Archive: July 28th, 2009

Mets Game 99: Win Over Rockies

Mets 4 Rockies 0

Mike Pelfrey allowed 7 baserunners in his first four frames, but was saved by two double play balls and four strikeouts. He continued to battle, working out of jams, and kept the Rockies scoreless through six and a third.

Meanwhile, the Mets scratched out three runs — one each in the second, third, and fourth innings — and the bullpen combination of Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green held it up to give the Mets their fourth consecutive victory and seventh shutout of the season.

Notes

According to the SNY announcers, Dan Murphy received defensive pointers from Carlos Delgado prior to the game and used Delgado’s glove during the game. In spite of this, Murphy nonetheless performed well at his position.

Speaking of Murphy, he had two more hits, an RBI, and two runs scored from the cleanup spot — a position in which he’s become entrenched. I don’t see how Jerry Manuel can move him out of there.

Is it terrible that I spend most of these games waiting for the Mets to show me how they’re going to lose? And how bad is it that I’m still doubting the final score a good 15-20 minutes after that last out? My guard is up from inning one through nine, making it difficult to enjoy the game even when the Mets are on the winning end.

I want to know who Josh Fogg was pitching against in his previous 14 outings — the ones against whom he posted a 0.89 ERA? Did the Rockies have an “outer-league” part of the schedule where they faced American Legion teams?

Four straight wins, and now the Nepopolitans are only 5 1/2 games behind in the Wild Card standings. Never mind the other six teams between them and the Rox — ya gotta believe!

Prior to the game, Jeff Wilpon held a press conference to apologize for yesterday’s press conference — though I’m not sure whether he was referring to the first press conference, or the the second. He mentioned something about Adam Rubin, blah blah blah, and he might’ve stated something of import, but I was too focused on his hair, wondering if he uses Vitalis For Men, or possibly Dippity-Doo (do they still make that? just a dab’ll do ya!).

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Rockies do it again at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Johan Santana pitches against Jason Hammel.

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Mets Sign Adam Pettyjohn

adam-pettyjohnAccording to a press release posted by the Buffalo Bisons, the Mets have signed lefthanded pitcher Adam Pettyjohn and assigned him to Buffalo.

Don’t get too excited, folks. The 32-year-old Pettyjohn, once a “can’t-miss” prospect, has been a career minor leaguer going back to 1998. Pitching for the Louisville Bats last year, he set a Louisville record with 15 wins. That earned him a September callup with the Cincinnati Reds, and he appeared in 3 ballgames (starting one). In four innings pitched, he allowed 11 hits, 2 walks, 1 HBP, and 9 runs. It was his first taste of the bigs since 2001.

Gotta love the Mets’ obsession with stocking southpaws in Buffalo. Makes me want to go outside and start flipping baseballs against the wall with my left hand. Hey, you never know.

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Deep Throat Speaks Again

woodward-bernstein

In a remarkable turn of events that may change the course of American history, it has been discovered that journalists Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein spilled the beans on Watergate as part of a devious plan to become President of the United States and/or gain Presidential Cabinet positions.

According to recently found notes from an old file box that once belonged to W. Mark Felt, Sr. ,

“Woodward wrote all that Watergate stuff not to sell papers, or win a Pulitzer, but to force an impeachment of Richard Nixon and have lobby as Nixon’s most logical replacement.”

Further,

” … Bernstein was tired of the newspaper industry — his eyes were on becoming a Presidential speech writer … he had lobby — he lobby to Nixon to be Press Secretary on many occasions.”

One of Woodward’s relatives — and a person familiar with the situation — corraborated Felt’s posthumous remarks:

“As a child, Bobby wasn’t like the other boys … when all the other boys talked about becoming firemen, policemen, or centerfielders for the New York Yankees, Bobby would say he wanted to be President. It was an obsession.”

G. Gordon Liddy could not be reached for comment.

In related news, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams admitted that they broke the BALCO story in the San Francisco Chronicle in part to replace Barry Bonds in left field.

Said Fainaru-Wada:

“We wanted the Giants to consider us as a platoon — me from the right side and Lance from the left. We thought it was a good plan to tear down Barry and then lobby them for a tryout.”

For those of you looking for something else after seeing this headline, my apologies, and, shame on you!

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Mets Fire Sale

firesaleIt was only a week ago that Omar Minaya claimed the Mets to be “buyers” rather than “sellers” but that was as much hogwash then as it is now. The Mets have 11 more losses than the NL East-leading Phillies and are 7 1/2 games out of the Wild Card with 65 games to play. Mathmetically, yes, they have a chance to reach the postseason. Realistically, though, it’s not likely.

With four days before the trading deadline, it’s time to see where the Mets can cut their losses and bring in some talent for 2010. Unfortunately, the list of trade bait is pretty short.

Pedro Feliciano

“Pedro Lite” is one of the most sought-after lefthanded relievers right now, in a mix with Joe Beimel, George Sherrill, and John Grabow. But how much will a pennant-starved team give up for a LOOGY? Would it be more than an A-ball suspect or AA filler material? The Mets may be better off holding on to Feliciano, who is showing no signs of slowing down.

Sean Green

Teams need pitching, and are willing to part with talent in return for quality arms. The question is, do other teams consider Green a quality arm? His stock has fallen due to a terrible first half and the fact that his performace drops considerably with overuse. The White Sox recently gave up a slugging first base prospect to pry Tony Pena from the Diamondbacks, and Pena was in the midst of a similarly down season. But, Pena is 27 and has a better track record. Can the Mets obtain a decent player for the 30-year-old Green? It’s worth trying.

Luis Castillo

After a horrible 2008, Castillo is in line for Comeback Player of the Year, and currently sizzling at the plate. There are a few pennant-contending clubs who might be in the market for a second baseman, most notably the White Sox, Twins, and Cubs. The Rockies and Giants might also have room for Castillo’s .400 OBP. However, there is the issue of Castillo’s unbearable contract, which still has two years and $12M remaining after this season. The Mets would certainly have to eat all or most of that money to get anything of value in return — much like the Red Sox’ dumping of Julio Lugo for Chris Duncan.

If the Mets are willing to continue paying Castillo, they might be able to get a prospect or two. For example, the Giants have a switch-hitting second baseman in AA named Brock Bond who is an on-base machine like Castillo, but is already 24 and has no power and only average speed — though, Mets fans would get excited over his currently .350 batting average (he’s projected to be a Jeff Keppinger / Brendan Ryan utility type of guy). The White Sox have some intriguing pitchers at AA and a big young catcher named Tyler Flowers, who was caught with PEDs in 2007 but has done well without them — whether they’d give him up for Castillo, though, is another story. Most likely, the Mets can get a mix of A and AA borderline prospects — similar to what they gave up to get him back in 2007.

Livan Hernandez

In two weeks, Livan went from nearly getting booted from the rotation to emerging as their second-best starter. Everyone always needs pitching, but would anyone give up anything of value for Hernandez — particularly since he projects as a #5 on any contending club?

Angel Pagan

I know, I know — he’s one of the few exciting and dependable players the Mets have in the lineup right now. But he’s also most likely playing the best baseball he’ll ever play in his life — so it may be a good time to “sell high” (i.e., like when the Mets traded Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Desi Relaford). With Carlos Beltran presumably coming back for 2010 and 2011, Pagan’s value to the Mets is diminished. The Tigers and White Sox could be trolling for an outfielder with Pagan’s skillset, and if he can bring back something of value, it’s worth exploring. On the other hand, if you believe Beltran’s knee woes are only beginning, then it makes sense to hold on tight to Pagan, and pencil him into centerfield for next season — because there are no centerfield prospects in the Mets’ minor league system ready to step in.

Brian Schneider

I’m not seeing it. Schneider is a fairly solid defensive catcher with occasional pop, but what is a contending team going to give up for two-month rental who can’t beat out Omir Santos for a starting job? The Mets would get MAYBE an A-ball suspect, and then we’d have Robinson Cancel back in Flushing.

Gary Sheffield

He can’t go anywhere as long as he’s on the DL. If he passes through waivers in August, maybe the Mets can get a AAA guy who was once a prospect but now a suspect.

Conclusion

I keep looking at the Mets’ roster and seeing nothing of value to other teams — a frightening parallel to their minor league system. Veterans not mentioned, such as Fernando Tatis, Tim Redding, Alex Cora, Cory Sullivan, Brian Stokes, and Jeremy Reed are all key contributors on this fourth-place team, but to a contending club they are basically worthless — other organizations have similar talent stocked at AAA, so why trade for it?

More disconcerting, even if the Mets are able to pull off a few trades, will they get anything worthwhile in return?

Consider this: the last time the Mets held a fire sale was July 2003, when they unloaded Jeromy Burnitz, Roberto Alomar, Rey Sanchez, Graeme Lloyd, and Armando Benitez — you can argue that those players were as or more more valuable then, than what the Mets have to offer now. The total return on those trades? Jeremy Hill, Jason Anderson, Kenny Kelly, Royce Ring, Victor Diaz, Kole Strayhorn, Joselo Diaz, Edwin Almonte, Andrew Salvo, Anderson Garcia and Ryan Bicondoa. Victor Diaz and Ring made minor contributions, and the rest never made it to Flushing.

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