Tag: angel pagan

Mets Game 85: Loss to Reds

Reds 3 Mets 1

Jon Niese pitched well. But Bronson Arroyo pitched a little bit better.

Niese pitched an efficient 7 2/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, expending only 99 pitches. On another night, it might’ve been enough to earn a victory. Unfortunately, the Mets offense could do nothing against the stiff-legged delivery of Arroyo, who held them to one run on 7 hits in 8 innings.

Game Notes

Niese struck out 8 and as mentioned was extremely efficient, averaging right around a dozen pitches per inning (15 per inning is considered good). I still don’t like his dropped arm angle, which flattens all of his pitches. A few times later in the game he threw with a distinctly sidearm delivery; was that on purpose or due to fatigue? I’m leaning toward the latter, unless he’s been texting with Ollie Perez lately.

The only Met to score, and to drive in a run, was Angel Pagan, who hit a solo homer in the first frame. Carlos who?

Pagan had two hits, as did Josh Thole, who started the game behind the dish.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have a day off on Thursday, then host the Braves for a three-game set beginning on Friday night at 7:10 PM. R.A. Dickey faces Tommy Hanson.


Mets Game 82: Win Over Nationals

Mets 9 Nationals 5

The fireworks began in the initial inning and continued through the final frame.

When it was all said and done, the Mets scraped out a series split with the worst team in the NL East. And they were lucky to do so.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi pitched five innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. He was removed after 85 pitches but more importantly, after seeing the lineup twice. His junk simply runs out of magic during the third time through the lineup.

Jason Bay had a huge day, going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI and a triple, hitting the ball hard every time he came to bat. He could be at the start of a hot streak.

David Wright continued to pound the horsehide, with 2 hits and 2 runs scored.

Angel Pagan returned to the leadoff spot with a flourish, collecting 3 hits — including 2 doubles — driving in two and scoring once.

The Mets required five relievers to cover the final four frames. For reasons unknown, 8th-inning-guy Pedor Feliciano came on in the 7th to face a few lefthanded hitters before yielding to Ryota “Rocket Man” Igarashi. Igarashi and Bobby Parnell were both underwhelming as they bridged the gap to K-Rod, who didn’t create too much drama for a change.

The Mets had an 8-run lead entering the sixth, yet they somehow needed Francisco Rodriguez to end the game. Whoa.

Next Mets Game

The Mets return home to host the Reds in a 7:10 PM matchup. Mike Pelfrey goes against Aaron Harang.


Minaya: Beltran At Least One Week Away

Despite rumblings that Carlos Beltran could be back sometime this week, it seems like Beltran is still at least one week away from returning:

“Somewhere, in about a week’s time, we are going to evaluate him again,” GM Omar Minaya said Monday. Until that time, Beltran will not advance beyond the Single-A St. Lucie Mets.  (NY Daily News)

Meanwhile, Angel Pagan will likely return to the starting lineup tonight.


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.


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.


Mets Game 70: Win Over Tigers

Mets 14 Tigers 6

Usually, a “laugher” like this is fun to watch. But when there is a 58-minute rain delay in the middle of it, it can kind of drag on and put a “dampener” on the evening.

Though, I’ll take it!

Game Notes

If anyone can find something to complain about in a 14-6 victory, it’s me. And I’m steamed.

Why? Because Jon Niese was sent out to pitch the fourth inning after not only a 58-minute rain delay but a lengthy offensive rally by the Mets that made the score 10-zip. As a result, Niese sat for a good hour and twenty minutes or so between pitches. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding about how the body works (and how it recovers), knows that going back into action after that long a time is not only difficult, it’s downright dangerous. There are some chemical reactions and other things that happen inside the body, with lactic acid, glycogen, carbohydrates, and protein when the body is at rest after intense activity (yes, pitching a baseball repetitively at 90+ MPH is an “intense activity”). I’m not an expert on the subject but I know enough to know that by the time Niese went back to the mound, his body was in “recovery mode”, not “active mode” (if there is an expert out there who can support / deny this with specific details, please comment below). Workout buffs know what I’m talking about, and know the dangers of trying to do something strenuous while the body is in a “shutdown” / recovery period. Muscles are devoid of glycogen, lactic acid is building up, tissue repair is beginning, and the body is thereby vulnerable to injury. The Mets trainers should know all about this, and shame on Jerry Manuel / Dan Warthen for not seeking or heeding their advice.

As it turned out, Niese did not pitch well at all after returning to the mound in the fourth, yet Manuel sent him back out in the fifth. Why? I guess because he wanted Niese to pitch five full innings and thereby earn a win. Sorry, but padding stats is secondary to a) health and b) winning the game. Eventually Niese was removed, but not before allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 4 2/3 innings. It could’ve been worse, as he left the game with the bases loaded but Fernando Nieve struck out Danny Worth to end the fifth inning.

OK, I’m descending from the soapbox. On to the positives.

Nieve was awarded with the win for his 2 innings of shutout ball.

Angel Pagan went 4-for-6, only a homerun shy of the cycle, driving in 4 runs and scoring thrice.

David Wright was 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, two runs scored. His first RBI of the game gave him 615 for his career, passing Ed Kranepool for fourth on the all-time Mets list. Thank goodness … seeing Kranepool anywhere in historical offensive records is an embarrassment.

Ike Davis drove in three runs with three hits. Jose Reyes scored three runs with three hits.

The top three hitters in the lineup — Reyes, Pagan ,and Wright, — combined for 10 hits, nine runs scored and seven RBI. Add in Davis’ 3 RBI and you could say that batters 5 through 9 were slackers!

Bobby Parnell made his first appearance of 2010, needing 21 pitches to get 3 outs in holding an 8-run lead in the 8th inning. He threw a lot of high heat, 95-97 MPH.

Jay Sborz of the Tigers made his MLB debut by hitting the first batter he faced to load the bases, then hit the next batter to force in a run. By the time he left the game, he allowed 5 runs in two-thirds of an inning (67.50 ERA). He looked very sad as he walked back to the dugout — like he was on the brink of tears. But I’m sure a graham cracker sandwich of roasted marshmallow and chocolate would have lifted Sborz’ spirits.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Tigers meet again in Flushing on Wednesday at 7:10 PM. Undefeated R.A. Dickey faces Jeremy Bonderman. The game will be televised by ESPN.


Mets Game 67: Win Over Yankees

Mets 4 Yankees 0

Many criticize Jerry Manuel’s in-game management. But those are the people who are living in the moment, and seeing only the immediate results.

To be a great, brilliant manager like Jerry Manuel, one must have a keen understanding of the rhythm of a game, and to anticipate events far in the future.

For example, with the Mets up by four entering the ninth, many were up in arms when Raul Valdes stepped to the mound. Clearly, they did not have the foresight to envision exactly the matchup that Jerry did, which was K-Rod vs. Derek Jeter with the bases loaded.

A light bulb just went on in your head, didn’t it? Admit it, you just had one of those “ah-ha!” moments.

It’s OK … you and I and many others are mere mortals. It is why we are where we are, and Jerry Manuel earns three-quarters of a million dollars a year toiling in a Major League dugout.

You would think, though, that Jerry would yearn to use his rare intellect for tasks of more import to the human race, such as cancer research, or peace talks. Perhaps some day. Until then, cherish the time we have with him as manager of the New York Mets.

Game Notes

Who does Hisanori Takahashi think he is? He continued his domination of the mighty Yankees for another six innings, allowing no runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. The Bronx Bombers flailed, reached, and whiffed, only rarely hitting a ball squarely. If this were a World — rather than Subway — Series, I might consider bringing Takahashi back on Sunday for a few innings.

Similarly, LOOGY-no-more Pedro Feliciano spun two shutout innings of relief in his MLB-leading 40th appearance, retiring both lefties and righties. The only concern is that he expended 29 pitches in the process. In the past 8 days, Feliciano has thrown 98 pitches — not counting the inexplicable dozen or so warmups in the bullpen on Wednesday. Is that too much work? Will he be available on Saturday, and/or Sunday? Somewhere Fernando Nieve is attempting to scream through a cleave gag.

Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur each had two hits including a double.

Ike Davis drove in the Mets’ first run with a single in the first frame.

Angel “Carlos Who?” Pagan drove in two insurance runs with a clutch double in the 8th.

Fernando Rodriguez did an admirable job of keeping fannies in the seats in the 9th, walking slugger Brett Gardner to load the bases before striking out Jeter and getting a popup from Nick Swisher to end the game.

Luis Castillo remained on the DL and nowhere near Yankee Stadium, so he had no chance of botching this game.

Beyond the decision to bring in Valdes in the 9th, another glaring move by Manuel was his choice of Fernando Tatis to pinch-hit for Chris Carter in the 8th, with two men on and two out and LHP Boone Logan on the mound. First off, Tatis hadn’t been to bat in five days. Second, lefthanders are hitting almost 30 points higher (.278 to .250) vs. Logan this year. Third, Carter is hitting .500 (3-for-6) vs. LHP in MLB this year, and was hitting .370 (10-for-27) with a .915 OPS vs. LHP in AAA. But I guess Manuel had a good idea about the matchup, or saw something in BP that we didn’t. As it turned out, Tatis flied out to end the inning.

Thanks mainly to Manuel’s brilliance, the Mets are 19-5 over their last 24 games — best in baseball.

Next Mets Game

The Subway Series continues on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 PM in the Bronx. Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes go head to head in a matchup of 9-game winners.


Mets Game 65: Win Over Indians

Mets 8 Indians 4

Tin soldiers and Niese was pitching, we’re finally scoring runs
This summer I hear the drummin’, four runs in O-HI-O.

OK, that was lame. No offense to anyone who found that offensive. But that CSNY song was running through my head.

If you think “CSNY” refers to a William Peterson police investigation TV production, please move on to another Mets blog … don’t make me feel old.

Game Notes

Ohio-born-and-bred Jon Niese pitched masterfully in front of his hometown fans, spinning seven innings and allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Not nearly perfect, but perfectly acceptable nonetheless.

I liked Niese’s pace; he worked quickly and seemed to be pitching with a purpose. I still don’t love his varied arm angles and inconsistent release points, and don’t at all like his early collapse and sideways drive to the plate, which completely negates any advantage he has from his tall 6’4″ frame. Only rarely does he really use his height and get on top of the ball, dropping and driving a la Jerry Koosman — a style that would bring the sharp bite back to his curve and provide more leverage and sink to the fastball. Sometimes I think his learning the cutter was a step back in terms of long-term success, even if it helped create short-term success. Also I fear for the health of his elbow … sorry if I’m harping on that subject.

One of these days I’m going to force a “professional” pitching coach to explain to me why he allows pitchers to step sideways in starting the windup — and thereby going against all of the laws of motion and physics established by Sir Isaac Newton. Eh, they know more than Newton, I guess.

Speaking of “pro” coaches who have changed the game for “the better” … SNY showed a clip of Bob Feller during the 4th inning. If you paid attention, you would have seen that Feller used his arms over his head to initiate the generation of front-back-front momentum to propel the ball toward home plate. Somewhere along the line, pitching “experts” decided that it made more sense to keep “moving parts” to a minimum, and focused the delivery on hip rotation, which is side-to-side — and go against all the laws of motion and physics. The end result? Pitchers who don’t finish games, are limited to 100-pitch counts, have higher ERAs, lower win totals, and need annual surgeries. Go figure.

Offensively, the Mets jumped out to a five-run lead in the third inning and never looked back. Angel Pagan had a big day, going 3-for-5 with 3 RBI, a double, his 14th stolen base, and a run scored. Carlos Beltran can take all the time he wants getting back into shape.

Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bay, and Ike Davis each contributed two hits and an RBI, and David Wright hit a two-run double to round out the scoring.

Travis Hafner is a shell of his former self, and not nearly resembling the scary slugger he was before MLB starting testing for PEDs. Not to suggest that he had any “help”, just pointing out a coincidence. In fairness, Hafner has been struggling to fight injuries over the past four years, and injuries are rarely associated with PEDs.

I may never understand the universal praise for Manny Acta — aka “Connie Macta”, as Michael Kay likes to say. Despite a reputation of “being good with young players, his Nationals teams never took a step forward, were generally lazy, and lacked both fundamentals and discipline. Similarly, his Indians have gone backward. Even though Cleveland’s problems have something to do with injuries, I still felt like I was seeing a team similar to what we’ve seen in Washington the last few years. It’s not fair to judge Acta based on the small sample and the personnel, but there is definitely a familiarity from my view. Anderson Hernandez in the leadoff spot? Hmm ….

This was one of those nice games where the result was never in jeopardy … perhaps partially because Francisco Rodriguez had the night off.

Next Mets Game

The Mets go for the sweep in Cleveland at 7:05 PM on Thursday night. R.A. Dickey goes to the hill against future Met Jake Westbrook. Woops … did I say that out loud?