Archive: June 26th, 2009

Mets Game 72: Loss to Yankees

Yankees 9 Mets 1

Not a great evening for Mike Pelfrey, nor the Mets.

Focusing on going the other way, the Yankees pounced on Pelfrey in the second frame, and the defense behind him resembled the Keystone Cops, as four runs — two unearned — crossed the plate in an inning that was one hit away from complete disaster.

Pelfrey allowed four hits and a walk in the frame, while David Wright, Alex Cora, and Nick Evans all made key errors to give the Yankees a lead that would never be threatened.

Pelf did settle down after the second, retiring nine of the last ten batters he faced, but the damage was done. Down by four with C.C. Sabathia on top of his game, the Mets had little chance to mount a comeback.

Sabathia did not allow a hit until the fifth frame, when Gary Sheffield led off with a line drive bullet into the left field stands. By the time he left the mound, Sabathia threw seven stellar innings, allowing only three hits, one run, no walks, and striking out eight.


Although only four runs crossed the plate, the Mets were completely devastated in the second inning. Pelfrey in particular lost his cool, and the team as a whole looked tense, confused, or beaten for the remainder of the game.

During that fateful second inning, Mark Teixeira ripped a rocket of a ground ball right at Nick Evans, which Evans mishandled, allowing Brett Gardner to score and Teixeira to reach first safely. What’s interesting is that even though the ball was hit so hard and directly to Evans, Teixeira nonetheless busted it out of the box. Since the ball only bounced a few feet away from the bag, there’s no way Teixeira would have been safe had he not hustle all the way. So in two straight series, he demonstrated to Mets fans what good can occur when players go all out, all the time.

In the top of the seventh, with Alex Rodriguez on first base, Robbie Cano hit a liner to left field that was stretched into a double when Fernando Tatis did not make a direct throw to second base. The SNY crew couldn’t figure out why Tatis didn’t throw to second base, but had we seen a wider view of the field, we would have seen that cutoff man Alex Cora had positioned himself between Tatis and third base, as A-Rod was going from first to third. So I would guess that Tatis was somewhat confused about where to go with the ball, since he doesn’t play left field very often and in that split second decided to get the ball to the cutoff man.

Elmer Dessens and Sean Green combined to allow 5 runs out of the bullpen.

No one in the NL East won this evening, so the standings remain status quo. Does anyone want to take this division?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Yankees do it again at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Tim Redding faces A.J. Burnett. Those outside the NY-Metro area can see the game on the MLB Network or listen on XM 183, while us locals have the choice among WPIX, YES and WFAN.


Series Preview: Mets vs. Yankees Part Deux

yankeeslogoThe crosstown New York Yankees traverse into Flushing to face the Mets for a three-game series this weekend at Citi Field, putting an end to the blasphemy known as “interleague play” for the year. Each team comes in to the series settled in second place in their respective divisions, with the third- and fourth-place followers biting at their coattails. That said, this weekend means more than TV ratings for MLB and ticket revenues to the two teams (or does it? according to reports none of the games are sold out).

Game one: Mike Pelfrey (5-2, 4.74 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (6-4, 3.71 ERA)

Sabathia was pulled out of his last start in the second inning due to bicep tightness, but is reportedly 100% and ready to go against the Mets. He only has one career start against the Mets, a 9-1 win in which he threw 8 innings, but it was so long ago it doesn’t matter. After a solid May, Pelfrey has taken a step backward in June, struggling to pitch to and through the sixth inning. He was ripped by the Rays five days ago, and has been hit hard in three of his last four starts. Mark Teixeira is 4-for-10 lifetime vs. Big Pelf.

Game two: Tim Redding (1-2, 6.08 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (5-4, 4.24 ERA)

Burnett has been a huge disappointment for the Yankees, but he found his stuff against the Mets two weekends ago, shutting them out for seven frames. Burnett lost his next start vs. the Marlins, but held the Fish to only one earned run over 6 1/3. Meantime, Redding put together his finest performance and first win as a Met — though, I still don’t trust him nor that possum on his chin. Mark Teixeira is 4-for-9 career against Redding, and all four hits are doubles.

Game three: Livan Hernandez (5-2, 4.05 ERA) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (0-6, 11.20 ERA)

Livan has been pitching well enough to merit consideration as the Mets’ second-best starter, but he didn’t fare too well in his game against the Yankees. After a five-inning, six-run drubbing by the Bronx Bombers, Livan rebounded with back-to-back, nearly identical, 7-inning, 8-hit, 2 ER performances vs. the Orioles and Cardinals (he is obviously a bird lover). Similarly, Wang’s last two starts were just as identical, but not nearly as impressive — 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER — against the Braves and Nationals. The scary thing for Yankees fans is, those two most recent performances by Wang are his best of the year — by far. Considering how well the Yanks lineup handled Hernandez, and Wang’s apparent turning a corner, this game is not as much a slam dunk for the Mets as it might’ve looked two weeks ago.

Oh, and Mark Teixeira is 3-for-6 career vs. Hernandez, including two homeruns. But it doesn’t stop there. Nick Swisher (.357), Alex Rodriguez (.579, 3 HR, 5 doubles), Derek Jeter (.421), Robinson Cano (.444), Melky Cabrera (.400), Jorge Posada (.333), and Hideki Matsui (.429) all enjoy teeing off on Livan Hernandez.

Final Thoughts

Which Mets team will show up this weekend? The one that beats the Cardinals three out of four or the one that lost the four series previous? The one that can’t manage more than two hits off of journeyman Joel Pineiro or the one that pounds St. Louis pitching for 16 hits and 11 runs? The one that loses heartbreakers in the final innings or the one that shows grit and intestinal fortitude when times get tough? It’s anybody’s guess, and they’re going into a series against a team with an ironically similar split personality disorder. Sit back and enjoy (and keep the hard alcohol / meds / happy thoughts nearby, just in case).

Notable milestones: Mariano Rivera’s next save will be #500 for his career. Argenis Reyes’ next walk will be #5 of his MLB lifetime.


C.C. Sabathia vs. the Mets

cc-sabathia-indiansTonight, the Yankees send C.C. Sabathia to the mound at Citi Field against the Mets. It’s been a long time since Sabathia started against the Mets, and the last time didn’t go so well for our hometown favorites.

On June 16, 2004, Sabathia threw 8 solid innings of six-hit, one-run ball, as the Indians molested the Mets 9-1 at Shea Stadium in front of a paltry crowd of 29,512.

How long ago was that game? The Mets’ starter was Matt Ginter, Gerald “Ice” Williams was the leadoff hitter, Mike Piazza was the first baseman, Jason Phillips was behind the plate, and Art Howe was the manager.

Here is the entire Mets starting lineup on that ugly night:

Gerald Williams CF
ice-williamsKaz Matsui SS
Mike Piazza 1B
Cliff Floyd LF
Todd Zeile 3B
Ty Wigginton 2B
Jason Phillips C
Mike Cameron CF
Matt Ginter P

Makes one wonder: how much different will tonight’s lineup look five years from now?


Albert Pujols on Steroids?

Bloggers get tarred, feather, beaten, demoralized, and spit upon when they write something without doing their due diligence — particularly in the case of PEDs suspicion. But somehow it’s OK for a professional journalist? See this must-read about an LA Times columnist who wonders if Albert Pujols is using something.

Another absolute “must-read” is this insightful article on TV camera angles and how they affect you, the viewer’s, perception of the strike zone. Loyal MetsToday readers know how much I love “modern” video production of baseball games.

NYSportsDog has some positive vibes and relays a report from Brian Moritz that prospect Jenry Mejia recently hit 102 MPH on the radar gun.

Our favorite source for graphs and charts, The ‘Ropolitans, asks Johan Santana “where have the strikeouts gone?”

And also hat tip to The ‘Ropolitans for finding a reason to acknowledge Michael Jackson’s death (the pop singer, not the former Georgetown point guard). Keep your eyes peeled, and you should see a Mets cap in this video: