As much as I prefer to see the Mets lock up R.A. Dickey for the foreseeable future as soon as possible, from a cold-hearted business perspective, it may behoove the Mets to wait until Zack Greinke signs before extending their knuckleballer. Why? Because
Tag: anibal sanchez
Mets 2 Marlins 1
R.A. Dickey pitches a fabulous ballgame, the Mets score just enough runs to give him a victory, Jason Isringhausen pitched a clean inning, and Bobby Parnell saves it … either things are improving in Metsville or we have experienced four signs of the apocalypse.
Marlins 5 Mets 4
Sunk below .500 by the Fish.
Marlins 11 Mets 4
At first, it seemed as though the game was in the bag for the Mets. They had a 4-zip lead early on, and Jonathon Niese was mowing down the Fish, striking out 6 in the first three frames.
The Fish chipped out two in the fourth on a homer by Hanley Ramirez, and then fed on Niese like piranha in the sixth, splashing seven runs before the tide rolled out.
Oh, and to add injury to insult, Jose Reyes left the game in the first inning with an aggravation of his oblique injury. He’ll be out at least one game, and until he “is completely healed”.
Niese looked so good initially, then completely fell apart. 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, but 8 Ks. It was too ugly to talk about.
In contrast, Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez looked awful at first, but wound up the winner. He was walking and hitting batters like it was his intention, and allowed 15 baserunners in 5 innings, but the futile Flushing offense couldn’t take advantage, leaving a dozen men on base. This game was representative of the three-game series, and the Marlins-Mets meetups in general, in that it always seems like the Fish are trying to give the game away but the Mets appear unable to take it from them. Ever since Joe Girardi left, the Marlins have been a fundamentally flawed team that finds ways to lose ballgames — a function of having a tiny payroll and playing kids who should be getting seasoning in the minors. Yet, they’re a game and a half ahead of the Mets in the standings.
Ah, yes, the standings. The Mets gained no ground on the Phillies, who were swept by the Astros in four straight, nor the Braves, who lost their last three. They’re once again under .500 and 10 games back in the NL East.
But let’s try to be positive. For example, David Wright is definitely “in the zone”, as he had two more hits including a monstrous homer in the first. Angel Pagan is also long beyond his mini-slump, as he collected two more hits, including a double.
Another positive: Manny Acosta threw two perfect innings, expending just 18 pitches in the process.
Further, Jeff Francoeur had two hits, an RBI, and a walk (!) and made a fantastic catch at the wall in the sixth of a Wes Helms liner … but allowed a blooper by Brett Hayes to bounce into the stands only minutes later.
Speaking of Francoeur, during the postgame coverage on SNY, the ebullient rightfielder was quoted as saying “…after they scored the ninth run, it was pretty much over.” Hmm … at that point, it was 9-4. Not to nitpick, but about 24 years earlier, there were two teams that came back from 10-1 deficits to win. Being down five runs doesn’t seem so insurmountable compared to being down nine. Maybe that defeatist mentality is something solely specific to Francoeur — or maybe it is something that has been cultivated by Jerry Manuel over the past two and a half years. You’ve been watching this team over that period, so you be the judge.
So much for the positive.
Next Mets Game
The Mets host the red-hot Houston Astros for a weekend series in Flushing beginning Friday at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces former Met Nelson Figueroa.
Mets 4 Marlins 3
The home-team advantage in Flushing continues.
David Wright earned his first Major League save and R.A. Dickey furthered the impossible dream as the Mets beat the Marlins, going one game over .500 and a half-game over the Fish to take sole possession of third place in the NL East.
R.A. Dickey continues to play the part of himself in what is developing into a Hollywood script. Dickey held the Marlins to 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 6 1/3 innings, earning his third win in four starts. The 35-year-old relied on his multi-speed, dancing knuckler mixed with an occasional fastball to stymie the Florida offense. As an addendum to the already-brilliant script, and giving more legs to the legend, Dickey also has two hits in three at-bats, driving in one and scoring another, and boosting his season average to .375. Could a knuckleballer — like fine wine — get better with age? Or will the rest of the NL eventually catch on to his trickery?
Elmer Dessens solidified his status as the Mets’ setup man with a perfect inning and a third. That’s right, he’s Jerry Manuel’s 8th-inning guy. All it took was 4 straight outings of not embarrassing himself. Is that a credit to Elmer or a statement about the Mets bullpen? You make the call.
Francisco Rodriguez got two quick outs, then set up David Wright’s save by giving up an infield single, a walk, and a wild pitch to put runners on second and third for Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez chopped one down third and Wright turned a very difficult play into the final out of the game to give the Mets the victory. Though, the game might still be going on if Hanley had hustled.
To the delight of Luis Castillo-haters throughout the tri-state area, rookie Ruben Tejada hit an RBI double and scored a run.
To the chagrin of SABRnuts everywhere, Jeff Francoeur continued his Jerry Manuel-induced hot streak by going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Jason Bay also went 2-for-4, including his 14th double of the season.
From the leadoff spot, Jose Reyes saw more pitches than anyone else (21), walked twice, stroked a single, and stole his 14th base of the year. Even though he didn’t score nor drive in anyone, I’m starting to like Reyes hitting leadoff; I wonder if Jerry Manuel will stick with the experiment?
The Mets are now 20-9 at home — the only MLB team with 20 wins at home — and 8-18 on the road.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Marlins do it again on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 PM. Yes, that means you will have the pleasure of listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call the game courtesy of FOX. Jon Niese comes off the DL to face Nate Robertson in a matchup of southpaws.
Marlins 7 Mets 2
Another chapter in the biography of Bad Ollie was written in Miami.
This time, he couldn’t blame the cold weather. He couldn’t blame the condition of the mound. He couldn’t blame a bad knee, or a stomach ache, or an umpire with a tight strike zone.
In short, Ollie is out of excuses.
The scary thing is, the Marlins might’ve scored even more than 7 runs in the first four frames, but Ollie was saved by a few excellent defensive plays behind him. At no point in his brief interaction with the Fish did Oliver Perez appear to have command, confidence, or a clue. Putting him on the mound every five days is becoming an embarrassment to both he and the Mets, and is turning into a sad story.
If there was a bright spot in the game, it was … hmm … I guess Raul Valdes pitching nearly 3 innings of perfect relief. See, there was that.
Oliver Perez allowed 7 earned runs on 9 hits (including 4 homeruns) and 3 walks in 3 1/3 innings. He threw more strikes than in his last
debacle start, but unfortunately they were served on a silver platter — over the middle of the plate, waist high, at BP velocity. He threw a handful of decent sliders, but also threw several flat, fat ones — one of which was deposited into the left field seats by Dan Uggla, others that were just missed / fouled off by other hitters. Perez was lucky to get off the mound with “only” 7 runs attached to his line.
Anibal Sanchez was unlike Ollie, pitching 7 full innings and allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks; he struck out 7.
Those 4 hits were the only ones mustered by the anemic Mets offense. Half of the hits were doubles by Angel Pagan — who drove in both Mets runs — and Rod Barajas.
With this loss, the Mets are now back to Omar Minaya’s target of .500 with an 18-18 record. And, the Marlins win boosted them to an identical 18-18 record.
For those who are scoreboard watching, the Braves won, making their record 17-18. So the NL East race at the moment is the Phillies in first, Nationals (!) in second, and a three-team fight for the basement. At least he Mets are fighting for something.
Next Mets Game
Game three of this four-game set begins at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. John Maine faces Nate Robertson. You can be sure that Jerry Manuel will be pulling out every stop to win, because his job is suddenly teetering toward jeopardy again — and I don’t mean an appearance with Alex Trebek.
Mets 10 Marlins 3
Wow … where did that come from?
Just when you thought the dilapidated Mets couldn’t buy a win, the offense erupts for ten runs and Tim Redding holds the Fish to three runs in six and two-third innings of admirable work.