Archive: July 11th, 2009

Mets Game 86: Win Over Reds

Mets 4 Reds 0

The Jeff Francoeur Era has begun — and it’s begun with a bang.

Sparked by Francoeur’s spectacular defense, ICBM-like warmup throws between innings, and clutch hitting, the Mets ravaged the Reds 4-0.

Francoeur wasted no time in establishing himself as the team’s new star and face of the franchise, making a nearly impossible play look routine on the first play of the game. A few minutes later, he blasted a two-run single to give the Mets a lead they’d never relinquish.

Also contributing to the victory was Johan Santana, who spun seven innings of shutout ball. Santana allowed only 5 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 5 en route to his 10th win of the season.

Pedro Feliciano and Francisco Rodriguez pitched impeccably in the final two frames to secure the game for the Mets.

Notes

The Mets are now 1-0 with Jeff Francoeur. That’s a 1.000 winning percentage, for those keeping score at home. Say all you want about Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, etc., etc., but NONE of those players have a perfect record.

Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 with a triple, 2 runs scored, and two stolen bases, an effort that will super-glue Jeremy Reed’s butt to the bench until Pagan’s next injury. Though, Reed did wrap a single in his only at-bat in the bottom of the eighth.

Omir Santos had three hits and an RBI.

Who says Jeff Francoeur swings at everything? Frenchy saw 17 pitches in four plate appearances — that was three more than Luis Castillo, who sees more pitches per at-bat than just about anybody.

Francoeur’s presence in right field had an immediate impact, as not one Reds runner attempted to take an extra base on a ball hit to him.

Ryan Church was 0-for-4 in his debut with the Braves in Colorado. This deal is already panning out in the Mets’ favor.

In other NL East news, the Phillies scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Pirates 8-7, so the Mets did not gain any ground. The Phillies are sooo lucky.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jeff Francoeur will play right field for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey will pitch. Aaron Harang tosses for Cincinnati in the final game before the All-Star break.

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Mets Talking Points: Saturday, July 10

New category here: Mets talking points. In this section we will review the assumed talking points as directed by David Howard to the SNY and WFAN announcers.

Not surprisingly, Saturday’s talking points will focus, for the most part, on newly acquired Jeff Francoeur.

“Jeff Francoeur plays every day, he’s a solid, durable player”

“Jeff Francoeur’s presence makes at least one spot in the lineup easy for Jerry Manuel — he can pencil him in every day. | Francoeur’s presence should add more consistency and stability to the lineup”

“Jeff Francouer has a lot of upside”

“Jeff Francoeur is a pull hitter, and that’s the type of hitter who can hit homeruns in Citi Field”

“Jeff Francouer is a Gold Glove fielder with an outstanding arm”

“Jeff Francoueur is a remarkable talent, a fantastic athlete who was a multi-sport star in high school”

“Jeff Francoeur’s best friend is Brian McCann. The two knew each other growing up in Atlanta and then grew up together in the Braves’ organization”

“Jeff Francoeur’s one weakness is that he’s over-aggressive at the plate. Howard Johnson will work with him on that”

“The arrival of Francoeur turns the Mets from a ‘lefty-heavy’ to ‘righty-heavy’ lineup, and it will be interesting to see how Jerry Manuel juggles Fernando Tatis and Gary Sheffield into the lineup”

“Jeff Francoeur’s presence and powerful bat takes some of the pressure off David Wright”

“The Mets want to finish strong going into the All-Star break, so they have something to build on when they return next week”

“Though, Jerry Manuel is not a strong believer in the idea of momentum”

“No one’s spot in the starting rotation is safe right now, except of course Johan Santana. Especially with the recent success of Jonathan Niese”

Be sure to comment if/when you hear any of the above uttered during the Mets’ TV and/or radio broadcast.

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Brave Opinions of Jeff Francoeur

Likely you’ve read all you can find from the New York press and blogosphere in regard to the Ryan Church – Jeff Francoeur trade.

Here are a few of the opinion of Francoeur from the Braves’ perspective:

The Francoeur trade: A Sad But Necessary Ending

Excerpt:

“This is how much the Braves wanted rid of Jeff Francoeur: They traded him to a team they’ll play 19 times a year, which means they’d rather put themselves in the repeated position of losing to him than have kept him around here. That’s how far the Golden Child had fallen, and how fast.”

He’s Frenchy, as in Benchy, and he could soon be gone
Excerpt:

“It takes Cox a lot longer to lose faith than it does, say, Lou Piniella. Cox believes until he’s given reason to stop believing, but when he stops … well, that’s about all she wrote. … Francoeur was extended an even longer grace period — we’re now going on a second calendar year of his laboriously documented flailings — but has simply ceased being a competent big-league hitter.”

Excerpt from the Braves blog Talking Chop:

“Church doesn’t represent a real upgrade in the power department, though he certainly uses more of his ability than Francoeur does, but he is an equal defender and is better at getting on base. … On first blush I like this trade. We get a better hitter, even if we did have to give up the once-face of the franchise (but that ship sailed a while ago). The risk here is that Francoeur figures something out and comes back to bite us time and again, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim if you’ve watched Francoeur over the last couple of years.”

From Rowland’s Office:

“He ain’t Roberto Clemente, but Ryan Church is a better player than Pan, period. It would appear the home team got the better end of this one. … I’m surprised we got this much for Pan. … The deal is getting a surprisingly, to me, good reception at Metsblog.com, a high-profile, yeah, Mets blog. Those fellows are choosing to view Pan as a young player with upside. Good luck, gents.”

From David Lee at Braves Buzz:

“Thank the Lord. Hallelujah. I’m standing and cheering. Jeff Francoeur has been traded to the Mets for Ryan Church.

My first reaction: the Mets? Wow. The Mets. Probably the last place Francoeur wanted to go and try to work things out. I already know Mets fans don’t want the guy, just imagine how it’ll be when Jeff grounds into double play after double play. A negative atmosphere is not something he’s used to. I wonder how he’ll handle it.

My second reaction: the Braves absolutely robbed the Mets of Church. For the Braves to get anything at all for Francoeur is shocking in itself, but to get a capable lefty hitter who can be plugged into right field immediately is amazing to me. I mean, it’s not even my place to evaluate Church and his flaws because of the fact that the Braves got him for Francoeur.”

From Chop-N-Change:

“MLBTR says that we may have traded Jeff Francoeur. To the Mets. For Ryan Church. Straight up.

I don’t believe it either, but I couldn’t resist putting a smile on your face for the few minutes till it gets denied…”

No need to panic, Mets fans. Maybe all those people who have watched Jeff Francoeur on a daily basis (as noted by Omar Minaya, he does play every day) are a little off on their assessment of Atlanta’s former golden boy. You know, like Mets fans who unreasonably evaluated the performance of Scott Schoeneweis. Yeah.

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