Mets 6 Tigers 2
Yeah, it’s only spring training, but it’s nice to say your team beat the 2012 AL Champions and their ace starter Justin Verlander.
Mets Game Notes
Jonathon Niese looked fairly sharp, pounding the strike zone and working both sides of the plate. His velocity was all over the place, partially due to tinkering with a change-up — which I’m happy to see. The curve, though, was unusually slow — in the low 70s. Not a big deal, and not indicative of anything, just making a note.
On the other hand, bullpen candidate Gonzalez Germen didn’t look so hot. His velocity is average — about 89-90 MPH — and he can’t throw a fastball with movement that stays in the strike zone. He threw several balls out of the strike zone that had sink, but, that’s not enough. His breaking stuff was below-average — fairly flat and generally finishing above the batter’s knees. Perhaps it was a bad day.
Bruce Rondon is a big, big man with a big, big fastball; he was flirting with triple-digits on every fastball. He looked like he was working on his off-speed stuff, but he still looked fairly difficult to hit.
Loved seeing Justin Turner spit on two of Rondon’s 98-MPH fastballs, then line a 100-MPH heater into right field to start off the fifth-inning rally. Turner may not be the most skilled ballplayer, but he has no fear and does not lack confidence.
Brayan Pena is an awful catcher — to the point where I don’t understand how he’s in the big leagues. This may sound terrible but I hope he has some kind of injury, because his throws to second base on steal attempts were so bad there’s no other acceptable explanation. He’s a career .248 hitter with a .635 OPS, so he’s not in the bigs for his offense, either. How he’s been in MLB for 8 years and made $875,000 in salary last year is one of the world’s great mysteries.
Wilmer Flores‘ slow feet were exposed on a routine grounder in the seventh inning, which he played into what was generously scored as an infield single. Lucky for him, SNY was in the middle of a riveting interview discussing facial hair with Justin Turner so no one noticed or commented.
Speaking of, throwing sunflower seeds at a player during a TV interview is funny the first time. When it’s a constant seed shower every time, it kind of loses its comedic effect. What would Kirk Gibson do if he were the victim of a sunflower seed assault?
Collin Cowgill got another extra-base hit, lofting a pinch-hit double off the base of the left-field wall in the seventh. He’s red-hot, but that’s nothing new — he hit .396 with a 1.017 OPS in 53 plate appearances with the Athletics during 2012 spring training.
Matt den Dekker struck out only once in four at-bats. Baby steps.
Lucas Duda was a late scratch due to a “minor medical issue,” whatever that means. It was embarrassing or private enough to keep a secret. Hemorrhoids? Hangnail? E.D.? The clap? Maybe it’s a mental health thing; those tend to be taboo (which is a shame for society).
What did you see? Post in the comments.
About the Author
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.