Friday, June 30, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Red Sox 4 Mets 2

The Mets now have their first 3 game losing streak of the season. That last team to do that this year.
The Red Sox have now won 12 in a row and for these three games were the much better team.
Finally a game that lived up to the billing of two potential World Series teams.
Glavine pitched ok, just lost it in the 6th. Heilman couldn't bail him out.
Coco Crisp killed us. He manufactured a "Reyes run" in the 7th and made a game-saving catch in the 8th.
Papelbon was unhittable in the 9th and so it goes.
Better luck during the Subway Series.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hot as a Firecracker

Jose Reyes won his second straight National League Player of the Week honor. Two weeks ago, he hit .500 and shared the award with David Wright.
Last week batted .613 (19-for-31), scored 12 runs, hit two home runs, had three RBIs and stole four bases.
He also led off two games with home runs.

Unhappy Recap: Red Sox 10 Mets 2

What a nightmare!

Pedro just got killed. That's the bottom line. I don't know why it happened and I don't think it's a harbringer of him fading down the stretch. He just got his ass kicked. I don't think he was too deferential to the Sox and I don't have a problem with his comments. I was a little worried when he said "I just have to tip my cap..." Thankfully he will not be calling them his daddy.

The game turned when Pedro made a key mistake in the first inning. With first and second and one out Ortiz hit a comebacker. Pedro tried to go to third but he forgot Wright was too far over (due to the shift) to cover the base. Then he turned to second and was too late, so he went to first for one out. So instead of a double play the inning continued until such time as Lastings Milledge screwed up another flyball. That made it 4-0 and the game was over.

Nothing else to say about this one. This picture of dejected Pedro says it all.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sleeping with The Enemy

Tales from Isaacs' first night in enemy territory are up.

They Still Love Pedro

Pedro got a warm greeting in Boston from fans and former teammates. It will be interesting to see if the warm, fuzzy feelings last when he's on the mound for the enemy tonight.

Unhappy Recap: Red Sox 9 Mets 4

A horrible game for the Mets, but it wasn't quite as bad as the score indicates, the Mets had plenty of chances to win this one.

Soler got killed, gave up 2 in the first and one in the second. When Delgado homered in the second, Soler gave that run right back.

The Mets had a great chance in the fourth with the bases loaded and one out. Franco walked to force in a run. Then Nady hit a weak grounder to first, forcing the runner at home and Woodward struck out, ending that threat.

It was still 3-2 and with two out and two on Manny hit a pop up to Milledge and the whole game went down the tubes. Milledge lost it and as Kate described it "spun around like a ballerina. He fell on his ass and two runs scored.

With the score 5-2 the Mets mounted another threat in the fifth when the idiot Manny Acta (must be something about guys named Manny) waved Reyes around third even though the other Manny already had the ball. Instead of bases loaded no out we had first and second and two out and oh no! Reyes tried to be tough and barrel into Varitek. He took the worst of it but thankfully he is ok.

After that, Delgado walked and the Mets loaded the bases for Wright, who on the tenth pitch of the at bat struck out.

Rookie starter Jon Lester pumped his fist. He was out of trouble again, and out of the game.

In those two innings the Mets were 0-3 with the bases loaded with one RBI, on a walk.

The Red Sox put it away with two homers in the bottom of the inning.

Marrero and Beltran hit meaningless homers.

Wasn't good to see Duaner Sanchez come back and not pitch well.

Both teams now have the same number of wins they did on this date in 1986. But the Mets have 8 more losses, and the Red Sox have 3 more. The Mets actually have a bigger lead now, than they did in 86 though.

Keith Hernandez was in the reminiscing mood. First he spoke about how he has on several occassions come across a guy asking him to autograph his baseball card. He said each time he was thinking "you carry around my baseball card in your wallet."

Then Keith confessed that he's more well known for his brief appearance on Seinfeld than for his entire career as a baseball player. Younger guys frequently come up to him and offer to help him move.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Blue Jays 4

This game had a very similar rhythm to the yesterday's game, beyond the fact that both games ended with the same score. The games started with one team taking an early lead on a 3-run homer, the other team battled back but couldn't get over the hump and had one final shot late in the game but couldn't capitalize.

Let's begin with Jose Reyes. He led off the game with a home run, his second time doing that this week (3rd this year, 5th of his career), and now has 8 homers on the year. Imagine if he hit 15 homers in addition to all the other stuff he contributes. Coming into yesterday's game he'd been on a 24-47 hot streak. Then he got hits in 8 of his 10 at bats over these two games. Hot as a pistol.

After Castro and Reyes singled, Beltran hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd to give the Mets the lead for good.

The Mets tacked on 2 more in the 5th on a single by Reyes and Castro then scored on a wild pitch.

Trachsel didn't pitch great, 4 runs in 5 innings, but he now has a 4 game winning streak. I always criticize him for pitching just well enough to lose, but lately he has been pitching just well enough to win. But he still is one of those pitchers who can't stand prosperity. After Reyes gave him the 1-0 lead he squandered it, largely because of an errant pickoff throw that sent a runner to third with no one out. Then with a 4-1 lead in the fourt he gave up solo homers to Overbay and Molina. And finally when the Mets made it 6-3, he allowed one more run to the Blue Jays.

But his counterpart Josh Towers is one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. His record now stands at 1-9 and his ERA is 9.11. He is also the only pitcher (that I know of) that wears a single digit uniform number. Might be time to change that.

Endy Chavez picked up his 8th outfield assist in the game. Amazing for a guy who doesn't play regularly. Maybe because he is a part time player word about his arm hasn't made it around the league.

Julio Franco made a heads up play reaching second on what was essentially an infield grounder.

Chad Bradford pitched two great innings in relief. Aaron Heilman was shaky again, giving up two hits, but no runs in the 8th.

And Billy Wagner was shaky as well. After the last two game I'm now convinced the Mets signed the wrong closer this winter. He gave up two walks but was able to get out of it.

In the last three innings the Jays had runners on second but could not score.

This was also another error filled game for SNY's graphics. They started off on the wrong foot, when Reyes led off the game with a homer it said "Julio Franco." Later in the game they gave Reyes a .319 batting average. Even on his recent hot streak he's only at .302. I don't like to dwell on these things because I know they can happen in a live broadcast but they have had way too many wrong counts, wrong base runners, etc.

Mets take their fifth straight road series.

Unhappy Recap: Blue Jays 7 Mets 4

This game proved how thin the line between success and failure is. I know El Duque had no control and no matter what happened he was going to give up some runs but he might have been able to get out of the second inning down only 1-0. With two outs and the bases loaded Frank Catalanotto blooped one to center. Reyes barely missed it. The next batter was Vernon Wells, who hit a three run homer to make it 6-0.

El Duque's first pitch to the next batter, Troy Glaus, was up and in and since he'd already hit two batters, the umpire warned both benches. Willie Randolph came out to calm down El Duque, but since Peterson had already made a trip to the mound in that inning the Mets were forced to remove El Duque.

Wells also hit another homer in the 7th, giving him 21 and 62 RBI. Fans chanted "M-V-P!" for him. His numbers are very similar to our own MVP David Wright. In the fifth, with Delgado on first Wright ripped one to center, Wells dove and missed and it rolled all the way to the wall. Wright had to settle for a triple but I think he could have had an inside-the-parker if Delgado had been hustling in front of him.

Oliver relieved El Duque and allowed only 1 hit in 4 1/3 innings, keeping the Mets in the game. The Mets actually were able to get some hits and runs of Halladay, but not enough to overcome the early deficit. They got 4 runs and 10 hits off him in 7 and 1/3. Because he pitches in the American League, in Canada, I don't think Met fans realize how good he is. In 2002 he was 19-7 with a 2.93, he won the Cy Young the next year by going 22-7 with a 3.25. He was hurt and bad in 2004 going 8-8 with a 4.20. Last year he started off 12-4 with a 2.41 before getting hit by a line drive and this year he is already 9-2. That's 62-20 over 4 years if you exclude that one bad season, even a 70-28 record is excellent over the past 5 years.

The Mets did have a chance to get back in the game in the 7th. Reyes and Beltran singled, Delgado doubled off the lefty to drive home one and make the game 7-4. The Blue Jays brought in a righty and walked Wright to load the bases with one out. Valentin popped out and Nady struck out to end the threat.

Reyes got a little aggressive in the first inning and was thrown out trying to get to third on Lo Duca's grounder, even though replays showed he was safe. He did go 4-5 though, giving him 28 hits in his last 52 at bats.

Alex Rios was unhappy about striking out.

While watching B.J. Ryan blow away the Mets in the 9th inning I couldn't help but think that the Mets spent millions on the wrong free agent closer this offseason. That and his 0.49 ERA.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Blue Jays 1

M-V-P! M-V-P!
Maybe Shawn was (w)right. David Wright is playing like the MVP of the National League right now. His base hits and home runs are coming either early in games to give the Mets the early lead, or late in games to win them. Over the past 6 games he's hit 4 homers and driven in 13. In the month of June he has 10 homers and 28 RBI. For the season his OPS is above 1.000. Awesome.

Tom Glavine rebounded from three shaky starts in a row (even though he went 2-0 in those games) and pitched well, enjoying the lead Wright gave him. He's now 11-2 with a 3.33 ERA, and he hasn't lost since April 24th. His 11 wins at this point are great compared to his win totals in his first three seasons with the Mets (9, 11 & 13). He now has 286 wins for his career and seems a lock for 300 sometime next season if he can win another 6 or 8 at least this year.

This was Carlos Delgado's first game back since leaving Toronto after the 2004 season. He's the franchise's career leader in home runs and RBI and a few other offensive categories. The classy Torontonians gave him a standing ovation his first time up (and applause the other times) and Delgado tipped his cap to them.

Lastings Milledge blasted his third home run of the season to straight away center. When he returned to the dugout the veterans gave the rookie the silent treatment, acting as if he'd just grounded out to short. Lastings instead pantomimed slapping five with some imaginary teammates at which point his real teammates came over to congratulate him. A funny moment and Gary Cohen kept emphasizing how well Milledge had handled it.

In the fourth, Nady and Valentin got their singals crossed on a pop up, both running hard, then both stopping, allowing the ball to drop in for a single. Next batter hit into a double play.

Another funny moment in the 7th, with Reyes on first Lo Duca blasted a double to right, Reyes scored easily and Lo Duca tried for third on the throw home, but the throw was cut off and the third baseman had the ball waiting for him. Instead Lo Duca just ran away, turning for home about 15 feet shy of touching third. Then he jokingly turned around and allowed himself to be tagged out.

In the 8th, a couple of fans, or as Gary Cohen called them "morons", decided "they would rather run on the field and spend a night in jail than watch a baseball game." SNY refused to show them. But the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

One unfunny moment came when Duaner Sanchez mysteriously hurt himself. He threw two pitches in the 8th, the second one was about two feet outside. Then he bent over on the mound, wiggled his fingers and was immediately taken out of the game. He says he is fine now but he felt a shock in his neck and felt the sensation all the way to his finger tips. He says other pitchers told him they'd felt the same thing. But the Mets sent him back to New York for an MRI.

Hopefully, my favorite player will be back on the mound soon.

Mets have now won a team record 9 straight road games.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Some Things You Didn't Know About Lastings Milledge

During Thursday's Mets game Chris Kotter told fans about Lastings Milledge facts, a website that reports some previously unknown info about the Mets future star. Gary Cohen felt the need to emphasize that these were facts in quotation marks, because some people don't understand sarcasm.
This internet craze started most hilariously with Chuck Norris, then moved on to the awful Jack Bauer and even one for Phillies Phenom Cole Hamels.

While I was skeptical of these copycat sites I must say that the Milledge site does have mostly original work, a large percentage of which is actually fairly amusing.
42. Jim Duquette says he wouldn't trade Lastings Milledge.
60. Lastings Milledge traded Kaz Matsui to the Colorado Rockies.
139. The 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not run on Lastings Milledge.
159. Lastings Milledge once hired Donald Trump to be his personal bat boy....after a week Lastings said, YOUR FIRED. Yes, he said "your" instead of "you're." Despite his super powers, grammar has never been Lastings Milledge's forte.
309. Lastings Milledge loves asian chicks. Actually, he loves all chicks. He is Lastings Milledge!
312. Lastings Milledge was the only black person to appear on Beverly Hills 90210.
325. Lastings Milledge went to Geno's Cheesesteaks and ordered Vietnamese food, in Japanese, while wearing a turban. He was not only served, he is now the customer of the year.

And the best one was pointed out by Kotter...
311. Lastings Milledge was the captain of Tom Emanski's back-to-back-to-back AAU national championship teams.

How Lastings learned to throw so well

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Reds 2

The big story of this game was of course David Wright. He is developing an incredible sense of timing, and his heroics today brought back the M-V-P! chant that we heard on Opening Day. I still think that's a bit presumptuous becaue he's still third in home runs on his own team, but the way he's hitting and driving in runs, if it doesn't happen this year, it's only a matter of time before he does win one.

The Mets trailed 2-0 in the fourth when Beltran walked to lead off the inning (Milton complained about a bad call). Then Wright hit his first home run to tie the game. The Mets tacked on another in that inning when Julio Franco doubled and Xavier Nady singled to drive him in (he was out at second trying to stretch to a double).

In the fifth, Beltran singled home Reyes (more on him in a second) and Wright connected with his second home run, to make the score 6-2. Wright is now batting .338 with 16 homers and 60 RBI (on pace for 36 and 135).

And his partner in crime for the next 15 years (hopefully) Jose Reyes continued his hot streak, one of the best 10 game stretches in Mets history. I can't verify that but you argue with these numbers. Over his 10 game-hitting streak (at least 2 hits in 9 of those games) he is batting .535 (23-43) with 14 runs and 5 steals. Over that span he raised his average to .286 from .246 and is now on base at .349 compared to .315. He now leads the majors with 62 runs scored (pace for 139). Sounds like a pretty good leadoff hitter to me.

And then there's Pedro Martinez. As well as Glavine is pitching he is still the ace of the staff. I still feel, and I'm sure they players do too, that every time Pedro pitches the Mets should win the game. He didn't have his best stuff, struggling with his control, walking 5 in six innings. He had to be taken out after 6 because he'd thrown 110 pitches, and Wright had just given the Mets a 6-2 lead. He only allowed 2 hits though, keeping his season total at about 2/3 of a hit per inning pitched. He also kept his ERA steady at 3.01 by allowing 2 runs in 6 innings.

The second tier of the bullpen (Bell, Feliciano and Bradford) nailed this one down. Feliciano got in a little trouble in the 8th allowing second and third with two outs but Bradford came in and stranded even more inherited runners. He pitched the ninth to earn his second save of the season. His first was the first game in LA, when he also got 4 outs. Today Bradford recorded three of his four outs by strikeout.

A good win to end what could have been a bad series. Losing 3 of 4 at home would have been tough. Now the Mets have a rough stretch starting in Toronto with 9 games against the top 3 teams in the American League East. The series in Boston should be fun and Mets-Yankees series are always entertaining.

The Cycle

Great accomplishment for Jose Reyes last night, hitting for the cycle. Very seldom do you see a guy need a single to make the cycle.

-When a player hits for the cycle his team wins 84% of the time
-25 game winning streak for teams with the cycle was snapped last night
-The Mets are now 8-1 when a player hits for cycle
-Other Mets that hit for the cycle: Jim Hickman, Tommie Agee, Mike Phillips, Keith Hernandez (the famous 19-inning game vs. the Braves), Kevin McReynolds, Alex Ochoa, John Olerud and Eric Valent
-There have been 268 cycles in major league history, the Mets have nine
-There have been 232 no-hitters in major league history, the Mets have none

It's a shame that Reyes' cycle was ruined in this way. It's a night he'll always remember and he was genuinely excited about it. They even took the ball off the field for his trophy case. It's the sort of unusual accomplishment that many great players never get to achieve. Too bad Wagner ruined it.

Unhappy Recap: Reds 6 Mets 5

Willie called it the classic giveaway game. I call it another Wagner disaster. I am not officially worried about Billy Wagner. And I understand why Claudia wanted to leave last Thursday's game when Wagner came in. The Mets need Billy Wagner to pitch better if they are going to go anywhere in the playoffs. But remember Bobby Jenks was a World Series winning closer last year. You just need him to get hot for a couple weeks. Hopefully the blown saves are out of his system.

It seems like it's been since before 1990 when the Mets last had a reliable closer. It's been Franco, Benitez, Looper and now Wagner. And everytime they blow a save we say "why do they always blow saves when it really matters?" Because every time you have a lead in the 9th and don't win it's damaging. But looking back, the second game of the season wasn't such a big deal. Nor were the blown saves against San Francisco (the Bonds homer) or Pittsburgh. The loss the Yankees killed, but that didn't even count as a blown save since the lead was 4.

Willie was asked if this was the type of game that made him glad to have a 9 1/2 game lead. And it is. These things happen, but the Mets still have a big lead.

Some other things happened in this game.

Soler actually pitched pretty well. The defense hurt him a little, Wright's error and LoDuca's passed ball. And of course the wild pitch on strike 3 that allowed Kearns to reach base

Speaking of Wright, he never should have fielded that ball in the ninth inning. He knew he couldn't get an out, so he should have just let it roll. It wasn't going to roll into left field or bounce off the bag like the announcers said. Mental mistake.

Great game for Jose Reyes, but I'm going to give it it's own post, because it deserves that much.

Very exciting 7th inning. Another clutch hit by Wright and a huge home run by Jose Valentin. It was after that inning that I started to believe. I was thinking that innings like that are the type of innings that championship teams have which make championship seasons so special.

But we all remember that being a Met fan is a test of patience. Whenever you get too high, some mediocre closer is there to knock you back down.

By the way, Wagner has now blown 4 saves this year, compared to 3 all of last season. Benitez always blew between 4 and 6 when he was with the Mets, and we all hated him and said he sucked.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mets on My Birthday

1978: The day I was born, Mets beat the Expos 3-0 behind Nino Espinosa.

1979: My first birthday is ruined by a 5-4 loss to the Astros. Craig Swann against J.R. Richard, that was a good pitching matchup back then.

1980: Mets lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. Pat Zachary is the tough luck loser as Jeff Reardon allows a walk-off double to Dusty Baker. Steve Howe gets the win.

1981: No game; player's strike.

1982: About a month after the Mets won my first game at Shea, they won again on my birthday. They beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings. The Mets led 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Keith Hernandez pinch hit a game tying home run off Mike Scott.

1983: The Mets split a doubleheader with the Cardinals, losing the first game 3-1, but winning the nightcap, 6-4. Keith Hernandez homered again, this time for the Mets, 5 days after being acquired.

1984: Mets beat the Phillies, 7-4. Strawberry and Mookie homered, Ron Darling got the win and Doug Sisk the save. Steve Carlton took the loss.

1985: Mets beat the Cubs 5-3. George Foster hit a grand slam and El Sid got the win by striking out 10 in 6 innings. Roger McDowell got a 3-inning save.

1986: Mets beat the Cubs 10-3 to improve to 45-18 on the season. Gary Carter hit a 3-run homer, Ed Hearn homered and so did Keith Hernandez. El Sid won again, improving to 8-2. He was 12-2 at the All-Star break that magical season. He finished at 16-6.

1987: Mets beat the Phillies 3-2. Kevin McReynolds hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Lenny Dykstra in the bottom of the 9th as the Mets win 3-2. Dwight Gooden pitched a complete game and improved to 3-1, after missing the first 2 months of the season while in drug rehab.

1988: Mets lost to the Pirates 8-5. Strawberry hit his 17th home run. Barry Bonds had two hits from the leadoff spot for Pittsburgh.

1989: Mets lost 8-5 for the second straight year, this time to the Expos. Andres Galarraga and Tim Raines combined for 7 RBI and Montreal scored 3 in the top of the 9th off Rick Aguilera.

1990: Mets got back to their winning ways beating the Cardinals 6-3. John Franco saved it, his 12th of the year.

1991: Mets beat the Braves, 9-7. Hubie Brooks had two homers (one off Smoltz) and 4 RBI in his second tour of duty with the team. Gooden hit a homer but he allowed two to his nemesis, NL MVP Terry Pendleton.

1992: The Worst Team Money Could Buy lost to the Cardinals, 6-1. Eddie Murray hit a solo homer. Anthony Young was the losing pitcher.

1993: Mets lost 3-2 to the Pirates. Bret Saberhagen got tagged with the loss and all 3 runs but in the 9th he had a 2-1 lead, but he put and two runners John Franco was called on to save the game. He gave up a hit and two walks leading to walk off victory for Pittsburgh.

1994: Mets lost 7-3 to the Braves in their first year in the NL East, a division they still have never lost. Bobby Bonilla and Tim Bogar both hit homers in a losing cause.

1995: Mets lost to the Philles, 8-2. Pete Harnisch and Jerry DiPoto got knocked around. Tyler Green (a rookie) pitched a complete game for Philadelphia.

1996: Mets lost to the Reds, 5-3, the 6th consecutive loss on June 20th. Bobby Jones took the loss and Andy Tomberlin hit a homer in a losing cause. Rey Ordonez played in his first June 20th game.

1997: The Mets beat the Pirates 1-0 in the first game on this list that I distinctly remember attending, though I'm positive there were others. Bobby Jones pitched an absolute gem, striking out 8 in 8 2/3, to improve to 12-3. Franco got the final out for the save. Jason Hardtke drove in Butch Huskey for the only run of the game.

1998: Mets lost to the Marlins 8-3. Hideo Nomo got clobbered, Livan Hernandez pitched a complete game for the win. Future Met Todd Zeile homered, future Met Cliff Floyd and future superstar Derrek Lee had big games for Florida. Mel Rojas gave up two runs in an inning. Mike Piazza went 1-4 in his June 20th Mets debut.

1999: The Mets beat the Cardinals 9-6 on my 21st birthday. Rey Ordonez gave me a great birthday present, going 3-4 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. Piazza went 2-5 with a run and an RBI and Mark McGwire homered.

2000: Mets lost to the Phillies, 3-2. With the score tied at 2 in the top of the 9th Armando Benitez gave up the game-winning home run to Pat Burrell. It was the 4th homer of Burrell's career and his first against the Mets. The next day he hit two more.

2001: Mets beat the Expos 4-3. Rey Ordonez went 2-3, Robin Ventura hit a home run. Al Leiter got the win going 7 innings and allowing on 3 unearned runs (the error was on Ordonez.) Vladimir Guerrero went 0-4.

2002: Mets beat the Twins, 3-2, another game I know I attended. Piazza and Alfonzo homered. Steve Trachsel pitched great until he tired in the 9th and allowed two runs. I believe he had a no-hitter going for about 5 innings or so until my dad blurted out "hey, he's pitching a no-hitter."

2003: Mets lost to the Yankees, 5-0. I was at this game also as it was part of our season plan with Marcia, Claudia, Nathan, Bob & Rob. My mom got a birthday wish on the scoreboard. It said something like "Happy 25th birthday Paul, from everyone who loves you." Pettitte shutout the Mets through 7. Soriano, Jeter and Giam-BALCO all homered for the Yankees.

2004: Mets beat the Tigers, 6-1. Jeremy Bonderman pitched for the Tigers. Piazza and Hidalgo homered.

2005: No game, off day.

2006: Mets beat the Reds 9-2. Steve Trachsel pitched the fourth straight game on June 20th. Trachsel also homered. Carlos Delgado hit a home run and Xavier Nady hit two in his first game back from an appendectomy. Lastings Milledge gunned down a runner at second, for another memorable outfield assist. And they broke it open in the 8th off former Met David Weathers.

This post took me a long time to compile but it was great fun going back and looking at the old box scores. I hope you enjoy reading it.

The Mets are 14-14 in games played on June 20th since 1978. There were two days with no game, one doubleheader and I counted 1978, even though that isn't a birthday, it's more important than the rest of the dates. After a miserable 2-8 stretch from 1991-2000, the Mets have won 4 of the last five. The Mets have played at Shea in 20 of those 27 years, including the last 6 and 10 of the last 11. I wish I could remember more about which games I actually went to.

Happy Recap: Mets 9 Reds 2

A nice easy victory to get back to even in the series. This game was actually closer than the final score indicates, the Mets didn't blow it open until late.

Trachsel pitched well tonight, and believe it or not, in a game that featured 11 runs...and Steve Trachsel, this one lasted only 2 hours and 34 minutes. That's got to be close to a personal best for him. He is on a mini-roll right now, having won his last 3 starts, and the game before that he allowed 1 run in 7 innings against the Giants but the bullpen blew it for him. That was the famous Milledge home run, high five loss.

Trachsel hit the second home run by a pitcher at Shea this week. It was his third career homer and his first since August 28, 1998. His teammate at the time, Sammy Sosa hit his 53rd that day. One week after that game he gave up Mark McGwire's 62nd homer.

Trachsel has experienced so many homers from the other side

The last time a Met pitcher hit a home run was almost four years ago to the day, when Shawn Estes homered off Roger Clemens but couldn't hit him with a pitch.

Lastings Milledge got the game off to a great start when the first batter, the speedy Ryan Freel singled to left Milledge gunned him down at second, trying to stretch into a double. Milledge took a perfect circuitous route to the ball so that his body was lined up perfectly with the base. He scooped it up and fired a strike to Valentin who was waiting and slapped the tag on the dead duck.

But later in the game Milledge got a horrible jump on a pop up and had to make a sliding catch on what should have been a routine play.

giving Willie too many excuses

The bottom of the first was also good for the Mets as Reyes hit one in almost the spot as Freel, but he was able to get to second as Dunn was much slower getting to the ball than Milledge.

Lo Duca then hit a blast off the top of the wall in left center to drive home Reyes. Gary Cohen erroneously called it a homer, and SNY put up the 2-run homer graphic, but it did hit the top of the wall and bounce back.

No matter because Carlos Delgado drove up Lo Duca with a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. It was Delgado's 20th of the year. He became the 4th Met to hit 20 in only 70 games, joining Dave Kingman, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza. Beltran was one homer short.

Delgado, Del-gotit

The game stayed 4-1 into the 7th inning when Trachsel tired and loaded the bases with no out. Duaner Sanchez came got a sacrifice fly and a double play to minimize the damage.

The Mets broke it open in the bottom of the 7th off our old friend David "Stormy" Weathers. Valentin walked, and Nady homered (his first hit since coming off the DL). Milledge singled (pictured above), Duaner Sanchez got hit by the pitch and Reyes made out. Then Lo Duca doubled home the runners to make it 8-2. Weathers walked Beltran and that was it for him. Kent Mercker came on and got the last two outs.

Final line for Weathers: 1/3 inning, 7 batters, 4 hits, 4 earned runs and 2 walks.

I still suck

At this time I can't find any word on an injury to Duaner Sanchez but I assume he's hurt because Willie let him bat, but didn't use him to pitch the 8th inning. Heilman pitched the 8th, Oliver the 9th.

Welcome back Xavier Nady. After getting back into the groove with a homer in the 7th, Nady followed that up with another homer in the 8th. That gives him 11 for the year, not bad considering all the games he missed. He could hit 25. But he has only 25 RBI because he's hit so poorly with men on base. Check out these two pictures below, catching his two home run swings at almost the exact same moment. At first I thought they were two pictures of the same swing but the background is completely different (check out the beer bottles on the dugout).

homer in the 7th
homer in the 8th

Keith Hernandez was at his irreverent best tonight. Trachsel did an interview with Chris Kotter from the clubhouse after he left the game. The Mets have done this several times this year and the pitchers have been gracious. Hernandez said he'd never do that if he were playing. "I love Chris but I'd say 'sorry Chris, talk to me after the game.'" Not sure if he was criticizing the SNY coverage, complimenting the current Mets for being so gracious or once again pointing out how much things have changed since he played.

This game also featured Jose Valentin and his brother Javier. Javier also has a moustache but in a light brown, as opposed to jet black. He's a little heavier than Jose and as Keith pointed out "he hasn't missed too many meals."


Mets Gift Ideas

A couple weeks ago TON sent me an e-mail decrying a ridiculous website that was hawking Mets yarmulkes. Humorously enough the site is called mazeltops.

mazel tov

A few minutes later he discovered a product he deemed stupider than that, a site selling a Mets nacho kit (hot sauce, salsa and cheese sauce). Little did he know that my wonderful in-laws gave that exact item to me last year as a wedding gift.


Remembering Those Who Are No Longer With Us

While cleaning out my mom's attic I found some old shirts of former Mets I used to love, and in one case still do.

Still my favorite Met of all-time
I'll be wearing this to Shea in August during Mets-Cardinals, unless Pujols is still injured in which case I'll give my ticket to the poster known as Bobby V
Mike/Stacey bought this shirt for me for $2.50.  I think he overpaid

Left or Right?

For the next 15 years, which would you rather have: the left side of the Mets infield or the right side of the Phillies infield?

David Wright and Jose Reyes were co-players of the week in the National League last week, hopefully, a glimpse of things to come.

I think David Wright is the best player of the four. But I think Utley is not far behind and will probably have overall stats close to Wright's. I think Howard is a monster slugger who can consistently hit 50 home runs, but he plays poor defense. Reyes is the most flawed of the four, but probably the most exciting.

In a tossup I think I would have to pick the Phillies duo, because they have more power. But other than Albert Pujols, I don't see any National Leaguer who will prevent this quartet from being the All-Stars starters in the NL for many years to come.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Reds 4 Mets 2

It was a nice night at Shea. We saw a good pitcher's duel and had a pleasant evening other than a brief rain shower. I think it has to rain every time I go to a game. The loss drops my season record to 3-3 but two of those wins were Opening Day and a walk-off against the Yankees. Those outweigh a loss to the Reds.

The game got off to a good start as once again the Mets scored in the first inning. Reyes doubled, and scored on a Beltran grounder after a Lo Duca sacrifice. I have no idea why Willie insists on sacrificing in the first inning. You cannot play for one run in the first inning. He needs to let Lo Duca hit and hope he can get him over with an our, or start a big inning with a hit.

The Reds got the run right back after Kearns singled and stole second, one of three successful steals by the Reds against Mike Piazza, I mean Paul Lo Duca. Phillips walked and Ross (the best catcher in the NL this season) singled home the run, moving Phillips to third with Arroyo coming up and one out. The Reds tried a suicide squeeze but Arroyo popped it up and El Duque caught it. But Brandon Phillips refused to be tagged. He walked all the way home, hid behind the umpire, then pushed off him and tried to run back to third. He was called out as soon as he stepped out of the baseline. El Duque tagged him anyway, then flipped the ball to Phillips, who tossed it into the stands behind Cincinnati's dugout

tag you're it

Things went quickly for the next few innings, Arroyo was rolling and El Duque was getting into and out of little jams. Until Ken Griffey Jr led off the 6th with a solo home run. That was the 548th of his career tying him with Michael Jack Schmidt for 11th on the all-time list. It also gave him and his father a combined total of 700. If not for injuries maybe Barry Bonds would be chasing Ken Griffey.

After a leadoff single by Chavez in the fourth Arroyo retired 10 straight Mets. In the 8th Reyes got a hit but was forced at second on a great double play turned by Juan Castro (no relation to Ramon) who was brought in for defense. That earned a star in my scorecard. Delgado also earned a star for a grounder he fielded in the fourth.

The top of the 8th was where the bullpen let us down. Feliciano started the inning with an out. He had not given up a run in 11 straight innings. But he gave up singles to Dunn and Kearns and he hit Hatteberg to load the bases. Bradford came in, having allowed only 1 of 24 inherited runners to score (Claudia and I were right, Dad was wrong), but now it's 3 of 27. The first batter, Brandon Phillips doubled down the right field line to make it 4-1.

Beltran led off the top of the ninth with a blast, foul. It hit the small scoreboard on the facing of the loge section knocking out the top half of the letters B-A-L-L. On the next pitch he straightened it out for a homer, making the score 4-2.

Then Delgado came up. With the Mets needing a base runner he refused to bunt, or check swing to hit one to the left side with the shift on. I don't understand this. Teams shift to try to persuade power hitters to settle for singles. In this instance a single was as good as a homer down two runs. Swinging for the fences, Delgado struck out. Wright singled by Valentin, his dyed moustache and Xavier Nady could do no good.

A pretty good start overall from El Duque. An encouraging 9th inning from Wagner.

Arroyo was great though. I don't remember him being this good with Boston but tonight he threw 116 pitches in a complete game victory. He is now 9-3 with a 2.47 ERA and if the season ended right now he'd be up there with Webb and Glavine as Cy Young candidates.

A-rod's nemesis shuts down the Mets

Learn Spanish with Professor Reyes: Perro Caliente is a hot dog. Some people had trouble rolling their Rs.
Met's Make a Deal: Guy traded in a Tom Glavine wall clock for basket #2, an xBox. Can't confirm if it was a 360, that seems rather generous.
Mets-terpiece Theater: Steve Trachsel said "Life moves pretty fast sometimes, if you don't stop to look around every once in a while you might miss it."
I didn't catch the name of the segment but they asked some Mets a question in this case it was "who on the team is the best tipper?" Cliff Floyd and Steve Trachsel were the most common answers. And Carlos Beltran said he frequently eats by himself.

that's David Wright under there

After a 9-1 road trip the Mets are 1-3 at home.