Archive: June 5th, 2010

Mets Game 56: Win Over Marlins

Mets 6 Marlins 1

It was a shining afternoon both for the fans due to the sun, and for the Mets front office due to the fact that Mets farmhands led the way toward victory.

Homegrown Jon Niese pitched 7 innings for the win, fellow farmhand Jennry Mejia threw a perfect 8th, #1 draft pick Ike Davis went 4-for-4, supplemental first-round pick David Wright blasted his 10th homer of the year, and international free agent signee Ruben Tejada had an RBI double. Heck, you could even throw in Angel Pagan’s fine day — he did, after all, spend his entire minor league career in the Mets’ system.

Game Notes

Jon Niese shut out the Marlins through six, before finally allowing a run in the 7th. In all, he spun 7 stellar innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 6.

As good as Niese was, at least part of his success was due to the over-aggressiveness of the Marlins hitters, who expanded the strike zone both horizontally and vertically. Niese was wild high all afternoon, but the Fish kept swinging through the high pitches, so it worked out great. Additionally, Niese had a good, tight, 11-5 curve working well most of the day, which kept the Marlins from sitting on the fastball. Still, though, his arm action, angle, and release point change when he throws the deuce, so you have to wonder if other teams will pick up on that. Additionally, I don’t like the way Niese tends to drop his arm angle and release with the fingers to the side — instead of on top of — the ball. I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating: when the fingers slide to the side, or under, the ball at release, fastballs tend to flatten and stay high, and it’s difficult if not impossible to get downward sink on pitches (it also puts considerable strain on the elbow). In this game, against the Marlins hitters, it worked to his advantage — and it will likely work against many other teams. However I’d prefer to see him stay more over the top to get more downward movement and protect that elbow, which already gets strained when throwing the curve.

Fernando Nieve pitched a perfect ninth, but to me he didn’t look good at all. You’re probably thinking, “gee, Joe, why so negative? The Mets won after all!”. But the process is as important as the result, and what I saw from Nieve was slightly concerning. First, he threw almost all curveballs — and we know he is essentially a fastball pitcher. Maybe he was working on the curve in the hopes of showing he has enough of an arsenal to be a starter, since he’s made it clear he doesn’t enjoy relief. But he was also opening up his front side very early and short-arming his pitches — I’m not sure if it’s something he has to do in order to get good spin on the curve or if his shoulder is bothering him. The third “yellow” flag for me was his body language, particularly after the last out was recorded. You never would’ve guessed the Mets just won the game — he looked indifferent, bordering on miserable. Was it because of pain? Was he unhappy to be coming out of the ‘pen? Something else?

Ike Davis’ perfect day included two doubles, three runs scored, and an RBI. It’s safe to say he has become a fan favorite in Flushing.

David Wright’s 10th homer was a monster shot off the restaurant glass high in left field. He also had a single and a walk and drove in three, scored twice. He’s now hitting .270 and based on his approach and huge swings, am going to go on a limb and say that he has turned himself into a “go for the downs” slugger in the style of Mark Reynolds. Which is too bad, because although he may help him hit 30 HRs instead of 20-25, he may no longer be a .300 hitter and therefore not a 100-run guy. We’ll see, though, I could be wrong.

Jeff Francoeur had two more hits — though one was a cheap swinging bunt that Jorge Cantu hoped would go foul — and an RBI. When Francoeur is hot, he’s red hot. His hot streak has been a boon to my fantasy team as well.

Next Mets Game

The third and final game of this weekend series takes place at 1:10 PM. Hisanori Takahashi takes the hill against Ricky Nolasco.

READ MORE +

Oliver Perez On the DL

The Mets have announced that Oliver Perez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list — retroactive to June 1 — with patella tendinitis of his right knee.

Wonder if Ollie is aware which knee has the injury?

Supposedly, the tendinitis was discovered in an MRI taken last night. It’s the same knee for which he received surgery on September 1, 2009. Perez is expected to be in Florida today to begin his rehabilitation.

I’m going to guess that this “injury” is completely made up. If it’s not, you have to wonder if there is still a major problem with the way the Mets handle their injured players — because both Perez and John Maine have reinjured the body part that was operated on. Either their surgeries were not a “success”, or something went wrong with the rehab — for example each pitcher may have been brought back too soon, or maybe they were pushed too hard, or maybe they weren’t pushed enough, or maybe the program was inappropriate for their respective injuries.

In any case, Perez, Maine, Luis Castillo, and Gary Matthews Jr. are all off the 25-man roster — something many Mets fans had hoped to see. Now we’ll see if the absence of those four men will make any difference on the team’s performance.

READ MORE +

Saturday Links (Lunchtime Edition)

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper breaks down the Mets recent roster moves, last night’s game and Mike Pelfrey.

213 Miles From Shea – Elliot Teichman has a rundown of June promotions being offered by Mets’ minor league affiliates.

Loge 13 – Kingman has a 1964 issue Popular Science magazine about Shea Stadium – the “convertible” stadium of the future. (via Hot Foot)

MetsMerized – Sean Kenny wants the Mets to draft catcher Yasmani Grandel.

And finally, Read the Apple has compiled a “tribute” video to celebrate the brief time Mets fans had with recently DFA’d Gary Matthews, Jr.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 55: Win Over Marlins

Mets 4 Marlins 3

The home-team advantage in Flushing continues.

David Wright earned his first Major League save and R.A. Dickey furthered the impossible dream as the Mets beat the Marlins, going one game over .500 and a half-game over the Fish to take sole possession of third place in the NL East.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey continues to play the part of himself in what is developing into a Hollywood script. Dickey held the Marlins to 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 6 1/3 innings, earning his third win in four starts. The 35-year-old relied on his multi-speed, dancing knuckler mixed with an occasional fastball to stymie the Florida offense. As an addendum to the already-brilliant script, and giving more legs to the legend, Dickey also has two hits in three at-bats, driving in one and scoring another, and boosting his season average to .375. Could a knuckleballer — like fine wine — get better with age? Or will the rest of the NL eventually catch on to his trickery?

Elmer Dessens solidified his status as the Mets’ setup man with a perfect inning and a third. That’s right, he’s Jerry Manuel’s 8th-inning guy. All it took was 4 straight outings of not embarrassing himself. Is that a credit to Elmer or a statement about the Mets bullpen? You make the call.

Francisco Rodriguez got two quick outs, then set up David Wright’s save by giving up an infield single, a walk, and a wild pitch to put runners on second and third for Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez chopped one down third and Wright turned a very difficult play into the final out of the game to give the Mets the victory. Though, the game might still be going on if Hanley had hustled.

To the delight of Luis Castillo-haters throughout the tri-state area, rookie Ruben Tejada hit an RBI double and scored a run.

To the chagrin of SABRnuts everywhere, Jeff Francoeur continued his Jerry Manuel-induced hot streak by going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Jason Bay also went 2-for-4, including his 14th double of the season.

From the leadoff spot, Jose Reyes saw more pitches than anyone else (21), walked twice, stroked a single, and stole his 14th base of the year. Even though he didn’t score nor drive in anyone, I’m starting to like Reyes hitting leadoff; I wonder if Jerry Manuel will stick with the experiment?

The Mets are now 20-9 at home — the only MLB team with 20 wins at home — and 8-18 on the road.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 PM. Yes, that means you will have the pleasure of listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call the game courtesy of FOX. Jon Niese comes off the DL to face Nate Robertson in a matchup of southpaws.

READ MORE +