Archive: September 22nd, 2009

Mets Game 152: Loss to Braves

Braves 3 Mets 1

The Mets were down by only a run for most of this game — in fact they were winning for a few minutes — but there was never a point where I felt, “hey, they have a chance to win”. I simply sat in front of the TV and waited for them to lose. Sad.

Nelson Figueroa was very good, but not good enough to earn a win. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks in a seven-inning, 126-pitch effort.

Unfortunately for Figgy, Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens was just a little bit better, allowing only one run on five hits and three walks through seven-innings and 94 pitches.

The Braves added an insurance run against Frankie Fantastik, who may have thrown a scoreless inning if Carlos Beltran had been playing a deeper centerfield on Yunel Escobar’s double — or if Angel Pagan had been playing more shallow in left on Adam LaRoche’s single that scored Escobar. Or maybe if Omir Santos could have caught the ball before it was hit. Certainly, it wasn’t Frankie’s fault.

Notes

Figgy has had his rough outings, but he’s also proven he can hold his own as a starting pitcher at the MLB level. I would like to see him return in 2010 as a swing man / spot starter. He may not wow the sabermetricians with his stats but he gets the most out of ability and finds a way to compete. That is inspiring, can rub off on teammates, and is a value that can’t be measured with a calculator.

Last night I noticed Brian Stokes with a little extra rotation. Tonight my eyes saw Sean Green going just a little more underhand. To me it seemed Green was closer to 6 o’clock / 5:30 as opposed to his more 3:30 / 4 o’clock angle. Are my eyes deceiving me lately, or am I seeing actual mechanical changes?

If Green IS in fact going more “down under”, I would think that’s a good thing. The closer he gets to Chad Bradford-like underhand, the less stress there is on the arm — which in turn would allow him to pitch more frequently without a loss in effectiveness. Assuming, of course, that he can pitch as effectively at such an angle.

Brooks Conrad made a pinch-hitting appearance for the Braves. His name makes me think of a 1950s character actor.

Gary Cohen reported that Alex Cora had successful surgery on his other thumb, then further suggested that the Mets “need to see more of him next year”. Huh? Even if he returns — which in itself is a longshot — I don’t believe we want to see any MORE of Alex Cora in 2010. He’s a bench player, which means if we see more of him, it also means one (or more than one) of the starters is on the DL for a significant period of time. I get Cohen’s point — that Cora is supposedly a great clubhouse guy and a veteran leader — but we don’t want to see any more of him than we saw in 2009. Less, preferably.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series occurs at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Mike Pelfrey faces Tim Hudson, who will be making his fifth MLB start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

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Francoeur Confused About Marquis?

According to Jeff Francoeur, Colorado pitcher Jason Marquis would “love to” play for the Mets.

Per Frenchy, in the New York Post:

“He’d be a great fit. He’s from Staten Island. He’s a New York type of guy. He’ll probably be coming off the best season he’s ever had.”

Jeff is only half-right. Yes, Jason Marquis would “love” to play in New York — for the Yankees, the team that he grew up rooting for as a Staten Island youngster. But not only because he was a big fan of the Bronx Bombers — but also because the Yankees will PAY.

I strained my oblique muscle from laughter when I read this later sentence typed by Mike Puma in the same article:

Marquis’ easiest path to the Mets would be to accept a hometown discount.

Not likely.

When Jason Marquis was coming off his WORST season as a big leaguer — one in which he lost 16 games, had an ERA over 6, and was left off the Cardinals’ postseason roster as they marched to their improbable championship — he hit the jackpot with a 3-year, $21M deal.

Now, it’s understood that the financial climate in the winter of 2006 was much different than it is now. But considering that Marquis is finishing up the BEST season of his career, I doubt very highly he’s interested in a pay cut.

There aren’t many starting pitchers out there who are a virtual lock to give a team 190+ innings — which Marquis has done five out of the last six years. That on its own, even in a tough market, is worth at least $7-8M per annum (see: Jon Garland). Garland’s price was that low because his ERA was near five and teams felt he was helped by a superior supporting cast. I’d guess that Marquis is looking at a deal in the neighborhood of 3 years / $36M — or what Oliver Perez received last winter. He might get even more, particularly if a New York team enters the bidding. Most likely, the Mets won’t be that New York team — not when they’re looking to cut payroll, rather than add to it.

One more little issue with Jeff Francoeur’s campaign for Marquis — Francoeur himself is not guaranteed to be in New York next year. Personally, I’d be happy to see both Francoeur and Marquis in Mets uniforms next season, but there’s still the matter of arbitration for Frenchy. Rumors abound that the Mets are considering a 3-year extension — in essence to buy out his arbitration years — but as of this moment Francoeur does not have a contract for 2010.

Time will tell. If anything, it shold be an interesting offseason.

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