Good Signs

A lot of good came out of Tuesday night’s game in San Diego.

Among them:

  • all-out hustle from everyone, for the first time in a while
  • being extremely alert and aware and taking advantage of little mistakes by the opponent — i.e., Valentin taking second on a ball in the dirt, Valentin and El Duque stealing on Peavy
  • the reappearance of “small ball” — for example, Shawn Green bunting the runners to second and third with none out in the eighth
  • taking first pitches as a rule, rather than exception
  • deep counts, long at-bats, wearing out the starting pitcher
  • Carlos Beltran hitting to the opposite field
  • the Mets tacking on runs throughout the game, keeping the heat on and continuing to score through the ninth inning
  • an overall sense of focus, urgency, and a distinct “edge” (not sure how to explain it, but the team just looked more interested in playing and winning than they’ve had)

Also of Note

  • Chip Ambres finally was promoted. The guy has been destroying the ball in AAA over the last month and a half. He takes Damion Easley’s spot on the roster (Easley was placed on the bereavement list as he has a family illness) and may get a few pinch-hit appearances.
  • Jose Valentin had several deep counts, a big hit, and was running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Wonder if Ruben Gotay’s batting average and extra pregame workout was the inspiration?
  • Mets prospect Corey Ragsdale

  • Doesn’t matter much to the big club right now, but eternal enigma Corey Ragsdale — a former first-round pick — is being converted from shortstop to the pitcher’s mound (I’d post the link to Baseball America, but it’s a pay/subscription site). Ragsdale’s greatest tool has always been his arm, and he’s struggled to stay above the Mendoza Line his entire pro career.
  • Did you see anything else? Did I miss anything? Leave your comments, thanks.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Micalpalyn July 18, 2007 at 9:09 am
    mornin all;

    just a few blurbs;
    a. That was THE best win in ages. everything about it had an aura, 7runs, the 3 runs off royce, CB’s two hits. Now Gotay doesnt have to carry the offense. (insert smile here).

    b. Chip ambres. Chip per Yahoo, ios one of TWO first rnd pick OFers at NOLA. (negron). The nice thing is he rem reminds me of Endy in that he might be a late bloomer. What i REALLY like is he can play all OF positions, and without moving Millz, he can sub beltran late, or just give CB a day off as Endy did in april. Could he be an Endy or Melvin mora? That too would be nice, didnt Omie sign Melvin (out of korea/Thailand).

    c. Two real tidbits tho that have me gushing: HOJO making the team take extra BP, and Willie talking to CB in the cage. Wow, willie trying to reconnect. I really think the karma with the team is coming together.

    d. Its been kinda buried but the fact glavine has rolled off 3 wins and is now 2 away from 300 has eased alot of pressure too Obviously with 2 wins to get the team knows it WILL happen and soon.

  2. Micalpalyn July 18, 2007 at 9:19 am
    Addendum: You and i have battled over the bench roles. I believe newhan might be released/optioned when Easley or Alou come back. Easley is the better hitter. What is still lacking is the universal supersub. In the 17 inning game we saw Reyes-Wright-CB et al play the whole game, while Garner was double switching, shifting etc.

    For example: One jeff Keppinger as played 3B/SS/2B and OF and currently seems to be growing into a future super joe.

    as for small ball….I’d like to see a big blast.

  3. joe July 18, 2007 at 9:58 am
    I was excited about Chip when the Mets invited him to ST … unfortunately, no one else noticed the guy, including the Mets brass.

    Good points on Willie reconnecting and the newfound karma, and on Glavine’s quest for 300 under the radar.

    I will continue to battle you re: the bench roles. My question to you is, how is Easley NOT the supersub?

    Easley plays 2B-1B-OF, and can play SS/3B in a pinch (but won’t ever need to, we hope).

    DWright and Reyes will NEVER be part of a double switch, nor be pinch-hit for. Same with Beltran, and probably Delgado. So the sub only needs to play outfield and second base — and there you have Easley.

  4. JIMMYJ723 July 18, 2007 at 10:42 am
    Sorry to be the one to rain on our parade but there was one thing that bothered me last night….

    Lastings Miledge swinging away at every pitch. It seems like everyone (except Wright) that comes up in our minor league system is that way (ie. Reyes and Gomez). It also seems that none of them have been taught how to bunt. It sad to see that our best bunter is a pitcher that came up in the Braves farm system.

  5. joe July 18, 2007 at 11:02 am
    Aggressive hitting is typical of most young players, not just those in the Mets farm system (except, of course, in the Oakland organization). Gomez is from the school of “you can’t walk off the island, but you can hit your way off”.

    The bunting issue is an excellent point — other than Glavine (the best bunter of all time), the only guys who can be counted on to drop a SAC bunt down are Gotay, LoDuca, and now maybe Green. It galls me that guys like Easley, Newhan, Valentin, and the youngsters can’t do something so simple. It’s akin to free throws in basketball — the only way to be bad at it, is to not practice. All it takes is an extra 2-3 minutes a day in BP, but nobody does it.

    LM’s issue last year was swinging at everything. Gomez started that way but began to be more disciplined the more he played. Hopefully Milledge will progress similarly.

  6. Micalpalyn July 18, 2007 at 1:11 pm
    U R missing my point (?), The only player who des not have a bonafde relacement s DW. franco played 3rd/1st.

    neither Easley, valentn nor Gtay plays 3rd.

  7. joe July 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm
    Easley has played over 170 games in his career at 3B, Valentin over 180. All three have played shortstop.