Sunday, April 27, 2008

Delgado Bursts Free As Mets Top Braves

The Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves today 6-3 to take the series from their NL East rivals. Recap and box score is here.

Winning Pitcher

Nelson Figueroa (2-1) got the win, going 5.1 innings giving up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three. As the Mets fifth starter, he is doing just about everything you could ask. He is giving the Mets a decent chance to win every time he pitches, and has the ability to be very good at times. Interesting note on Figueroa: opponents are hitting just .094 against him his first time through the order. When Pedro comes back and Figueroa likely heads to the bullpen, this will probably come up again.

Losing Pitcher

The Mets have been John Smoltz's little punching bag for most of his Hall of Fame career, but today New York got the better of Smoltz (3-2). Smoltz threw just four innings for the Braves, and though he struck out five batters, he surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks. The Mets scored in the first inning when Jose Reyes trotted home from third following a puzzling wild pitch from Smoltz, and then added the next three runs in a Raul Casanova two-run home run in the second and Carlos Delgado's solo blast in the third. Smoltz obviously did not have his best stuff today, and the Mets took advantage early and often. With both Hampton and Glavine either on the DL or altogether ineffective, I harbor some serious concerns about the Braves' rotation. Chuck James and Jurrjens can only take you so far . . .


-Carlos Delgado had a big game, going 2-2 with two home runs and three runs scored, and raising his average to .205 on the year. This is a good sign for Mets fans, especially the fact that his first homer was to left field and his second was a bomb to right. Delgado has always puzzled me. He gets good at-bats, but he always seems to miss his pitch - he either fouls it off or misses it altogether. Let's see if he can put some good games and get some confidence, which may be his biggest problem.

- I tire of watching David Wright flail weakly at John Smoltz outside sliders. He might as well just concede an out before stepping to the plate ,and start saving his energy for pitchers he can actually hit.

- Great catch by Ryan Church in right-center field in the seventh inning. He caught it before running into the wall, leaping over Carlos Beltran in the process, and hanging onto the ball for the third out of the inning. Great effort is great to see, especially considering that the Braves would have trimmed the Mets slim two-run lead to one had Church not made the divine-like catch.

- Billy Wagner is a machine. Simply a machine. Ten scoreless innings to start the season, and just one hit off him that entire time. Aside from the I-give-up-leads-like-the-Dutch-build-dikes time bomb Aaron Heilman, the Mets bullpen has been pretty good so far, especially Joe Smith, Billy Wagner, Duaner Sanchez, and Pedro Feliciano (knock on wood).

Johan Santana (3-2) vs. Ian Snell (2-1) as the Mets start a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow night at Shea. It's just Santana's second home start of the year, as he lost his first to the homer happy Milwaukee Brewers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I haven't posted in forever, and it's not because I don't love you all, or because I haven't been watching the Mets. School work has overtaken me like quicksand, and I'm sinking faster because I'm trying to resist. I will post a recap of everthing that's been going on sometime in the next day or two. Scout's honor!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Angel from Heaven: Pagan wins it in the 12th

The Mets beat the Phillies in twelve by a score of 4-3. Angel Pagan scored Reyes with a single in the bottom of the 12th.

Winning Pitcher:

Jorge Sosa (1-0) threw just one pitch in the game, retiring Pedro Feliz on a groundout. Because he was the last guy to pitch, he gets the win. Scott Shoeneweis is the real hero though. More on that later.

Losing Pitcher:

Tom Gordon (0-2) was cruising, retiring five batters in just thirteen pitches in the eleventh and twelfth innings, but then gave up a two-out double to Reyes and the game winner to Pagan.


-Maine was okay tonight, but I don't think he was quite as good as his line indicates. He went 6+ innings, giving up five hits and just one run, a homer by Pedro Feliz in the seventh. But he had just one strikout, and walked five hitters. I didn't think his slider was all that great, and he seemed very erratic, though his ball to strike ratio wasn't all that terrible(35 balls, 55 strikes). He didn't have his best stuff, but was in line for the win until Heilman let the Phillies tie it in the ninth. I think that really shows how far he's come as a pitcher: he can not have his best stuff, walk five and strike out just one, and not really have a great slider, yet still go over six innings, give up one run, and be in line for the win.

-Do you want the bad first or the good? Let's go with the bad. Aaron Heilman is really struggling. He gave up the lead in the top of the eighth inning, and just looked absolutely terrible doing it. He was booed off the field at the end of the inning, and though I don't usually condone booing anybody who wears a Mets uniform, I probably would have done the same thing if I were at Shea tonight. He's had a very slow start to the year, and if the Mets want him to be a set-up man for Billy Wagner, he REALLY needs to be a lot better than that.

We aren't even talking about being consistent yet; he just needs to be somewhat reliable. SNY took a vote at the during the game, asking which player would help the Mets most when he comes off the Disabled List: Pedro, Alou, El Duque, or Duaner Sanchez. The answer was Moises Alou, and that is probably the correct one, but I bet Sanchez got a lot of votes after that eighth inning.

-Aside from Heilman, the Mets bullpen was rather, dare I say it, phenomenal. In the seventh inning, after Maine gave up a home run to Pedro Feliz and a double to Chris Coste, Randolph removed Maine and replaced him with Pedro Feliciano. Feliciano had a rather mediocre outing last night, and it was pretty important for him to get in a groove pretty quickly with the top of the Phillies order due up. He walked Jason Werth on five pitches, and the tension screw around Shea Stadium tightened cruelly. But then he struck out Shane Victorino, Eric Bruntlett, and Chase Utley all in a row, the latter on a steady diet of deadly sliders. When Feliciano doesn't locate his slider, he becomes ineffective very quickly. But when he gets it over for strikes and gets hitters to chase after it, he is almost impossible to hit- especially for lefties.

-For the rest of the bullpen, Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth, Joe Smith was pretty good in the tenth, but put the Mets in a tough situation in the eleventh, when the Phils had runners on first and second and one out, with Chase Utley at the plate Ryan Howard on deck. Randolph did the only thing he could do in the situation, and went toleft-hander Scott Shoeneweis. Shoeneweis had recieved most of the blame for the loss on Tuesday, whether it was justified blame or not. But here, he got Utley to ground into an inning-ending double play, and retired Ryan Howard and So Taguchi to start the twelfth. They replaced him with Sosa only because Pedro Feliz is a right-handed hitter, and Sosa retired him on one pitch. Still, major kudos to Shoeneweis, whom every Mets fan and his brother has ripped for the last year. I admit that I have often fallen victim to this. But, to get some perspective, this is just one nice game. Let's see him sustain it.

-What has Angel Pagan not done for this ball club? Clutch walk-off single in the twelfth, but I just love how he goes the other way from the left side of the plate. He did it twice tonight, and both times got hits. He's been, as Gary Cohen put it on the SNY broadcast, a god-send for the Mets. Ron Darling noted that the only thing Pagan hadn't done for the Mets was hit a walk-off homer. Though he didn't do that, a walk-off hit is a walk-off hit, no matter how far it travels.

-By the way, it was nice to see Reyes smoke a double into the gap there to set up the game-winner by Pagan. That was a frozen rope to right-center. Hopefully he can keep it going into the next series, because as Ron Darling pointed out, the Mets won't be nearly as good as they can be unless #7 gets going.

Wow, I wrote a ton. That's what happens when you feed we malnourished Mets fans with a walk-off win over the Phillies. Ahh....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's about time

The Mets topped the Philadelphia Phillies this evening by a score of 8-2. Box score can be found here.

Winning Pitcher:

Mike Pelfrey (1-0) stepped up big tonight for the Mets, going five strong innings of two-run ball, and most importantly, not giving into the pressure when the defense behind him made mistakes. He pounded the zone with his fastball and did a very nice job with his slider, impressing even Keith Hernandez, who commented on it during the game tonight.

Losing Pitcher:

It's not that Kyle Kendrick (1-1) was getting pounded- he gave up four hits in two and a third innings. Okay, that's not great, but not the kind of start you would think would not last past the third inning. The problem was he walked six batters and the defense committed four errors behind him. That usually leads to poor results. He gave up seven runs, just one of them earned, in his measly 2.1 innings of work.


-For scoring eight runs, the Mets offense really wasn't all that good. They only managed five hits for the game, getting just one hit after their six-run third inning. Reyes continues to struggle, and Wright took a tough 0-4 night, dropping his batting average pretty low. Oh-fors in April will do that to you. Delgado recorded one hit to continue his nice little streak here over the last few games. Maybe the guy will have a good year. Overall, the offense did well enough. Still, it would be nice to get some more consistency in the offense.

-I really like Pagan hitting second. It's really a nice thing to do when Castillo can't play.

-We were all calling for Feliciano yesterday, and he pitches today and gets hit around quite a bit. I'd love to see all the Willie haters deal with that one. At some point I'll post a long rant about how much I can't stand people who continually second-guess Willie Randolph, but school and other more important things beckon.

-Ultimately, this was a win over the Phillies, the Mets first since June 30th, 2007 (yes, that stat is correct). Was it ugly? Yes. Will the Mets take it? You betcha.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another Loss

Sigh. I was driving all afternoon, so I heard nothing of the Mets 3-1 loss to the Braves. Smoltz got the win, Heilman got the loss, and very little bad that happened was Santana's fault. Oh, and the Mets offense is anemic. That's about all I know. Series Preview for the Brewers coming tomorrow.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Getting tomahawked like that really smarts

The Mets were plastered 11-5 by the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field today. Game recap here.


-John Maine was not at his best today, going just four innings, giving up four runs all on 96 pitches. He often looked flustered and out of his niche. It wasn’t exactly the scintillating performance I was expecting in Maine’s first start, and we’ll see if he can get it together soon. With Pedro out, the Mets REALLY need Maine to be great.

-The Mets got the short end of very poor umpiring once again. On Wednesday night, it was the bad call that ruled Carlos Beltran’s home run a double, but that controversy was lost in the Mets 13-0 win. Today, however, in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and one out, Jose Reyes hit a scalding line drive to centerfield, and the Braves’ fielder Mark Kotsay clearly trapped it beneath his body. The umpire, however, ruled that Kotsay had caught the baseball, and the Braves easily threw out Angel Pagan at second, who was running after seeing the ball hit the ground himself.

But Randolph argued the call passionately, and it was eventually overturned, but the Mets were given just one run, despite the fact that Pagan would have scored easily from second. Still, it was just an awful call.

-I swear, Gotay will really hurt us before the end of the season.

-The relief pitching was pretty bad, outside of Joe Smith. Jorge Sosa and Scott Schoeneweis were the worst, with Sosa giving up a grand slam to Kelly Johnson in the seventh inning, effectively putting the game out of reach. Uggh, shades of 2007. Get it together, guys.

-I’m ready to move on to tomorrow, and the exciting Santana-Smoltz matchup. I hate losing to the Braves, so let’s hope Santana can work his magic.


Last night's game with the Atlanta Braves was rained out, and will be made up at some point in May. Maine and Hudson will pitch this afternoon, and Santana and Smoltz will pitch tomorrow. Yay! no Pelfrey! More after this afternoon's game.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It feels oh so good to be mean

The Mets incinerated the Marlins on Wednesday night by a score of 13-0. They had seventeen hits in the game.

Winning Pitcher

Oliver Perez (1-0) was fabulous, going six full innings and allowing no runs on just five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Not that it really mattered; come on, the Mets scored so many runs that Jose Lima would have earned a win tonight.

Losing Pitcher

Andrew Miller (0-1), who was hammered by the Mets last season as a member of the Tigers organization, was once again shelled by the Amazin's. The youngster's line was 4.1 innings, eight hits, five runs, two walks, and six strikeouts.


-Oliver Perez looked really good tonight, and if he, Santana, and Maine can be relied on this season, that will go a long way in making up for Pedro's injury and any poor performance by a random fifth starter. I've begun to realize that when Perez is under control, doesn't try to overthrow, and throws his slider for strikes, he's pretty much unhittable.

-David Wright is the player of the game, even though I don't actually give those in my postgame recaps. I guess that tells you just how good he was tonight. He was 3-5 with two runs scored, a double, and three RBI's on a sixth-inning three-run homer. In fact, Wright's double would have been a home run in any other ballpark. So we should pretend that, along with last night, Wright actually has three home runs this season. Oh, and he also had two gold-glove worthy plays in the latter innings.

-Carlos Beltran had a home run unjustly changed to a double in the fifth inning. However, the guy also had two other doubles tonight, which gives him five for the year already. Keep raking, Carlos.

-Every starting position player had multiple hits tonight except Brian Schneider, who had two RBI's and a sacrifice fly. Seventeen hits. Two home runs and six doubles. Yeah, that's a lot of offense. We could have used some of these runs last September....oh no, don't do it...don'


Day off on Thursday. John Maine open the Mets series in Atlanta on Friday night. More then.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mets Fall to Marlins in Ten

The Mets fell to the Marlins 5-4 in ten innings in Miami on Tuesday night.

Winning Pitcher

Reliever Justin Miller (1-0) gets the win after pitching a scoreless top of the tenth. Not all that much more to say about him.

Losing Pitcher

Matt Wise (0-1), after retiring the first two batters on impressive strikeouts, surrendered a walk-off home run to Robert Andino in the bottom of the tenth inning. He just hung a change-up and Andino took him deep. Don’t get too angry with Wise for this one; it’s just one of those things.


-Pedro wasn’t terrible. He just really struggled locating his fastball early, as both homers came off of fat fastballs. Pedro told SNY’s Kevin Burghart that he felt his hamstring “pop” in the fourth, and that he will be going to New York tomorrow to have an MRI. Hamstring problem= not good because it will never go away. This will be a persistent issue. We all expected this, just not this early in the year. Get well soon, Pedro. We really need you.

-Major props to the bullpen. Jorge Sosa came into the game after Pedro was hurt and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. Then Schoeneweis and Smith combined for a perfect seventh, and Aaron Heilman was phenomenal in throwing a scoreless eighth and ninth. Even losing pitcher Matt Wise looked great on the first two batters, striking out the first two hitters on change-ups, but he just hung the last change and Robert Andino hit it out. It’s just unfortunate that the Mets offense couldn’t contribute quite enough, and they couldn’t claim the win. But that doesn’t change how well those three guys (Smith, Show, and Heilman) pitched.

-When will the no-names quit plaguing the Mets? I mean, come on, Robert Andino? He sounds like a career minor leaguer.

-No Met really stood out offensively other than Brian Schneider, who was 3 for 4 with a RBI and a walk. Everyone got a hit except for Beltran, but only Schneider recorded multiple hits.

-Oh, where are you Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez? These Marlin announcers are so annoying. We’re in the middle of an extra inning game and they are ripping the Shea Stadium broadcast booth. You know, the Mets ARE building a new ballpark for that very reason…

-Carlos Beltran recorded his first assist of the season, throwing out Dan Uggla at second after Uggla tried to stretch a bloop single into a double.

-David Wright hit a bomb to deep centerfield in the top of the ninth which would have been out of every ballpark in the National League except this one, San Diego, and maybe San Francisco. Arghh….

-This loss isn’t all that aggravating. The offense was okay, the pitching was great except for the first two innings from Pedro and one poor pitch from Wise. This loss would be very tolerable if Pedro wasn’t hurt in the game. Now this puts the Mets in a really tough spot in the rotation way earlier than we were hoping to deal with it.

Tomorrow’s game:
7:10 pm

Oliver Perez (0-0) vs. Andrew Miller(0-0). The Mets need to start the season off with a series victory. And they need to rest their bullpen, which pitched six and a third innings tonight. They could use a big start from Perez.

Pedro Hurt

After giving up four runs in the first two innings, Pedro Martinez left the game in the fourth with what looked like a hamstring or groin injury. This is bad. I was afraid when he gave up a few runs that something was wrong with him physically. We'll see what happens.

The Mets are tied with the Marlins 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, but Aaron Heilman just gave up a leadoff walk. Uh-oh, it's last year all over again.