Tag: diamondbacks

Today’s Mets Lineup vs. Diamondbacks

Assuming the weather holds up, this is the Mets lineup today against Barry Enright and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Game time is 1:10 PM.

Jose Reyes – SS
Daniel Murphy – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Carlos Beltran – RF
Jason Bay – LF
Ike Davis – 1B
Josh Thole – C
Jason Pridie – CF
Dillon Gee – RHP

No need to mess with success. Though, what’s Thole doing in there? I guess Mike Nickeas needs a day off.

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Aaron Heilman Gets New Start

From the “Where They Are Now” file …

After spending 2010 in Arizona’s bullpen, Aaron Heilman finally became a free agent and embarked on finding a team that would give him a chance to be a starter.

Heilman spent the entire winter evaluating the offers of various suitors, and wound up right back in Arizona — where the Diamondbacks are giving him a legitimate shot at a rotation spot.

Hat tip to my tweet buddy @citycynic.

If you are a longtime, loyal reader of MetsToday then you know my feelings regarding Heilman as a starting pitcher. If you’re not familiar with my stance, check out the links in my argument earlier this winter to consider him as a candidate for the Mets rotation.

Though the D-Backs have promised Heilman a legit shot at starting, and both manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers insist that the winners of the last two starting spots will not be affected by contracts and their associated finances, it would seem that Heilman has an uphill battle. He is one of three candidates for the two open spots, in competition with lefty Zach Duke — who has a one-year, $4.25M guaranteed contract — and Armando Galarraga, the nearly-no-hit artist who has a $2.3M deal. Youngster Barry Enright — who was 6-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 17 starts last year — also is in the running.

According to reports from the Cactus League, Heilman impressed in his first outing of the spring. We’ll see what happens over the next four weeks.

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Mets Sign D.J. Carrasco

According to various reports, the Mets have reached an agreement with reliever D.J. Carrasco on a 2-year, $2.5M deal.

Though I’m not terribly excited about this move, it’s a cheap, fairly low-risk contract for someone who is more or less filler material in the bullpen. I have to say I’m a little surprised the Mets gave a two-year deal to a fairly mediocre pitcher who will turn 34 soon after Opening Day. But I guess that’s what the Mets can afford right now, and they don’t have much MLB-ready help for the ‘pen down on the farm.

Carrasco is a tall (6’4″) righthander with a wicked slider and inconsistent command of a low-90s fastball. He’s been durable and has improved his numbers every year since returning from a year in Japan and moving to the bullpen full-time (he was originally a starter with the KC Royals) in 2008. He’ll get swings and misses (7.5 K/9 last year) but he also gives away free passes (3.9 BB/9 in ’10). In addition to his durability, another positive is that he can go more than one inning at a time and he rarely gives up the longball. Every once in a while he drops his arm angle, which is nice for entertainment value but practically useless from a performance standpoint (think: Oliver Perez dropping down).

The Mets need all the arms they can find, and this one should help them get through the rough times over the next two years.

By the way, you might remember D.J. Carrasco for helping the Mets win on July 31st in his first appearance as a Diamondback. Also a bit of trivia: former Met farmhand Mike Carp hit his first MLB homerun off Carrasco. Don’t ask me how or why I know this.

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Diamondbacks Trade Reynolds, Sign Mora and Putz

The Arizona Diamondbacks had a busy day in Disney, trading slugging third baseman Mark Reynolds to the Orioles, signing former Met Melvin Mora to take his place at the hot corner, and also agreeing to terms with another former Met, J.J. Putz.

In return for Reynolds, Baltimore sent right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio back to Arizona. I don’t know much about either of those youngsters; though I swear I saw Hernandez on American Idol a few years ago.

I’m kind of sad to see Reynolds move to the Adulterated League, as I enjoyed watching his hard-nosed play, inspired defense, and moon shots. Though he blasted 32 four-baggers last year, he struck out 211 times and hit just below the Mendoza Line – .198.

Reportedly, Mora signed a one-year deal for $2M. Putz agreed to a two-year, $10M contract, though it hasn’t yet been officially announced.

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Mets Game 105: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 14 Mets 1

Since the second half began, the Mets could not blame the pitching for their woes — it was the offense that was sputtering while the starters and relievers did their darnedest to limit scoring by the opposition.

The thought has been that eventually, the offense would come around and, combined with the stellar pitching, the Mets would start winning again.

On Sunday afternoon, however, the Mets couldn’t blame the offense for losing. They received neither hitting nor pitching.

Thankfully, the Mets Hall of Fame induction occurred prior to this laugher, because during the TV broadcast, the inductees regaled us with stories in the SNY booth to distract us from the disaster occurring on the field below.

Game Notes

The Diamondbacks were not nice to Jonathon Niese, hammering him for 7 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in only 4 1/3 innings of work. Adam LaRoche in particular was a problem for Jon, as he blasted two three-run homers against the young lefthander.

In the postgame, Jerry Manuel mentioned that Niese’s curve looked “slider-like”. Interesting, since I have been pointing out exactly that as an issue in nearly all of his previous starts. To succeed, and get good bite on all of his pitches, Niese has to stay on top of the ball, with a more overhand arm angle and release point.

Elmer Dessens fared no better, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. Oliver Perez came in as the mopup man and “limited” Arizona to 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk over the final two frames.

On offense, the Mets managed five hits — two of which came in the last inning against Esmerling Vazquez. They couldn’t do anything against starter Daniel Hudson, who tossed 110 pitches in 8 innings.

Angel Pagan scored the Mets’ lone run on a sac fly by Ike Davis.

The Mets remain the only team the Diamondbacks have beaten since the All-Star Exhibition.

Who knows, maybe the Mets were “playing down to their competition” against Arizona — the second-worst team in the NL. Maybe when they go up against better teams — like first- and second-place teams — they’ll step up their game. Oh, and that theory will be tested immediately, if you look below …

Next Mets Game

The Mets shove off to Atlanta to begin a three-game series with the Braves on Monday, followed by a weekend series in Philadelphia — so no more “home field advantage”. Monday night’s contest starts at 7:10 PM and pits Johan Santana against Tim Hudson.

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Mets Game 104: Win Over Diamondbacks

Mets 5 Diamondbacks 4

The Mets confirmed their front office’s decision to remain status quo by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion.

Hisanori Takahashi showed everyone why the Mets had no reason to trade for a starter by striking out 10 in 6 innings. Manny Acosta came on in the 7th and 8th to prove he was the only “acquisition” the Mets needed for the bullpen. And David Wright provided enough firepower to quell any thoughts that the team might need offensive reinforcements. Oh, and Jesus Feliciano gave GM Omar Minaya every reason to believe that the backup outfielder they needed was already in the organization.

Game Notes

Takahashi struck out a career-high 10 in 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks. He should continue to do well as long as he keeps facing teams that have never seen him before. Mark Reynolds in particular looked like he’d never held a bat in his hand before — he was completely mystified by Tak’s assortment of junk.

I am SURE Takahashi’s strikeout total had more to do with his skills than the fact that AZ strikes out more than any other NL team. After all, Mike Pelfrey didn’t strike out that many batters in his start on Friday.

Shocking fact: those 10 Ks represented the first time all year that a Mets pitcher hit double-digits in strikeouts. How is that possible?

Where are all the David Wright detractors? Please step forward and re-confirm your desire to see him traded away for prospects. Wright went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, and is now 8-for-15 with 9 RBI on the homestand.

Angel Pagan also had a good day, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, and 2 runs scored.

The Mets lineup after Wright was 1-for-19. However, that “1” was a leadoff triple by Jesus Feliciano, who eventually scored on a sac fly by Carlos Beltran to win the ballgame. At least the bottom 6 of the lineup makes the most of their rare contributions.

Bobby Parnell was hit hard, retiring no one while allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk. His awful appearance comes one day after a similarly bad outing by Raul Valdes. After the game, a pumpkin was seen sitting in the parking lot outside Citi Field.

D.J. Carrasco, the pitcher who let the Mets back in to the game by allowing 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning, was one of the players acquired by the D-Backs at the trade deadline. Which gives us more evidence that the Mets were very smart not to go crazy trading for anyone.

Oh, and if you needed any more support for standing pat, the Braves were beaten today, in spite of acquiring Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth. Furthermore, the Phillies are 0-2 since picking up Roy Oswalt. So what do we learn from this? Deals at the trade deadline = instant suckiness. Omar Minaya is a genius!

This was the Mets’ 4th walkoff win of the season.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Daniel Hudson, a young righthander who was acquired by Arizona from the White Sox a few days ago in a trade for Edwin Jackson.

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