Tag: ike davis

Mets Game 160: Win Over Nationals

Mets 2 Nationals 1

These up-and-coming Mets are quite entertaining!

Pat Misch (I seem to remember him around this time last year) spun 8 brilliant frames and young Josh Thole hit a solo homer in the bottom of the tenth to give the Mets a dramatic walkoff win to beat the last-place Nats.

Game Notes

Misch allowed just one run on 3 hits and one walk, striking out 10 in 8 innings and expending only 109 pitches. For all that, though, Misch remains winless in 2010 — Hisanori Takahashi was awarded with the win after two innings of stellar relief.

Interestingly, that was Takahashi’s 10th win of the season, giving the Mets 4 pitchers with double-digit wins. Now, if I told you in March that the Mets would boast four pitchers with 10 wins apiece, would you have believed that they would have finished with a losing record? Remarkable.

Thole had half of the Mets hits, with two. One of the other hits was Ike Davis’ 19th homer of the season; the other was a single by Angel Pagan.

Game Notes

The second-to-last game of the year occurs on Saturday afternoon at 1:10 PM. Legendary lefty Raul Valdes will face Yunesky Maya in a once-in-a-lifetime matchup not to be missed.


Mets Game 153: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 3 Mets 2

So I blinked, and missed the game.

The Phillies disposed of the Mets in short order, cruising to their 93rd win of the season in a mere 2 hours, 10 minutes. That’s pretty impressive, considering:

– a knuckleballer pitched 6 innings for the Mets
– there were 5 pitching changes in the ballgame
– only two double plays were turned
– the game was played in the 21st century

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey was pretty good, but not good enough to beat the Phillies. He knuckled down for 6 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks. He also ripped a double.

Unfortunately for Dickey, Joe Blanton was a touch better — allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk in 7 frames, expending just 74 pitches.

Ike Davis went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Angel Pagan hit his 11th homer to drive himself and Davis in. And that was the scoring for the Mets, folks.

Davis’ double looked like it might be a game-tying homer in the top of the ninth, but it bounced off the middle of the left-field wall. He was stranded on third base when Jesus Feliciano struck out to end the game.

The bottom of the fifth ended with a double play turned on the Phillies on a Wright-Tejada-Davis relay. Chase Utley went in aggressively and upended Tejada on the play. It was an absolutely clean play, but it was a hard-nosed slide that you don’t see very often in these days of the pretty-boy sissy buddies. You DO see it often from Utley and others on the Phils. Now understand: the Phillies are more or less guaranteed to be in the postseason, and therefore this game means relatively nothing. Yet Utley still went in hard. Only minutes later in the top of the sixth, Jayson Werth went full-force into the right-field wall in an attempt to catch a fly ball, and Raul Ibanez ended the inning with a sliding catch in left field. It is late September, the Phillies may clinch before the weekend is over, and yet they are playing like it is the 7th game of the World Series. An inning after that, Joe Blanton fell flat on his face scrambling to field a drag bunt and retire Angel Pagan. That kind of display makes one consider buying a Phillies cap.

That’s not to say the Mets don’t hustle as well. There are a number of players — particularly some of the younger ones who are trying to make an impression — who play hard most if not all the time. But for whatever reason, playing hard and aggressively all the time — LOOKING like a team that will do whatever they need to do to win — has not been something one would identify with the Mets. They show up, most of them usually play hard, and sometimes, if the score seems out of reach, they look like they’ve given up. That’s what their overall body language shows, to me, anyway — and it’s something that’s been apparent since 2007, even when they won more games than they lost.

Speaking of the Phillies and their current record, their “magic number” is 2. In other words, a combination of Phillies wins and Braves losses that equal 2 will result in the Phillies clinching the NL East. For example, if the Phillies beat the Mets on Saturday and the Braves lose to the Nationals. So there’s a very good chance that the Mets will be party to a Phillies celebration this weekend. Oh joy.

This was the Phillies’ 11th consecutive win.

The Mets are now five games under .500 and have a firm hold on fourth place.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies play again on Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Dillon Gee faces Kyle Kendrick.


Mets Game 142: Win Over Phillies

Mets 4 Phillies 3

The Mets ran up a four-zip lead, and the Phillies were supposed to roll over and die. Strangely enough, they didn’t, and rallied late to give Mets fans a scare.

However, the home team held on in the end to take their 70th victory of the season and 40th win in The Field at Shea Bridge.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey was spectacular through seven, but showed signs of running out of gas in the eighth. His final line was 7 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 ER. Stellar, and a particularly impressive effort against a very talented and hot Phillies lineup.

That said, I wasn’t completely happy with Big Pelf’s mechanics, which are still inconsistent. He’s doing a better job of staying on a straight line to the plate for the most part, but could be using gravity more to his advantage — something he used to do, but lost at some point before the All-Star exhibition. The good thing is that he can still be effective without repeating his delivery; we can only hope that he is not doing any physical damage to his arm.

As noted by Tim McCarver, Pelfrey had his back to Jerry Manuel when the manager came to remove him from the game in the eighth inning. Pelfrey refused to acknowledge Manuel’s presence, and handed the ball directly to Bobby Parnell before leaving the mound.

This could have been interpreted as an expression of disrespect for the manager, and if it was, it may have been a response to the way the manager has treated Pelfrey and others on the club over the past two and half years. Manuel has acted similarly toward his players in the past, particularly when changing pitchers, and has not minced words when throwing players under the bus. We know Manuel is at the end of his tenure, and this display by Pelfrey could be a sign that the players won’t miss him when he goes.

Ike Davis was 4-for-4 with 3 RBI, and Jesus Feliciano added two hits and scored twice. Jose Reyes blasted a solo homer, his 9th of the season.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese faces Roy Oswalt.


Mets Game 139: Win Over Nationals

Mets 4 Nationals 1

The Mets spoiled Yunesky Maya’s MLB debut, but savored Dillon Gee’s.

Game Notes

Dillon Gee made the most of his MLB debut, allowing one run on two hits and three walks in a 7-inning, 86-pitch effort to earn his first career win.

Gee relied heavily on a 12-6 overhand curveball and a flat slider that to me looks more like a fast curve, as he spots it high and it doesn’t get much lateral movement. I can see how he allowed so many homeruns in the minors, as that slider stays up in the zone; he hangs the deuce on occasion; and his fastball is average in velocity (ranging 89-91) with minimal movement and located waist-high or higher. He did keep all of his pitches around the strike zone, and as a result was very efficient with his pitch count.

Gee had a no-hitter going until blasted a solo homer in the sixth. The second hit was a single in the seventh swatted by Kevin Mench.

As if his pitching performance wasn’t enough, Gee also rapped an RBI single for the Mets’ fourth and final run.

The rest of the runs came courtesy of Ike Davis’ 3-run homer in the first frame. Davis is blistering hot, as he 8 for his last 15 with 7 RBI.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match takes place at 12:35 PM EST on Wednesday afternoon in Washington DC. R.A. Dickey takes the hill against Livan Hernandez in what could be the slowest-pitching combined performance of the season. If nothing else it will be interesting to see which is slower: Dickey’s knuckler or Livan’s eephus curve.


Mets Game 137: Win Over Cubs

Mets 18 Cubs 5

Where was all this offense for the past fifty or so games?

The Mets exploded for double-digit runs for the first time since June 22nd in Detroit as they rolled over the Cubs in Chicago to avoid a sweep.

Game Notes

Jonathon Niese wasn’t spectacular, but he didn’t need to be with all the offensive support he received. Niese allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings, striking out 4 and allowing 2 homers in a 106-pitch effort. His command was inconsistent on all pitches, and his slider and curveball seemed to be confused with each other. Several times when he threw a breaking pitch, I wasn’t sure which one he was attempting to throw, because the ball kind of hung and moved sideways, with a velocity between 82-85. I guess you’d call it a “slurve”, but that couldn’t have been his intent.

Ike Davis had a big day, going 4-for-6 with 3 RBI, 3 runs scored, a double, and his 17th homerun.

Jon Niese helped himself with two hits and two RBI.

Ruben Tejada’s hot streak continued, as he drove in 5 runs (count ’em!) and blasted his first Major League homer. OK, he didn’t exactly “blast it” — it was a long fly ball to left-center that got caught in the jet stream and bounced off the yellow line at the top of the wall. But it counts all the same.

Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with 3 walks, 2 runs, an RBI, a stolen base, and saw 37 pitches on the day.

Every single position player in the Mets lineup scored at least one run, as did all three of their pinch-hitters.

Fantasy Alert: Cubs’ second baseman Jeff Baker went 3-for-3 in the game, and is now 8 for his last 12. Pick him up while he’s hot.

I listened to part of the game on XM Radio, which meant I had to hear the Cubs’ announcers Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. Hughes kept pronouncing Lucas Duda’s last name as “Doo – DAH” — you know, like the Camptown Races song? Kind of annoying, but funny as well.

Next Mets Game

The Mets travel to Washington, D.C. to face the Nationals on Monday. Game one begins at 1:05 PM, and features a matchup of Mike Pelfrey vs. Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman will be making only his third start of 2010 after missing a little over a year with an elbow injury — he had Tommy John surgery last August.


Mets Game 102: Win Over Cardinals

Mets 4 Cardinals 0

The mighty Mets continue their domination of the National League.

Due to my “real” job I missed seeing the game live, so thanks to Paul and Mic for helping out with the recap in the comments section.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey flicked floaters for eight-plus frames, holding the Cardinals scoreless on four hits as he cruised to his 7th win of the year. Rather than finish the game, he let Francisco Rodriguez come in and get the final two outs for his 22nd save.

The Mets received all the runs they needed when Ike Davis delivered a monster blast over the centerfield wall to give the home team a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

As Mic noted in the comments section, the Mets beat the Cards without regulars David Wright, Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, and Rod Barajas.

At some point in October, when the Mets are in the middle of sweeping the Padres in the NLCS, we will all look back at the closed door meetings from Monday and this series win over St. Louis as the turning point of the season.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Thursday night at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey pitches against Ian Kennedy.


Mets Game 92: Win Over Giants

Mets 4 Giants 3

In ugly fashion, K-Rod blew a save, was saved from a loss by a bad call, and wound up with a win.

Johan Santana set down the Giants through eight innings, allowing only one earned run on eight hits and a walk, striking out five. He was in line for his eighth victory of the year as he handed the ball over to fellow countryman Francisco Rodriguez.

But K-Rod did not close out the ninth.

Instead, he walked Pablo Sandoval to start the ninth, then gave up two hard-hit singles, a sacrifice bunt, and a double as the Giants tied up the game before you could say “Santana”. With one out and Travis Ishikawa on third, Freddy Sanchez bounced a ball to David Wright, who quickly flipped the ball home as Ishikawa came charging home. The throw was high and Ishikawa slid under Henry Blanco and across the plate well before Blanco could apply a tag. That was it — game over, and a crushing loss for the Mets and Rodriguez.

Except, home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called Ishikawa OUT — and the game resumed.

Somehow, K-Rod managed to get the third out, and Ike Davis doubled home Jason Bay to give the Mets the lead once again. Rodriguez finished up the bottom of the tenth in his usual shaky fashion — allowing a two-out double to Edgar Renteria — before striking out Eli Whiteside to end the game and take home the “W”.

Game Notes

Cuzzi had a rough time all game as the Mets bench razzed him on several close ball/strike calls. It came to a head in the ninth when both the bench and K-Rod complained on a close ball call to Ishikawa. First Blanco turned around to argue with Cuzzi, then Cuzzi motioned toward the Mets bench, then he walked out to the mound toward K-Rod, then yelled again at Blanco, before finally having a discussion with Jerry Manuel. It was bad form on all sides, beginning with Blanco who should have never turned around on a pitch that could have gone either way. Cuzzi should not have been so demonstrative, either, but clearly someone said something on the bench that got his goat, and K-Rod was being his usual obnoxious self, so I guess all that combined caused Cuzzi to lose his cool — not very professional.

A few minutes after Cuzzi’s terrible out call at the plate, he allowed the third base ump to overrule him on a fair / foul call on a ball hit in front of the plate by Aubrey Huff. Cuzzi called fair (correctly) but Mike Estabrook ruled it foul. Eventually, Huff bounced out to Ike Davis to end the inning (Davis had to beat Huff to the bag because K-Rod was late in getting to the bag — tough to do considering his follow-through takes him to 1B).

According to various reports, Cuzzi admitted to Giants manager Bruce Bochy that he blew the call, but couldn’t do anything about it. Ouch.

Blanco has a great reputation as a defensive backstop but his incessant jerking of close pitches — most coaches call it “framing” — is exactly the reason there was so much drama regarding ball and strike calls during the afternoon. It’s next to impossible to get a good look at pitches on your TV screen from the off-center angle of camera behind the pitcher but I would bet that Blanco is losing more calls than he’s getting by his “framing”. I’ll give you an example of proper receiving in a post coming soon.

Ishikawa might’ve had a shot to score on a double by Andres Torres, but the Giants third base coach held him up as the relay from Jeff Francouer to Davis came in quickly.

Davis, by the way, smashed two doubles and a single, driving in half of the Mets runs. His second double, which drove in the winning run, bounced high off the RF wall and missed a dinger by about six feet. He’s in the midst of a hot streak, so pick him up in your fantasy league.

Jerry Manuel ordered the potential winning run intentionally walked with two out in the bottom of the tenth. It worked out — this time. Blind squirrels run into nuts every now and then as well.

K-Rod expended 47 pitches in two innings of work en route to his fifth blown save and third victory. He looked absolutely terrible, missing his spots consistently and then serving up belt-high pitches with moderate velocity over the heart of the plate. If it sounds like I’m down on K-Rod, well, I am. If he’s not hiding an injury then he’s just plain losing his skills at an alarmingly fast rate.

Next Mets Game

The Mets will hopefully leave their bats in San Francisco and pick up new, more productive ones in Arizona on Monday night. Mike Pelfrey goes against Ian Kennedy. First pitch is at 9:40 PM.


Mets Game 91: Loss to Giants

Giants 8 Mets 4

The good news is that the Mets finally scored. The bad news is they have lost their first series of the second half.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi started out well, retiring the first three batters he faced. Things changed in the second inning, however, when Buster Posey led off with a double to start a five-run rally. Posey hit a solo homer an inning later, and Takahashi was removed from the game after 2 2/3 innings. By the time he found a seat in the dugout, Tak had allowed 6 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk, including two homers. Ouch.

In addition to his offensive prowess, Posey impresses me with his work behind the plate. Particularly, I like the way he receives the ball, catching the side of it instead of the back (as most catchers do). It makes a difference in presenting the pitch to the umpire, and negates the need to “frame” or ease the mitt back into the strike zone. A perfect example was his catch of a called strike three against Ruben Tejada in the fifth.

The Mets were scoreless through 24 consecutive innings before Ike Davis dumped one into the drink. They also had scored in only 3 of their past 45 innings prior to Davis’ blast. The last Met to score before Carlos Beltran was Jesus Feliciano, who was sent to the minors a week ago.

Davis hit two homers, both mammoth blasts. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter.

Josh Thole rapped another pinch-hit and is hitting over .500. Any day now we can expect SNY / the Mets hype machine to start comparing Thole to Pete Rose.

Chris Carter also had another pinch-hit single. At least the subs can hit. Which makes you wonder why they’re on the bench and not in the starting lineup.

Carlos Beltran hit a triple and a single. His defense was a little off, though, as a few baseballs zipped past him in center that he normally would run down. It could be more a matter of not being in the outfield against the speed of MLB hitting as opposed to a physical limitation.

Ruben Tejada was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning — it was his sixth HBP in a little over 100 plate appearances. I’m starting to wonder if young Ruben has a problem seeing the baseball — i.e., maybe he needs an eye exam. I’m not trying to be funny, I’m serious — it seems like he is not recognizing pitch location as early as he should.

The Mets mounted a mild rally in the ninth that was extinguished by Brian Wilson, who threw four pitches to earn his 25th save of the season.

My father-in-law watched the game with me and commented, “one thing you can always count on during a Mets game — you’ll see a lot of hitting”. Um …

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series begins at 4:05 PM EST on Sunday afternoon. Johan Santana faces Jonathan Sanchez in an attempt to avoid a sweep.