Archive: June 24th, 2010

Mets Game 72: Loss to Tigers

Tigers 6 Mets 5

The bright side: the Mets won the series.

Also on the bright side: the Mets kept fighting through the very end of the game, despite falling behind early.

These are NOT the 2008 nor 2009 Mets.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings. He did strike out 4, though, so there was that. A few of the Tigers seemed to be looking for and sitting on the changeup — particularly Magglio Ordonez, who redirected one over the fence.

In a terrible dose of bad luck, the Mets demoted LOOGY / long reliever Raul Valdes prior to the game to make room for Josh Thole, who was needed as a backup with Rod Barajas suffering with a back problem. If Valdes were on the club, it’s possible he would have relieved Tak before the damage was done. At the same time, I’m not convinced that Valdes would’ve made a difference — for all we know, he would’ve tossed more gas on the fire. It’s not like Valdes reminds people of Sparky Lyle out of the ‘pen.

Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored while filling in for Angel Pagan, who is suffering from spasms in his rib cage. However, Feliciano took it easy in running from second to third on single by David Wright in the fourth, and he might’ve made it all the way home had he busted it. It’s the little things, folks …

David Wright had two hits and an RBI, which was his 20th run against the American League this year — breaking the club mark for interleague RBI in a single season (previously 19 by Mike Piazza in 1999). Wright’s 57 RBI are the most in the National League, and he also leads the NL with 23 RBI in June.

Chris Carter had an RBI single in the 7th after entering the game as part of a double switch when Takahashi was removed. Carter is now 5-for-10 with three extra-base hits and 12 RBI with RISP this year. Not too shabby, eh?

Carter drove in Ruben Tejada, who had another single and in turn extended his hitting streak to 8 games.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Minnesota Twins for a three-game series this weekend in Flushing. Game one begins at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces Kevin Slowey.

READ MORE +

June 24: Afternoon Mets Links and Open Thread

The first place Mets! Seriously… With the Braves loss this afternoon, the Mets are now a half game ahead of the second place Braves. Nice…

NY Post – Angel Pagan will not start tonight’s game becaue of muscle spasms on his right side. The injury does not appear to be serious and Pagan should be back in a day or two.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper points out the Mets are getting alot of production for very little cost.

MetsToday – Loge Mezzanine (he’s new here, go easy) claims the Mets have lucked their way into some speed.

Brooklyn Met Fan – The return of the Boogey Met? I see where BMF is going with this, but how can the Boogey Met be back if the Mets just moved into first place?

ESPN – Jerry Manuel is making bold statements about Carlos Beltran’s return. Today, Jerry says Beltran may join the Mets for Monday’s game in Puerto Rico. On astroturf.

TONIGHT’S GAME

The first-place Mets (41-30) look for the sweep against the visiting Detroit Tigers (38-32). Hisanori Takahashi (6-2, 3.13) will be faced by Armando Galarraga (2-1, 3.32).

Discuss…

And here is a random YouTube video spoof on instructional baseball videos. Watch as Coach Ron tries to teach players how to block the plate, including the “Gary C” technique. I’m sure Joe Janish can add to this:

READ MORE +

Amazin’ Speed: Intentional or Accidental?

Andy Martino of the Daily News says the Mets were built for Citi Field:

Buried underneath the Mets offensive explosion Tuesday night was a possible reason for their home dominance this season: “We didn’t hit any home runs yesterday, and we scored 14 runs,” observed Jose Reyes, a few hours before hitting a home run, the hypocrite.

In that blowout, and last night save for Reyes’ blast, the Mets wore down the Tigers with an assault of singles, doubles, triples and stolen bases, the perfect skill set for cavernous Citi Field, where the Mets are 26-10 before last night’s game. The Mets are 21-7 in their last 28 games at home, the top record in baseball during that span.

“We know what it takes to be a successful team here,” said David Wright. “Our team is built around winning in a big ballpark. We’ve got speed, and guys who know how to run the bases.” (Daily News)

It’s hard to argue with the win-loss record. The Mets are certainly running and winning at home – ALOT. And it’s a good thing.

But were the Mets really built around speed? Does Omar Minaya deserve credit for recognizing the opportunities created by Citi Field and building a team based around speed? Or did it just kind of happen that way?

Let’s break it down!

Here is last night’s lineup:

1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Angel Pagan CF
3. David Wright 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Jeff Francoeur RF
7. Henry Blanco C
8. Ruben Tejada 2B

1, 2, 3 – Reyes, Pagan, Wright

Obviously, much of the team’s speed is coming from the top three spots in the order. But Reyes and Wright have been a big part of the team’s overall offensive strategy for years, so you can’t really point to the presence of either to prove the Mets built this team around speed. Pagan’s presence in the lineup is a double accident – he was initially slated to play behind Gary Matthews Jr. until Carlos Beltran came back. Even now, MetsBlog is reporting the Mets are considering dealing Pagan to the Mariners for Cliff Lee. In other words, the Mets didn’t have plans for Pagan and still don’t seem to value his presence in the lineup for the long-term.

4, 5, 6 – Davis, Bay, Francoeur

Here’s where it gets interesting. Davis started the season in AAA and may not have seen MLB action for months if Mike Jacobs had performed. Jacobs of course, is a dead pull power hitter with no speed whatsoever. Davis doesn’t have much speed either, but he’s a cleanup hitter…

Bay was the big name that Omar Minaya went after this winter. He has flashed some speed in his career and he usually can be counted on in the 10-15 SB range. To his credit, Jerry Manuel has been sending Bay often this season, as he already has 10 steals on the year. But as far as giving Omar credit for bringing in Bay for his speed, it’s not accurate.

Francoeur is not a speed threat, but he already has a career-high 7 stolen bases this season. Again, if anyone deserves credit for this, it is Jerry Manuel.

7, 8 – Blanco, Tejada

Henry Blanco was filling in for Rod Barajas. Both were brought in this offseason and neither is a threat on the basepaths, but, then again, they are catchers.

Ruben Tejada stole 19 bases in AA last season, but he has yet to steal a base this season. It should also be noted that despite his natural speed, Tejada probably would have spent the year in the minors if Luis Castillo was healthy.

Conclusion

The way I see it, Omar didn’t bring in any speed this season and should not be given credit here. The only speed in this Mets lineup is here for one of three reasons:

  1. Existing Speed (Reyes/Wright)
  2. SB Created by Jerry Manuel (Francoeur/Bay)
  3. Accidental Speed Brought on By Injury (Pagan/Tejada)
READ MORE +

June 24: Thursday Morning Mets Links

MetsToday – A recap of last night’s victory.

MetsBlog – Matt Cerrone has a recap of Omar Minaya’s interview on the Boomer and Carton show this morning.

NY Post – The Mets are still reeling from the Madoff debacle, allegedly…

Daily Stache – Michael Ganci adds Nick Evans to the list of great prospects the Mets might deal for a starting pitcher.

NBC – Jerry Seinfeld is getting rave reviews for his stint in the broadcast booth last night.

Amazin’ Avenue – Sam Page analyzes how the return of Carlos Beltran will affect the outfield situation.

NY Times – Bobby Valentine may be headed to Florida to manage the Marlins.

ESPN New York – Adam Rubin has an update on the Mets’ farm system. Jenrry Mejia started for Binghamton, allowing one run and two hits, while striking out three in 2 1/3 innings. Tim Teufel was ejected in the 7th inning. Sounds like an interesting game…

READ MORE +