Archive: June 2nd, 2010

Mets Game 54: Loss to Padres

Padres 5 Mets 1

The final score falls remarkably short of telling the whole story.

In yet another rubber match gone bad, the Mets wasted a brilliant performance by Johan Santana to lose in San Diego in extra innings — via a walkoff grand slam by Adrian Gonzalez.

Game Notes

Johan Santana “didn’t have his best stuff” but somehow managed to shut out the Padres through 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 5 walks, striking out 3. His command was off — way off — but it worked to his advantage against a San Diego lineup that would struggle in the Can-Am League. In other words, the awful Padres hitters made him “effectively wild”. Santana gutted his way to a 123-pitch count over those 7 IP; I bet he wished he went to 150 and finished the game.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this “best stuff” thing is getting old. We need to adjust our expectations and come to the understanding that Johan is NOT the pitcher we thought we were getting two years ago. He can still pitch well enough to win just about every time out, but we cannot expect him to dominate.

Francisco Rodriguez was brought in for a four-out save and blew it (his third blown save of the season). That four-out save became a seven-out no-decision in which he threw 46 pitches — less than 20 hours after tossing 30 pitches in Tuesday night’s win. Some quick math tells you that’s 76 pitches within a 24-hour period — fine for a starter, OK for a long reliever, unacceptable for a closer. Yes, K-Rod (and the Mets) have an off-day on Thursday but that’s not nearly enough to recover. A prudent manager would hold K-Rod out until at least Sunday. However, Jerry Manuel is a desperate man managing for his job, so don’t be surprised to see Rodriguez in the game on Friday and/or Saturday. Then, don’t be surprised to see K-Rod on the DL and/or blowing games regularly in the second half of the season.

For those who may be confused as to why it’s OK for Santana to throw 123 pitches in one day and not OK for K-Rod to throw 76 over two, it’s all about recovery. Santana has at least 4, maybe 5 days to rest and recover. K-Rod will be back in a game, throwing with 100% effort, immediately. K-Rod, in particular, has a violent delivery that tears down the muscles in his shoulder, elbow, hips, and knees — which is why previous manager Mike Scioscia was so judicious and careful with his use of Rodriguez.

Losing pitcher Raul Valdes allowed three hits and hit David Eckstein before giving up the gopher ball to Gonzalez. I find it funny that many people are “surprised” to see Valdes failing lately. Is it really surprising to see Valdes performing like someone who belongs in the Mexican League? That IS where the Mets found the 32-year-old, after all.

Jeff Francoeur drove in the only Mets run. Let that sink in.

Jason Bay was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. For naught.

In case you missed it, Geoff Young of Ducksnorts told us that — if Adrian Gonzalez was not an option — David Eckstein was the guy he wanted to see at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. Lo and behold, it was Eckstein who drove in the tying run against K-Rod with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have the day off as they travel home from the Left Coast and return to Flushing for a 7:10 PM game vs. the Marlins. R.A. Dickey goes to the mound against Anibal Sanchez.

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Idea: What to Do With Ollie and GMJ

The Mets are still in it.

The team’s record sits at 27-26, 3.5 games out of first place. They may not be a championship-caliber team, but the NL East is there for the taking. Beyond that, the National League itself can be had – the Cardinals are struggling, the Phillies can’t hit and the Padres are in first place in the NL West. The Padres?!?!

But before they go out and acquire a pitcher like Roy Oswalt – or even Kevin Millwood – the Mets need to do something about Oliver Perez and Gary Matthews Jr.

Unfortunately, each player is owed a hefty sum – so it’s not that easy to cut or trade either of them.

So here’s the plan: ROAD TRIP REALITY SHOW

It’s pretty simple, really. Everyone loves a road trip movie and reality shows are everywhere. It’s a slam dunk for SNY’s programming schedule.

At the end of tonight’s game in San Diego, the Mets will board a plane to New York. But Ollie and GMJ will not be on that plane.

The Setup:

Instead, our heroes (I use the term loosely) will be given the keys to a 1982 Buick Regal with no air conditioning. The car will be painted in Mets colors.

They have to drive back to New York – or TOWARDS New York, until their car dies. That’s when the fun begins.

The Rules:

  • Both players remain on the DL until they meet the Mets in a city for the start of a series.
  • No hotels. They can take turns sleeping and driving.*
  • Even if the Mets have moved on to another city, Ollie and GMJ are required to go to their next assigned city to pick up their next crappy car (painted in Mets colors, of course).
  • Once the car dies, Ollie and GMJ must find an alternate route to the next city. This includes – but is not limited to – hitchhiking, walking, trains, blimps, and skateboards.
  • If our heroes meet a Mets fan during their travels, they must apologize and then take the fan to dinner and apologize some more.
  • The entire thing will be filmed and aired on SNY. Kind of like Yankees Ultimate Road Trip.
  • At any time, either player can simply give up and forfeit the money owed to him by the Mets.

*It will be interesting to see if Ollie’s driving is as erratic as pitching. I don’t know how GMJ is going to sleep with Ollie doing 90 mph all over the highway.

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Wednesday Links, Hump Day Edition

Bergen Record – Bob Klapisch says the Mets are “too cheap and too gutless” to stand up to Oliver Perez, who he calls a “weasel.”

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper answers the age-old question, “Can the Mets please eat the contract of [insert name of overpaid outfield veteran here].” Today’s topic: George Foster Vince Coleman Bobby Bonilla Jeromy Burnitz Gary Matthews Jr.

The Sporting News – Carlos Beltran may be close to returning. No surprise there – he’s been getting closer to returning for about a year now, depending on who you believe. The interesting thing is the Mets are floating the idea of bringing him back as a right fielder. Glad I have Angel Pagan on my fantasy team.

ESPN – Adam Rubin warns that everything in the link above and any talk about Beltran returning soon may be a tad premature. Translation: Nobody knows when Beltran will begin his rehab. Glad I have Angel Pagan on my fantasy team.

213 Miles From Shea – A list of Mets promotional giveaways in the month of June. With pictures!

The Daily Stache – Scott Ilowite thinks Dan Uggla might be a good fit for second base. Interesting take.

MetsToday – Joe Janish responds to Bob Klapisch’s response to the Mets’ response to Darryl Strawberry’s recent clubhouse pep talk. Got that?

And in honor of Daryl Strawberry’s recent appearance in the Mets clubhouse, enjoy some “Chocolate Strawberry”:

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Mets Game 53: Win Over Padres

Mets 4 Padres 2

Before our very eyes, Mike Pelfrey is developing into a legit #2 MLB starter. And all it took was a little change of pace.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey spun 8 brilliant innings en route to his 8th victory of the season, allowing only one run on 4 hits and 2 walks, tying his career high of 8 strikeouts. He tossed a total of 110 pitches, and probably could’ve finished the game, but some surgeons who never threw a baseball in their lives believe that would’ve permanently damaged his arm. So Francisco Rodriguez was brought in to raise the heartbeats of Mets fans. We didn’t want to fall right to sleep after midnight anyway, did we?

K-Rod pitched one inning, yet threw more than one-quarter as many pitches and allowed just as many runs on three-quarters as many hits, as Big Pelf did in eight innings.

David Wright was the offensive star of the game, driving in half of the Mets’ runs, lashing three hits — including his 9th homer — and swiping a base.

Ike Davis blasted his 6th homer of the season, a two-run job to dead center, to put the Mets ahead 4-1. Without those insurance runs we might still be watching the game right about now.

The Padres did not reach second base until the sixth inning. Prior to the sixth, catcher Nick Hundley was the only Padre to collect a hit, and he had two, but was thrown out stealing and picked off to erase both.

Next Mets Game

The final game and rubber match of the series starts at a reasonable 6:35 PM EST. Johan Santana faces Clayton Richard.

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