Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thanks, But No Thanks

We all need to get our minds off this losing. Here is some comic relief, courtesy of our favorite relief pitcher: the Show himself.

Take a look at this, I just noticed it on the Mets' website:

Look at the "Live Auction Items". They look pretty cool. Shagging balls with Carlos Beltran could be neat. Golf is always fun, and I heard Tom Glavine was pretty good, so that would be interesting. A Spanish lesson from Jose Reyes would be entertaining, at least. A hitting clinic with Carlos Delgado might even be beneficial in life. But notice the fifth item on that list: "A pitching clinic with Scott Schoeneweis."

Oh boy, sign me up for that one!

"Hey Scott, what is it like to have a 7.00 ERA?"

"Hey Mr. Showen-whatever, what is the first thing that pops into your head when an opponent hits a three-run homer off of you?"

"It is a lot of fun to be the butt of every Met fan's joke, isn't it?"

"What do you do to walk a batter on four pitches? The mechanics on that must be so complex- could you please show me?"

"What is your favorite way to give up runs?"

"Do you think you could give some of that money back to Mr. Wilpon? I'm sure we could use it do find a suitable replac... I mean another suitable left-handed specialist."

Another Day, Another Way to Lose....

This losing stretch is awfully depressing. The Mets just keep losing- and it doesn't look like the shortcomings will end tonight as the Mets are trailing 6-1 in the seventh inning. The whole team just looks dead when they play. There is no life, no enthusiasm, no energy. Frankly, I guess no one can blame them in that regard. I'm sure that it isn't much fun when you lose. But there is no sense of urgency, no attitude that tells me that they have any desire to snap out of this funk. Where are the upset rants in the dugouts by fed-up team leaders? Are there even team leaders? Where are the drastic measures from Willie Randolph to inspire his ballclub? Why not bench Delgado or Beltran until they show that they really want to play? There is no desire. I don't get the feeling that the Mets' players are all that excited about playing baseball.

Whether or not they are enjoying to play, I know for sure that they are not very much fun to watch. It is painful to watch this team play right now. There comes a point in time when an individual loses all confidence in something. I sometimes lose all confidence in my golf swing off the tee, and it has bad repercussions. I often lose confidence in Michigan's defense in college football, and they do not disappoint my low expectations (in fact, they sometimes exceed them). Right now, I have absolutely no confidence in this Mets team. You know it's bad when your team trails 3-1 in the second inning, and you are already convinced that they are going to lose, as it was last night. Tonight, I have the game turned off after the sixth inning, because I have no confidence in the Mets' ability right now. Not in the pitching, not in the hitting, not in the fielding, nothing. It's not going to get any better either. After dropping two out of three to the Diamondbacks, getting swept by the Phillies, dropping two out of three to the Tigers, and being swept by the Dodgers, the Mets will play three against the red-hot Yankees in the Bronx, and then play the Twins, Athletics, and Cardinals during a nine-game homestand. It is safe to say that the Mets had better get it turned around soon, or they will be WAY under water by the All Star break.

I did call this blog "For Better or For Worse", implying that I will follow this team whether they win or not. I would say that this is probably the stretch of the season commonly referred to as the "worse". I really can't wait until this whole thing is in the rear-view mirror.

Let's Go Mets, regardless! Let's get something going in the Bronx.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The recent skid by the Mets is admittedly concerning. Let me give a brief rundown of the stats for the Mets during their 2-9 stretch here in the month of June:

-They have lost eight of their last nine games.

-They have lost nine of their last eleven since sweeping the Marlins at the end of May.

-If it had not been for two wins by throw-in starter Jorge Sosa during this stretch, the Mets would be 0-11 in June. That is a .000 winning percentage, if you're wondering. Ouch.

-Since May 9th, a 5-3 win against the Giants in San Francisco, the Mets are 16-15 (a record obviously skewed by the recent drop-off), are hitting just .257 as a team, and have scored 105 runs and have just 99 RBI's- both stats are near the bottom of the National League.

- The team ERA during this stretch is 4.13- pretty high.

- The Mets have been unable to score runs recently: in 22 of the Mets' 39 games since May 1st, the Mets have scored four runs or less. The Mets have scored more than three runs in just three of their eleven games in June, two of them losses regardless. They have scored two runs or less in five of those eleven games. I'm beginning to wonder whether this offense might be a bit overrated. There is no way this is all a result of Moises Alou's absence.

-Jose Reyes, after hitting .356 in April and winning player of the month honors, is hitting .269 since May 9th, and is really struggling at the plate. I don't have the same subjective confidence as I used to have when he stood in the box, and I'm sure he doesn't either.

-Carlos Beltran, after hitting .356 with six homers and 23 RBI's in April, hit .234 in May with two homers and twelve RBI's. In June so far, he is hitting .194 with one homer and one RBI. In addition, he has drawn just one walk in June. He is in the slump of all slumps- but it is still masked by his incredible April. His stats since the beginning of May are (almost) worse than Carlos Delgado's during April, the only difference being that Beltran was hitting .356 before his slump, while Delgado, for all intents and purposes, was hitting .000 before his. This naturally makes Beltran's slump much quieter. Since May 1st, his average has plummeted from .356 all the way down to .278.

-I'm not sure which number is worse: that Scott Shoeneweis' ERA is 7.06, or that the Mets are paying him 3.6 million to do it.

These numbers are all VERY bad, and I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't worried. Frankly, all this losing is getting very old, and this team is becoming hard to watch. However, every team has losing streaks, and every team has bad ones. Last year, the Mets went 3-7 before their famous 9-1 road trip. Everybody has slumps and skids. And every team comes out of them eventually. The Mets will be no exception. They are too talented, too experienced, and too resilient to not play better.

The Mets just need someone to get hot, catch a couple breaks, and get some good pitching to get back on track. A nice old dominant-in-all-facets cruiser tomorrow could really be helpful, especially heading back to New York to play the Yankees- who are suddenly playing very well of late. A loss tomorrow against the Dodgers to finish the sweep would be very bad. I am of the opinion that tomorrow's game is a must-win. The Mets have to get the ball rolling somehow. I am confident that they will get it turned around. All they need is a couple hot players, some good breaks, and off they go on a nice little winning streak. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to win a couple games in a row...

Did You Know...
All this talk about the Braves being "back to dominance" is getting on my nerves. Atlanta started the year a sparkeling 7-1. But the Tomahawks are just 28-29 since, and 7-11 in their last 19. I guess this doesn't speak very favorably to the Mets, who are just two games up on the Braves right now.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Cutting it close

I haven't posted for a long time. Sorry. I forgot my account password and couldn't post. A lot has happened since my last entry, including the Mets losing another series to the Braves, winning thrilling games in comeback fashion against the Rockies and Diamondbacks (thanks in large measure to Damion Easley), and watching Reyes, Beltran and Green to stay really hot, and Wright and Delgado stay really cold. El Duque, Valentin, and Alou took trips to the DL, and only Alou has returned so far. John Maine and Jose Reyes were the NL pitchers and players of the month, respectively, while youngster Mike Pelfrey has struggled mightily (0-4 record, 6.39 ERA). Oliver Perez has pitched very well this season, and it appeared as if his hot streak would continue after four solid innings against the Giants yesterday. Half an hour and nine runs later, however, Perez was gone, and is now perhaps back to square one. (By the way, how many Molinas are going to hurt the Mets? First Yadier in the NLCS last year, now Bengie hits two homers in one inning. When will it end???)

Personally, I think Perez will be fine. He'll throw a no-hitter next time out against the Brewers. You heard it here first...

David Wright is slumping badly- and he knows it too. In the last ten games, he was hitting right around the Mendoza line (.200), as well as hitting an abysmal .175 in day games. His average for the season is .247 with two homers and just 11 RBI's. So what's the problem? Too many celebrity photo shoots? Too many wax likenesses, video game covers, and airplane namesakes? A bad swing, maybe?

How about none of the above.

In the end, Wright realized what the real problem was: his hair was too long. Okay, not really, but in an attempt to get on a hot streak, Wright had bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello shave his head clean after Monday night's game. Inspired, rest of the team decided to follow suit and get buzz cuts themselves. Lo Duca began a parade through the visitors clubhouse at AT&T Park during pregame today, with Beltran, his accomplise and razor-bearer, leaving few survivors. In fact, only Glavine, Heilman, Sele and Reyes did not give in to the pressure of cutting their hair, but all four plan to oblige before the Mets game Friday night against the Brewers at Shea. Here are some photos of Mets players David Wright and Shawn Green showing off their new look during batting practice prior to Tuesday's game:

It's working so far: Wright is 2-for-3 with two doubles and and RBI tonight.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shootings

The world was shocked today when they heard about the dreadful shootings at Virginia Tech University. I believe that the most recent death toll was somwhere in the high 30's, with almost twenty more wounded- some in critical condition as we speak. As much as I'd like to put in my thoughts, I won't for two reasons: one, you've probably heard them all already; and two, I try to keep this blog on the Mets as much as possible.

Having said that, the tragedy has a interesting tie-in to Mets third baseman David Wright, who is from Virginia. The following note was taken from a baseball blog at Ben Shpigel writes:

"David Wright... flipped on the television and saw a breaking news update about a gunman who went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech - where his brother Stephen is a 21-year-old senior.
Wright repeatedly tried to call Stephen on his cellphone, but the lines were tied up. He did not know whether Stephen was all right until another brother, Matthew, a freshman at James Madison, called him. Wright finally spoke to Stephen around 2 this afternoon.
Wright said he wasn’t sure where his brother was at the time of the shootings, but that Stephen lives off campus and is an engineering major. He probably had classes at Norris Hall, a science and engineering classroom where several of the killings took place."

Wow. It sure hits home, and shows that there are many things that are so much more important than a baseball game. For David Wright's sake, I'm glad tonight's game was rained out.

As for the families of all those who were killed or severely wounded, my prayers go out to them and I pray that God will comfort them during this time.

All M-E-T-S

In this blog, I will be posting as often as possible about just one thing: my New York Mets. As the season continues, I will try to post my thoughts, opinions, complaints, and hopes about the Mets 2007 baseball season.

The Mets are off to a respectable 7-4 start to the season, and (although this means nothing in April) are a half-game behind the Braves in the NL East standings. Jose Reyes, David Wright, Moises Alou, and Shawn Green are playing great, Carlos Beltran and Paul Lo Duca are decent, while Carlos Delgado and Jose Valentin are off to slow starts. The starting rotation, probably the biggest concern coming into this season, has been unbelievable at times (see first four starts), horrible at times (exhibit A being Oliver Perez a few days ago- seven walks in 2 1/3 innings), and other times exactly what we thought they would be- just plain mediocre. The bullpen is better than I expected they would be - with Aaron Heilman solid in all but one game, Pedro Feliciano about what I expected (as in good), Billy Wagner his usual, dependable self, and Joe Smith-the rookie from Wright State of all places- suprisingly consistent.

The lack of power is an interesting situation. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez in fact has more home runs (7) than the entire Mets team (5) for this season. The combined home run total of the Mets power spot in the middle of the order (Beltran, Delgado, Wright, and Alou) is just two- both by Beltran on April 4th in St. Louis. It must be noted, though, that the Mets have a 7-4 record, with two of their home runs coming in losses, while the Yankees are 4-5 and have placed three of their five starters on the DL. While the Mets are where they need to be despite the absence four-baggers, A-Rod's bombs aren't doing the Yankees a whole lot to get their rotation back. I'm not concerned about the lack of power for two reasons:

1. Because the Mets don't really need it to win ballgames- they just need timely hitting. If Delgado hits a walk-off home run: great. If Delgado places a sacrifice bunt that puts the eventual winning run on third- that is just as valuable.

2. Because it won't last long. You can't keep Carlos Beltran, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Moises Alou (a combined 127 homers among them last year) on the ground forever. They will start hitting home runs eventually. Hopefully for the Mets, they will all blast a ton of round-trippers in June- a month that contains one of the toughest stretches of games in franchise history.

This blog is called what it is for one major reason: it describes my life as a Mets fan. Whether the Mets have been good (as in the last two years) or really bad (as in the four years before that), I have still followed them and cheered them on- although I admit that the Mets cap was mysteriously hard to find in 2002-2004 when the Mets were fifty games below .500. This will stay true for this year. No matter how well the Mets do, I will still follow, and still cheer- even if I don't post about it afterwards.