Archive: June 25th, 2010

Mets Game 73: Win Over Twins

Mets 5 Twins 2

Are the Mets this good, or are they really lucky? Or is it something about The Field at Shea Bridge that intimidates opposing teams?

The Mets continued their dominance of the American League by beating a Twins team that played very much unlike the Twins. Meaning, Ron Gardenhire’s club is known for excellent fundamentals, solid pitching, and homerun power from middle of the lineup. But what we saw instead were two errors in the field, mediocre starting pitching, and lack of punch from the meat of the order (though leadoff hitter Denard Span went deep to start the game).

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey struggled early, but settled down and mowed down the Twins after the Mets took the lead — something you expect an ace to do. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings, walking none and striking out 2 in a somewhat inefficient 116-pitch outing.

David Wright was the star on offense, going 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, and two RBI. Keith Hernandez says he “likes what he sees” from Wright, and also suggests that David Wright “might get back to where he was before”. Gee, thanks Keith … but D-Wright is hitting close to .400 this month, so that’s not exactly a revelation.

Jose Reyes also had two hits and scored a run.

Jason Bay hit a monster RBI double in the fourth, his 18th of the season.

Ruben Tejada also blasted a double off the wall to extend his hitting streak to 8 games, the second-longest of any rookie in MLB. He is scorching hot, and now up to .264. He reminds me of a righthanded Robinson Cano, and could be a batting champion some day. Alternatively, he also reminds me of Alex Cora, and could be a backup middle infielder some day. Time will tell.

Tejada scored on a sac fly in the fifth, somehow eluding the tag of Joe Mauer. Keith Hernandez went on and on about Mauer not properly blocking the plate, but Keith was WAY off base (pardon the pun). The fly ball was hit down the left field line, and was caught by Delmon Young very close to stands and his momentum took him into foul territory. If Mauer set up his target closer to the baseline, Young likely would have thrown the ball in the same path as Tejada, which in turn a) might’ve resulted in the ball hitting Tejada in the back; and/or b) Mauer getting his view of the ball screened by Tejada. Mauer absolutely was in the right position by being a few steps to the right of home plate on that particular play — it’s kind of like when the catcher drops a third strike and the first baseman sets up in foul territory to receive the throw. Stick to hitting and first base play, Keith.

Other than Wright and Reyes, and the blasts to the wall by Tejada and Bay, not much excitement from the offense — which has been kind of the story recently. As Wright and Reyes go, so go the Mets. Remember to include Wright in that statement.

Francisco Rodriguez threw 24 pitches en route to his 17th save. He lost his balance and fell flat after one of his pitches. Could his old and chronic ankle issues be flaring up?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Twins do it again at 1:10 PM in the afternoon on Saturday. Johan Santana faces his old team while Carl Pavano pitches for the Twins.

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June 25: PM Mets Links and Open Thread

ESPN – It looks like Carlos Beltran may join the Mets in Puerto Rico next week.

NY Post – It looks like Bobby Valentine MIGHT be managing the Marlins when they take on the Mets next week in Puerto Rico.

MetsToday – Wally Backman exhibiting restraint after the ejection of Brooklyn Cyclones’ centerfielder Darrell Ceciliani. Wally being Wally…

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – Did you realize the Tigers swept the Mets? I guess that’s why you don’t write headlines for the Associated Press.

NY Post – Andy Martino reports via Twitter that Prince Harry will throw out the first pitch at tomorrow’s game at Citi Field.

And via MetsBlog, here is video of Carlos Beltran during last night’s game:

TONIGHT’S GAME

The Mets (41-31) take on the visiting Minnesota Twins (40-32) tonight. Mike Pelfrey (9-2, 2.69) will face Kevin Slowey (7-4, 4.58).

And here is tonight’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Josh Thole, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, RHP

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WWWBD: Cyclones Win Again, Backman Ejected

Time for another installment of What Would Wally Backman Do?

The Brooklyn Cyclones routed the Hudson Valley Renegades on Thursday night, by a score of 16-5. Brooklyn improved to 5-2 on the young season, good enough for first place in the New York Penn League’s McNamara Division. The game was highlighted by Brooklyn’s 18-hit offensive barrage and Wally Backman’s first ejection of the season.

Things weren’t looking so good on the night before, when Backman’s Cyclones blew a lead in the seventh inning with shoddy defense to lose Wednesday night’s game. Brooklyn’s bats were just as bad, as the team was held to three hits on the night. It’s interesting to note that Backman actually argued with an umpire following the ejection of centerfielder Darrell Ceciliani and he wasn’t ejected. You read that right – Wally Backman confronted an umpire and wasn’t ejected. You don’t see that everyday… But you can see the video below:

According to Stephen Brown at the Brooklyn Heights Courier, the team’s uninspired play on Wednesday prompted Backman to call a team meeting. The meeting seemed to have helped jumpstart the Cyclones:

“They didn’t swing the bat well yesterday, so I called a meeting. They sure came out swinging today,” Backman said after the game. (YourNabe.com)

Backman doesn’t like losing, but he absolutely hates losing because of fundamental mistakes. His postgame speech probably sounded alot like the video below, which is from 2007:

CAUTION: Video contains adult language. Not Safe For Work!! NSFW

Fast forward back to Thursday night’s contest. With his team comfortably ahead, en route to a 16-5 victory, Backman argued a home run call and – you guessed it – he was ejected:

Backman showed his intensity — or temper, depending on your perspective — in the ninth, as he was ejected from the game after challenging a questionable two-run dinger that appeared to be foul. His team may have been up by 13 runs, but Backman ripped off his cap and got nose to nose with the umpire, much to the crowd’s delight.

“I said a word he didn’t like,” Backman said. “The ump said, ‘Don’t say that again,’ — and I let him have it. If he wants to jaw, I’ll jaw.” (YourNabe.com)

Some things never change…

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Pagan Is Not Trade Bait (Yet)

I know I was a little rough on Omar Minaya yesterday, but this qualifies as good news and Omar deserves some credit:

Several senior Mets officials said that because of the uncertainty surrounding Carlos Beltran’s health, the team does not have the luxury of trading Pagan, who has greatly enhanced his value with a strong season subbing for Beltran in center field. (NY Daily News)

The only caveat here is that the same team officials also say that Pagan could become expendable if Beltran plays well upon his return. But still, it’s good to know Pagan might have a future in Queens. Hopefully, that future doesn’t come at the expense of Carlos Beltran’s health.

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June 25: Morning Mets Links

MetsBlog – It looks like Bobby Valentine will be the new Marlins manager and the best manager in the National League. Deal with it.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper on who’s hot… and who’s not.

BrooklynMetFan – BMF talks about last night’s loss, Johan Santana’s recent off-field problems and his general sense of unease at recent events.

The Daily Stache – The best part about the “new and improved” Citi Field? The team on the field…

ESPN New York – A preview of the upcoming series against the Minnesota Twins.

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Friday Night: Pagan Out, Thole In

Andrew Marchand is reporting that Angel Pagan will likely take another night off tonight as the Mets start a three-game series against the visiting Minnesota Twins. It seems the Mets are proceeding with caution and that Pagan is on board with the decision:

“I don’t think they are going to let me play,” Pagan said.

Pagan didn’t disagree with the anticipated decision.

“I just don’t want it to be a bigger deal,” Pagan said.  (ESPN New York)

In other news, Jerry Manuel doesn’t think Rod Barajas’ back injury is serious, but he expects to start Josh Thole behind the plate tonight.

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