Tag: carlos beltran

Reyes and Church Out, F-Mart and Some Other Guy In

The Mets acquired shortstop Wilson Valdez to bolster the bench and add punch to the lineup.

The Mets acquired shortstop Wilson Valdez to bolster the bench and add punch to the lineup.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Whoever it was in the Mets front office who was sober enough to realize the insanity of holding five players hostage from the disabled list, we thank you for releasing Jose Reyes and Ryan Church to convalescence. And we thank you for affording Jerry Manuel at least 23, maybe 24, players to work with today.

Reyes and Church go on the 15-day disabled list. For Reyes, it is retroactive to May 21st. No word on the date for Church, but we can presume that it is retroactive to May 23rd.

To take their places on the 25-man roster, the Mets acquired one player and promoted another.

First, the BIG news: the Mets acquired Wilson Valdez from the Indians in exchange for cash considerations. The 31-year-old shortstop was hitting only .198 for AAA Columbus. However, I’m sure that he’s simply in a slump, as his career MLB average is a whopping .216. Wielding that kind of bat, you’re surely asking, “how can we get him in the lineup when Reyes returns?” No worries — Valdez also is a super utlityman, with experience at 2B, 3B, and all three OF positions. We are told he is a slick fielder.

Yes, Alex Cintron remains a free agent, and Chris Woodward is hitting .297 with a .391 OBP through 100 ABs for the Tacoma Rainiers. But the price for those players must have been much higher.

In other news, the Mets have promoted Fernando Martinez from Buffalo. He will be the regular right fielder while Church is on the DL. Somewhere in the western part of the United States, MetsToday loyalist “Micalpalyn” is dancing a jig — and he’s not even Irish.

This is a GREAT time for F-Mart to make his debut, because the team has been winning without Church, Delgado, Reyes, and other regulars. Thus there is no pressure for Martinez to be a savior — he can simply go out there and play his game. I do have one request for Jerry Manuel: please do NOT bat him eighth. He’s already an extremely aggressive and immature hitter, and putting him one batter ahead of the pitcher will exacerbate those negatives. Remember when Lastings Milledge was put in the eight hole?

For the record, I’m very much looking forward to seeing F-Mart in the flesh, in an MLB game.

Finally, the Mets have yet another injury to deal with, as Carlos Beltran is suffering from an inflamed tibia. He has no idea how it happened. Strangely, Kevin Burkhardt reported on SNY that Jose Reyes injured his calf off the field. Is it possible that Reyes and Beltran were injured while dancing to merengue on the team bus?

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Angel, Watch Out for that Bus!

pagan-bus1

“I called that ball like six times,” Beltran explained to reporters, from his locker following the game. “That particular play right there, I have priority, so once I call that ball… if it was a different way, Pagan would have called that ball, and my job is to get out of the way. But, basically he stood in the middle and I couldn’t see the ball… He knows that when the center fielder calls for the ball, every one has to get out of the way.”

Spoken like a true leader.

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Why Steve Phillips is Right About Beltran

steve-phillips-metsSo much to-do over a few little comments by Steve Phillips

Yes, I also watched the game last night on ESPN, and for part of the time did not use the mute button. Yes, I agree that Joe Morgan, Steve Phillips, and Jon Miller are not the best broadcast team. No, I don’t understand anything Morgan says. Yes, I disagree with 99% of what Phillips says.

But one thing I do agree with Phillips on, sort of, is the Carlos Beltran issue. If I were the Mets GM, I would absolutely consider trading Carlos Beltran at the end of this season. Not because he’s lacking edge (even if he is) or clutchness (ditto), not because he’s imperfect (aren’t we all?), not because he lacks leadership skills (there are at least 20 other Mets guilty of the same), and not because he’s an airhead (he is, you just don’t notice it when he’s hitting .400). Rather, following are my reasons why it would make sense to explore the possibility of dealing Beltran next winter.

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Mets Game 24: Win Over Braves

Mets 6 Braves 4

For once, the Mets displayed some “edge”, as well as some moxie, in coming back to beat the Braves in the later innings after falling behind early.

And David Wright, of all people, was the one to deliver the go-ahead bomb.

The Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, and Javy Vazquez set down the Mets like bowling pins for the better part of five innings. In the sixth, however, things changed, as Danny Murphy led off with a single and scored on a two-run homer by Carlos Beltran. A few minutes later, Wright blasted his four-bagger, pushing Carlos Delgado home with him to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.

Beltran popped another 2-run dinger in 7th to put the game away, and the bullpen that leads the NL in ERA cashed in the win.

John Maine barely pitched well enough to win, and was the recipient of the victory. Frankie Rodriguez notched his sixth save of the year and second of the month.

Game Notes

Though Maine struck out 7 and gave up only 3 hits and 3 earned runs, his command was awful — he walked 6 and might have walked more if not for the free-swinging of rookies Jordan Schafer and Brandon Jones, among others. Maine was consistently high and away to lefties, the same symptom of a mechanical flaw we’ve been talking about for nearly a year. It’s stunning to me that he can continue to do the same wrong thing, every time out, and no one in the Mets organization can seem to figure it out. Did the Wilpons cut video equipment from the 2009 budget with everything else?

During the TV broadcast, and using SNY’s slow-motion technology, Keith Hernandez pointed out:

“watch his throwing arm come back, look how far it comes back, and he has to … behind his body on the first base side … whoa!”

As if on cue, Maine released the ball early and high, and sent the pitch way up and away from a left-handed batter — so far, in fact, it resembled Nuke LaLoosh hitting the bull.

A few minutes prior, Kevin Burkhardt reported that Maine said he hasn’t felt like himself since the last game before the All Star break in 2007.

DOES NO ONE READ METSTODAY ??????!!!!!!

The intelligent Mets fans — you, of course — know we identified Maine’s mechanical flaw last June. Remarkably enough, it is the exact same issue that Keith Hernandez began to illustrate during the broadcast. To quote Mel Allen: how about that?

After closer analysis, and comparison to that July 5, 2007 game, I found one or two other seemingly minor issues with Maine’s mechanics that can be easily corrected. If his agent doesn’t email me for the details, I’ll post them for all the world to see later in the week.

David Wright’s go-ahead homer drove in the 500th and 501st RBI of his career.

Jose Reyes blew another sacrifice bunt, for the second time in as many games. Shame on him, because a ballplayer should be able to put down a bunt when needed. However, I’m not sure I get it … you wouldn’t have Carlos Beltran or David Wright bunt, ever, because of their ability to drive in a runner from first with a double or HR. Likewise, why would you have Reyes bunt, a guy who can send a runner from first home with a double, HR, or triple? Mind you, I’m a big-time, old-school, small-ball guy. But at the same time I realize that the sac bunt should be reserved for players who generally have lower slugging percentages — i.e., the pitchers, Alex Coras, and Luis Castillos of the world.

What happened to the old Bobby Cox Braves teams with disciplined hitters, sure fielders, and players with perfect fundamentals — the ones that used to bore you into a loss? It appears they have several youngsters rushed to the bigs who need more seasoning in the minors. Not the “Braves’ Way”.

Hey, the Mets can’t lose this series!

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves lock horns for the series finale at 7:00 PM. Livan Hernandez faces Kenshin Kawakami. I like the Mets’ chances in this matchup.

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Mets – Marlins Quick Preview

The Mets and Marlins go at it for a three game set beginning today at 7:10 PM, a prelude to the Flushing Nine’s first encounter with the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies this upcoming weekend.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: John Maine vs. Anibal Sanchez

Game 2: Livan Hernandez vs. Ricky Nolasco

Game 3: Johan Santana vs. Josh Johnson

The Fish lost two heartbreakers in the final innings to the Phillies on Friday and Saturday, then were blown out 13-2. In the Friday night contest, closer Matt Lindstrom allowed 7 runs on 3 walks and 4 hits (including 2 HRs) in two-thirds of the ninth inning en route to his second blown save of the season. They have lost six games in a row, but still lead the NL East by a slim margin. Their incompetence has miraculously allowed the stumbling Mets to gain in the standings over the last week (New York is now 3 games out of first, despite an 8-10 record).

In other words, the Marlins are down; it is up to the Mets to kick them or let them up.

The Mets are coming off a series win over the lowly Nationals, but are 2-5 over the last week. Their starting pitchers not named Santana have been awful and though 5 of the 8 starters in the lineup are batting .300 or better, their performance with runners in scoring position remains dismal. The lone bright spot is Carlos Beltran, who is absolutely unconscious at the plate — unfortunately, he’s also unconscious on the basepaths, as he’s been forgetting the NL allows sliding.

What will happen in the next few days is anybody’s guess. At the All-Star Break, we may look back at this series with the Marlins as a turning point, or defining moment, in the Mets’ season — good or bad.

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Link Roundup

Anthony Rieber of Newsday alerts Carlos Beltran to the fact that his dad’s senior softball league does not allow sliding, but the National League does.

Andrew Vazzano of TheRopolitans regurgitates a quick Q&A on Ken Takahashi he did with BaseballDigest.com‘s Japanese specialist Patrick Newman. Guess what? Takahashi was NOT particularly strong against LH hitters. Swell.

Wallace Matthews tells the tale of the two players known as Ryan Church.

Former Mets batboy Matt Tracy indicts Omar Minaya for the Mets’ struggles this year. He also exposes Jerry Manuel’s ignorance of opposing players, and still doesn’t see the logic of firing Willie Randolph (join the club).

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Is Carlos Beltran on Drugs?

Last week, Carlos Beltran did not slide into home because he said he had his eyes on the ball and didn’t realize that the catcher was blocking the plate.

Where else he thought a catcher might be positioned, with the ball loose in the infield, is anyone’s guess.

His exact quote:

“When I took off to home plate, I was watching the ball, and when I looked at home plate, I was too close for me to slide into home plate”

OK, whatever. When a guy is hitting over .400, you cut him some slack.

However, yesterday, Beltran again did not slide, but this time, it was not the plate but second base — on an attempted steal.

His explanation?

“I heard contact with the bat,” Beltran said. “I went to look at where the ball was. Basically, I got surprised at second base. It was a mistake. I should have slid right there, but basically that’s the first time that’s happened in my career.”

I’ll reiterate the key phrase, in case you missed it:

“I heard contact with the bat …”

For the record, David Wright took the pitch, watch it all the way into the catcher’s mitt. He didn’t swing. The only “contact” the ball made was with leather.

Clearly, Carlos Beltran is not that dumb, so he must be on drugs. That’s what his parents would suspect, right? For example, if your kids came home with all Cs and Ds on their report card, the first thing you’d ask is, “What’s a matta wich you, kid? You on drugs? ARE YOU ON DRUGS??!!!”

If these drugs help Beltran hit .400, but cause him to go standing into bases periodically, then please, Carlos, keep taking them — and share them with your teammates. And make sure MLB can’t test for them. Sliding is overrated anyway.

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Mets Game 17: Win Over Nationals

Mets 8 Nationals 2

The red-hot Mets blew out the Nationals to win their second consecutive game.

New York’s struggles with runners in scoring position are a distant memory, as the offense came through with four base hits out of eleven tries (.363) with RISP in this contest. Ryan Church led the way with two hits and three RBI, and Carlos Beltran extended his commanding lead over all other NL hitters by going 3-for-5. The Mets hitters exploded for five runs in the first three innings off starter and loser Daniel Cabrera.

Mike Pelfrey stepped up and came through with a strong performance, pitching into the 6th inning for the first time this season. He needed a little help finishing the inning (Sean Green came on for the final out of the sixth), but nonetheless Big Pelf allowed just two runs on six hits and three walks in 5 2/3, lowering his ERA to 6.32.

Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless seventh, and Brian Stokes finished up the game with two scoreless frames of his own.

Game Notes

Danny Murphy whirls and throws to 1B after a sliding catch in the first inning

Danny Murphy whirls and throws to 1B after a sliding catch in the first inning

In the initial inning, Danny Murphy made an outstanding sliding catch of a Texas Leaguer off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman, then threw a strike to first base to double up Anderson Hernandez, who was running on the pitch.

Just prior to exiting the game, Pelfrey got 14 consecutive outs on ground balls. With that kind of effectiveness with his sinker, he should eventually learn to be more efficient (95 pitches in this game). For example, Anderson Hernandez saw eight pitches leading off the game before singling, and later, AHern worked a walk off Big Pelf. That is exactly the kind of hitter Pelfrey should be retiring instantly (which he did, in the fifth, getting a groundout on his second pitch to Hernandez).

Beltran is now hitting .415. He is simply unconscious.

Carlos Delgado is 3 for his last 26 (.115), and his average has dropped to .250. I wonder if he needs to have a good game tomorrow to keep his spot on the roster?

Next Mets Game

The Mets go for a sweep of the Nationals on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM. Oliver Perez (or is it Hyde?) goes against rookie phenom Jordan Zimmerman (no relation to Ryan, or Roy, for that matter).

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