Archive: August 12th, 2009

Mets Game 114: Win Over Diamondbacks

Mets 6 Diamondbacks 4

For once, the Mets were on the right side of a poorly played baseball game.

The Diamondbacks gave the Mets several runs by way of 3 passed balls, 2 wild pitches, 2 errors, and 4 bases on balls. In addition, Arizona was unable to make the most of prime scoring opportunities, leaving over a dozen runners on base (14 to be exact).

Oliver Perez followed up his best start of the year with a more typical Ollie outing — 5 1/3 IP, 7 K, 6 BB, 6 H. Miraculously, he allowed only one run. Was that the product of good pitching, poor hitting, or dumb luck? You decide. In any case it was far from impressive, as Ollie was in constant trouble.

The Mets offense, though, made the most of every opportunity handed to them. They scored three runs on balls that escaped the catcher, and came through with three clutch hits in RBI situations — and that was the difference in the ballgame.

Pedro Feliciano, in the right place at the right time, scooped up his fourth win of the year despite allowing two hits that scored two runners inherited from Sean Green.

Frankie Fantastic was no more effective than Ollie and Feliciano, but somehow muddled his way to his second save of the second half and 25th of the season.

Notes

K-Rod was a Cory Sullivan misstep away from blowing yet another save. Stephen Drew hit a low liner in the left-center gap that Sullivan speared just before it hit the ground. Had he missed that ball it might’ve gone past him to the wall, and possibly led to more than just one run in the final frame.

David Wright was 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored, though he might have mildly injured himself during the contest. Cory Sullivan was 2-for-4 with two triples, a walk, and an RBI from the leadoff spot. Fernando Tatis went 3-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI — just when you think he’s played his way out of a job, he pulls out a game like this to keep himself in the mix.

Today’s Baseball Lesson

Arizona catcher Chris Snyder had a tough time behind the plate, particularly in the 6th inning, when he committed one passed ball and allowed two wild pitches to give the Mets free bases. The passed ball was tough: Snyder was set up inside for a fastball, and pitcher Jon Garland threw the ball several inches outside. In addition to reaching across his body, David Wright swung at the pitch, which may have distracted Snyder. Fastballs are the toughest to block, because you don’t expect them to go in the dirt and they move the fastest. Snyder experienced a similar issue on one of the other wild pitches — it looked like it was a fastball in the dirt.

There were two things wrong with Snyder’s approach toward the balls in the dirt. First, he tried to catch them with his glove. Bad idea — it’s always best to send the glove directly to the ground, between the knees, and try to absorb the ball with the body. Second, his feet behind him were apart instead of together, so when the ball when “through the wickets”, it continued to roll to the backstop. These techniques can be learned with proper practice, just like any other defensive position.

Next Mets Game

The Mets can’t lose on Thursday as they have a day off. They return to Flushing on Friday to face the Giants. First pitch will be thrown by Bobby Parnell at 7:10 PM. Barry Zito starts for San Francisco.

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Mets vs. Diamondbacks Over – Unders

vegemiteToday’s Over-Unders for the Mets vs. Diamondbacks baseball game:

– Innings pitched by Oliver Perez: 5
– HBP by Oliver Perez: 1
– Walks by Oliver Perez: 6
– Walks by Mets pitchers, total: 9
– Pitchers used by the Mets: 4
– Innings pitched by Jon Garland: 7
– Ground balls hit by Mets vs. Garland: 11
– Mets GDP: 3
– Mets LOB: 6
– Errors by Mets: 2
– Hits by the Mets: 6
– Runs scored by the Mets: 3
– Hits by Trent Oeltjen: 2
– Times SNY crew will mention “vegemite”: 2

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Fire Omar – Or Don’t

My apologies for missing this piece calling for Omar Minaya’s head by Dave Cameron, and an even better response defending Minaya by Fire Jerry Manuel. But with all the noise suggesting a change in the Mets’ front office, both are still relevant.

MetsFever suggests that Jermaine Dye will be available this winter, and the Mets could be interested. Well, that would fit the pattern of acquiring aging sluggers on the downside of their career.

How many times have the Yankees fielded an entire lineup where every one of their players had more home runs than anyone on the Mets? Visit I Hate The Mets to find out.

Finally, go to TheRopolitans to see an up-close look at Max Scherzer’s heterochromia (as well as those crazy eyes of his). I think he’s part Alaskan Malamute.

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Mets Game 113: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 6 Mets 2

So hard to come up with something clever now that the season has been phoned in.

Livan Hernandez chose a poor strategy of giving the D’backs an early lead, then giving back a run every time the Mets scored (not that it happened so often). With that, Livan left the game after only four frames, yielding to Tim Redding.

The offense collected eight hits off Arizona starter Max Scherzer, but that’s all they did — collected. Not much was actually DONE with those safeties.

Notes

This team is playing poorly enough to make me wonder if they’ll keep the Nationals in the cellar. Seriously.

Cory Sullivan led off the game with a double, and Luis Castillo — who was 4 for his last 9 — sacrificed him to third. Right there I knew the game was over … it didn’t matter that Sullivan was stranded.

Australian-born Trent Oeltjen went 4-for-4 for Arizona and was a homerun shy of the cycle. He’s hitting .500 in his first 5 big-league games, has hustled around the bases, and been spectacular in left field. Talk about a man at work! At what point is it just overkill?

With this season resembling a Rutt’s Hut Ripper, it takes some creativity to provide entertaining text. The best I could come up with: should Tim Redding’s nickname be “Mr. Rochester”? It would be for his hometown and also for the plain-faced character of Jane Eyre. The only thing is, I’m not sure he qualifies as a “Byronic Hero“.

Today’s Baseball Lesson

Ron Darling spoke about long tossing, and said that players 20-25 years old should throw around 200-225 feet, and little leaguers should stay around 60 feet — and that the key was to throw as far as you can “without your mechanics breaking down”.

This was fairly decent advice, but allow me to elaborate, as I don’t like limits and I refuse to use negative images (I’d replace “mechanics breaking down” with a positive image). First of all, no matter what your age, you can and should be throwing as far as you can without putting an arc on the throw, and just short of your max effort. Throw the ball on a straight line, or with a little bit of sink, as far as possible, without straining. Extend yourself a few feet every five throws until you get to the point where you can’t reach your partner without a bounce. Once you get there, shorten the distance 5-10 feet and throw nice and easy for another 10-15 throws. If you do this every day, you will build your distance and arm strength.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series will be played at 3:40 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Oliver Perez faces Jon Garland.

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