Thursday, April 3, 2008

Best Baseball Video Game I've Ever Played

For you baseball fans with Playstation 3s, I strongly suggest walking down to your nearest Best Buy, Gamestop, Walmart or wherever you buy your video games from - and do yourselves a favor and pick up MLB '08 The Show. Simply put, this game is the most realistic baseball game I have ever played. It's sick.

For starters, the graphics are amazing. The stadium recreations are top notch and the player movements are as real as they come. For example, if you play a game at Shea, there are cranes working on a half-done CitiField in the background. Sick.

It actually really FEELS like you are playing a baseball game, which is why I like it so much. Not since Baseball Stars on NES have I enjoyed playing a video baseball game.

Check out the YouTube video below and you'll see what I'm talking about. I apologize in advance as the vid shows Pedro and the Mets losing to the Braves (which we all know will never happen lol). Notice how Pedro's windup and pitching style is recreated EXACTLY in the game. Sick.

For a collection of reviews for the game, check out MetaCritic. Holla back.

Ollie P. In The Place To Be

Ollie P. in the place to be. Which is number 3 in the rotation. Last night's line? 6 IP, 5 hits, 0 runs, 8 K's, and most importantly - 1 walk. You can pretty much look at the walk column in the box score everytime Perez pitches and find out how that game went. 2 or less walks, great day for Perez. Anything over that and well... let's just say the shower got some early use that night.

So the Mets win 13-0 over the Marlins who are looking more and more like a AAAA ball club. No starting pitching whatsoever and only 1 real threat in their lineup - Hanley Ramirez. So while we should all be encouraged by the showing the Metropolitans have put up so far, you still have to put it in perspective.

Big nights last night from the entire lineup, with both the Golden Boy David Wright and Ryan Chuuuuurch going 3-5 with a homerun. Carlos Beltran had a monster night with 3 doubles and Angel Pagan continues to impress, going 2-4. Great performances all around.

Click here for the postgame wrapup, courtesy of SNY.

So Ollie P. did his thing. Which is a good sign coming off the heels of the hamstring injury from hell. Holla back.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ripple Effect

Well, one of my worst fears has come true. Pedro is on the DL for at least a month. The question I have been asking myself is what is the ripple effect of Pedro's injury. 
  • Rotation Depth - I mentioned before the lack of rotation depth the Mets have and how that may be an issue for the team. While I am ok with Pelfrey as a fifth starter since that starter does not pitch in the postseason, I am not crazy about him as the number four. Also, El Duque is not someone we can rely on to be healthy. And with the trade for Santana, the Mets do not arms that can step in from the higher levels. No we have question 4th and 5th starters.
  • Possible Impact on the farm system. How will Omar address this issue?  Will he can go out and trade another young player for a fifth starter. That may be a bit costly considering the lack of talent at the higher levels of the farm system. I am not crazy about trading the young arms at AA. 
  • Attitude - I have said it before. Martinez brings a certain level of nastiness that this team really needs. It was missing last year and was a big factor in the collapse. The Mets will need this if they expect to be contenders. 
We will not see the full effect of this injury until we know how Pelfrey will respond and how El Duque bounces back. Hopefully the lineup will pick up the slack and score some runs. But this is not how I wanted the season to start.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pedr-Ohhhh Noooo!!!!!

Most sane Mets fans knew this would eventually happen. But second game of the season?

After tossing a curveball to Marlins catcher Matt Treanor, Pedro Martinez immediately grabbed his left hamstring and began pacing around the mound.

Preliminary reports have it as a strained hamstring and he is listed as day-to-day. I suspect, however, that after the MRI his status will be changed and not for the better. Even Pedro himself said he heard a pop. Not good.

Well Mets fans, nothing is perfect. We knew going into the season that avoiding injuries would be an important factor in the overall success of the club. Unfortunately, the Mets are the 2nd oldest team in the majors and right now, it really shows.

Second game of the season and I already need 2 aspirin and a shot of whiskey. Sheesh. Holla back.

What A Debut!

Mets fans, this is why we got Johan Santana. The guy is straight up nasty!

In case you've been hiding under a rock the last few days, the Mets won their opening game for the 30th time in team history. In fact, the Mets have the best opening day record in the history of baseball, posting a 30-17 record in these games.

Click here to watch the SNY postgame wrapup of the game

Here's another interesting fact - Johan Santana is the first pitcher that the Mets acquired who made their first start in a Mets uniform on opening day and then went on to win that start. Hope I didn't confuse you with that one.

And what a debut it was! 7 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts, 2 runs (on a homerun by Josh Willingham after a horrible non strike call), about 50 silly-looking swings... I mean what more could you ask for?

Who else had a good debut? Well kudos to Ryan Church and Angel Pagan who both made major contributions yesterday. Church provided a clutch RBI hit off left-handed starter Mark Hendrickson, which is a welcomed sign for Mets fans. If Church is going to be the everyday right-fielder he HAS to hit left-handed pitching. So far so good.

Luis Castillo played the table-setter role to a tee yesterday with a hit and a couple of walks. D. Wright was well... D. Wright. 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, yada yada yada. So all in all, it was a promising evening for Mets fans and hopefully a sign of what's to come.

I heart Johan Santana. Holla back.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mets vs. Braves - Who Has Better Pitching?

Ok so I've been listening to all of the "analysts" do their best Ms. Cleo impersonations over the past few days and something struck me as odd. It seems like everyone over at ESPN has a crush for Larry and the Braves and most are citing their lineup and "deep" pitching staff. Ummmmmm unless I'm on a different planet, I just don't see this pitching depth that they all speak about. Let's examine the Mets pitching staff vs. the Braves pitchers:


Mets - Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey/El Duque

Braves - Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Mike Hampton, Jair Jurrjens/Jeff Bennett

Johan vs. Tim Hudson? Ok we all know that Johan is the best pitcher on the planet. So a check goes to the Mets immediately.

Pedro vs. Smoltz? Smoltz is good when healthy... as is Pedro. And if Pedro pitches like he did in spring training then watch out. They're both aging future hall of famers who know how to pitch and still have the stuff to back it up. I'll call this a wash.

John Maine vs. Tom Glavine? Tommy is a savvy vet but Mets fans got a chance to watch both of these guys pitch all of the time last year and right now, Maine is the better pitcher no question. Check goes to the Mets.

Ollie P. vs. Mike Hampton? You're kidding right? I know Ollie P. can be erratic but even so, he still won 15 games, was 9th in the NL in ERA with a 3.56 mark and struck out a batter an inning. Plus he totally pwns the Braves. Another check to the Mets.

Mike Pelfrey/El Duque vs. Jair Jurrjens/Jeff Bennett? I'm going to give this one to the Braves by default. Jurrjens has shown a lot of promise. And admit it Mets fans, Pelfrey has been a bit of a disappointment and El Duque will probably be injured for half of the season. That alone gives the Braves an edge.

Let's tally the score:

Mets 3, Braves 1. So the only thing the Braves has on the Mets when it comes to starting pitcher is that their 5th guy may be a little better than the Mets' 5th guy. Ooooooooh I'm scared lol.

Ok so the Mets win with starters hands-down. But what about the relieving core? Let's take a look:


Braves: Peter Moylan (R), Manny Acosta (R), Will Ohman (L), Chris Resop (R), Blaine Boyer (R),

Closer: Rafael Soriano (R)

Mets: Aaron Heilman (R), Pedro Feliciano (L), Scott Schoeneweis (L), Jorge Sosa (R), Joe Smith (R)

Closer: Billy Wagner (L)

I know the Mets relief pitching was horrible last year, especially during the infamous collapse. But for a good portion of the season, Pedro Feliciano was one of the better middle relievers in all of baseball. Aaron Heilman is certainly serviceable and if Schoeneweis getrs on the HGH again he may be able to regain his form. And say what you will about Wagner, he's still one of the better closers in baseball. As for the Braves, their closer Soriano is good but he doesn't have a track record yet as a bonafide closer. So Wagner gets the edge there. Point to the Mets.

Now i admit, I don't know much about the Braves middle relievers, but from what I have seen so far, they should be at least on par with the Mets middle relievers. And since the Mets middle staff performed so horribly during the end of last season (I'm still traumatized), I'm inclined to give the Braves the edge. Check to the Braves.

So that makes it Mets 4, Braves 2. The only places where the Braves outperform the Mets are at the 5th starter position and with their middle relievers. Oooooh I'm scared lol.

As you can see, the "analysts" rationale that the Braves have "deeper" pitching is really off-track. But it's ok, we'll see in September who has the better staff when Glavine is on the mound for the Braves with a playoff position on the line and Johan is on the hill for the Mets wrapping it up. We all know how well Glavine performed in the same spot for the Mets last year. Lol. Holla back.

Let The Santana Era Begin

Honestly, I have been waiting forever for this day to come. Ever since "C-Day" (collapse day) occured last September 30th, I have been trying to put the 2007 season behind me. And while the acquisition of Johan Santan left a smile on my face, the stench from the biggest collapse in regular season baseball history still had me holding my nose.

But now all of that is officially in the past. The Mets kick off the season today at 4:00 in Miami against the $18-million dollar payroll Florida Marlins. Think about it - Johan Santana's salary for the season ($19 million) is greater than the entire payroll for the Marlins. That's sick and I blame the Marlins more than I blame any of the other big market teams. Simply put, if you can't afford to field a team with a payroll over $18 million, you shouldn't be in the big leagues competing with the big boys. Sell the team, move or something.

Okay back to the Mets. El Duque will start the season on the DL with Moses, I mean Moises Alou. Sorry but I mistake him for Moses as both are probably the same age by now. And seriously Mets fans, did you not see this coming? Makes the Milledge trade look even more suspect now.

With Duque on the mend, Mike Pelfrey, who had a roller coaster spring training (and that's being generous), will get the nod as the 5th starter. Good luck young fella you're going to need it.

Ruben Gotay will be the backup sec.... wait a minute... ok WTF Omar!! You let Gotay go for NOTHING? To make room for Brady Clark? Gotay may not have been the best fielder in the world but in 98 games he still hit .298 and provided pop as a switch hitter off the bench. AND to make matters worst, the Braves (who every "analyst" on ESPN seems to have a crush on this year) picked the guy up off of waivers. So you just KNOW letting Gotay go will eventually come back to haunt them. Fernando Tatis? Brady Clark? Yuck.

So here's the complete roster for Opening Day. Also, make sure to check out Notre Rican's breakdown of the roster:


Pedro Feliciano
Aaron Heilman
John Maine
Pedro Martinez
Mike Pelfrey
Oliver Perez
Johan Santana
Scott Schoeneweis
Joe Smith
Jorge Sosa
Billy Wagner
Matt Wise


Raul Casanova
Brian Schneider


Luis Castillo
Carlos Delgado
Damion Easley
Jose Reyes
David Wright


Marlon Anderson
Carlos Beltran
Endy Chavez
Ryan Church
Brady Clark
Angel Pagan

Today we get our first glimpse of the season and what Johan Santana can provide. All I can say is... LET'S GO METS!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day is Here

The opening day roster has been been set. The Mets came into spring training with very few open spots. So there aren't many surprises. The good thing is that for an old team, they have come out of camp pretty healthy.

The Good
  • Santana, the best pitcher on the planet, is our opening day starter. The September collapse does not happen with a true ace on the roster.
  • Pedro is healthy and better than he has been in a couple of years. While his pitching is important to the team, its his personality that matters most. The Mets sorely needed a killer instinct last year, which Pedro provides.
  • Beltran looks to be healthy after off season surgery.
  • Maine has had a great spring and looks like he may be able to be the pitcher he was in the first half for the entire season.
  • It looks like the Mets farm system is not as bare as people claim it to be. While they are short on talent at the high levels, their lower level prospects look pretty good. Lets see how they develop over the course of the year.
  • Joe Smith making the team. I think he has the potential to be a good set up man and he gives the team a different look out of the bullpen.
The Bad
  • Depth in the starting rotation. The trade for Santana has left the Mets with very little depth in the rotation. If Pelfrey does not step up and El Duque stays injured for the majority of the year, there is no one else to turn to.
  • Injuries. Alou, Sanchez, Castro and El Duque all start the year on the DL. Delgado and Martinez will probably spend some time on the DL over the course of the year.
  • No depth at first. With Delgado's age the Mets needed to get someone who can log at bats at 1st.
  • Pagan as your starting left fielder. I don't understand how Endy has not earned a shot at being a regular when there is an injury. While I think he is a better player coming off the bench, he would be a better short term answer to Alou's injury with his speed and defense.
  • The loss of Gotay to the rival Braves. This is one of those moves that come back to haunt us. Lets hope the Mets know something that the Braves don't.

All this being said. If Reyes returns to pre-Septmeber form and the front four in the rotation stay healthy, the Mets are the team the beat in the NL East and are a solid contender to make the World Series.