Archive: April 15th, 2008

Game 12: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 0

Maybe he’s the stopper after all.

Mike Pelfrey was absolutely outstanding, throwing seven shutout innings. He positively dominated the Nationals hitters, pounding his 94+ MPH fastball inside incessantly, moving batters off the plate and breaking about a half-dozen bats. His heavy sinker stayed low in the zone and induced a plethora of ground ball outs. Big Pelf used his slider sparingly, just enough to keep the Nats from sitting on the fastball.

Meantime, it was the Late Night with David Wright show — all the scoring came courtesy of David “MVP” Wright, who hit a two-run homer and two RBI doubles. At the end of the night, Wright drove in five and scored twice.

Aaron Heilman threw a shaky but scoreless eighth, and Duaner Sanchez — who came off the DL prior to the game — pitched a nearly-perfect ninth.

Notes

The weekend’s rest seemed to have rejuvenated Jose Reyes, who nearly hit for the cycle, and showed no signs of the hamstring scare that sidelined him. Reyes “settled” for a four-hit game, smacking two singles, a double, and a triple.

Of particular note was Pelfrey’s ability to work out of jams early on. He got himself into a few tough situations that could have gotten ugly quickly, but he kept his cool and his confidence and went right after hitters with his fastball. In the past his body language would change and he’d start nibbling around the corners with his slider — pitching defensively. In this game he remained the aggressor, challenging batters to hit his fastball.

Duaner Sanchez looked OK, not great, with his velocity similar to what we saw in Port St. Lucie — in the high 80s, topping out at 91 MPH. Most importantly at this juncture, he looked healthy and comfortable and was throwing strikes. Whether he ever gets back into the 94-96 MPH range remains to be seen, but with his nasty assortment of sinkers and changeups, he may not need the velocity to once again be an effective setup man.

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Happy Tax Day

Dollar sign painting by Andy WarholYes, I will be one of the idiots rushing to see my accountant, wincing at the figures I owe, then rushing to get envelopes postmarked before the extended-hours post office closes. Hope most of you were smart enough to get your returns in early and are able to laugh at people like me.

Besides being “tax day”, it’s also Jackie Robinson Day, which means everyone on the Mets will be wearing #42. This is a nice gesture, but it sort of complicates the old line, “… you can’t tell these guys without a scorecard”. Luckily we are overwhelmed by media images of our beloved Mets in this day and age, to the point where most of us can identify Carlos Muniz at the Queens Plaza Flea Market.

Today is also the birthday of Jeromy Burnitz, one of those rare two-time Mets. Not rare among two-time Mets is the fact we was awful in both stints. Still, I enjoyed watching Jeromy in his second go-around, particularly for his hard-nosed play, hustle, and the ability to hit the ball harder than anyone else during batting practice. That whole one strikeout every three times up thing, though, was a bit disturbing.

Finally, on this day in 1979, the Mets signed a slick fielding, 15-year-old shortstop named Jose Oquendo. Yeah, you got that right — he was 15 years old when the Mets discovered him in Puerto Rico. Oquendo made it to the Majors four years later, at the age of 19, and was supposed to be … well, the player Jose Reyes turned out to be. Although the first Jose was an incredibly gifted shortstop with a rifle arm, Oquendo was initially such a terrible hitter there was talk of establishing an “Oquendo Line” just hair above the “Mendoza Line”. The Mets shipped the good-field, no-hit shortstop off to St. Louis for a bag of balls, and he immediately became a good-hit, no-field supersub who was put into several positions just to get his bat into the lineup. Go figure.

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