Browsing Archive June, 2010

Today’s Mets Lineup and Open Thread

No Mets links today… Tune in tomorow morning to see what’s going on in the Mets-o-sphere.

TODAY’S GAME

The Mets (42-32) take on the Twins (42-33) in the rubber game of the 3-game series. Jon Niese (4-2, 4.17) will face Minnesota’s Scott Baker (6-6, 4.61).

Here is the Mets starting lineup:

Jose Reyes – SS
Jesus Feliciano – CF
David Wright – 3B
Ike Davis – 1B
Jason Bay – LF
Rod Barajas – C
Jeff Francoeur – RF
Ruben Tejada – 2B
Jonathon Niese – LHP

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Quote of the Day: Mets Need to Relax With Beltran

Rob Parker of ESPN New York on the Mets handling of Carlos Beltran’s seemingly imminent return:

The Mets need to relax, reel it in a bit.

This talk, even in the smallest of terms, about Carlos Beltran returning asap is sheer craziness.

And the Mets, of all teams, should know better. The only thing they have done more of than choking down the stretch that last five years is leading the league in medical gaffes.

There’s simply no need for Beltran to be rushed back. (ESPN New York)

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Mets Game 74: Loss to Twins

Twins 6 Mets 0

Carl Pavano can pitch in New York after all.

Pavano spun a 3-hit shutout as the Twins rediscovered their fundamentals, defense, and power.

Game Notes

(All together now) Johan Santana didn’t have his best stuff. But this time, I mean he didn’t have his best stuff compared to the “not his best stuff” we’ve been seeing in 2010. Did that make any sense? He allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 4. As usual, his command and velocity were less than stellar.

Maybe he didn’t pitch well because he was trying too hard against his old team. Though, there wasn’t any bad blood when he left, and he didn’t have to prove anything to them. It was about as amicable a breakup it could be.

Maybe the story about the dismissed rape charges from last January breaking was on his mind. Perhaps being reminded of his infidelity as a result was clouding his focus.

Or maybe, he’s just not nearly as outstanding as he was prior to his elbow injury last year. That’s not to say he isn’t good, or very good at times — rather, that he’s not outstanding.

Not that it would’ve mattered anyway, since the Mets managed only 3 hits against Pavano. Two were from Jeff Francoeur — one was a bunt single. The third hit was by Rod Barajas, and it was a cheap bloop that dropped in front of centerfielder Denard Span. The only other baserunner allowed by Pavano was Ike Davis, who reached on a walk.

Maybe it was better this way — that Santana and the offense both had a bad day. Otherwise we might be lamenting that the Mets “wasted” another great start by Santana, and/or that it is just another case of Santana receiving poor run support.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match will be played at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jon Niese faces Scott Baker.

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June 26: Saturday Mets Links and Open Thread

MetsToday – Buried deep within his recap of last night’s game, Joe Janish wonders if Francisco Rodriguez is having ankle problems.

Brooklyn Met Fan – Mike Pelfrey’s performance in last night’s game has allayed the fears of BMF.

OnTheBlack – Despite the naysayers, Kerel Cooper says David Wright IS clutch.

NY Daily News – Just days after he was nailed by TMZ for extracurricular activities, Johan Santana says his elbow isn’t fully recovered from surgery. Interesting timing.

Amazin’ Avenue – Sam Page loves the Mets new focus on homegrown talent. And don’t forget about the Mets’ team speed. Like a bunch of homegrown gazelles out there…

Long Live Shea Stadium – A scouting report on Minnesota’s Carl Pavano.

TODAY’S GAME

The Mets take on the Twins today at Citi Field. Johan Santana will face Carl Pavano. Here’s the lineup, via ESPN NY:

Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Alex Cora, 2B
Johan Santana, LHP

And here is video of Johan Santana talking about facing his old team:

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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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