year. I'd expect in the off-season that there will be another push for Zito. But I don't think Lastings Milledge is going anywhere....and I don't think Dontrelle Willis will end up with the Mets.
A SMALL REMARK ABOUT DEATH: I don't know what I'll be remembered for when I go (although awesome baseball writer will probably figure prominently in the obituary somewhere), but when I die, I hope nowhere in my obituary does it say "Pinch-runner for midget". That's what it says on ESPN.com about Jim Delsing, who passed away at age 80. Delsing played for the St. Louis Browns when Bill Veeck sent Eddie Gaedel up to the plate. Gaedel, a midget, walked on 4 straight pitches. I guess Delsing was the guy sent in to run for Gaedel when he reached first base. Now Delsing has died, and that's what he's remembered for. That's too bad. I'm sure Mr. Delsing did much more in his life than pinch-run for a midget. I'll send him off with a baseball tribute, anyway.
Jim Delsing, a major league outfielder for 10 seasons with 6 different teams, died of cancer last Thursday. Mr. Delsing was a career .255 hitter, playing for the White Sox, Yankees, Browns, Tigers, Senators, and Athletics. He hit a career-best .288 with Detroit in 1953, striking out just 39 times in 479 at-bats. Once, he pinch-ran for a midget. Mr. Delsing is also the grandfather of soccer player Taylor Twellman. James Henry Delsing was 80 years old.
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets are still playing as I write this - but I'm going to pencil them in for a win. They broke a 6-6 tie with a 7-run 8th inning, and lead, 13-6. More tomorrow.
FANTASY UPDATE: The Mets are 10-8, having won 4 out of 5, and 7 out of 10. They also took 2 straight against the division rival Braves. The most exciting game of the day was the first of the series against the Braves, when the Mets scored 4 times in the ninth off none other than John Rocker to notch a come-from-behind victory. Robin Ventura again had two home runs. We're 3 games behind the Nationals, tied with the Phillies, a game ahead of the Braves (only 4 teams per division).
BEAT THE STREAK: Edgar Renteria extended his own hitting streak, and mine, with a first-inning double. Then the game survived an early rain delay, so my hitting streak is up to 5. On Wednesday, I'm taking a flyer on Conor Jackson of the Diamondbacks - he's 2-for-2 in his career against Paul Maholm of the Pirates...he's actually the only player on Arizona who's had a hit off Maholm. All it takes for me is one.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Wagner* is persona non grata in Philly because he said last July that the Phillies didn't have a chance to make the playoffs (they finished only a game out of the wild card), and said his teammates quit when they got behind in games. (So far I don't see anything there that could be called untruthful.) Anyway, those comments allegedly resulted in Wagner* being called a "rat" in the clubhouse. Then, Wagner* said that he didn't feel his teammates supported him down the stretch...implying that they wanted him to fail.
Hmm. Interesting stuff about Wagner*. He's looking more and more like the type of closer that will blow his share of saves (obviously), spend some time on the DL, and stir up more controversy. I'm starting to change my mind about him as the guy who will win the Mets the World Series...now, to me, he's looking like a guy who won't blow the Mets' chances at winning a World Series, like Armando Benitez did.
The Mets are in Philadelphia for 3 games starting Tuesday. Phillies manager (THE MANAGER!) Charlie Manuel says, "Bring on Billy boy."
ANOTHER THING THE OFF DAY FORCES ME TO DO IS THIS: Have you seen the picture of Pedro Martinez* (he deserves to have the asterisk dropped - but it's a superstition thing now) on the Mets website whenever he is pitching? It looks like he's in 10th grade.
METS MAKE PITCH FOR GLAVINE: The Mets restructured Tom Glavine's contract on Monday night, adding a player option for 2007. I'm not exactly sure what this means, but I think it means they'll take him back next year, if he chooses to stay. But he has the option to go elsewhere. I think.
MEET THE METS: I heard on New York sports talk radio this weekend that there's a song about this year's Mets that's stirring up a little controversy in New York. Fans don't like it or something. I'm not sure what that's all about - I haven't heard it, I didn't know such a song existed. But I heard it mentioned once during Friday night's game, and once on a Sunday morning show. It came up during the game because in between one of the innings the Mets played "Meet The Mets" over the PA speakers, and the fans went crazy. Mets fans love that song...and I've been saying for years (since I've started this blog) that the Mets need to bring it back. (It was a staple at Shea during the Mets' glory years in the '80's, and well before that - back to the inaugural season.) Anyway, it must have been the first time the Mets did that all year, because of the way Howie Rose was talking about it...and he said the Mets should do it again because of how well-received it was. That's when he mentioned this other song.
I say - who cares about another song. The Mets have a song. It's called "Meet The Mets". It's great. Bring it back to Shea immediately - for the rest of this year, and every year for the rest of our lives.
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets fell to the Fort Myers Miracle, 4-1, on Monday night. Apparently, the Twins have pitching prospects throughout their system. We all know about Boof Bonser - but the Mets were shut down by Matt Garza, who may be moving up in the minors pretty soon. Garza is 5-0, with a 0.92 ERA - he pitched 8 innings, giving up just one run, and striking out 9. You just don't get this type of stuff on these other Mets blogs. Speaking of which......
OTHER METS BLOGS: I was watching the weekly Mets show on SNY this weekend. I believe it's aptly called "Mets Weekly". They actually have bloggers contributing - commenting on the Mets. I don't know if they consider it a "voice of the fan" type thing or what - but they just have these schmoes (is that a bad word? I hope not. I try to keep it clean here.) talking about the team. Why haven't they asked me to contribute?? They're probably mad because they missed the boat on the whole "official blogging partner" thing.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What if Mets are now 8-7, tied with two other teams for second in the division, 4 games behind the Nationals/Expos (who have finally lost a couple - now 12-3). The Mets have won 7 out of 10, and Gary Carter has his average up over .300. Joe McEwing is having a great start to the year, and Robin Ventura continues to be awesome. Tuesday there will be a morning game wrapping up the series with the Phillies, then the first two of four against Atlanta, one of the teams in the division I'm tied with.
BEAT THE STREAK: Vernon Wells had a hit against the Angels, so the streak is at 4. Tuesday night it's Edgar Renteria. He's 0-for-11 in his career against Brian Moehler, but I have a feeling he keeps his 23-game hitting streak going for at least one more game.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Another weekend sweep of the Braves in sight, another hardy beating by Atlanta. But it's OK, because the Mets still have an 8-game lead in the division.
The problem is, the problems are starting. Victor Zambrano tore a ligament in his elbow on Saturday, and will miss the rest of the season. Here's the problem with Zambrano's elbow. This has been bothering him for a while now. A couple of the other players knew about it, but no one in management knew. And two pitches before Zambrano came running off the mound, mid-inning, in pain, he looked Willie Randolph in the eye and told him he was OK. Even though, on Sunday, he told the media he was not OK at that point. There are going to be major consequences because of Zambrano's stupidity.
- The most important consequence is that the Mets are in a hole with their rotation. In the past few weeks Brian Bannister, his replacement, John Maine, and Zambrano have all gone down with injuries. Bannister is almost eligible to come off the DL, but the Mets don't want to rush him back from his hamstring injury. Maine went on the DL just before Zambrano, with a finger injury, and Zambrano is out for the year. Jose Lima was just OK replacing Zambrano (5 runs in 5 innings...but this was not an ordinary outing - more on that later), and he'll probably get another start. The Mets are also big on Jeremi Gonzalez, who has been back and forth between majors and minors the past couple of years. It does not look like the Mets are going to mess around with their bullpen - they like the roles everyone is in there, and they won't be pulling guys out of the pen (like Darren Oliver or Aaron Heilman) to fill in for the injured starters.
- I call Zambrano stupid because while the Mets were concerned about his hamstring all this time, he was having elbow problems, and he kept his mouth shut. The Mets would never have let Zambrano go out there if he had said something, because they don't want to jeopardize his health. The problem here is that Zambrano was already on the verge of losing his job, just because of the whole fact that he was underperforming, and he was the guy they traded Kazmir for....but he still should have said something.
- Zambrano is supposed to be ready to come back by the beginning of next season. But the wild card is that this is an elbow Zambrano has had trouble with before - so it's not automatic that he will respond well to a second surgery. Also - do the Mets even want him back? Everytime he pitches, he carries with him the label "disappointing Mets trade". And now, does Randolph trust him? Zambrano lied to Randolph's face about his health, so why should Randolph believe anything Zambrano says in the future? He's opened up quite the can of worms.
The rest of the weekend wasn't so bleak. Both Friday night (Happy Birthday to my sister!) and Saturday afternoon the Mets came from behind to hand the Braves disappointing losses. And Saturday, with Randolph wanting to rest both Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner* (I can't believe he's gone this long without an asterisk...he clearly deserves one), Jorge Julio got the save. It wasn't the easiest save, but he got the save, and that's progress. It's also progress that Randolph would trust Julio in that type of situation, and get a positive result.
Also, Carlos Beltran* has homered in 3 consecutive games. It's not 2004's post-season Carlos Beltran yet....but he's certainly better than the 2005* edition.
The Mets have an off-day Monday, then they head to Philadelphia for 3.
FROM THE MOUTH OF THE WIFE: I forgot to mention this - but remember earlier in the week when Willie Randolph got thrown out of a game for arguing a called strike three call against David Wright? Well, the cameras kept cutting back to Wright in the dugout, steaming. Keith Hernandez (or Gary Cohen, I forget who) says, "And David Wright is hot. He's HOT in the dugout." The Wife, without missing a beat, says, "Yeah, he's hot." But I'm OK with it.
ALSO KEEP FORGETTING TO MENTION: When we were in San Diego, the Padres batters, like most other teams, come to the plate with their own music playing. Adrian Gonzalez, playing 1B that night, has by far the best music in the Majors when he comes to the plate. Not sure what it was that was playing, but it was catchy. And, since it was a 14-inning game, we heard it 6 times! He's only 23, so hopefully he keeps that music throughout his career. If the Padres are on TV, and they're home, and you have a chance to watch, and Gonzalez is starting - try to catch one of his at-bats. That's my public service announcement for the day.THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets are expanding their lead in the division. They beat Fort Myers on Sunday, 9-6, to improve to 19-10 on the year. They're now up by 2 games over Palm Beach.
Elsewhere in the minors, Boof Bonser took the loss as Rochester lost to Pawtucket, 5-2. Bonser gave up 3 earned runs in 6.2 IP, striking out 6, walking 3, and giving up 8 hits. His overall season stats are still impressive - he is just 2-2, but he has a 1.87 ERA. Still better than a lot of the Twins' major league pitchers.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What if Mets are back to .500...but it was a battle. They're 6-6- Dwight Gooden is 2-0, and leads the league in strikeouts. Robin Ventura is amazing, at the plate, and I think I may have figured out a way to tell if my guys are going to beat the opponent. I feel pretty good about the way my lineup is right now. I'm playing the Phillies for the next 4 games - my first division opponent. 6-6 is relatively good in the league - but I'm in the toughest division - including the Nationals/Expos, run by Kevin from Wilmington, who started 0-1, and rattled off 11 straight wins. So I'm wondering if he's really good, or if the teams he played are really bad. I'll find out when I play them, I guess. That can't happen soon enough - I'd love an 11-game winning streak.
BEAT THE STREAK: This will be controversial - David Wright was my Sunday pick, and he was hitless until his last at-bat, when he hit a fly ball that the center fielder dropped. It was ruled a double. So my hit streak is at 3. But I don't know what will happen when, in the coming days, that is turned into an error, which it has to be, and Wright's hit is taken away. I wonder how that affects beat the streak. Anyway, Monday, I like Vernon Wells' career numbers against Jeff Weaver, so he's the pick.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The Mets completed their sweep of the short two-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates with a shutout, winning 6-0. Tom Glavine went 7 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and a walk, and striking out 10! He's now 4-2 on the year, picking up career win number 279. Glavine's defense failed him at times (David Wright committed his sixth error), but he pitched out of a couple of bases loaded situations to maintain the 1-0 lead he pitched with all night.
The Mets were stifled by Paul Maholm (pronounced Ma-hall-um, weirdly enough), who held them to one run in six innings. But they broke through in a big way against the Pittsburgh bullpen, getting 5 runs in the 7th inning to break the game open. Xavier Nady delivered the big blow with a 3-run homer - he had a 4-RBI night. Also, David Wright's slump can officially be declared over. He went 4-for-5, and ends the night with a .302 batting average, up from as low as .275 early in the night.
Willie Randolph keeps pushing the right buttons - he decided last night to rest Nady, and started Endy Chavez, and he had a great night. Thursday night, Nady's back, and he has 4 RBI. It's looking like one of those seasons where things go right....Except for those 3 blown saves by Billy Wagner. Oh well, I guess Pedro* will have to settle for 28-0.
Friday night begins a weekend series with the Braves at Shea. By the end of the weekend, the Mets and Braves will have met 9 times already.
THE KID'S KIDS: Look who's alone in first place again. The St. Lucie Mets beat Palm Beach on Thursday night, 3-1, to take over sole possession of first place in the division. They're 17-9, a game ahead of Palm Beach, two up on Brevard County.
BEAT THE STREAK: It's always a gamble taking those power hitters. The walks are what kill me. Nothing doing for David Oritiz, so I'll try to get something rolling with A-Rod Friday night in Texas.
FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Sports Mets are 1-2 after a day of baseball. The game seems a bit random, though. I played the Reds in Cincinnati for three games. In the first game, Tom Seaver '78 beat Tom Seaver '72, and I lost 12-4. In the second game, Dwight Gooden went the full game (throwing 173 pitches - oops - I fixed my pitch counts for the future), striking out 15, in a 14-4 win. (Robin Ventura had a grand slam - pretty accurate game! Gary Carter also homered.) But I lost the last game 14-1, with Pedro Martinez (*) on the mound. I need to figure out how to get the pitching to be good. The Giants are the next opponent, on Friday.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
It's nights like this that I hate the idea of a closer. (And that's just me saying that. Imagine how Pedro Martinez* must feel - story of his career, in microcosmic form, Wednesday night at Shea.) Billy Wagner didn't have it - you could see it from his first pitch, which went on to become a walk to his first batter, then 2 runs, blowing the save. Part of this could be the bad weather, but it's also the way he's been pitching lately - allowing too many baserunners (it brings back bad Looper/Benitez/bad Franco memories).
The sad thing about this is that early on, it looked like Pedro* was going to get robbed of 6-0 because the game was going to be over too soon. The rain was awful, and it seemed like the game was on the verge of being called early. But the game lasted into the sixth, when the Mets broke a 1-1 tie, and took a 3-1 lead. Pedro* was the pitcher of record...and the game lasted all the way until the ninth, when Wagner blew it. And then it continued.....into the 12th, when Carlos Delgado won it with a walk-off homer leading off the inning.
The pessimist looks at this game and says the Mets blew a lead in the 9th to one of the worst teams in baseball. The optimist says this is the type of game the Mets lost last year, after blowing a save and a sure win (and also notes that the Pirates have been a tough out this year). The optimist also looks at Endy Chavez's contributions, again starting in right field - going 4-for-5, and coming up with a game-saving headfirst diving catch in the 10th (or maybe 11th) inning, with a runner on.
The best news I can offer about this game, before I go to bed, is that in awful, wet conditions at Shea, nobody got hurt, and better weather is on the way. And the Mets won.
THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets had an off-day Wednesday (seems like their first one all year), but won Tuesday night, beating Palm Beach, 4-3. That's three wins in a row for the Hall of Famer's team. It also moves the Mets into a first place tie with Palm Beach, at 16-9, a full game ahead of Brevard County.
FANTASY SPORTS: The What If Sports season gets underway Thursday morning. (There are three games a day - morning, afternoon, and night). The season starts at Cincinnati, including a game one matchup featuring Tom Seaver versus Tom Seaver. I should know how the 3-game series turns out by tomorrow night's posting.
BEAT THE STREAK: I had a sinking feeling when I logged onto the MLB website that I wasn't on that website yesterday. Alas, I had forgotten to make the Beat the Streak after I declared my David Wright pick here. Wright had a hit, snapping his 0-for-17 slump, but he might as well not have. Oops. At least I didn't lose a streak because of it. Still on 0, I pick David Ortiz to rock one off of Josh Towers to get me started.