Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Phillies 3

The Mets are now 3/4 of the way towards putting the Phillies away for the season. If they get swept I don't think the Phillies have the stones and fortitude to come back from that.

But this may have been a pyrrhic victory as Sosa got hurt running to first base in the 6th inning. He has a strained hamstring and may have to go on the DL. He had another adequate but not great start.

But the Mets gave him a lot of run support, continuing to use the dimensions in Philadelphia and the air (the ball carries) to hit four home runs. In the first LoDuca and Wright homered to stake Sosa to an early 3 run lead.

Sosa gave back two runs in the second and then Ryan Howard crushed one, they said it was 450 feet but I think it might have even been more, to tie the game.

From then on it was all Mets. Sosa settled down and he got some help from the bullpen. The two worst relievers, Schoeneweis and Heilman both pitched good, uneventful innings and then Feliciano pitched the last two innings, starting by getting Utley and Howard.

Beltran had another huge day, hitting two more home runs (four in the last two games), he also singled to right and LoDuca scored on a throwing error. Then Beltran scored on a sac fly by Wright meaning he was involved in the last 5 Mets runs. The runs that made the difference.

Mike Pelfrey will come up to try to get his first win of the season, and give the Mets the sweep. Oliver Perez has a stiff back, hopefully he can go on Tuesday instead.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Phillies 2

The Mets left runners on third base with one out in both the first and second innings. The second inning was Maine at bat, the first though, was Delgado. Both guys are hitting about the same though. Evidently, Delgado's good game one didn't carry over.

The Mets did get the run home in the second though thanks to a lucky break. Hamels went to 3-0 on Reyes and threw one behind him, allowing Green to score. Darling insisted that Hamels tried to hit Reyes and once he fell to 3-0 he decided to hit him. The umpires warned both benches.

Beltran homered in the third to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The Mets gave one back in the fourth when LoDuca threw one into centerfield on a steal attempt by Michael Bourn. That put him on third with none out and Utley drove him with a sac fly.

Beltran got that run back right away with another home run. He had another chance in the 6th with two men on but Michael Bourn made an incredible catch, basically reaching behind him to grab what would have been a 2-run double.

Easley got a couple of insurance runs in with a homer and the rest was left to John Maine.

He had another great start, allowing 2 runs (one was an inherited runner allowed by Wagner and the other was unearned because of LoDuca's throwing error). He allowed no walks and only 4 hits and came out for the 9th but once he allowed a hit Randolph brought in Wagner. Probably not the best idea was Wagner struggled, but struck out the last two guys to preserve the win.

Maine is now 9-4 with a 2.74 ERA. I think he just clinched himself a spot on the All-Star team.

The Mets had some fun with Ramon Castro in the 8th inning. Wright put some gum on the lip of a drinking cup and stuck it on Castro's cap. Then after a couple minutes of Castro in oblivion Wright blew a bubble and stuck that gum to the cap. Hopefully those hijinks will cure any kind of lingering tension that may have been in the clubhouse.

The Mets have now swept the doubleheader, guaranteed a series split and face two pitchers (JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick who have made two combined starts in the majors).

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Happy Recap: Mets 6 Phillies 5

The game started with the Phillies having the umpires check El Duque's hat for an illegal substance. It was ruled to be just rosin.

Delgado finally did some talking with his bat hitting a two run homer in the second inning. In the third Reyes homered as well, on a pitch about 6 inches off the ground.

Delgado doubled in the fourth and then scored on a two out hit by Castro (the best backup catcher in the majors). Castro then scored from second on a single to left by El Duque, something Gary Cohen didn't seem to think was possible. But Castro was running hard, the throw was low and the catcher dropped it. A good throw would have had him.

In the top of the 7th, Reyes tried to steal second and he was called out on a terrible call and Reyes was the angriest I've ever seen him. When he came out to play defense the next inning he was still screaming at the umpire. Beltran had to run in from the outfield to try to calm him down. That didn't work, so then Wright tried to calm him down. That didn't work either. He just stood there between innings with his hat and glove on the ground without taking any groundballs.

El Duque had a pretty decent start, giving up two solo home runs and not much else. But at this point in his career he is just about a 6 inning pitcher, he was tired by the 6th, and needed a strikeout of Rowand with two on and two out to get out of trouble in the 6th.

The bullpen combination of Mota, Heilman and even Feliciano made it a little more exciting than it needed to be but Wagner was awesome, striking out the side in the 9th inning.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let It Rain

For the second straight day the Mets caught a break from the weather. Wednesday's game ended after 6 innings givine the Mets and rain shortened victory, and Thursday's game was canceled altogether. That means the Mets do not have to call up Mike Pelfrey.
El Duque will start game 1 of Friday's day-night doubleheader and John Maine will start game 2.

I do feel bad for these kids who had to sit out the rain delay though


Happy Recap: Mets 2 Cardinals 0

A pretty boring game to write about but the Mets got a break from the bad weather.

rain may have saved the Mets

In the first inning Paul LoDuca ripped a single past the shortstop into leftfield and then David Wright blasted his 13th home run to left center. The Mets got no more hits. That was it.

But that was all they needed. The Cardinals got only one hit, Scott Rolen ripped one down the third base line, Wright made a great play to stop it but he had no chance to get Rolen at first.

Glavine's road to 297 was a lot easier than trying to get 296.

This was the second one-hitter of his career, they both came with the Mets. This counts as a complete game shutout, but had it been a no-hitter, it wouldn't have counted. A rule change several years back said no-hitters must go 9 innings.

Carlos Gomez made two really nice catches to help Glavine. The better one came against Encarnacion has he was falling back into the wall.

Anthony Reyes is 0-10 this season.

The 5 1/2 innings that were actually played took only 1 hour and 25 minutes.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Cardinals 5 Mets 3

A disappointing loss considering the Mets made such a great comeback to force extra innings.

Schoeneweis sucks. About 50% of the time when he comes into the game he is going to blow it.

Perez gave up a run in the first inning but the Mets got it right back with a single by Reyes and double by Beltran. But Wright and Delgado both hit deep flyballs that were caught on the track.

Both teams went in the tank offensively until the bottom of the 6th when Beltran and Wright walked and Delgado made out to end the inning. It was the 23rd time in a row that Delgado made out with two out and runners in scoring position. Earlier in the season I suggested leaving Delgado alone until he came out of it, but we're halfway through the season and he's not coming out of it. I think he should be batting 7th. He is absolutely killing the team by constantly making outs in key situations. Of the 174 players with enough at bats to qualify, Delgado is 146th in OPS. Even worse, LoDuca is 144th.

Perez started the 7th with an out, then he allowed a hit and a walk with one out. Heilman came in and SNY showed that he had stranded 16 of 16 inherited runners so far this season. I knew that was a jinx but he got the second out, then a comebacker bounced directly off Heilman right to Valentin who scooped it up...and dropped the ball. Just a horrible play.

Heilman allowed another run in the 8th and Paul LoDuca homered in the bottom of the inning to close the lead back to 1 when Valentin redeemed himself. With two outs in the ninth Shawn Green worked a walk against Isringhausen (a great at bat) and Valentin ripped one down the right field line. Green sprinted home to tie the game, and after Ledee walked ancient Julio Franco had the chance to win the game, and of course he didn't. Everyone likes to pick on Franco and he does suck, he's not useful as a pinch hitter, but of all the problems with the team, Franco doesn't even make the top 10.

Billy Wagner pitched the top of the 10th, but because he pitched 2 innings in the first game of the series Willie elected to go with Schoeneweis in the 11th. And he promptly gave up the game-losing home run to Brendan Ryan. Ryan had only 6 home runs in 4 minor league seasons. In this game he went 3-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and one great play in the field, a diving catch on a would be single to center by Valentin in the 7th.

Valentin allowed an insurance run on a chopper by Encarnacion, the same as the previous play, he couldn't grab the ball to throw it, even though they had plenty of time.

Delgado doubled in the bottom of the inning but the Mets couldn't do anything with it.

For the fifth time this season the Mets failed to stretch a 4-game winning streak to 5 games.

The Mets have lost 6 of the last 7 games they've played on Tuesdays.

Keith Hernandez was very funny today. At one point apologizing for butchering Encarnacion's last name. He said it meant "carnation" but his wife texted him to reprimand him because it means "incarnation."

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Happy Recap: Mets 2 Cardinals 1

Great teams find ways to win close games when they are not playing their best. The Mets are looking like a great team again. They are currently riding their longest winning streak of the year, the 5th time they've had a 4-gamer.

I'm really liking the development of Carlos Gomez. I still think LoDuca is the best option in the number 2 hole but if Willie values his bat so much in an RBI spot, I'd love to see Gomez get a few starts batting second. He's hitting much better after his short slump, using his speed and his power to get hits. Shortly after ripping a deep foul ball, he kept one fair for his second major league home run, to give the Mets the lead.

Sosa who was back to his old form in the first few innings got unlucky in the fifth when he couldn't field a comebacker. Then he gave up a single, followed by a sac bunt and an RBI groundout. Second and third and one out, to only allow one run is pretty good.

He didn't quite have his best stuff though, and he couldn't strike anyone out so he threw a lot of pitches and got yanked after 6.

Mike Maroth kept the Mets off balance, not allowing a hit after that Gomez home run. After Maroth, Ryan Franklin came in and pitched 2 2/3 perfect innings, leaving the Mets with only two hits through the first 10 innings.

The Mets had some bad base running plays with both Valentin and Wright getting picked off.

The Mets bullpen was equal to the task though, after Joe Smith got into a whole heap of trouble, he got out of it with a little help from Pedro Feliciano.

Billy Wagner pitched the 9th and the 10th and dominated the Cardinals. Aaron Heilman pitched a good 11th and got his 6th win, tying him with Sosa.

Then Shawn Green came up and ripped a home run, foul. Just like Gomez he followed it up with one in fair territory, off the scoreboard.

It was the Mets 6th walkoff win of the year, the second in three days.

It was the fourth time they beat the Cardinals this year (too bad they couldn't do that last October) in only four games.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 10 A's 2

I don't want to call it too early but it looks like the Mets are off the schneid.
The starting pitching is back, the hitting is improved and they are getting big hits with men on base. They swept this series by a combined score of 20-3. It was the third series sweep of the year (fourth if you include a 2 gamer vs. the Marlins.

The game started off in fine fashion with a Reyes run. He hit a bloop to right field which landed in front of Jack Cust (the man who took Piazza's DH job), who never plays in the field. Reyes slid into second but Cust's throw got away from Crosby (I think the umpire was in the way) and went all the way to left field and Reyes came around to score. Even he is not used to running all the way around the bases at once, he was tired when he came back into the dugout.

The Mets scored one in the third and started to pull away in the third with a two run double by Damion Easley that landed just out of the reach of Mark Kotsay.

Carlos Gomez had a nice day with three hits, one hard hit double, one bunt hit and one infield hit. They timed Gomez at 3.43 down the line on the bunt. Ron Darling said the only guy who ever ran faster than that was Keith Hernandez to his car after games. Gomez also made one nice catch in the field though it might have been easier had he tracked the ball properly the whole way.

The A's got back to within 5-2 but El Stache hit a 3 run homer. Beltran added a meaningless 2-run single to make it 10-2.

Maine pitched really well for the second straight start, and for the second straight start he got excellent run support. He improved his record to 8-4 and his ERA is now 2.87.

Before today the Mets had played 18 games over the previous 3 weeks, they were 5-13 and each starter one once except El Duque but the did get 1 win when he started.

Gary Cohen spent the whole game, and the whole series, criticizing Billy Beane and Moneyball. He said the A's think on base % is the best indicator of runs scored, but they are 6th in the AL in OBP and 13th in runs scored. He criticized them for being a bad fielding team. He criticized them for eschewing the stolen base. He laughed at Billy Beane for constantly firing his managers, which is actually a fallacy.

Ralph Kiner visited the booth but he was mostly just hard to understand.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 1 A's 0

The Mets second 1-0 victory of the year.

I don't believe in momentum, but I do believe in confidence and it's importance in determining who wins and who loses. But games like this, especially after a big win the night before, could really give a struggling team a boost. At the very least the Mets won the series, breaking a string of 6 consecutive lost series.

El Duque was awesome tonight, he didn't have his best fastball but he was keeping the A's off balance with a variety of offspeed stuff. He struck out Chavez on an eephus pitch. It went so high, then came straight down, the gun called it 55 mph.

The only problem was that Joe Blanton might have been even better, shutting the Mets down for 8 innings.

But Blanton got a break in a very interesting 6th inning. First, Ledee ripped a double down the line. Then El Duque failed to get him over with a sac bunt. Failure by pitchers to bunt drives me crazy. But Blanton returned the favor later in the game but at least he has the excuse of being an American League pitcher.

With one out and Ledee on second Blanton walked Reyes. Then LoDuca took a pitch for a strike. The second pitch was inside (replays showed it caught the corner) and LoDuca said to home plate umpire Marvin Hudson, "that ball was inside Marv." Then he said something else and pointed at home plate. He walked away and got ready to get back in the box, as he stepped in he shouted something else and Hudson ejected him.

LoDuca ran into Hudson's face and said "I didn't say anything to you," then SNY turned off the mic that had been picking up the exchange. After that LoDuca completely lost his cool. He was making a crazy eyes face, and screaming and generally going nuts. Willie Randolph tried to hold him back.

Crew chief Ed Montague tried to hold him back.

Then he completely lost it. On the way off the field he threw his helmet, bat and wristbands. Then he went into the dugout and threw a bunch more stuff, shin guards, chest protector on the field as well.

Castro replaced LoDuca and struck out, but it gets credited (or blamed) to LoDuca.

Beltran ripped a single to left but Ledee got thrown out at home plate by Travis Buck. He had to try it with two outs, but Buck made a perfect throw and Kendall had a perfect block of the plate and the game was still 0-0.

The A's had runners on in almost every inning but couldn't get them across. Feliciano and Heilman teamed up in the 8th and Wagner had the 9th.

After 8 shutout innings Oakland finally took out Blanton and Castro who is so freakin awesome doubled to left. The whole time Gary Cohen was making fun of how slow Castro is. Then he was blaming LoDuca for getting ejected because now they couldn't pinch run. But if LoDuca had been in there, he might not have doubled.

Cohen and Darling kept harping on the fact that they would need to get a home run to get Castro from second but after Beltran walked Wright hit a blooper to right. Buck (he;d switched to right field by now) got a bad jump on the ball then dove to try to reach it. He couldn't and it rolled far enough away to bring Castro around with the winning run.

Ramon Castro scores the winning run

During the celebration at home plate someone hit Castro in the eye.

The Mets fifth walkoff win off the season.

Momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher so let's see if John Maine can be as good as he was against the Twins.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 9 A's 1

A very good night where the Mets did everything well, got some key hits, some home runs, Glavine pitched well and they played good defense. But it was a little too much like the first game of the Twins series, after which the Mets played two more stinkers.

The Mets started it off with a Reyes run, bunt single, error and he scored on a single by Beltran. In the third Glavine of all people doubled and a sacrifice bunt and sac fly got him home. After a Green homer made it 3-1, the Mets broke it open in the 6th.

Beltran reached on an error, Wright on an infield single (which would have gone through if not for a diving stop by Ellis). Then Delgado, Green and Glavine all had run scoring hits. Then Reyes hit one deep to center that should have been a triple, but Glavine didn't slide early enough and got thrown out at home.

Tom Glavine gets tagged out at home

But Glavine did practically anything else, he tried to pitch a complete game but when he gave up a leadoff hit in the 9th Willie came out to get him.

Glavine did give up a run in the next inning when the Mets scored to make it 1-0. Then the Mets made it 2-1, and he put two men one with one out. He would have given up another run but Reyes made a great play, and turned two.

After that Glavine cruised finally getting his 296th career victory.

Carlos Beltran homered for the 9th run.

Carlos Gomez threw Nick Swisher out at third base to end the first inning.

Let's see if the Mets can take this and turn it into a streak

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Twins 6 Mets 2

Same shit different day. Mets get a lead, starter blows it, bullpen makes it a blowout.

I thought things might be different after the first innings. With men on first and second and one out Perez didn't cover first base on a potential 3-6-1 double play. But he got Hunter so that mistake didn't come back to haunt him. Then the Mets got him a run as LoDuca doubled and Beltran singled.

Minnesota tied the game on a walk and a triple, because Shawn Green is slow as shit getting to the corner.

But the Mets bounced right back to take the lead on singles by Reyes, Beltran and Wright.

Perez had an interesting night, he walked 5 men - one each in the first five innings, but he was mostly ahead of the hitters, but for some reason he couldn't strike guys out. And that was his undoing in the fifth. He walked Mauer to lead off the inning but got the next two guys and had a 1-2 count on Torii Hunter, but Hunter hit a home run to left just over the glove of leaping Ricky Ledee.

The game was over in the sixth when Ricky Ledee slowed up on a deep flyball he might have been able to catch, turning it into a double. Then Joe Smith (who has been exposed) gave up a hit and a walk and Schoeneweis came in to blow the game wide open.

Of course the Mets didn't score another run.

Mets have lost 6 straight series. They've lost 13 of 16 and 14 of 18 in June.

"Mama said there'd be days like this. Or weeks." - Willie Randolph

I hope he doesn't have to turn that into months.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Twins 9 Mets 0

For some reason this loss pissed me off more than the others this month that have followed the similar script; starter gets bombed, hitters don't hit and bullpen makes it worse.

But this one pissed me off even more and I did two things I haven't done this season. First I yelled at the TV, loudly. It may be hard to believe but up until now I've been so confident in this time that I haven't allowed their poor play to aggravate me. Second, I turned this game off early. I haven't watched every inning of every game, but this was the first game this year that I remember planning to watch then giving up and watching something else.

And I think what got me so annoyed was the perceived lack of effort by Carlos Beltran on the play that turned the game around. After Torii Hunter singled to start the second, Jeff Cirillo hit a broken bat single to shallow centerfield. Beltran took for granted that Hunter would stop and second and did not charge the ball. Then when Hunter headed for third, Beltran scooped the ball and rushed his throw. It landed in the seats. Hunter scored, Cirillo went to third. The next batter blooped a single over the drawn in infield. Then Sosa blew up, allowing another single, and a walk to the pitcher before the floodgates really opened for 3 more runs.

That made it 5-0, and on this night 1 was too many for the Mets. They had no chance against Santana, even if they hadn't made four errors.

Another horrible performance by a team that doesn't look like it's going to break out of this slump anytime soon. It's only a matter of time before the Phillies and Braves catch them and the Mets will find themselves in third place, fighting the rest of the season to climb out of the hole they are digging for themselves right now.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Twins 1

This game is just what the Mets needed to break their slump. Good pitching and timely hitting.

John Maine was really awesome. He was actually better than his 1 run in 7 1/3 innings would indicate. He really was never in trouble the whole game, scattering a few hits and a few walks. He did throw a lot of pitches though, 115, which is why Willie yanked him in the 8th. But I like the fact that Willie has been giving Maine and Perez especially the chance to go deep into games.

John Maine shuts down the Twins

I also like the fact that Willie put LoDuca back in the number 2 hole. I know he wanted him in a run producing spot due to the injuries, but the lineup was working better with LoDuca behind Reyes. LoDuca drove in two in the bottom of the sixth that were key in changing the game from 2-0 to 4-0, a huge difference.

Delgado woke up a little bit with two hits including a homer in the first inning, but I hesitate to say he has really broken out of it because we've seen this before. But it was still nice to see him homer.

Ricky Ledee had a big game with a home run and an RBI single. I think Willie may start employing a straight platoon of Ledee and Gomez in left field until Alou comes back. But he does like to have Ledee's left handed bat on the bench for late in games. Ledee's single was even more important than his homer because it came when the score was 1-0 after Delgado had been thrown out at the plate on a force play. The Mets had not been driving in runners with two outs, so that was a big base hit.

I have been very critical of Delgado's poor play in the field and on the base paths but in this case I can't blame him for not scoring on Green's double or on Valentin's groundout.

The Mets broke it open in the 8th the old fashioned way, Reyes singled, Beltran doubled, Wright doubled, then after an intentional walk to Delgado, Gomez hit a sac fly.

Sosa and Perez have to keep this going.

Jose Reyes and Carlos Gomez celebrate a Mets victory

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Unhappy Recap: Yankees 8 Mets 2

Another disastrous starting pitching performance coupled with another anemic offensive performance. Hopefully this means the offense will break out of it the same time the pitching does leading to a 15 game winning streak.

El Duque didn't have his good breaking stuff and his fastball isn't good enough, definitely not against the Yankees when they are going this good.

As soon as A-Rod smoked that homer in the first inning you knew this game was over.

The Mets couldn't do anything with Chien-Ming Wang. He averages 4 strikeouts per 9 innings and he got 10, a new career high. Wang is an anomaly because pitchers with strikeout ratios that low are supposed to be inconsistent due to the unpredictablity of balls put in play. But he may be that rare exception who can succeed without a high strikeout number.

Heilman still sucks and is way to prone to the gopher ball but Schoeneweis and Feliciano looked pretty good.

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Unhappy Recap: Yankees 11 Mets 8

I am so sick of Tom Glavine. He cannot pitch with the lead and I am starting to think he can't pitch at all.

In his last 5 starts the Mets have scored in 6 innings. In five of those cases Glavine gave up at least one run in the very next inning, and in all those cases he ended up blowing the entire lead. The Mets have lost his last 5 starts, the first two were not his fault, the Mets scored zero runs for him in those two games, but the last three he blew, especially the last two when he got bombed. Whenever he gets comfortable he tries to get guys to swing at everything, because he's afraid to throw strikes and get creamed.

Another interesting theory is that Glavine is a master at pitching around guys he doesn't want to face and in his last two starts against Detroit and the Yankees, he faced the two best offensive teams in the majors so they have fewer weak spots in their lineups for Glavine to work to. And they take a lot of pitches because they know that have a good hitter on deck.

Three times in the last 7 games the Mets scored 7 runs or more, all three times they lost.

I'm not going to go through the individual gyrations in this game except to say that in addition to Glavine, the bullpen also sucked and that Willie should have used some of the better relievers to try to keep this one close. Schoeneweis, Mota and Sele all gave up runs.

I do want to defend Carlos Beltran for swinging at the first pitch in the 9th with bases loaded and the Mets down by 3. The Mets needed a hit there. Rivera is not going to walk in a run. He had been 3-2 on Gomez and Reyes, but that was only after starting them 0-2 and 1-2. He is not Benitez who struggles with his control. In that spot I think Rivera is going to be aggressive and the first pitch may be the best one he sees the whole at bat. But that's what goes wrong when you are struggling.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 2 Yankees 0

Thank God for Oliver Perez to stop this losing streak. Once again he came up big in a big game, only this time the game was big not only due to opponent but situation. The Mets did not want to begin this series with a loss.

This season Oliver Perez is 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and a 4.4 K/BB ratio in 5 starts against the Yankees and the Braves, the Mets toughest opponents and fiercest rivals. That's a large enough sample size to infer that Perez pitches better in big games, especially when you include Game 7 of the NLCS last year.

Just to satisfy your curiosity, Perez is 2-5 with a 4.18 ERA and a 2 K/BB ratio against everyone else in the majors.

Oliver Perez baffles the Yankees with his sneaky ball tricks
Oliver Perez beats the Yankees for the second time this season

Perez actually had to work through some trouble in the first few innings but after he got that inning ending double play in the fourth he got 1-2-3 innings in the 5th, 6th and 7th, which is key to getting deeper in the game and limiting the Yankees at bats against your bullpen. In the 8th, after the Jeter double, Willie made the right move to use his situational relivers to get Abreu (Feliciano) and A-Rod (Joe Smith).

Joe Smith has pitched in two games against the Yankees, each time getting one batter. The first time he struck out Derek Jeter, the second time he got A-Rod to ground out. Both times preserved a lead for Oliver Perez to get the game to Wagner for the save.

That inning ending double play in the fourth came courtesy of Carlos Gomez who made an amazing catch, almost Endy-like, and doubled off the runner. The one thing that made this catch very difficult for Gomez was the stupid Yankees fans attempting to interfere, as this awesome picture clearly shows.

Gomez also had a good day at the plate, with two bunt singles, a stolen base and a run scored.

But the offensive star of the game was Jose Reyes, who not only drove in Gomez for the first run, but he homered off Clemens for the Mets other run.

And Reyes also led off the game with a hit, followed by a Beltran single, but Wright Delgado and LoDuca killed the rally.

Reyes and Gomez celebrate the victory

The Rutgers women's basketball team was on the field before the game

rutgers women's basketball team at the Mets Yankees game

If we couldn't hit a line drive off his oversized melon, at least we got the victory

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Dodgers 9 Mets 1

This losing is starting to get very bad and soon the Mets might find themselves unable to dig themselves out of the hole they are currently digging. It is very likely that by Sunday night the Mets will have lost 8 games in a row, and the Yankees will have won 12 in a row, which would give the teams identical 36-31 records.

Even Jorge Sosa couldn't stop the bleeding. Since May 27, the other Mets starters have a combined record of 1-7, while Jorge Sosa was 3-0, now 3-1. He started this game off well, allowing only one hit through the first four innings. And once again the Mets got him an early lead. I wonder the last time a team has lost five in a row while scoring first in all five games.

He started off the fifth inning by allowing a home run to Wilson Betemit, the second straight day he got the Dodgers started. Then came the biggest play of the game. Kemp weakly hit one to the right side. It was probably Valentin's ball, but Delgado committed to fielding it, therefore Sosa had to cover first. He was late getting over and Kemp was on base. After that Furcal tripled and Pierre singled him home. Maybe at 1-1 it was already too late, Sosa could only win with a shutout, but I would have liked to see how this one would have turned out had he gotten Kemp at first.

In the sixth Dodgers tacked on three more, as Sosa gave up three more hits, then Feliciano allowed the inherited runner to score.

At 6-1 it was over. The Mets could not hit Brad Penny. They got him for one run in the first thanks to David Wright who is playing unbelievable right now. He has 15 game hitting streak and is still diving after balls in the field.

Which is more than I can say for Carlos Delgado. He is absolutely killing the Mets right now. He can't get a hit. I know he got hot for a week, and that he has 3 walkoff RBI but there is no question in my mind that the Mets would be better off with just about anyone else playing first base for them. In this day and age you can't carry a .220 hitter in the middle of your lineup. Plus, for the second day in a row Delgado didn't dive to attempt to stop a ball hit down the line. In both cases with a little more effort he might have been able to at least knock it down.

Brad Penny confronted Shawn Green about something after his at bat in the third inning. Maybe he thought Green was peaking at the signs, or stealing signs when he was on second base in the 1st inning, but Penny was not happy. He took it out on the Mets though, improving to 8-1 with a 2.18 ERA.

Billy Wagner also got touched up for two runs on a James Loney homer but I really don't count that against him. I judge closers by their ability to close games. That's it. I don't care what happens in blowouts, or if they give up 2 runs every time they come in with a 3-run lead. The closer should be judged on his ability to help the team win games. So I'll give Wagner a pass on this one. But not on the homer to Burrell, that was a huge game in retrospect, even bigger than we knew at the time.

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SI Jinx?

The Mets began their current tailspin on June 3rd, predating this Sports Illustrated cover, but that hasn't stopped some people from blaming SI for the Mets current problems. You can read the article by Gary Smith, which is mostly about Omar.

You'll remember a similar gathering of Mets players was featured on SI's covers.

Ron Darling says Keith Hernandez calls the redass - el rojo

And in 1999, SI celebrated the best infield ever.

I love Reyes, but I still miss Ordonez


Unhappy Recap: Dodgers 4 Mets 1

The tailspin continues, with another terrible performance by what is allegedly the Mets offense.

A lot of similar themes here, once again the Mets took an early lead, the starter blew it, and the Mets didn't score again.

David Wright singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He stole second, his 14th steal in 14 attempts. Delgado actually got a hit with men on base, to put the Mets up 1-0.

Then John Maine did what all Mets starters have been doing during this slump, he blew the lead. In spectacular fashion. It started with a home run to Wilson Betemit. Then he did the opposite of what Glavine does when he gets in trouble. Glavine refuses to throw strikes, Maine threw the first pitch right down the middle to Matt Kemp, he homered. Then he threw the first pitch right down the middle again and Hong-Chih Kuo, the pitcher, also homered. Kuo flipped his bat when he went deep, which pissed off Ron Darling, but obviously not John Maine, who didn't retaliate.

Darling has been making a big deal lately out of everything, no one should eat, no one should laugh, they should throw at guys. That's not going to help the team win. They need to start getting some hits.

The Mets have now lost 8 of their last 9, 9 of 11, and 11 of 13. The last 7 times they faced a lefty starter they lost.

Hong-Chih Kuo is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 17 innings against the Mets (not including playoffs) in his career. Against everyone else he is 0-7 with a 5.29 ERA.

Hopefully the Mets new stopper Jorge Sosa can stop the bleeding, but he faces Brad Penny who's having as good a season as he is. The Mets do not want to go into Yankee Stadium with a 5 game losing streak because it could be 8 by Sunday.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Dodgers 5 Mets 3

Another terrible game in a lengthening slump. The Mets have now lost 7 out of 8 and 8 out of 10 in June.

What is perhaps most aggravating about this game is that it was so similar to the previous two at the start, the only difference being that the bullpen didn't implode this time.

The Mets got on top early when Reyes singled and went to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Green. Green, on the first pitch after coming back from a foot injury, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Beltran failed again with a man on third and fewer than two outs but he did hit the ball very hard. But it was an atom ball as Gary Thorne might say because it was right atom. Wright drove home Green and the Mets had a 2-0 lead. They tacked on one more in the fourth on a Carlos Gomez RBI single, to take a 3-0 lead for the second day in a row.

But El Duque who has been awesome pretty much all season mowed down the Dodgers in the first three innings. But leading off the fourth he made a crucial mistake, he walked Juan Pierre, which is hard to to do. He stole second, then Martin singled and stole second, Gonzalez doubled and Ethier blooped a single to tie the game.

In the 6th Gonzalez led off with a double, then Loney hit one deep to left center that Beltran might have been able to catch but he didn't want to trample a sliding Gomez.

Gomez slides into the wall preventing Beltran from making the catch

Then the Mets got a break, they pitched out when the Dodgers were trying a suicide squeeze. But the pitch wasn't far enough outside and Abreu bunted it anyway. LoDuca fielded, tagged Loney coming down the line and made a huge mistake. He fired the ball to first, but he was off balance and the throw sailed into right field. A horrible play. Abreu went around to third and the Dodgers lost almost nothing. Betemit blooped a single to make it 5-3.

And the Mets couldn't get a hit in the last four innings (excluding the leadoff single in the 6th).

So things are starting to get pretty bad for the Mets. But at least over the last three games everything has gone wrong, the starting pitching has been bad, the bullpen has sucked, and the offense, while better, still can't get the big hit. Hopefully they will find a way to break out of it soon. Things have been really bad over the last 8 - 10 games, but if you look over the last 20, starting with the loss to the Yankees on Sunday night, they are 8-12, .400 baseball. Not good.

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For The Birds

In a game that was positively Hitchcockian, Comerica Park was invaded by birds. Dozens of birds were sitting all over the field throughout the entire game. Every batted ball practically sent birds scattering. For the most part they didn't interfere with play. At one point a bird slowly walked in front of the pitcher's mound. Jason Grilli stepped off to shoo the bird away. It didn't move so he walked closer to it. A few seconds later, he gave up a home run to Carlos Gomez.
The announcers on both TV and radio were obsessed with the birds. Howie Rose wanted the grounds crew to get a bag of bread crumbs and dump it in foul territory.
Gary Cohen speculated too many people were eating sunflower seeds, which led to a conversation about chewing tobacco.
Thankfully, Randy Johnson wasn't pitching and Oprah's jet wasn't flying over and Rob Lowe wasn't golfing.


Unhappy Recap: Tigers 15 Mets 7

The worst pitched game for the Mets all year. Just a horrible blowout, the kind of game that happens every once in a while over the course of the season.

I'm not going to both dissecting the other game pitch by pitch and run by run but I will point out a few things.

The Mets gave Glavine a 3-0 lead in the first inning on another home run by David Wright. His fourth in the last 4 games and his 12th overall. Last year when Wright had a sizzling hot first half with homers, his 12th came on June 13th. It was part of one of two stretches of 3 homers in 3 games he had early last year.

I have no sympathy for Glavine and his inability to win games. Every time he is given a lead he blows it. He gave up a run in the first, and a run in the second but he still had the lead. The fourth inning demonstrated my frustration with watching him. Polanco led off with a double. Then he got two outs, and faced Omar Infante. With a one run lead. He started Infante with two strikes, then he refused to throw anything else except for a fastball 6 inches off the corner. He threw four of them, all balls, walking Infante. A similar at bat against Ivan Rodriguez (full count) ended in a triple that gave the Tigers the lead for good. Once he got sufficiently behind he struck out Sean Casey on three pitches.

Glavine made all of that moot by allowing 6 hits and 6 runs in the 5th.

But with the score 10-3 the Mets showed some life, much like when it was 8-3 on Saturday. Carlos Gomez hit his first major league home run. A three run shot.

With the score 11-6 Joe Smith came on for the 8th inning. With two outs and nobody on he all of the sudden turned to shit. Four hits and two walks later the Tigers had tagged him with 4 runs, nearly doubling his season ERA to 2.63 from 1.37. In his last 6 appearances he's given up 5 runs, 11 hits and 5 walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Could this be the start of some major bullpen trouble? I don't have that answer yet but I knew Smith wasn't going to be this great all season. It remains to be seen whether he can follow up this bad outing with 5 or 6 good ones.

Even though the starters have turned in two stinkers in a row, I still have confidence in them, and in the lineup which has been struggling. But if Smith was just a flash in the pan, and Heilman stinks, and Mota can't get it done without the juice then the Mets season may very well depend on Duaner Sanchez.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Tigers 8 Mets 7

A very disappointing loss because the Mets offense finally broke, sort of, and scored a lot of runs.

Oliver Perez didn't have it, getting bitten by his dual nemeses, the home run ball and the walk. They bit him in the first inning after a walk to Ordonez he allowed a 3 run homer to Guillen. And that came after the Mets scored in the first inning by a Reyes run created by Beltran. They haven't been getting too many from Reyes lately so they need them from Beltran.

Reyes however did tie the game in the 5th with a 2 out two run single after Castro and Gomez couldn't get runners in from second and third. But Perez gave the runs right back in the fifth. You can't get too mad at Perez he's been so good and so consistent but the fact that he has occassional bouts of wildness coupled with his flyball pitching which makes him prone to the home run, this level of performance may be the ceiling of his potential.

Even with a subpar outing from Perez the Mets trailed by only two runs until Gulliermo Mota came in and couldn't get anyone out. He allowed 4 hits and 3 runs in a third of an inning before Sele bailed him out. So far, Mota definitely does not look like the pre-steroids Mota from last year.

But the Mets responded with 4 hits and 3 runs of their own to cut the lead to 8-6, with Reyes up and a man on first and one out. But Reyes popped out on the fisrt pitch (he has been a lot less patient recently), but Valentin doubled and Beltran walked loading the bases, but Delgado couldn't come through.

David Wright led off the 8th with a home run to cut the lead to one but the Mets couldn't scratch that last run across.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Tigers 0

Leave it to Jorge Sosa to break the Mets out of their slumber. He's the first Mets pitcher to get 6 wins in his first 7 games for the team. And in those 6 wins he's allowed 2 runs or fewer. He got some help from good defense, Reyes and Gomez made good plays to prevent hits. In all the Tigers got 4 hits. Sosa threw 116 pitches but he lasted 8 innings, helped by throwing only 5 in the 7th.

Wagner came on and clearly bounced back with no ill effects from his blown save the night before. He pitched a perfect inning and struck out two.

David Wright and Delgado homered for the second day in a row.

The Mets got their third run after Gomez and Beltran singled. Gomez scored on a sac fly by Delgado, but replays show he probably did leave too early. I doubt it would have affected the outcome of the game. I don't think the Tigers would have hit Wagner even if the score were still 2-0.

I really like Gomez batting second. I mentioned before that I think he wasn't getting good pitches in the 8th hole. I also said I thought he was feeling more pressure batting 8th to drive in runs which is not his specialty. I think the biggest reason for the recent offense slump is the weakness of the #2 hitter. If the Mets need to leave LoDuca batting 6th because Alou and Green are hurt then they need to give Gomez a chance.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 6 Mets 3

Another disastrous loss for the Mets. The bullpen stinks and the offense can't hit but the starting pitching has been so good. Let's start at the beginning.

In the first inning, Ben Johnson singled and then Delgado ripped a double to right. With two outs, Ben Johnson did not try to score. This was a huge mistake. Obviously, they were afraid of Victorino's arm, but the possibility of a bad throw is probably higher than that of David Wright getting a hit, which didn't happen.

To make up for it, in the second inning, LoDuca tried to stretch a single into a double, and since he's slow as shit he got thrown out. This was a bad risk to take with nobody out even though the bottom of the order was coming up.

Maine pitched pretty effectively in this one and for the 14th straight game a Mets starter allowed 3 or fewer runs. And now the Mets are only 7-7 in those games. Half the teams in the league would be on a 14 game winning streak with that kind of starting pitching. The Phillies touched up Maine for two runs, both times aided by the stolen base.

But then the Mets showed some life in the 6th. Delgado crushed a homer, then David Wright hit one deep to center that was ruled a triple. But the ball actually hit the Wise potato chips sign, above the wall. The Mets saw the replay on the Diamond Vision and went crazy. The umpires reviewed it and called it a home run. Then the Phillies argued that the umpires shouldn't use replay to overturn the call. But the home run stood, rightfully so. After a long delay, Paul LoDuca hit the first pitch for another home run. Back to back to back. The first time the Mets have done that since Strawberry, McReynolds and Hernandez in 1989. Keith disagreed, saying he must have been batting third, and gone first. "I would have choked if I was last." But they checked the box score and he was hitting fifth that day.

Then Maine did something Tom Glavine can never seem to do, and shut the opponent down after a big inning by the Mets.

So they turned it over to the bullpen. Feliciano got Rollins and Victorino but when he walked Utley, Willie called on Wagner to get Howard. He walked him instead, but struck out Rowand to end the inning.

The Mets had another chance in the 8th after Gomez led off with a bunt single. He ran to first completely out of the baseline. He was two feet on the grass. Hamels had no angle to throw, but if he had drilled Gomez in the back they would have had to call Gomez out. Reyes was intentionally walked (please Willie stop batting these schmucks behind him), and Johnson and Beltran couldn't get a hit.

Wagner had not blown a save in 31 chances. But he was facing Pat Burrell the Met killer who had a feud with Wagner starting when they were teammates and escalating when Wagner left. Burrell deposited one in the left field stands to tie the game, his 37th career homer against the Mets. You knew it was going to happen to Wagner eventually and you can't really blame him because he was on borrowed time, it's too hard to save every single game. But why did it have to happen with a 3-game losing streak to a division rival?

I can't say whether it had anything to do with him coming in for one out in the 8th but I think Willie should avoid asking him for 4 out saves in the future. But at the time I thought it was a good move. I usually feel that bigger outs come in the 8th or even 7th, and I thought once Wagner got Rowand he could cruise through the bottom of the Phillies order. But Pat Freakin Burrell ruined the Mets again.

In the 10th things got even worse for the bullpen. Schoeneweis who sucks and should never be used gave up two hits and a walk to score one run. Joe Smith came in and got roughed up for two more runs.

Here's the difference in the series:
The Mets bullpen pitched 10 innings allowed 15 hits (5 in each game), 7 walks, 3 HR (1 in each game) and lost all three games. The Phillies bullpen pitched 10 scoreless innings.

Hopefully the bullpen blowup is only temporary, but I am very worried about an offense that can't generate more than 3 runs in a game. They've scored 20 runs in the last 8 games and lost 6 of those. Exclude the 7 run outburst on Saturday and the numbers look even more putrid.

It's not time to worry yet, but that time is coming soon.

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Trouble, Man

The Mets are not hitting right now. The Mets starting pitchers have allowed 3 runs or fewer in the last 13 games. The Mets are 7-6 in those games, mainly because the team has struggled to score runs.

There have been a lot of injuries, and the Mets have really missed Green and Alou who were hot at the beginning of the year.

Also everyone seems to have gone cold at the same time, Beltran had been in a long homerless drought, and Delgado and Wright both broke out, then went right back into their slumbers. Also, I think it is time for LoDuca to be moved back to the number 2 hole. He has been the Mets best hitter, and even though they don't have any better options to protect Wright, I think Reyes is the most important player on the team, and putting him in front of a slumping Endy, or whoever they can find now (Gotay, Gomez, Easley), will slow him down even more.

The other big issue facing the Mets is the imbalance of the interleague schedule. In the next five series the Mets will face four teams that are .500 or better (Detroit, LA, Minnesota and Oakland) plus the Yankees who may have things turned around by then. It will be very tough for this team to compete with AL teams with this depleted offense. If Green and Alou don't come back and starting hitting I predict the Mets will be 8-13 in June by the time the Cardinals come to town on June 25.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 4 Mets 2

A very tough game to lose as two disturbing trends are beginning to develop. The team can't hit and Heilman sucks.

El Duque was awesome in this game. He has been fantastic this season, pitching some of the best ball of his life. His ERA is now 1.94, 0.82 over his last 5 starts. In 5 of 8 starts he's given up 3 hits or fewer. Righthanded hitters are 0 for their last 29 against him. But he's only 3-1. He deserved better.

awesome again

But he did get into his customary trouble in the first inning when Rollins singled and stole second. Newhan saved his ass with a diving catch in left field, made more spectacular by the fact that he seldom plays out there.

nice catch

Carlos Beltran put the Mets on top in the fourth with his first home run since May 13. It was the first home run by a Mets outfielder in 182 at bats.

The Mets had a chance to add more runs but Delgado runs like he has a dick up his ass. Delgado on third, Wright on second with one out and Gotay hits a medium depth flyball to right. Delgado doesn't seem to be running hard, then he spends 5 seconds while running, looking at the throw. It was a perfect throw from Victorino (anything less wouldn't have gotten him), but I think if he had just put his head down and really busted it, he would have been safe. As it turned out, that double play was a huge point in this game.

At this point with the Mets winning and El Duque pitching great the broadcast team split up, Ron Darling went to sit behind home plate and hilarity ensued. First they showed a triple split, with Kevin Burkhardt in one box next to the Mets dugout, Darling in another and Keith and Gary in the booth in a third. Someone made a comment about Hollywood Squares and how Kevin was too young to see the show, hosted by Pete Marshall. Gary commented that Marshall's son used to play in the majors. This is when Keith broke out one of my favorite strategies, he asked a question he already knew the answer to. Keith said "what was his name?" And Gary answered "Pete LaCock". Then Keith started giggling like a little kid.

A few seconds after that joke died down the cameras caught Ron getting food from the waiter service available in those high priced seats. He got a hot dog, chips, cole slaw and a Diet Pepsi. Prompting Keith to say "that sounds like Rusty's order, 15 cheeseburgers and a Diet Coke."

The Mets made it 2-0 with an old fashioned manufactured run. Chavez singled, stole second, went to third and scored on two groundouts.

Then Aaron Heilman blew the game. He gave up a walk and single immediately, but he bounced back thanks to a sacrifice bunt and a punch out of Burrell on a very questionable check swing. Although he did get him in the hole with a beautiful changeup. So he almost got out of it then with a 1-2 count on Rollins he caught too much of the plate and J.Ro crushed it for the game winning 3 run homer.

Rollins backs up his team to beat comments

I don't have a problem with Willie leaving him in. Rollins is a switch hitter who does better against lefties. And although Heilman's ERA is 4.28 which is not terrible, he has sucked this year, blowing several games.

Does Heilman have Brad Lidge Syndrome left over from his series losing home run to Yadier Molina? I don't think so. I think Heilman sucked before that.

Amazing if the Mets could have really gotten Roy Oswalt for Heilman and Milledge last year (I don't think that rumor is true), but now neither of one of them has any trade value at all.

With Joe Smith being so effective against righties, and Mota looking good so far since his return (other than a somewhat meaningless 3 run homer against Arizona), I really think Heilman should be demoted to pitching only in games that are not close.

Things went from bad to worse in the bottom of the 7th. It really looked like the Mets would shake off that bad inning and Heilman would vulture another W. Gotay reached on an error by the pitcher and David Newhan was called on to bunt. This was the right situation to sacrifice, in need of one run, late in the game, team not scoring. But Newhan is an inexperienced bunter and popped up his two attempts. But with two strikes he swung away and blooped a double into left field.

Then Julio Franco came up and the Mets got burned by not using the contact play. Basically, I hate the contact play because in almost every case a ball that you can score on with the contact play on, you can also score on with the contact play off. It just so happens that in this case Franco hit one of those balls you couldn't. Franco has gotten a lot of criticism but I don't blame him, he hit it hard, on the ground, to the right side, Howard just made a great play. Even worse, this was one of the few times the contact play should have been on, because it was second and third and nobody out. Meaning if you put the contact play on and it doesn't work, you have first and third and one out (double play is unlikely because of the tag play at home), not that big of a risk when you consider the potential reward. As it happened they still had second and third and one out, Reyes was walked to load the bases.

And Willie made another mistake. Endy Chavez has been incredibly clutch this year with his bunting. And he has been in an incredible slump lately. I think the suicide squeeze should have been on. Philly might have been expecting it, but I still think Endy could have gotten the bunt down and tied the game. Instead he hit into a double play (his second of the game and fourth of the season), and hurt his hamstring running down the line. Not sure if he would have beaten it out anyway, but his injury looked serious. I expect him to be out for at least 15 days.

ouch babe
look at the anguish on poor endy's face
unhappy endy

That play completely sucked the life out of the team and they went down in order in the 8th and 9th.

The Mets now have their first three game losing streak of the season. They'll try to avoid their first series sweep with John Maine on the mound against Phillies ace, 8-2 Cole Hamels.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pedro Pitches

Pedro pitched off a mound for the first time in eight months, a major step in his recovery from rotator cuff surgery.
He threw 38 pitches, seven of which served as warmups with the catcher standing up. The Mets divided the session into innings. He pitched 15 in the first inning, and 16 in the second. The initial goal was to throw 25 pitches overall, but Martinez felt so spry he wanted to keep going.
All of his pitches were fastballs, but neither the Mets nor Martinez seemed to care how fast any of them went, because that will be for another time.
"I'm really excited and happy with the way everything went," Martinez added. "I'm very optimistic the way I feel."
Also there for encouragement were rehabbing pitchers Duaner Sanchez and Juan Padilla, who came up in a golf cart.
Martinez said that pitching off a mound again moves him into a whole new phase of his training for a possible August return.
Right now, the Mets are not in desperate need for Pedro. If he has to sit out until August or September, that would be fine. But they really need him to be at top form for the playoffs.

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Unhappy Recap: Phillies 4 Mets 2

The Mets took an early lead when a bloop single by LoDuca scored Delgado and Wright. Interesting play at home, the catcher Ruiz was standing on home plate, not in front, so when Delgado scored, Ruiz kind of tripped him, though seemingly not intentionally, but he didn't have the ball yet. Then Wright came home right after Delgado, Ruiz caught the ball and leaned into Wright who toppled over him.

Wright topples over Ruiz

Then came the reason why I hate Tom Glavine, and why he hasn't won more games with the Mets. Everytime he gets a lead, he blows it. He got two outs, then gave up four straight hits to tie the game. He did get a little unlucky (he deflected Rollins's grounder, Victorino hit a perfectly placed bloop), but that is why the new wave of statistical analysis favors pitchers who strike out guys because they are less subject to unluckiness that happens when balls are put in play.

Beltran made a few nice catches early in the game, so hopefully he is healthy.

the last thing we need is a gimpy Beltran

Pat Burrell's lifetime stats against the Mets: 36 homers and 92 RBI in 121 games.

Add one huge base running blunder to that. With Utley on second, Burrell on first Rowand singled to right. Utley took a big turn at third but stopped. Burrell kept going and two men were on third. LoDuca played it perfectly, forcing Utley to third, and trapping Burrell for the out. So the Phillies had second and third with two out instead of bases loaded and one out. Keith Hernandez was furious at Burrell. The irony is, Gomez's throw home was terrible so Utley could have scored easily had he kept coming. Glavine got the third out and avoided any runs.

who's on third?

The Mets followed that up with a base running mistake of their own. With first and second, in the 7th, Reyes got picked off second base (technically a caught stealing). It wasn't a terrible play because getting a runner to third with fewer than 2 outs is huge, even if it is Beltran at the plate. But it's a chance you can only take if you know you are going to be safe. Sounds weird to say that, but Reyes has to wait for Moyer to commit himself before he takes off. Also with Beltran and Delgado up, you'd like to give those guys a chance.

The Mets had runners on second base in the 9th and 10th innings, but Easley and LoDuca couldn't get the big hit.

In the 11th, Feliciano just gave it up. He had held lefties to an .087 batting average, but Utley homered and Howard crushed one (should have been a double but he wasn't running hard). Smith allowed Howard's run to score, but it didn't matter.

The Mets just couldn't get the big hit.

Tom Glavine fails again to win #296, despite pitching pretty well for the third straight start.

Schoeneweis, Mota and Wagner all looked pretty good out of the pen.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Diamondbacks 4 Mets 1

In each of his last two starts Oliver Perez allowed 3 runs in 7 innings, which is a quality start, and definitely good enough to keep any team in the game, especially the Mets. But this time, with the Mets offense so short handed, his outing seemed a lot worse.

He started it off with four hitless innings, but it all went downhill in the fifth. He walked the leadoff batter, which is always his death knell, and he's been able to avoid it lately. Then a single, a double and a brilliant double play by Reyes turned into 2 runs. He gave up another run in the 6th after another leadoff walk. He did stick around for the 7th though, throwing 103 pitches.

In the first inning, Reyes singled and then Chavez bunted. This is a horrible play for so many reasons. First of all, outs are a very precious commodity, the gain of a sacrifice bunt is rarely worth giving up an out, other than in certain situations late in close games. Second, you still need a hit to get the man home, and only have two chances. Third, you limit your chances for a big inning, and you're probably not going to win 1-0. Fourth, Reyes should just steal second. After Chavez's bunt, Wright grounded out and Delgado struck out.

It would be a rough day for Delgado who has been hot, but his batting average is still only .225. He did drive in the Mets only run with ground out in the 6th, but a hit there would have given them a chance to get back into the game.

In the 8th, with Reyes and Wright on 1st and 3rd and only one out, Delgado struck out again. Then Easley grounded out to end the inning and that was that.

This was the first series the Mets lost to a non-division opponent.

The Mets had gone 12 games without an error until Reyes made on in the 8th. It was only his third of the year, fewest among full time shortstops.

Doug Davis threw a lot of curveballs. He said his scouting report showed that the Mets over the past couple of years bat under .200 against curveballs.

This will be the last we see of Alberto Callaspo this year.

Ben in the 6th Johnson in Mets history. Howard is the obvious one, I think most of us remember Lance, and I think if you go back about 5-6 years you'll remember a scrub they had named Mark. The other two were both named Bob. One Bob pitched two games for the Mets in 1969 (I wonder if he got a World Series ring) and the other played part of the 1967 season with the team.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Diamondbacks 1

This game started a lot like the previous game, a home run, a 2-run lead, then breaking the game open with a 3-run homer.

The Mets got behind early when Sosa gave up a home run to promising rookie Mark Reynolds.

Then the Mets answered with a Delgado homer, his 8th, and his 5th in the last 8 games.

Then Castro ripped a single that Drew didn't go after too hard, then a Gotay bloop, and a Newhan slow roller led to two more runs.

Sosa dominated after the homer. He was getting ahead with his fastball and striking guys out with his slider.

It was still 3-1 in the 7th when Joe Smith came on to get Alberto Callaspo. Another great dichotomy between the elegance of Spanish names and the blandess of American names.

After that Wright walked, Delgado doubled and Gotay homered to break it open.

The Mets tacked on another run when Gomez broke a long hitless streak and Reyes tripled. Love watching Reyes triple.

Mets go for another series win with Oliver Perez vs. Doug Davis.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Diamondbacks 5 Mets 1

With Beltran and Wright injured, the Mets started a triple A lineup againt Brandon Webb. Easley was hitting third, and Franco was playing third.

Julio Franco stole second but Reyes was caught stealing, on a pitchout, but still, it his second caught stealing in two games.

John Maine pitched pretty well, his only mistake was giving a Chris Snyder a good pitch to hit on a 1-2 count with the pitcher up next.

Gulliermo Mota gave up a 3 run homer to put this game out of reach.

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