Tag: chris carter

Mets Game 161: Win Over Nationals

Mets 7 Nationals 2

The Mets took one step closer toward fulfilling Ken Davidoff’s preseason prediction of an 80-82 season. I’m texting Ken now for lottery numbers.

Game Notes

Reliever Raul Valdes started the game and went 5 innings despite pitching on three days’ rest — and pitching twice in one day four days ago. Additionally, starter R.A. Dickey pitched an inning of relief on two days’ rest. How does this happen in a meaningless September, when rosters can be expanded to 40 players? Oh, because the Mets have only 33 players on their roster currently.

Interesting that in addition to the front office mismanaging September callups, Jerry Manuel still runs out of arms when he has 8 extra bodies and 16 total pitchers. Maybe there is something to the idea that poor management starts from the top and trickles down.

Note: if the Valdes start and Dickey relief appearance was not a hard, clear message to Oliver Perez, I don’t know what is.

Ah, but why should I be so negative after a victory? Let’s talk about the great, awesome stuff that gave the Mets the opportunity to possibly finish the year with 80 wins!

David Wright blasted his 29th homer of the game to break a 2-2 tie and give the Mets a 5-2 lead. He has followed in the footsteps of team leader Carlos Beltran and really stepped it up once the season no longer mattered. He has a chance to finish the year with 30 HR and 100 RBI — really nice individual stats that look great on paper and make him a good choice for your Strat-O-Matic team this winter.

Chris Carter followed with a 2-run homer in the eighth, scoring Lucas Duda. Duda hit a prodigious blast of his own in the fourth to put the Mets ahead 2-zip.

There were 7 Mets rookies in the starting lineup. My wife was able to identify one. Though, if Mike Nickeas started behind home plate, I’m not sure she’d have identified that many.

Last Mets Game

The Mets and Nationals play the final regular-season game of 2010 on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM. There is no tomorrow after tomorrow, so Jerry Manuel has the option to manage like there is no tomorrow. In other words, not much differently than what you’ve seen for the past two and a half years. Mike Pelfrey takes the ball against Livan Hernandez.


Mets Game 122: Win Over Pirates

Mets 7 Pirates 2

Too bad it took 122 games for the Mets to find a team that their lineup could put a whuppin’ on.

The Mets scored, scored, and scored some more, to the point where one might’ve began to feel sorry for Jeff Karstens and the AAA team behind him.

But it was nice to see the orange and blue finally burst out with the lumber, and perform the very opposite of “pathetic”.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey cruised through 8 innings to his 12th win of the season, allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5. He had the hard sinker running and kept his wits about him for most of the game.

The Mets rapped 15 hits, 3 for extra bases, including Chris Carter‘s third homer of the season; they were 6-for-11 with RISP. The only Met position player not to hit safely was Ruben Tejada.

Jose Reyes went 3-for-5 with a double, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base. David Wright also went 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored hitting from the five-hole behind the Animal Chris Carter.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Bucs do it again on Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Jonathon Niese goes against James McDonald.


Jason Bay Out: Deja Vu All Over Again

According to a tweet by Kevin Burkhardt, Jason Bay is suffering from a mild concussion and may be out for this three-game series vs. the Cardinals. Apparently, he felt symptoms on the plane trip back from the Left Coast. Cross-country plane trip? Concussion? Corner outfielder? Where have I heard this story before?

Additionally, Jerry Manuel has been suspended for his “ump bump” in Los Angeles.

Further, Rod Barajas was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique. Corner infield slugger Mike Hessman was promoted from AAA to take his place on the roster. Hessman has hit 9 HR in his last 78 MLB at-bats, spanning two years (2007-2008). How does one smack one homer every 8.7 ABs and not get a chance to play for a year and a half?

With Bay, Jeff Francoeur returns to RF and Angel Pagan moves to left. It would be nice to see Chris Carter get some playing time but that doesn’t appear in the plans. Francoeur has 3 hits in 11 ABs (.273) vs. Adam Wainwright, and will get the start this evening. Josh Thole catches in place of Barajas and I imagine will get the bulk of the duty back there for the next two weeks.


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.


Mets Game 39: Win Over Braves

Mets 3, Braves 2

It wasn’t pretty…

It wasn’t ugly…

It just kind of WAS… ya know?

The Mets topped the Braves 3-2, behind Mike Pelfrey, Rod Barajas, Chris Carter and a huge stolen base by Jose Reyes.The Braves were listless for the most part, but this is the kind of game the Mets have to win. And they did. Pretty cool, huh?

Pelfrey was every bit the workhorse the Mets need him to be, tossing 7 2/3 innings, scattering 7 hits and allowing 2 runs. Barajas had a 2-RBI double in the 2nd inning. Carter scored on the Barajas double and he also knocked in Jose Reyes on a groundout in the 6th inning. If Reyes hadn’t stolen third base, the Mets may never have scored their third run and the game may have continued in perpetuity – theoretically – or at least until Barajas batted again.

Random Notes: Gary Matthews Jr. is starting to remind me of Chick Gandil in Eight Men Out… You could hear Gary Cohen deflate when Matthews hit into a double play with runners on first and second in the top of the 7th… Speaking of Cohen, he REALLY wants Jeff Francoeur to hit a home run in Atlanta – so much so that he nearly fell off his seat when Francouer flied out to left field. Cohen then went on to describe Francoeur’s swing as a “lusty cut” (yikes)… Francisco Rodriguez’s windup and follow-through is circus-like and kinda scary. I’m not sure it’s a good thing when a pitcher consistently falls off the mound like he’s getting tossed off a merry-go-round at 50 mph. It certainly didn’t help his control any.

Next Mets Game

The Mets take on the Braves again tomorrow night at 7:10pm EDT. Johan Santana (3-2, 3.88) goes up against Kris Medlen (1-1, 2.35).

So that’s it. My first “guest post” in about a year. How’d I do? Leave your comments and pontifications below, tip your waiters and enjoy some smooth jazz, Ozzy Osbourne-style:


Animal in the House

Chris “The Animal” Carter is finally a Met.

Carter — who had been acquired for Billy Wagner in a late-season 2009 deal with the Red Sox — has been promoted to the big club. Veteran pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto was DFA’d to make room for Carter on the roster.

I’m very pleased to see Carter get his just due, after doing everything he could to earn a job and more. At the same time, I’m a little sad to say goodbye to Catalanotto, even if he was hitting only .160 and even if 99% of the fan base wanted him gone. Why? Because Gary Matthews Jr. remains on the roster, complete with his .136 batting average and 18 strikeouts in 44 at-bats. I realize it’s helpful to have a defensive-minded outfielder backing up the starters, but jeez louise — will his glove really make up for striking out nearly fifty percent of the time? I’m still trying to figure out why the Mets sent both Jeremy Reed and Cory Sullivan packing, in return for the right to trade Brian Stokes for GMJ.

But this is about the Animal, who suits up on Tuesday in Flushing. With Scott Olsen starting for the Nats, it’s unlikely we’ll see Carter in the starting lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a start on Tuesday against righthander Craig Stammen — particularly if Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur continue to slump. The outfielder corners would appear to be the only opportunity for Carter to get semi-regular playing time, considering how well Ike Davis is doing at 1B. Let’s hope he isn’t used the way Catalanotto was — strictly as a pinch-hitter. It would be a waste to give him only three swings a night. If given a chance, Carter might prove to be one of those late bloomers, in the same mold as Travis Hafner, Carlos Pena, and Nelson Cruz. We’ll never know until he gets a fair shot.


The Mike Jacobs Mystery Continues

Mike Jacobs finally collected his second hit of 2010, and it happened to be a homerun. His 100th career homer, in fact, though the distinction went largely unnoticed.

Jacobs is now hitting above .100 — .133 to be exact — and the long ball hit on Sunday is likely to entrench him at first for at least another week. The Mets like the long ball this year.

Despite that singular display of power (and offensive competence), the presence of Mike Jacobs has been quite a mystery. Mind you, this is coming from one who is a huge supporter of Jacobs.

It was strange enough that Mike Jacobs was the man chosen to take over first base when Daniel Murphy went down with a knee injury. After all, Jacobs was the least impressive of all the candidates auditioned at the position during spring training. Further, the Mets had not one but two other first baseman — Chris Carter and Ike Davis — absolutely mashing the baseball during the spring. Both are now bashing the ball in Buffalo.

Strange became baffling when Jerry Manuel put Jacobs in the cleanup spot, despite the fact he was the worst-looking hitter of the spring (counting only those who made the 25-man roster) and despite the fact his career numbers batting fourth are significantly worse than when he’s hit in any other position.

Baffling became unbelievably unacceptable when, upon being asked about Jacobs’ slow start, Manuel then let the world know that Jacobs “needed to work out some mechanical issues” in his swing.


Apparently, Manuel and the Mets staff didn’t notice these “mechanical issues” during the six weeks of spring training, which would have been a great time to correct them. Or maybe they did see these mechanical issues, and thought it would be a good idea for Mike to work them out at the Major League level. Who cares if the games count in the regular season?

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark — or Flushing — if an underperforming player with known flaws is given a starting job over two players who show the opposite.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the Mets did not want Ike Davis or Chris Carter at first base for fear that they would perform so well, it would create a conundrum when Murphy returned from the disabled list. What if, for example, Carter was brought North as the “temporary” first baseman, and he hit .350 with 7 homers in the month of April? What would the Mets then do with Murphy?

I have to admit that conspiracy theory is faint in my heart. More likely, the Mets believed that Jacobs would somehow “flip a switch” and shake his slump when Opening Day rolled around. I’m beginning to believe that the Mets are simply poor at evaluating talent and projecting future performance. For example, why would they think it was a good idea to carry Sean Green on the 25-man roster? What is it that they see, that 29 other teams didn’t, in regard to Raul Valdes? Where did they get the idea that Gary Matthews Jr. was a better idea than Angel Pagan? What in the world was going on with the Ruben Tejada decision — especially in terms of moving him to second base? Why do they believe using Jennry Mejia for garbage innings over the short term is more valuable to the organization than developing him over the long term as a starter? And most disturbing, what was the thinking behind the faith put into both John Maine and Oliver Perez as solidified members of the starting rotation? I do understand that the free agent market didn’t offer many “sure fire” alternatives, but it did offer better, affordable choices. Additionally, free agency is not the only route toward acquiring personnel.

So really, the Mike Jacobs Mystery goes far beyond Jacobs. It’s a series of complex mysteries, that would befuddle even a stalwart, savvy detective such as Lt. Columbo.


Final Cuts: Analysis

My apologies for not posting this earlier, but like most of the news out of Port St. Lucie this spring, it took me a long time to understand and extract the logic.

Let’s just run through specific personnel.

Nelson Figueroa (cut) – He’s not a Cy Young candidate. He’s barely an MLB-quality 5th starter. However, he had a spectacular spring, he had a great winter campaign, he had an outstanding