Archive: April 24th, 2010

Happy Birthday Pat Zachry

pat-zachryThe day June 15, 1977 lives in infany as the darkest day in Mets history.

For those too young to remember, it was the day that the Mets traded “The Franchise” — Tom Seaver — to the Reds in return for a gaggle of Cincinnati’s worst “top prospects”: Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn, Dan Norman, and young hurler Pat Zachry. In addition, Dave Kingman was also traded on the same day — the Mets’ only offensive force at the time.

Zachry, born on April 24, 1952, was a stringbean of a pitcher with a scruffy beard, standing 6’5″ and weighing about 180 lbs. Though he managed winning records in ’77, ’78, and ’79, he never quite escaped the shadow of that fateful day, nor the fact that he replaced Seaver in the Mets’ rotation. Though he showed promise as a 24-year-old rookie in 1976, going 14-7 for the Big Red Machine, Zachry never won more than 7 games in a season after the age of 26 — the victim of woeful run support and injuries to his foot (he kicked a dugout step after allowing Pete Rose to tie the NL record for hits in consecutive games) and, later, his elbow.

Another happy birthday shout out goes to Carlos Beltran, who ironically, was born on this date in 1977.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 17: Win Over Braves

Mets 5 Braves 2

Jerry Manuel is a genius.

Manuel finally followed through with his brilliant plan of batting Jose Reyes in the third spot of the lineup, Reyes had a great day at the plate, and the Mets won.

It’s all smooth sailing from here on in.

Game Notes

Jose Reyes went 2-for-4 with a run scored in his debut as the three hitter, rapping his third double and second triple of the season. He had no RBI and scored once.

Ike Davis smashed his first MLB homerun, a high, deep blast that fell just short of Shea Bridge.

Jason Bay and David Wright continued to break out of their respective slumps, both delivering RBI hits. Bay hit a triple immediately after Reyes’ — the first time this year the Mets hit back-to-back three baggers.

John Maine left the game with spasms and pain in his left elbow. Yes, that’s his non-throwing elbow. From Adam Rubin’s blog:

“I couldn’t bring my arm down,” Maine said. “It’d lock up and get kind of stuck. I was able to throw. I went out there and threw in the fourth inning — I don’t know how effective. Like I said, it’s just one thing after another.”

The left side and the right side work together to throw the ball — the left side pulls down to help drive the right side around, kind of like a wheel. I wonder if Maine’s over-rotation issue — which looked somewhat improved at times during his short stint — puts more of a strain on his left side than other pitchers, and contributed to the spasm? Thinking more along those lines, now I’m thinking that the reason he wasn’t over-rotating as much was because the pain was preventing him from doing so.

In any case, I’m not sure what others were seeing — the people who said and wrote that Maine looked pretty good before leaving the game. His velocity was sitting around 84-86 (other than one 89-MPH strike three fastball to Jason Heyward) and his command was inconsistent as usual. My guess is he started experiencing the pain and/or spasms early on.

Hisanori Takahashi did a good job in relief of Maine, allowing two hits, a walk, and one run in three innings of work and striking out 7. Others used more superfluous adjectives to describe the outing, but I’ll remain grounded and stick with “good”. You can call me negative or responsible, it’s up to you. My concern is that when a Mets pitcher actually DOES display an “outstanding” performance, I will be out of appropriate words to describe it (“these go to 11”).

As usual, K-Rod kept the game interesting in the 9th, bringing the tying run to the plate, but closed things out successfully for his second save of the season.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves do it again at 1:10 PM on Saturday afternoon. Jon Niese goes to the hill against Jair Jurrjens.

READ MORE +