Tag: angel pagan

Mets Game 125: Win Over Marlins

Mets 6 Marlins 5

They’re not dead yet!

The Mets came from behind in dramatic fashion, as the beleaguered Luis Castillo stroked a game-winning blooper in the bottom of the ninth to drive home Ike Davis with the winning run.

The situation was set up the inning before, when Angel Pagan stretched a single into a double and raced home on a base hit by Carlos Beltran to tie the ballgame.

Both the Braves and the Phillies lost, so the Mets picked up a game on both in the standings!

Game Notes

I heard the Mets won — listened on the radio — but didn’t see it, so don’t have much from an analysis perspective. This game must have been fun to watch (it was thrilling to listen to), yet how many actually did? Too bad it didn’t happen in May, when people were still paying attention. With the Mets more or less out of the race, the team usually playing more lackluster than they did in this contest, and the NFL season coming soon, people are finding better things to do than pay attention to the futiles of Flushing.

If you didn’t listen on the radio, you missed a gem at the very end by Howie Rose, after Castillo’s game-winner, as his teammates rushed from the dugout to congratulate him:

“No one’s ever loved a pounding as much as the one Castillo is getting right now ….”

That right there almost made it worth listening.

Angel Pagan went 4-for-5 with 2 doubles, his 31st stolen base, and 3 runs scored. Beltran went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 2 walks. Perhaps he is getting hot and will put the Mets on his back and carry him to a playoff spot?

Jeff Francoeur drove in 2 runs with two sac flies.

Gaby Sanchez hit a homer and a double and drove in four of the five Fish runs.

In unrelated news, lifelong Dodger fan Rod Barajas fulfilled his childhood dream of wearing an LA uniform and went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer. He did that once for the Mets a few months ago, I believe.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Fish play again in Flushing on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM. Pat Misch goes against Alex Sanabia, whoever that is.


Mets Game 113: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 6 Mets 2

As late as the 7th inning, the Mets looked like they might add to their already MLB-leading total of 16 shutouts. Instead, they added to their MLB-leading total of grand slams allowed, pushing the number to 9 and in turn losing both the shutout and the ballgame.

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese was, once again, absolutely brilliant. He hurled 7 full innings, allowing only one run on 5 hits, walking none and striking out 7. Unfortunately for Niese, the Mets were paralyzed by Rockies starter Jeff Francis, who allowed two runs on only 3 hits.

Niese did not allow a leadoff batter to reach base until the seventh frame.

This was the seventh time that Niese spun seven innings and allowed one run or less — he leads all rookies in this stat. The last time a Met rookie accomplished such a feat was in 1984, when Ron Darling did it seven times and Dwight Gooden did it 15 times.

As if this loss wasn’t bad enough, there were reports that Jon Niese had some leg issues after the game. According to Jerry Manuel, Niese was removed because of that leg problem. According to Niese, the leg issue had nothing to do with being removed. According to Joe Janish, Manuel’s recent double-talk and contradictions are good practice for a successful career in politics.

Hisanori Takahashi was tabbed as the “8th inning guy”, but was removed after he retired two and let two on. I guess he was really the “two-thirds of the 8th inning guy”.

Speaking of, I can’t figure how or why Takahashi allowed those two baserunners after getting two outs in the 8th. I mean, we just saw him succeed in the 8th inning role 24 hours prior.

Further, it’s absolutely baffling that Manny Acosta was unable to retire any of the five batters he faced en route to blowing the ballgame. I mean, he’s been SO GOOD since being promoted from AAA. Of course, it’s not nearly as mysterious as the sudden drop in performances by Raul Valdes and Bobby Parnell. It’s like the Mets are snakebit, seeing all these ordinary pitchers regress to the mean.

The Mets bullpen has a 6.08 ERA in August.

David Wright struck out 4 times in 4 plate appearances. Ouch. He is pulling his head off the ball on every swing, and continuing to “load up” and take really healthy cuts even with two strikes. Whatever happened to the guy who used to cut down his swing and go the other way when the situation demanded it, making him such a dangerous and effective two-strike hitter?

The one bright spot on offense was Angel Pagan‘s first-inning two-run homer. Melvin Mora‘s 8th inning grand slam might have been a bright spot if Mora were still wearing a Mets uniform. Alas, that was a long, long time ago.

Chris Iannetta‘s sac fly in the seventh plated the first run the Rockies scored against the Mets since April 14th.

At one point in the game, the Rockies struck out seven consecutive Mets, all swinging.

The Mets had one baserunner after the first inning — a single by Henry Blanco in the fifth.

The Mets have now gone 42 consecutive games without winning two in a row. How is that possible?

We can’t blame Jerry Manuel for the strange lineup decisions nor the pitching changes he made — he was simply following his gut to figure out ideal matchups. And we can’t blame Howard Johnson for an offense that is making the 1976 Mets look like The Big Orange Machine. And we can’t blame the Mets for rushing Carlos Beltran back to regular duty when he’s clearly not ready. And we can’t blame Omar Minaya for putting together this .500 team. Whew … thankfully, this is a completely blameless situation. Just a lot of really, really bad luck!

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 12:10 PM on Thursday afternoon on “getaway day”. Unfortunately for the Mets, they won’t have the opportunity to get away from themselves. Johan Santana goes to the hill against Jason Hammel. Normally, I would feel confident about the Mets chances with that matchup. However, I’m not sure Santana will hit enough to help himself win the game.


Mets Game 111: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 6 Mets 5

Not even seven homegrown players in the lineup could beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

The Mets had seven fruits of the farm in their lineup: Jose Reyes, David Wright, Angel Pagan, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, and Fernando Martinez. Yet, all that fruit — some of it very fresh — did not produce a win.

Though, the two individuals who were NOT home-grown — R.A. Dickey and Carlos Beltran — did nothing to help the team win. In fact, the loss was more or less the fault of Dickey. So perhaps if the Mets try this again with Jonathon Niese or Mike Pelfrey on the mound, the result will be different. It may even help to bring back Jesus Feliciano or Nick Evans so that there can be a full nine from the farm in the lineup. Such a setup would have to bring success.

Game Notes

Not a good day for R.A., whose knuckler was pounded pretty hard. He was gone after 3 innings and 6 runs (4 earned), and gave up 8 hits and a walk. Jerry Manuel thought Dickey looked “too strong”, whatever that means. Something about him being in Dire Straits?

Homegrown catcher Josh Thole went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored and threw out Greg Dobbs attempting to steal. What was Dobbs doing trying to steal? Not sure, since he already has his one for the year (he has 9 in 7 seasons in MLB).

Thole’s performance was encouraging. I now think he has a good shot to be at least as good as Jason Phillips. Similarly, Tejada has been impressive in these last two games with his flashy defensive play, leading me to believe he is ALREADY as good as Anderson Hernandez.

The “farm team” did a nice job of fighting back, but it was too little, too late. Roy Halladay didn’t have his best stuff, but somehow gritted his way through 7 innings. Somehow, Brad Lidge managed not to blow it in the 9th. Compare / contrast to Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez in the first half of 2010.

Carlos Beltran went 0-for-4 before being double-switched out of the game when Pedro Feliciano came on in relief. Did anyone ever think THAT would happen, ever?

Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan were a combined 4-for-8 with 3 runs, 2 RBI, and 2 SBs as they set the table all day. Unfortunately, Beltran, David Wright, Ike Davis, and Fernando Martinez were a combined 2-for-16 behind them.

The Mets have not won back-to-back in something like 41 games, going back to late June. Think about that.

The Braves won on Sunday, so the Mets are now 9.5 games out of first place.

Next Mets Game

The Mets get a day off on Monday so they can travel all the way back to Flushing (I assume they are walking, or going by horse and carriage). On Tuesday at 7:10 PM they host the Colorado Rockies, who will be sending Cy Young candidate Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound. The Mets may or may not counter with Mike Pelfrey, who has been working on keeping his arm speed consistent. Why he is working on that, I have no idea, since it has little to do with his recent lack of command.


Mets Game 104: Win Over Diamondbacks

Mets 5 Diamondbacks 4

The Mets confirmed their front office’s decision to remain status quo by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion.

Hisanori Takahashi showed everyone why the Mets had no reason to trade for a starter by striking out 10 in 6 innings. Manny Acosta came on in the 7th and 8th to prove he was the only “acquisition” the Mets needed for the bullpen. And David Wright provided enough firepower to quell any thoughts that the team might need offensive reinforcements. Oh, and Jesus Feliciano gave GM Omar Minaya every reason to believe that the backup outfielder they needed was already in the organization.

Game Notes

Takahashi struck out a career-high 10 in 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks. He should continue to do well as long as he keeps facing teams that have never seen him before. Mark Reynolds in particular looked like he’d never held a bat in his hand before — he was completely mystified by Tak’s assortment of junk.

I am SURE Takahashi’s strikeout total had more to do with his skills than the fact that AZ strikes out more than any other NL team. After all, Mike Pelfrey didn’t strike out that many batters in his start on Friday.

Shocking fact: those 10 Ks represented the first time all year that a Mets pitcher hit double-digits in strikeouts. How is that possible?

Where are all the David Wright detractors? Please step forward and re-confirm your desire to see him traded away for prospects. Wright went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, and is now 8-for-15 with 9 RBI on the homestand.

Angel Pagan also had a good day, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, and 2 runs scored.

The Mets lineup after Wright was 1-for-19. However, that “1” was a leadoff triple by Jesus Feliciano, who eventually scored on a sac fly by Carlos Beltran to win the ballgame. At least the bottom 6 of the lineup makes the most of their rare contributions.

Bobby Parnell was hit hard, retiring no one while allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk. His awful appearance comes one day after a similarly bad outing by Raul Valdes. After the game, a pumpkin was seen sitting in the parking lot outside Citi Field.

D.J. Carrasco, the pitcher who let the Mets back in to the game by allowing 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning, was one of the players acquired by the D-Backs at the trade deadline. Which gives us more evidence that the Mets were very smart not to go crazy trading for anyone.

Oh, and if you needed any more support for standing pat, the Braves were beaten today, in spite of acquiring Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth. Furthermore, the Phillies are 0-2 since picking up Roy Oswalt. So what do we learn from this? Deals at the trade deadline = instant suckiness. Omar Minaya is a genius!

This was the Mets’ 4th walkoff win of the season.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Daniel Hudson, a young righthander who was acquired by Arizona from the White Sox a few days ago in a trade for Edwin Jackson.


Mets Game 95: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 4 Mets 3

It’s one thing to watch a painful loss. It’s another to watch a painfully long game that ends in a loss.

It took the Mets 4 hours and 45 minutes to lose to the Diamondbacks in a game that appeared to be lost as early as the third inning. The only thing that caused the contest to continue was a random moon shot by Rod Barajas in the sixth. Otherwise, every Met not named Angel Pagan pretty much packed it in and was going through the motions.

By the time Chris Snyder lashed a liner to the left field wall to drive home the winning run in the fourteenth frame, I have to admit I was rooting for it to happen — the game had become too agonizing, and a loss seemed inevitable.

Game Notes

Jon Niese pitched so-so, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 6, in 5 innings. All three runs he gave up were on solo homers. As usual, his release point and arm angle was all over the place, and his pitches were mostly flat. Not as usual, the opposing team took advantage. Could be a sign of things to come.

Angel Pagan hit another homer and went 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored. Has anyone been more consistent and consistently productive since Opening Day? And to think he’s been relegated to bench duty not once but twice this season.

What is most disturbing about this lost series is the fact that the Diamondbacks weren’t necessarily trying to win. Of course, they were trying to win, but what I mean is, manager Kirk Gibson was doing a lot of things he might not have done if his team were in the thick of a pennant race. For example, he pulled Ian Kennedy after 5 innings because the team wants to keep him under 200 IP for the season. And, Gibson left in his “irregulars” for most of this contest rather than plugging in starters such as Adam LaRoche when key situations came up. Gibson was doing more evaluating of his personnel than going all out to win — yet, they still won the series.

Bobby Parnell allowed no runs in his one inning of work but was lucky to do so. He walked Justin Upton to start the frame, then allowed a rip up the middle to Miguel Montero, then allowed another laser to Mark Reynolds but it was right at Jose Reyes, turning a bad situation into a double play. After the DP, Parnell gave up another hard-hit ball to Rusty Ryal before gettng the third out. It’s remarkable that Parnell can hit triple digits yet be so hittable.

Former Met Aaron Heilman hurled two nearly perfect innings of relief, striking out three and walking one. He’s lost a bit on his fastball — topping out at 92 MPH — but still has one of the nastiest changeups in MLB. He also dropped in a sharp breaking ball on Carlos Beltran that felt really weird if you have any memories of Heilman, Beltran, and Adam Wainwright from one evening in October 2006.

Oliver Perez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball but it was far from impressive. I’m still trying to figure out how he escaped from a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the twelfth.

Oliver Perez” and “Ollie” were trending topics in NYC on Twitter as of 2:20 AM EST.

Is it a coincidence that the Mets’ overnight change from a fighting, tenacious team to a bunch of sleepwalkers began when Carlos Beltran returned to active duty?

The Mets had one hit after the sixth inning. The game went 14 frames.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move northward to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for a four-game set. Game one begins at 10:10 PM EST (yawn!) on Thursday night. Hisanori Takahashi is scheduled to face Hiroki Kuroda.


Mets Game 94: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 3 Mets 2

For the eleventh straight game, the Mets have been held to four runs or less.

And for the fifth time in six tries since the All-Star exhibition, the Mets lost — despite having Carlos Beltran starting in centerfield.

In fact, the Mets have yet to win a game with Beltran in the lineup; their one “win” came when Phil Cuzzi blew the call at home plate that should’ve given the Giants the victory.

What made this loss more painful was the fact the Mets were held to one run on five hits through eight innings by a lounge singer from the 1970s. Didn’t Barry Enright open for Tom Jones or Engelbert Humperdinck at a Vegas club back in the day?

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey pitched seven strong innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, but walked away with a loss. The Mets offense is really messing up Disney’s script.

The only Mets to cross the plate were Josh Thole — who hit his first MLB homer — and Angel Pagan, who blasted a solo shot of his own to make things interesting in the top of the ninth.

Pagan and Jose Reyes combined to go 4-for-8 to set the table at the top of the lineup. Unfortunately, no one sat down to dinner nor did anyone clean up.

At the beginning of the game, SNY experienced “transmission issues” and there was no video broadcast. My thought was that the Mets have been so bad lately, SNY felt none of us could bear to watch. As it turned out, Emmy-award-winning producer Bill Webb was arrested by Arizona immigration officers, who had profiled him as a result of his spending too much time in the sun earlier in the day (Webb also reportedly answered “gracias” when handed a cup of coffee moments before the arrest). Kevin Burkhardt posted bail and Webb returned in time to get the Mets back on TV screens around the fourth inning.

Next Mets Game

The Mets will try to salvage at least one game in the series finale on Wednesday night in Arizona. Jonathon Niese faces Dan Haren in a contest that begins at 9:40 PM EST.


Midseason Assessment by John Delcos

When pitchers and catchers reported Feb. 18, I posted five key questions the Mets faced heading into the season. Let’s revisit those questions at the All-Star break.

1) Question: What is this team’s attitude?

Assessment: By all accounts, it has been superb. There is a different chemistry in the Mets clubhouse than I have previously seen. The Mets have shown a remarkable resiliency to bounce back from adversity and Sunday’s win is just another example. There have been no issues about a lack of hustle, and no finger pointing. Both Jeff Francoeur and Angel Pagan said the right things about the prospect of reduced playing time as Carlos Beltran is about to be activated from the disabled list. The only sour note was


Mets Game 88: Win Over Braves

Mets 3 Braves 0

The Mets avoided a sweep and went into the All-Star break on a high note by shutting out the Braves behind a stellar performance by Johan Santana.

Game Notes

Johan Santana pitched like an ace on this afternoon, throwing 7 shutout innings and allowing only 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5. He has won back to back starts for the first time all year, and extended his scoreless innings streak to 16.

Bobby Parnell threw a perfect eighth to bridge the gap to Francisco Rodriguez, who also was perfect. Parnell surprised the heart of the Braves’ order with nasty sliders; if he can continue to mix in quality sliders like that to keep batters from sitting on the heater, he could settle into a setup role. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it was one appearance and three outs — let’s hope he can continue to consistently command the breaking pitch going forward.

Angel Pagan went 3 for 5 with a triple and a run scored. Is there really a possibility that he is put into something other than an everyday job when Carlos Beltran returns? If so, such a decision defies logic.

Ike Davis was hands-down the star of the game (after Santana). He hit a majestic, tape-measure homer over the apple in dead center to lead off the sixth, and he made several sparkling plays in the field.

Josh Thole had ANOTHER pinch-hit RBI single. Can you say, “Gates Brown” ?

Chris Carter started the game in left field and went 2-for-3. It may very well be his last start as a Met, since there is little chance of him getting into the rotation once Beltran returns.

Prior to the game, Jerry Manuel was asked if Carter might see any time at first base going forward. According to Howie Rose, Manuel replied with a chuckle and answered, “that’s a little too close to the ball”. Nothing like showing confidence in your players. With managers like Manuel, who needs enemies? Stay classy, Jerry.

In related news, the NYPD was asked if Jerry Manuel would be managing their charity softball game against the NYFD. “That’s a little too close to the dugout,” the chief of police answered with a chuckle.

OK, I made that last one up.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have a few days off while MLB puts on a spectacle that no one takes seriously but somehow includes a contest that affects the World Series. They return to game play on July 15 in San Francisco. Game time is 10:15 PM EST. Rumor has it that R.A. Dickey will take the ball for the Mets.