Tag: padres

Mets Game 60: Win Over Padres

Mets 3 Padres 0

Niese was nice.

After the ace messed the bed, the young lefty made it. As a result, the Mets took a series from the former first-place team in the NL West — in the process knocking them out of that division’s top spot.

Game Notes

Jon Niese was spectacular, following fellow farmhand Mike Pelfrey’s lead and going a full nine innings to earn his first MLB shutout. But it wasn’t just a shutout — it was a one-hit shutout that was a Chris Denorfia doink away from being a perfect game. That’s right, Niese allowed just one measly hit, walked none, and struck out six in nine frames, expending 108 pitches in the process.

Like Ace Santana before him, Niese didn’t get much offensive support — the Mets managed just 3 runs on 8 hits against Padres pitching, which also had a fairly efficient pitch count of 121 over 8 innings. But unlike Santana, Niese pitched well enough to win instead of good enough to lose. Though, maybe the Padres hitters were simply worn out after expending their energy against Johan earlier in the day.

Jose Reyes was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base, so I guess his mini-slump is over. Not that I was ever worried, but it was beginning to become “buzz” in some spheres.

Niese walked twice and scored a run to help his own cause.

Ike Davis went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Chris Carter hit a double and scored a run in a rare start.

Next Mets Game

The Mets travel south to Baltimore to play the Orioles on Friday night to begin an interleague weekend series. R.A. Dickey continues his real-life dream sequence against Jeremy Guthrie. First pitch is at 7:05 PM.


Mets Game 59: Loss to Padres

Padres 4 Mets 2

After a game like this, you really have to wonder if Johan Santana is indeed the Mets’ “ace”.

Because an “ace” should chew up a lineup like the Padres like a buzzsaw, spit it out, and step on it on the way to an easy victory.

Instead, Santana pitched just well enough to lose.

Game Notes

Johan Santana allowed 4 earned runs on 8 hits and 4 walks, expending 108 pitches in 6 2/3 innings. His velocity was down, and — as usual — he “didn’t have his best stuff”. Of course, we’re not really sure what Johan’s “best stuff” IS any more. Yes, the Mets’ offense disappeared after Henry Blanco’s two-run homer in the second inning. Yes, an ace deserves more run support. But an “ace” doesn’t allow a team like the Padres to reach base nearly twice per inning.

Blanco was the entire story on the offensive side for the Mets. He was 1-for-2 before leaving the game for pinch-hitter Jesus Feliciano in the 8th. No, I’m not sure why the only Met to do anything all afternoon was the one who was removed from the lineup. Was he injured?

Padres pitching retired 22 consecutive Mets after Blanco’s blast.

Next Mets Game

Is already over … post coming shortly.


Mets Game 58: Win Over Padres

Mets 2 Padres 1

Nine is fine.

For the second time this season, the Mets won their ninth game in a row at home. Clearly, they are more comfortable playing at The Field at Shea Bridge than anywhere else.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey stepped up and pitched nine full innings — that’s a complete game if there aren’t extra innings — and allowed one measly run on five hits and no walks, striking out six. Granted, it’s the Padres — one of the weakest offensive teams in baseball. But it’s still an MLB club, and Big Pelf was magnificent. He is finally becoming the ace-like stud we envisioned ever since he was drafted in the first round of 2005.

As if from a storybook written for Mets fans who love homegrown talent, Pelfrey’s outstanding moundwork was suppored by the firepower of fellow farmhands Ike Davis and Jose Reyes — each of whom hit a solo homer to provide all the Mets’ runs in the contest. Reyes’ shot tied the game one-all in the seventh, and Ike’s blast in the eleventh frame was his first career walkoff homer.

By facing — and striking out — one batter in the top of the 11th, Elmer Dessens earned his first MLB win since August 26, 2007.

Seems like every day we mention Angel Pagan. He had another two hits in this game and another stolen base (his 11th).

David Wright also had two hits, including a double. Did you know that Wright is 15-for-29 (.517) over his last eight games? That’s not just hot, that’s Francoeur-hot.

Speaking of, Jeff Francoeur had only one hit, but it extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

The Mets (0-8) and Padres (0-9) combined to go 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Padres do it again at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Johan Santana faces Mat Latos.


Mets Game 54: Loss to Padres

Padres 5 Mets 1

The final score falls remarkably short of telling the whole story.

In yet another rubber match gone bad, the Mets wasted a brilliant performance by Johan Santana to lose in San Diego in extra innings — via a walkoff grand slam by Adrian Gonzalez.

Game Notes

Johan Santana “didn’t have his best stuff” but somehow managed to shut out the Padres through 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 5 walks, striking out 3. His command was off — way off — but it worked to his advantage against a San Diego lineup that would struggle in the Can-Am League. In other words, the awful Padres hitters made him “effectively wild”. Santana gutted his way to a 123-pitch count over those 7 IP; I bet he wished he went to 150 and finished the game.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this “best stuff” thing is getting old. We need to adjust our expectations and come to the understanding that Johan is NOT the pitcher we thought we were getting two years ago. He can still pitch well enough to win just about every time out, but we cannot expect him to dominate.

Francisco Rodriguez was brought in for a four-out save and blew it (his third blown save of the season). That four-out save became a seven-out no-decision in which he threw 46 pitches — less than 20 hours after tossing 30 pitches in Tuesday night’s win. Some quick math tells you that’s 76 pitches within a 24-hour period — fine for a starter, OK for a long reliever, unacceptable for a closer. Yes, K-Rod (and the Mets) have an off-day on Thursday but that’s not nearly enough to recover. A prudent manager would hold K-Rod out until at least Sunday. However, Jerry Manuel is a desperate man managing for his job, so don’t be surprised to see Rodriguez in the game on Friday and/or Saturday. Then, don’t be surprised to see K-Rod on the DL and/or blowing games regularly in the second half of the season.

For those who may be confused as to why it’s OK for Santana to throw 123 pitches in one day and not OK for K-Rod to throw 76 over two, it’s all about recovery. Santana has at least 4, maybe 5 days to rest and recover. K-Rod will be back in a game, throwing with 100% effort, immediately. K-Rod, in particular, has a violent delivery that tears down the muscles in his shoulder, elbow, hips, and knees — which is why previous manager Mike Scioscia was so judicious and careful with his use of Rodriguez.

Losing pitcher Raul Valdes allowed three hits and hit David Eckstein before giving up the gopher ball to Gonzalez. I find it funny that many people are “surprised” to see Valdes failing lately. Is it really surprising to see Valdes performing like someone who belongs in the Mexican League? That IS where the Mets found the 32-year-old, after all.

Jeff Francoeur drove in the only Mets run. Let that sink in.

Jason Bay was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. For naught.

In case you missed it, Geoff Young of Ducksnorts told us that — if Adrian Gonzalez was not an option — David Eckstein was the guy he wanted to see at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game. Lo and behold, it was Eckstein who drove in the tying run against K-Rod with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have the day off as they travel home from the Left Coast and return to Flushing for a 7:10 PM game vs. the Marlins. R.A. Dickey goes to the mound against Anibal Sanchez.


Mets Game 53: Win Over Padres

Mets 4 Padres 2

Before our very eyes, Mike Pelfrey is developing into a legit #2 MLB starter. And all it took was a little change of pace.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey spun 8 brilliant innings en route to his 8th victory of the season, allowing only one run on 4 hits and 2 walks, tying his career high of 8 strikeouts. He tossed a total of 110 pitches, and probably could’ve finished the game, but some surgeons who never threw a baseball in their lives believe that would’ve permanently damaged his arm. So Francisco Rodriguez was brought in to raise the heartbeats of Mets fans. We didn’t want to fall right to sleep after midnight anyway, did we?

K-Rod pitched one inning, yet threw more than one-quarter as many pitches and allowed just as many runs on three-quarters as many hits, as Big Pelf did in eight innings.

David Wright was the offensive star of the game, driving in half of the Mets’ runs, lashing three hits — including his 9th homer — and swiping a base.

Ike Davis blasted his 6th homer of the season, a two-run job to dead center, to put the Mets ahead 4-1. Without those insurance runs we might still be watching the game right about now.

The Padres did not reach second base until the sixth inning. Prior to the sixth, catcher Nick Hundley was the only Padre to collect a hit, and he had two, but was thrown out stealing and picked off to erase both.

Next Mets Game

The final game and rubber match of the series starts at a reasonable 6:35 PM EST. Johan Santana faces Clayton Richard.


Inside Look: Padres

It’s June 1 and the San Diego Padres are in first place in the NL West, fresh off an 18-6 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets. Eighteen runs? Aren’t the Padres supposed to be a poor offensive team? Wait, they’re in FIRST? Aren’t they supposed to be wallowing in the NL West basement, and taking calls for an Adrian Gonzalez trade to “rebuild”? What the heck is going on out there on the Left Coast?

To try and sort out what appears to be something from Bizarro World, I’ve called on fellow ESPN SweetSpot blogger Geoff Young of Ducksnorts. I can’t guarantee Geoff’s answers will clear anything up, but perhaps they’ll give us an idea of why the Padres are doing better than anyone ever imagined — including the Padres’ front office.


Mets Game 52: Loss to Padres

Padres 18 Mets 6

You know things aren’t going well when Oliver Perez’s presence on the mound is a sight for sore eyes.

But that in fact was the case, after watching Hisanori Takahashi allow 6 runs in 4 innings, Raul Valdes allow 4 runs (half of which came on bases-loaded walks) without registering an out, and Ryota Igarashi give up 6 runs in 1/3 of an inning.

That’s right — Takahashi, Valdes, and Igarashi all shat the bed. Meantime, a pumpkin waited in the Petco Park parking lot to take the three of them home.

Game Notes

The only positive to be taken away is that the Mets offense scored 6 runs against a team that has pitched very well this season.

Oh, wait, there’s another: the Mets turned four double plays. Funny, I don’t remember any of them.

To put this embarrassing laugher in perspective: coming into the contest, the Padres were averaging 4 runs per game — and were 24th in MLB in runs scored (204 in 50 games). Did that not hit home? OK, consider that Nick Hundley and Chris Denorfia bat 5th and 6th in the lineup.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Padres face each other again at 10:05 PM EST on Tuesday night. Mike Pelfrey faces Wade LeBlanc.


Garland, Sheets Off the Table

Remove the garland from the Christmas tree, and get Lazy Mary to pull the sheets from her bed.

A little late on this, but reporting it so you can post your comments — Ben Sheets agreed to a one-year, $10M deal with the Oakland Athletics, and Jon Garland signed a one-year, $4.7M deal with the San Diego Padres.

As mentioned in the previous post, Sheets + Oakland makes a lot of sense for both parties.

Garland, I imagine, preferred to be on the Left Coast, so it’s possible the Mets were never a possibility considering their Right Coast locale. Additionally, he has a nice opportunity to hurl a stress-free year in a huge pitcher’s park — a good formula for boosting his value when he becomes a free agent again next winter.

Additionally, former Cub prospect Rich Hill signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals. The lefthander had a breakout season in 2007, then forgot how to throw strikes. This is a very under-the-radar move that could very well turn out wonderful for St. Louis. Can’t you just see Hill suddenly finding himself under the tutelage of Dave Duncan?

In other belated reporting, you may or may not have heard that the Phillies signed Jose Contreras to a cheap one-year deal. I don’t think the Mets were ever a player for his services, and I don’t believe he would’ve been a good idea. Most reports speculate that Contreras will begin 2010 in the Philly bullpen.

Finally, the latest buzz is that Jarrod Washburn is leaning toward the Twins and Mariners.

So, who’s left on the open market for the rotation? Looks to me like Braden Looper, John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez are the best of the best. Ouch. In other words, Omar Minaya best be burning the phone lines talking trade with other GMs to find another arm or two.