Browsing Archive May, 2009

Mets Game 49: Win Over Marlins

Mets 3 Marlins 2

In what’s getting to be a habit at Citi Field, the two starters locked horns and set down batters in a 1970s-like pitcher’s duel.

John Maine allowed only three hits over six shutout innings, striking out five, outdueling Marlins starter Chris Volstad, who was nearly as impressive though his first six but ran out of gas in the seventh.

The Mets played small ball in scratching out a run against Volstad in the third, then pounded two doubles in the seventh to score two more. All three runs came home on doubles — by Angel Pagan, Fernando Martinez, and Omir Santos.

J.J. Putz made things interesting in the eighth, allowing two runs, but Bobby Parnell came in to save the day.

Francisco Rodriguez struck out three batters in the ninth to notch his 14th save, which ties him with Heath Bell for the MLB lead.


The Mets collected seven hits on the day, and four of them were doubles.

Only 7 of Putz’s 17 pitches were strikes. If he continues to pitch poorly, we may soon have to refer to the deal with Seattle as “the Jeremy Reed trade”.

Parnell has quickly developed a legitimate slider, which is keeping batters honest and has the effect of a changeup compared to his 97-100-MPH fastball. He threw three in a row to strike out Jorge Cantu with runners on first and third in the eighth.

Angel Pagan left the game after hitting a double and straining his groin. John Maine left the game after getting ill. Carlos Beltran was a late scratch due to a stomach bug. Brian Schneider was an early scratch due to Omir Santos.

The Marlins have five pitchers who are 6’6″ or taller, and three that are 6’4″ – 6’5″. So who plays point guard?

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin a grueling, 4-game series in Pittsburgh against that intimidating juggernaut known as the Pirates. Monday night’s opener begins at 7:05 PM and pits Livan Hernandez against Ian Snell.


Mets Game 48: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 3

This one was over before it started.

Jerry Manuel threw up the white flag during the pre-game lineup exchange at home plate, handing over a card left over from a split-squad Grapefruit League game. Carlos Beltran in the third spot was the only recognizable part of the lineup.

Similar to his last start, Tim Redding struggled in the first inning, allowing two runs. Unlike his last start, Redding didn’t get any better from there. By the time he hit the showers, the Fish touched him for 7 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 4 frames.

The fatal blow came off the bat of Jeremy Hermida, who hit a 3-run homer in the fourth to put the game away.

Meantime, Marlins starter Josh Johnson continued his dominance of the Mets, going 7 innings and allowing just two runs on five hits.

The B-Mets staged a mini-rally in the ninth off “closer” Matt Lindstrom, but it was too little, too late.


Not only is Wilson Valdez the best-fielding shortstop since Ozzie Smith retired, but he has a sweet short stroke, as evidenced by his base hit off flamethrower Matt Lindstrom in the ninth inning. His presence could push Jose Reyes to the bench — or AAA — when he comes off the DL.

Fernandog Martinez collected his first MLB hit in the third, a ground ball to the right of second base. He also collected his second later in the game. He and leadoff hitter Angel Pagan went a combined 4-for-8 with a walk, a run scored, and 2 RBI.

Hermida, a career .500 hitter vs. Redding, had three hits and five RBI on the afternoon.

It can’t be fun to be Fredi Gonzalez. Even with a five-run lead in the ninth inning against a Mets club that is playing its second team, AND has the bottom of the lineup coming to the plate, he has to go to his closer to insure a victory — and even then, the closer can’t get three outs!

Next Mets Game

The rubber match takes place at 1:10 PM on Sunday. John Maine pitches (really, he does this time) against Chris Volstad.


Opportunity for Mets – Yankees Tickets

yankees_logoAccording to MetsBlog, you can go to now through June 4th to register for an opportunity to purchase tickets for the “subway series” between the Mets and Yankees at the end of this month.

To be clear, this registration places you into a random drawing for an opportunity to buy tickets. It’s the same process by which one would purchase playoff tickets.

For the record, I am SO GLAD I have no interest whatsoever in attending any of these games. To me, going to a Mets-Yankees game is like going to an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day — too many raucous, belligerent drunks in too small a space, and whoever doesn’t want to punch you in the nose is simultaneously spilling beer and high-fiving you in an attempt be your best “bud”.

But hey if you’re going, have a great time. I hear the corned beef and cabbage is amazing.


Ramon Castro Traded to White Sox

lance-broadwayAs had been rumored, catcher Ramon Castro has been traded to the Chicago White Sox in return for RHP Lance Broadway.

The deal cements Omir Santos’ place on the 25-man roster as the current backup to the returning Brian Schneider. Manager Jerry Manuel, however, said that although Schneider would get the bulk of the playing time “at first”, he would more or less have to perform to remain the regular backstop.

At first glance, the trade appears to be a good one for all sides. The White Sox get a slugging righthanded-hitting catcher to platoon with A.J. Pierzynski, the Mets make room for Santos while also ridding themselves of a player in need of constant motivation, Castro gets a chance to play for a manager who will push him, the Mets get a young middle reliever to add to their AAA depth, and Broadway goes to an organization that may have more use for him than the one he’s leaving.

The White Sox have good depth in their bullpen, leaving little room and patience for the 25-year-old Broadway, who has struggled in his short stints in MLB over the past three seasons.

However, Broadway was the 15th overall pick in the 2005 draft, and as recently as last January was Chicago’s #2 prospect according to Baseball America. He is a tall Texan who can throw four pitches for strikes, but his velocity rarely gets above 90 MPH. If he can ever find consistent command of those four pitches, he would project as a Greg Maddux type of pitcher. The White Sox gave up on him as a starter, and though he remained one as a minor leaguer, he’s since been projected as an MLB middle reliever. I’m not sure how that will pan out, as it’s tough to pitch in that role as a junkballer. In any case, he’s being sent to Buffalo, and we’ll find out soon what plans the Mets have for him. My guess is they’ll plug him into the rotation at first to get a good look at him / give him innings to show what he can do.

The Mets did send cash back to Chicago, though the amount was undisclosed at press time.

As David Lennon tweeted, Broadway has a good name for New York City.


Mets Game 47: Win Over Marlins

Mets 2 Marlins 1

Omir Santos has officially tied the hands of Mets management.

Santos has been Joe Hardy-like in his first two months as a Met, getting one after another clutch RBI and walk-off hits. In this game, he drove in both runs, creating a situation where Mets management cannot Chip Ambres him back to AAA when Brian Schneider is activated on Saturday.

Santos hit a solo homer in the fifth to tie the game, and drove in Gary Sheffield from third base in the bottom of the 11th to give the Mets the win.

Sheffield led off the inning with a walk, and the 40-year-old stole second, and proceeded to third when the catcher’s throw sailed into the outfield.

Mike Pelfrey was outstanding, pitching 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing only five hits and a walk, striking out 6.

However, Pelf’s effort did not return him a win, as rookie Sean West matched him pitch for pitch. West went seven, allowing four hits and a walk.

Pedro Feliciano, who threw six pitches to get the final out in the top of the eleventh, was awarded the victory.


Not much to say. It was a fairly crisp, clean, quick game, mainly due to the strong pitching performances. Well, it was quick until it went into extras.

Pelfrey is quickly evolving into a legit #2 starter, meaning, he can slot into most rotations around MLB in that role.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Marlins do it again at 1:10 PM. John Maine faces Josh Johnson.


Castro To Be Traded?

With Brian Schneider on the mend, and possibly re-joining the Mets this weekend, Adam Rubin reports that the Mets are seeking to trade Ramon Castro, keeping Omir Santos as the backup.

Great. Except, what team is looking for an overpaid, overweight, underachieving backstop who can’t stay healthy? And what in the world are the Mets going to get in return, when the other teams know full well that the Mets can’t get rid of Ramon fast enough?

Call me crazy, but the Mets may be forced into demoting Santos, at least for a week or so, to showcase Castro and/or hope that someone’s catcher goes down with an injury. Yeah, I know, Santos is like the next Johnny Bench and all, but when it comes right down to it, is he SO much better than Castro that the Mets should eat Ramon’s contract?

A quick look around MLB tells me that the following teams MIGHT be interested in Castro’s services: Yankees, Rockies, Tigers, Nationals, and Blue Jays.

** UPDATE ***
There is a rumor that the White Sox are talking to the Mets about catching. Certainly, Castro would be a nice platoon partner for AJ Pierzynski, who is currently caddied by the .210-hitting Corky Miller. Getting Wilson Betemit in return would be nice for utility purposes, but I’d be happy if the Mets were able to get at least LOOGY Jimmy Gobble.


Mets Acquire Emil Brown

emil-brownThe Mets have traded a player to be named later to the Padres in exchange for veteran outfielder Emil Brown.

This may not be huge news now, but it could become important later in the season, if either a Mets outfielder suffers an injury or is traded (read: Ryan Church).

The 34-year-old Brown will be assigned to AAA Buffalo. He hit .244 with 13 HRs with the Athletics last year. Generally speaking, he’s a free swinger who crushes lefthanded pitching, but overall is a low OBP, high-strikeout hitter with a little bit of pop and average running speed. He hits from the right side and plays good defense in either corner, often flashing a fairly strong throwing arm.

Considering the dearth of talent available in Buffalo, this was a necessary pickup.


Mets – Marlins Quick Preview

marlins-logoThe Mets host the fish this weekend for a three-game set, but just as important, the Phillies are facing the Nationals. In cavernous Citi Field, most of the fly balls of Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and other sluggers in the Washington lineup were simply long outs, thereby castrating Connie Macta’s main offensive weapons (did you know that Washington is tied for second in the NL in homeruns with 53?). Deprived of the long ball, the Nationals’ poor pitching and questionable defense became exposed — it’s hard to win with Moneyball tactics in a big stadium, where athleticism and speed rule.

But in Citizens Bank Park, where routine flies regularly coast over the wall, the Nats have a fighting chance, even against the phightin’ Phils. Washington can make errors and give up runs, but their ability to get on base and wait for three-run homers is the ideal strategy in CBP, and should keep them in the game. In other words, don’t expect the Phils to sweep the Nats — and if they do, they won’t be able to do it as easily as the Mets did.

That’s the good news for the Mets. More good news is that the Mets are facing the Marlins, who have been reeling (or is it reeled in?) since late April. Opening Day starter