Tag: felipe lopez

Mets Game 10: Loss to Cardinals

Cardinals 4 Mets 3

If I told you Oliver Perez pitched into the seventh inning, allowing only one run on four hits, you’d probably think that either I had the wrong information or that the Mets won the game.

Yet, Perez DID put up that performance, and the Mets lost.

Wasting a rare occasion of superbness by Perez, the Mets bullpen finally caved, as Felipe Lopez blasted a grand slam homer in the seventh off 32-year-old rookie Raul Valdes to give the Cardinals all the runs they needed to win the game.

As well as Ollie pitched, Chris Carpenter pitched just as well — maybe a bit better — as he held the Mets offense to 4 hits and 3 walks and struck out 10 in 7 full innings. The Mets rallied for two runs against “closer” Ryan Franklin in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

Game Notes

The Mets hitters were a woeful 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They left 8 runners on base.

Jeff Francoeur, buried in the #6 spot, remains red hot, going 2-for-3 with a walk (!) and two runs scored. He’s now hitting .457, and has a hit in every game this year, but it makes more sense to bat Mike Jacobs ahead of him against a righthanded pitcher because, after all, Jacobs hits from the left side.

Frank Catalanotto rapped an RBI single for the Mets second run on the first and only pitch he saw, as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Garry Mathews, Jr. scored the Mets’ third and final run but struck out three times.

The Mets’ first run of the game came on a throwing error by Brendan Ryan on a sac bunt by Ollie Perez.

Yes, the bullpen failed. Did you expect them to be perfect through 162 games?

Felipe Lopez hit his first grand slam since April 4, 2008 — he hit that one against the Mets, too, but as a member of the Nationals. For those unaware, Lopez plays both SS and 2B, hits from both sides, and was a free agent this winter. He signed a one-year, $1M contract at the end of February. However, he doesn’t have the clubhouse presence of Alex Cora.

You can get frustrated watching the Mets lose this game, thinking, “jeez, they finally played a good game for nine full innings, and battled, and they still lost”. However, what the Mets need to do is compete and perform like this EVERY game, and eventually the wins will outnumber the losses. You can’t expect a team to win just because they play well — this is the big leagues, and to be a contender you must play well all the time.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Cardinals do it again at 4:10 PM on Saturday in St. Louis. Johan Santana faces Jamie Garcia.

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2009 Fantasy Projections: Second Base

When last we met, I was telling you that Albert Pujols was the best NL first baseman and you weren’t surprised. But you were probably surprised that I think two of the top 5 first basemen in the NL East aren’t even first basemen. Moving along…

Second Base Rankings – National League

  1. Chase Utley .345-20-95 – It’s a given that Utley’s off-season hip surgery will cut down his SB totals. But if Utley is healthy – and he appears to be – the only other side effect of his surgery MIGHT be that he shortens up his stroke and uses his hands more (think Wade Boggs). I can’t see that leading to anything but an inverse relationship between BA and HR. In other words, I expect a higher BA and lower HR totals, or no change at all. So if he plays all season, you’re safe.
  2. Brandon Phillips .275-25-80 – Solid pop, solid speed, nice ballpark for a power hitter and I like the Reds to surprise people this year with a wildcard run.
  3. Dan Uggla .260-28-95 – My favorite player on this list. He helped me win a 5×5 mixed league last year and he is tough as nails. He will be overvalued this year, so don’t get sucked in… But don’t expect his BA to drop back into the .230-zone. This guy is a capable, albeit flawed, hitter. If you need the HR/RBI, you’ll get it from Uggla.
  4. Kelly Johnson .290-15-75 – I’m not sure what the ceiling will be on Johnson’s offensive output, but his BA has increased each of the past three years and he has decent pop in his bat. That’s enough for #4.
  5. Kazuo Matsui .285-5-35 – You may not know it, but the Astros were eliminated from the NL Central Race AND the NL Wildcard yesterday. Seriously. Look for Kaz to notch 30+ SB and a decent BA with absolutely no pressure on him.

Sleepers (Tie) – I like Felipe Lopez¬† (.275-10-65) and Ian Stewart (.275-15-75). Lopez should be running more this season – possibly enough for 25 SB. Stewart has multi-position eligibility and he should see significant time between 1B, 2B and 3B with Colorado’s lineup struggling through nagging injuries already.

Second Base Rankings – NL East

Three of the top five second basemen in the NL are also in the NL East. It makes you wonder who is manning 2B out in the NL West. Is Robbie Thompson still playing?

  1. Chase Utley – see above
  2. Dan Uggla – see above
  3. Kelly Johnson – see above
  4. Luis Castillo .285-3-35 – He’s not as bad as last year’s numbers but he’s still not as good as Omar needs him to be. His average won’t hurt you, but his power numbers will do nothing for you. If he is healthy enough to steal 20 bases and score 100 runs, he’s worth a few bucks in NL-only leagues.
  5. Anderson Hernandez (Yikes-Zero-Not Much) – Hernandez batted .194 in AAA last season. Look for Ronnie Belliard to take over shortly…

Sleeper Ronnie Belliard (.270-12-70) – He’s getting older and he’s never been much of an offensive threat, but he’s on the Nationals and playing behind Anderson Hernandez. I feel confident enough to say he will get at least 400 AB. Grab him cheap in NL-only leagues, if you can.

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