Archive: July 25th, 2009

Mets Game 96: Win Over Astros

Mets 10 Astros 3

Who said the Mets couldn’t win MLB games sending out a lineup like that?

For once, everything that could go right, went right. Heck, even David Wright was finally, right — right over the fence, that is.

The Mets offense exploded for 9 runs in the first six innings, and tacked on another one in the final frame to annilihate the Astros in front of a capacity crowd.

In addition to the offensive output, the defense was equally stellar, highlighted by outstanding plays from Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo that kept the Astros grounded.

Also inspiring was the performance of young Jonathan Niese, who allowed one measly run on four hits and two walks over seven solid innings. Other than a shaky first inning — likely due to nerves — Niese was masterful.


When I said everything went right, I meant everything. By blowing out the Astros with an offensive onslaught, the implausible DL’ing of Gary Sheffield was completely forgotten. Had the Mets lost 1-0, you can bet that move would have been the focus of the postgame interviews.

Dan Murphy hit two doubles and drove in a run out of the cleanup spot. Dan Murphy, in the cleanup spot. Yeah.

No less than five Mets had two hits apiece; they rapped a dozen all told.

Angel Pagan is a man on fire, and seems determined to prove that he belongs in the big leagues as an everyday player. Maybe the Mets should trade him while he’s on this hot streak and his value is higher than it will ever be.

In addition to his sixth homerun, David Wright saw 30 pitches in five plate appearances, walking twice. That was three times as many pitches seen by the usually patient Danny Murphy.

Jeff Francoeur is delivering everything the Mets expected and then some. If only they had his homerun bat from the beginning of the season, they might be ten games back instead of eleven.

Omir Santos and Cory Sullivan did an outstanding job of executing a hit-and-run in the top of the fourth, leading to Sullivan scoring on a DP ball a few moments later. Strangely enough, I’ve seen the about as many hit-and-runs this month from the Mets as I’ve seen homeruns.

Also interesting, Santos is providing both small ball and the long ball lately — he hit his second homerun in as many nights, and is now tied for team lead for homers in July. Dollars to donuts says he sits on Sunday, though, since it’s a day game and Brian Schneider’s getting rusty.

Jon Niese in the postgame interview reminded me of Jamie Don Weeks of Long Gone (which was an AWESOME baseball movie, btw).

Very bizarre to see John Franco relieving Bobby Ojeda in the SNY postgame show; it was kind of like time travel or a Strat-O-Matic game. Note to John: your preparation is appreciated. However, we know that “good pitching, good fielding, and good offense wins games”, and we know that a pitcher needs to throw strikes to keep the defense alert, and we can see how many batters Jon Niese retired in a row, and we know how many games out of the wild card the Mets are, etc. What we want from you is the MLB player’s perspective. For example, what does an MLB pitcher think about with a big lead? How does he keep from getting too complacent? What is it like for a young kid to have a game like this after coming back from the minors? How might a young pitcher attack a lineup like the Astros’, which has a number of aggressive hitters? That kind of thing. Leave the details and numbers to Gary Apple.

Next Mets Game

The series finale occurs at 2:05 PM EST on Sunday afternoon. Livan Hernandez faces Brian Moehler. Wow … Hampton, Ortiz, and Moehler in the rotation, and the ‘stros are in third place, four games over .500, and one game out of first.


Mets Incite Conspiracy Theories

In the latest move by the Mets, Gary Sheffield was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. This occurred a day after Sheffield was pronounced “available” for a game, and on the same day that Sheff expected to be in the starting lineup.

And you wonder why people like me are constantly concocting conspiracy theories about the New York Mets organization.

Obviously, SOMETHING is going on that we are not privy to. A team simply doesn’t put a healthy player on the DL without an ulterior motive. Further, a team that is already hamstrung (pardon the pun) with injuries, and has had difficulty scoring runs, does not remove from the roster their most productive hitter and only legitimate power threat — not unless something is up.

Is there a trade brewing that requires roster space, or the showcasing of someone? Is there some kind of insurance money that can be collected for having a certain number of players injured? Is their poor handling of other injuries forcing them to be ultra-conservative? Did Sheffield tick off someone inside the organization? Have they exhausted so many options that they’re giving the George Costanza “do the opposite” strategy a whirl?

And the ultimate conspiracy theory: are the Mets purposely sabotaging themselves — i.e., trying to lose games on purpose? Let’s hope not — though if they are, the idea seemed to backfire, as the Mets exploded for 7 runs in the first five innings of play on Saturday night.

This one is hard to figure, but maybe something will occur in the next few days that cause us all to say “a-ha!”. For example, maybe the Mets are on the verge of making a blockbuster trade that will bring in 5 MLB players — named Halladay, Rios, Wells, Overbay, and Scutaro (hey, crazier things have happened). Or maybe they are showcasing Cory Sullivan for a team in need of a light-hitting, good fielding outfielder. Or maybe they’re auditioning Sullivan for the left field job next year. Perhaps there’s something else.

Something is brewing …