Tag: charlie morton

Mets Game 147: Win Over Pirates

Mets Pirates

If the Mets played the Pirates all the time, they’d have clinched the pennant by now.

OK, that’s a little silly … but imagine how the season might have gone if only the Mets played the Pirates in a 15-game series right after the All-Star exhibition?

Back to reality: the Mets swept the Pirates in a four-game series for the first time since June, 1997, and improved their record to 73-72. That’s one game over .500, folks … woo hoo !

Game Notes

I want to be excited about a four-game sweep — I really do. But this Pirates team is so awful, it’s hard to be happy. Jerry Manuel talked about the Mets “playing good baseball” but it’s mostly nonsense — the Pirates beat themselves in all four contests. Beat the crap out of themselves, in fact. We now know why the Bucs have won only 15 games on the road this year. FIFTEEN. Dear lord.

Mike Pelfrey won his 15th game of the year after allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 7 innings and 111 pitches; he struck out 4. He also knocked in the winning run with a single, driving home Lucas Duda.

Speaking of Duda, he broke out of his 1-for-33 slump by going 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and that run scored. The Camptown ladies sing this song …

Angel Pagan also had a big day, going 3-for-5 with his 30th double, a run, and 2 RBI. He also stole his 34th base and made a spectacular, sliding, diving catch in centerfield to rob John Bowker of an extra-base hit and double-up Pedro Alvarez in the fourth. Had he not caught that ball, Pelfrey might not have made it out of the inning and I’d be writing a much different post.

Chris Carter had a pinch-hit, which wasn’t a big deal on its own, but it was his birthday. So, happy birthday, Animal!

I can see why the Braves gave up on Charlie Morton despite a 95+ MPH fastball, and why Morton is 1-12 with an ERA so high it can’t legally be published here. His mechanics are inconsistent and a disaster, leading to release points that are all over the map. Watching his delivery was similar to watching the lightning striking outside my window before the game — dangerous, all over the place, and occasionally followed by a loud “crack”.

Next Mets Game

The Mets return to Major League play on Friday, hosting the Braves at the Field at Shea Bridge. Jonathon Niese faces Tommy Hanson. Game time is 7:10 PM.

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Pirates Trade Nate McLouth to Braves

Now we know why the Braves dumped Tom Glavine — to clear payroll.

In the second surprising move of the day involving Atlanta, the Braves acquired centerfielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates in exchange for Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez, and Jeff Locke.

Morton and Locke were among the Braves’ better pitching prospects, and Hernandez a top outfield prospect. Hernandez compares in skills to former Met Carlos Gomez.

Though McLouth has been mired in a season-long slump, he was showing signs of breaking out recently, and he no doubt will benefit from being surrounded in the lineup by the Braves’ legit MLB hitters. With the Pirates, opposing pitchers had the option to pitch around McLouth and instead deal with the LaRoche brothers — who are nice hitters but hardly middle-of-the-order talents right now.

Have to say I’m stunned by this move, from the Pirates’ perspective. You would think a 27-year-old centerfielder with McLouth’s skillset, and about to enter his prime, is the type of player you use as a building block. Pittsburgh’s pitching staff would seem to be a year or two away from maturing, so why cut bait on McLouth now? Basically what the Bucs are saying is, “we don’t plan to compete this year, next year, nor the year after”. Wow, and I thought it was tough to be a Mets fan!

What makes this deal more mind-boggling is that the Pirates bought out McLouth’s arbitration years only a few months ago, signing him to a 3-year, $15.75M extension in February — which is pretty cheap for an All-Star centerfielder. Apparently the Pirates a) believe last year was a fluke for McLouth and trading him while he still as value; b) are broke; and/or c) are focused on always being a AAA team in the midst of “rebuilding”, and not really interested in fielding an MLB-caliber ballclub.

The Braves, on the other hand, get a solid centerfielder entering his prime and under control for the next four years to replace Jordan Schaefer, who has shown a great glove but has been overmatched at the plate. They dealt from surplus, and likely won’t miss any of the three youngsters they’ve sent to Pittsburgh.

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Miller: Peavy Going to Braves

Jake Peavy is going to the Atlanta Braves, if he waives his no-trade clause, Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline reports.

Miller claims that the Braves are ready to send Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, one of either Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton, and one of either Scott Locke or Blaine Boyer.

I’m still not seeing the Braves parting with Escobar … unless Khalil Greene is also part of the deal or they’re looking to bring either Edgar Renteria or Rafael Furcal back to Atlanta. I do realize that Peavy is an ace, but their package seems a bit too heavy and against their philosophy of rebuilding from within. Then again, they have been unable to develop ace-level pitchers in recent years, and have an abundance of young position players, and oftentimes a team must deal from surplus. Escobar is a pretty special talent, though.

With or without Escobar, I’m not liking the idea that the Braves may have Jake Peavy next year — nor does it please me that they are supposedly looking to add a frontline free-agent starter such as A.J. Burnett or Ryan Dempster, as Miller also claims.

*** UPDATE ***

Ken Rosenthal is debunking this rumor, sort of.

If the Braves are getting Jake Peavy, it’s news to them.

The Braves are on the verge of a trade agreement with the Padres for Peavy, according to CBSSportsline.com, but the Padres have yet to communicate their acceptance of a Braves’ offer to Atlanta officials, major-league sources say.

Hmm …. he goes on to state this:
It is possible that the Padres have decided internally to proceed with the Braves, then finalize the details later Thursday. The teams spoke again on Wednesday, continuing discussions that have lasted for over a month.

So, Rosenthal is debunking the deal in one paragraph, then covering his butt just in case the deal is realized. Is he upset he didn’t get the scoop? Or was Miller too quick to the trigger?

We’ll know before Thanksgiving. Perhaps before the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau.

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