Saturday, June 23, 2007

296... Put It In the Books!

Now that's more like it. Mets win last night 9-1, and for the most part, they have Glavine to thank. Not only did he pitch a gem, but he went 2 for 3 from the plate, including a 2-run single in the 6th that put the game well out of reach.

So kudos to Glavine and the rest of the squad. Homers by Beltran and Shawn Green. Ahhh back to normal. We hope. Here's the game recap. Holla back.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tonight's Lineup

Lo Duca

I like it. Nice to see Lo Duca where he belongs, in the 2 hole. Good balance all the way through. Glavine needs to step up tonight, a win will do wonders for his psyche. DiNardo (A's starting pitcher) hasn't lasted more than 6 innings in a game since being moved into a starter's role so the Mets have no excuse not to get to him. Hopefully the turnaround begins tonight.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Damnnnn Ginaaaaa!

So anyway I was sitting home yesterday watching one of my favorite shows, Martin, starring Martin Lawrence. It just so happens that I have every show on DVD and occasionally break it out whenever I need a good laugh.

Anyway, in one of my favorite episodes, Martin can't find his new CD player so he goes on a witchhunt trying to figure out who stole it. He interrogates all of his friends and prances around the room with this fake dog of his. Then, come to find out, Bro'man from the 5th (4th, 3rd?) floor had it all along.

So what does this have to do with the Mets? Absolutely nothing. Although one could argue that a.) the Mets are just as comedic right now and b.) watching the Mets lose over and over again is like watching repeats of a '90s sitcom. After a while it gets old. As a matter of fact, the fake dog in that Martin clip showed more signs of life than this listless group. When will the madness stop?

So anyway the Mets lose 6-2 after taking a 2-1 lead early on in the game and then giving it right back. Torii Hunter is obviously looking to get paid big time, hitting the go ahead homerun off of Ollie P., continuing what has to be a career year for the impending free agent (can you say new Yankees center fielder?). The Twins never looked back after that.

This is the 6th straight series loss for the Mets and yet they still hold the lead in the N.L. East. So to say that they have been ridiculously lucky during this stretch is an understatement. To put this in context, NO TEAM has ever lost 6 consecutive series during the season and went on to win the World Series. So it's not looking good right now for the Mets to say the least.

Enough with the past, let's move on to the future. Up next, the Oakland A's. Let's go Mets. Game recap here. Holla back.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sloppy Thirds...

This sums up last night's game pretty well:

For more on last night's debacle, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Timely Hitting

There is difference between getting a base hit and a timely base hit. Just like there is a difference between batting .275 and a batting a soft .275. Hitting a home run when you are up 10 to 1 means nothing. But hitting a home run when the game is tied in the bottom of the seventh inning changes a game. That has been A-Rod's big knock against him. He produces when it doesn't matter. But that home run he hit against Papelbon in the final game of the last Red Sox - Yankee series was huge for the team (I was actually at this game and had the best seats I have ever had). They have since gone on a tear. This is a perfect example of timely hitting.

Timely hitting is not an area the Mets have excelled in recently, which has contributed to their bad run. Not scoring a guy from third base with less than two outs is an example of untimely hitting. Last night was a little different. Ledee's RBI single in the 4th was with two outs. And LoDuca's RBI single that brought in two runs to give Maine some breathing room came with 2 outs and on an 0-2 count. Hopefully the Mets can turn the corner and get hits in big spots.

Dayum, Rick Ankiel Is A Beast!

Yo Mets fans, remember back in 2000 when the Mets faced the Redbirds in the NLCS, and a young pitcher by the name of Rick Ankiel, who had been dominate all year basically, walked to the mound in Game 2 and promptly uncorked 5 incredibly wild pitches out of 20 and was yanked out of the game. Dude had a major case of Steve Blass disease, even worse than Knoblauch or Steve Sax. Remember that guy?

If not, here's a refresher:

Well it looks like that guy, Rick Ankiel, has somehow magically channelled the spirit of Babe Ruth and has turned into a pretty darned good hitter. Dude was converted into a center fielder and at Triple A right now for the Cardinals, he is hitting .286 with 19 homeruns, which leads the Pacific Coast League. That's crazy.

I say good luck to Ankiel, it was hard watching him struggle like that against the Mets back in 2000, I genuinely felt sorry for the guy.

(OK so what's the over/under that the first time he has a play at the plate, he throws the ball into the left field bleachers instead?).

Holla back.

Maine Man

John Maine proved once again why that trade Omar made, giving up Benson for Maine and Julio, has to be the biggest coup in the last 5 years. OK maybe the third biggest (Kazmir for Zambrano is #1, Nady for Hernandez and Oliver Perez a close #2). He shut down the Twins last night, lowering his ERA to 2.90, good for 6th in the NL and 9th in all of MLB. That's damn good for someone who was only considered to be a throw in in the Nady trade.

Delgado's bat showed some life last night but I'm still not convinced that he's on his way to snapping out of his slump. He went 2-4 with a homer and got robbed of a hit by left fielder Jason Kubel who looked like he ran from like Jersey City all the way to Times Square to make a diving catch by the foul line. He covered a ton of ground. I can't even front, that was a hell of a catch.

The Mets bats were all alive last night, racking up 15 hits and 8 runs. Back to normal I hope.

So the Mets win but let's face it folks, they were supposed to win last night. Show me something tonight against Johan Santana and I'll give 'em some props. Game recap here for anyone who missed it. Holla back.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Interleague Play

Originally, I was not a fan of the wild card. I like the tradition of baseball and I liked having only division winners make the playoffs. It gave the regular season more meaning. But now that I see the amount of excitement generated by the wild card races and playoffs with an extra round, I am a supporter of it. On the other hand, I was a fan of interleague play when it was first introduced. I loved the idea of the Mets playing the Yankees and even the Red Sox. There was excitement in those matchups. There were also other matchups that were fun to follow like Angels-Dodgers, Indians-Reds, White Sox-Cubs, KC-St. Louis, Oakland-SF, Texas-Houston, and now Baltimore-Washington. These provide friends that live in the same area with a friendly rivalry. Every year, you could look forward to seeing who would get the bragging rights for the next year. But unlike the excitement of the wild card growing on me, the excitement of interleague play has diminished.

Is there anyone excited about watching the Pirates play the Yankess? Or the Reds play the A's? How about this weeks exciting matchup of the White Sox and the Marlins? The only series that matches it in excitement is the Diamondbacks-Devil Ray matchup. Seriously, who the hell is watching these games other than home team fans and fantasy geeks (I am included in this category).

And I haven't even gotten into what interleague play does to competitive balance. The Mets will become the first team ever to play all playoff teams from the prior year. Outside of the Cardinals, all the teams are pretty good this year. They also have to play the Yankees 6 times, which doesn't mean as much this year as in years past, but you get the point. I would much rather play the geographical rival for one three games series and then play the rest of the same division in the other league. Interleague play in its current form is a classic example of too much of good thing becoming a bad thing.

What do you guys think?

Buehrle and Lidge To The Mets?

According to the Star Ledger in New Jersey, the Mets have inquired about both Mark Buehrle and Brad Lidge in recent days. Though the players they were willing to trade were not disclosed, one would have to think any potential deal starts and ends with either Gomez or Milledge.

Milledge or Gomez for Buehrle? I'd have to give that serious thought. Buehrle is only 28 and is a lefty. Edge (we all know how much I love the kid) is still an unproven commodity at this point as is Go Go Gomez. So the case can be made for trading Milledge or Gomez for Buehrle.

But check it out... as constituted now, the Mets, even with all of their recent struggles, are still 1 1/2 games in front of the Braves. Once the team heals up, and the middle of the order gets their act together, they should win the East or at least snatch up the wild card. This team is entirely too good not to.

So here's the problem in trading for Buehrle. Buehrle is a free agent after the year, and many are guessing that he may want to pitch for his hometown Cardinals. He may even give them a "hometown" discount. So it seems like he knows where he wants to be and it ain't Shea or Citifield.

That, my friends, is reason one why I say don't trade for him. It's essentially the same situation as last year when people were calling for the Mets to trade Milledge for Zito. Trade a player who could play in your outfield for the next 15 years for a 4 month rental that doesn't guarantee anything? Please. I'll pass.

I know, I know... nothing is guaranteed and both Milledge and Gomez could both turn out to be busts (can someone say Alex Escobar?). But I'd rather take two $380,000 gambles than a 9.5 million prorated gamble on a #3 starter you may only have for 4 months and probably have to sign to a $90 million contract just to keep (especially with the market for pitchers being what it is nowadays).

As for Lidge, I can't possibly see the Mets trading Lasto or Gomez for him. Right now he's a setup guy trying to find his rhythm as a closer again. On this team, he's a setup guy. Setup guys do not covet your top prospects. Now if it were Roy Oswalt...

Humber for Buehrle? Maybe. Gomez or Milledge? Hell to the naw. Holla back.

Are the Mets Showing Their Age?

I wonder if the Mets are showing their age right now. Hernandez (37?), Valentin (37), Green(34) and Alou (40) have all been to the DL and all of them are are well into their 30s. Delgado. who turns 35 in a week, has been struggling all year and Glavine (41) is also stuggling right now. Also, Pedro (35) has been on the DL all year. And I haven't even mentioned Julio Franco, who is turning 49 in August. Did you know that he was born in 1958? Age will be a major factor going into the dog days of summer. Hopefully, the team will be healthy in August and September.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Drinking the Kool-Aid...

From Sunday's game on ESPN...

Joe Morgan: "I think Perez pitched great, but Roger Clemens pitched even greater"

Whoa did I miss something Friday night? If I remember correctly, Ollie P. pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings. Clemens gave up two runs including a blast to Jose "Hovito" Reyes. Seems to me like O.P. had the better night.

Over at Mets Blog, they also picked up on the broadcasters lack of knowledge and had these interesting stats when comparing Perez to other lefty pitchers.

This isn't the first time or only time Morgan showed his blatant Yankees bias. How many times did we have to listen to Morgan basically "Lewinsky" Derek Jeter last night.

Joe Morgan (paraphrased): "Jose Reyes is a good exciting player but until he wins 4 rings he'll never be on the level of Jeter"

Joe, last time I checked, baseball was a TEAM sport. Did Derek Jeter pitch in any of those playoff games? How many games did Jeter close during their run? Jeter, just like Paul O'neil, Tino Martinez, Mariano Rivera and Posada... was a really good contributor to a championship team. He was not THE ENTIRE TEAM.

So, if Hovito is lucky enough to have a good supporting cast around him that pitches well, plays defense and hits in the clutch, then maybe he too can win multiple World Series. But the notion that Jeter is better simply because he has rings is ridiculous. Robert Horry has 7 rings, does that mean he's better than Charles Barkley or Karl Malone? Exactly.

Joe Morgan is definitely drinking that Bronx Kool-Aid. That project Kool-Aid with the extra sugar. Holla back.

Gomez the Anti-Milledge???

Came across a blog piece over at the Staten Island Advocate which states how Carlos Gomez is the anti-Lastings Milledge.

Hmmm not sure how I feel about this one. Has Go Go Gomez capitalized on his time in the Majors? I think so. Did Milledge? Probably not as much as he would have liked but his time in the Bigs last year showed him what he needed to do to be a big-leaguer. Plus people forget, Edge is ONLY 22. I was more than encouraged by the steps he took in the offseason to change his image and fit with the team (rap-lyrics not included). Plus he was smoking the cover off the ball in the preseason which is a great sign.

And remember, it took injuries to both corner outfielders and to Milledge himself for Gomez to even get a look. He plays significant time because Chavez and Alou are both out. Lasto made the team out of spring training but never had the opportunity to play because everyone was healthy. How can you capitalize without getting a chance?

So while I don't entirely disagree with the blog writer, I think labeling the kid as the anti-Milledge is a bit unfair to Lastings. It implies that Milledge did something wrong and I'm one of the few who believes Milledge is getting a bad rap (pun intended) from many fans for reasons I may discuss at a later time.

But anyway, I love Gomez, I love Milledge, and I hope both can stick with the team. Question is, if Fernando Martinez turns out to be the truth, who gets bumped out?

It's a great position to be in if you're a Mets fan, I tell you that. Holla back.

295... and counting

Just some short thoughts on yesterday's game.

First off, Mets lose 11-8. Glavine is still stuck on 295 and by the looks of things, he'll be there for a while. Sorry but a 84 mph fastball with no location is the thing of A-ballers.

The thing is, Glavine is his worst enemy right now. The Mets are giving him leads in these ballgames, he's just giving them right back. He's really starting to look old.

For a minute I thought maybe, just maybe the Mets would pull it out in the 9th. Mets get the bases loaded, then Gomez hits a single off Rivera's leg, followed by another single up the middle by J-Hova, Jose Reyes.

So the stage is set, Mets down 11-8. Bases loaded. Beltran at the plate. And what does he do?

First pitch, pops out to end the game.

Now what bugs me most about this is that the guy has been staring at first pitches right down the middle for about 2 weeks now. Balls he could have easily crushed. So he picks THIS situation to finally swing at one, a cutter from Mo. Not to mention, he probably should have taken a page from Reyes' book and hit righty against Rivera since THE WHOLE WORLD knows that Rivera is tougher on lefties. So to sum it, Beltran sucks.

Delgado got a few meaningless hits today but nothing that leaves me convinced that he's anywhere near getting out of his slump.

Don't look now, but Go Go Gomez is hitting .275 with 7 steals in 69 at bats. That's only 5 steals behind Jimmy Rollins and a 50 steal pace for an entire season. The future looks really bright for him.

So next up is Wang vs. El Duque. Rubber match. All I can say is... let's go Mets!

Here's the game recap. Holla back.