Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 13 Marlins 0

Absolutely, by far and away the best game the Mets played all season, at the time when they needed it most. Although had they gotten one like this in the last 8 against Philadelphia the season would be over.

John Maine pitched the game of his life, definitely up there with all-time best Mets performances (Seaver's 8 1/3 perfect, Bobby Jones's 1-hitter in the playoffs, Heilman's 1-hitter, David Cone and Seaver both with 19 strikeout games). And the one hit he allowed was a little nubber.

The Mets offense exploded, scoring 2 in the first and 3 in the second, on 5 2-out hits.

Milledge started the third inning with a 2-run homer (he'd add another one later) and the rout was on.

The Mets kept piling on pushing the total to 13 and leaving no suspense at all other than could Maine pitch a no-hitter.

Castro also hit a homer which makes me wonder why Willie hasn't used him and Milledge more down the stretch. With extra catchers on the roster Castro should be the first pinch hitter off the bench. And he should be playing 2 games a week in favor of LoDuca.

One interesting note happened in the 5th inning when a near brawl broke out. After Reyes doubled the Marlins threw two pitches behind Luis Castillo. Castillo walked towards the mound and the benches cleared. Then after Castillo walked the Marlins removed their pitcher and Jose Reyes got into it with Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo during the pitching change. Olivo and Reyes know each and are friends but each one of them says the other asked him if he wanted to fight. Reyes thought Olivo was kidding so he said yes. Olivo thought Reyes was serious, so he went over and tried to punch him. He missed but got ejected for his troubles nonetheless.

I hope the incident inspires Reyes, but not the Marlins.

The Mets live to fight another day. All they need is a win. All they need is a miracle. Tom Glavine, all they need is you.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Marlins 7 Mets 4

The horrible play continues but probably only for two more games as the Mets are out of first place for the first time since mid-May and there doesn't seem to be any way for this team to recover.

For the first time as a Met Oliver Perez blew up in a big game. He allowed a 2-run homer in the first inning but should have been able to stop the bleeding there.

But in the third inning he gave up a leadoff single to the pitcher, Byung-Hyun Kim, one of the worst hitting pitchers in the majors. Hanley Ramirez followed with a broken bat double and Perez loaded the bases by hitting Dan Uggla.

That set up the biggest of all the mental mistakes the Mets have made during this recent disastrous stretch. David Wright got a ground ball right at him, threw home for one, then LoDuca fired back to Wright who had plenty of time, but forgot to step on the bag. He obviously didn't realize there was a force play still on at third. He tried to tag the runner but was late and the bases stayed loaded with one out. Perez struck out Cabrera and once again, as soon as you start to believe, the roof caves in. Perez hit the next two batters to force in two runs and that was the end of this game.

But then the Mets suckered their fans in again with Carlos Beltran hit a 2-run homer to cut the lead back to 1.

But Perez couldn't hold it. He loaded the bases again in the 4th and Cabrera hit a slow roller up the middle that Reyes could have had, but he smothered it and it rolled away and scored two more runs.

The Mets would have many more chances to get runs in this game but they blew them. LoDuca reached second with one out in the 6th and was stranded. In the 7th 1st and 3rd and one out and Beltran and Alou struck out. In the 9th Reyes led off with a single and the Mets could do nothing else.

The Mets have played the worst stretch of baseball from any contending team ever. They have blown the biggest lead ever. And this is the biggest September collapse in baseball history. And although technically there is hope, realistically there is none.

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Unhappy Recap: Cardinals 3 Mets 0

The Mets needed a strong performance from a starting pitcher, and the got it. Pedro wasn't great but he was pretty damn good allowing three runs in 7 innings and if not for a terrible error by the alleged Gold Glove winner Luis Castillo, it would have been at least one run fewer.

The Mets even got two shutout innings out of the bullpen.

But as always happens, something goes wrong. The Mets couldn't get any runs across against Joel Piniero. The Mets took far too many first pitch strikes and allowed Piniero to use his breaking pitches when he got ahead in the count.

It's hard to blame an offense that has consistently put up 6 runs a game but every game is crucial and at this point one bad day is likely one too many.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Nationals 9 Mets 6

It's getting harder and harder to write about these games because they are all the same. The Mets offense gives them a lead, the starter fades, the bullpen blows it and the Mets lose.

This is what it's like to be a Mets fan, you know what's going to happen but you can't help but be sucked in. Beltran and Alou go back to back in the first inning, the Mets build a 5-0 lead and Humber was going along nicely and even after he allowed a 2-run homer in the fourth he got the next three guys out.

But the 5th inning was an absolute fucking disaster. One that is becoming all too frequent and all too predictable. Humber gave up a walk a single and double and that was the end of his day. Four innings from your starting pitcher. Awful.

Joe Smith was called on and he gave up 2 more hits. First five batters reached base.

Then Pedro Feliciano who I still think it the Mets best relief pitcher allowed a double to Wili Mo Pena that made the game 7-6 instead of 6-5.

And that was it. The Mets didn't score again. And just in case they did, Billy Wagner gave the Nationals two insurance runs in the 9th.

Schoeneweis, El Duque and Heilman all pitched scoreless innings.

I can't blame Willie. When your starters go 4 innings you have to go to the bullpen. When the bullpen can't get anyone out what are you supposed to do. It's not like he has some guys that have been good lately, and others haven't. Everyone sucks and he has to roll the dice.

Alou extended his hitting streak to 30 games.

The Mets have lost 9 of their last 13.

The Mets have given up 89 runs in their last 11 games.

The Nationals, who are still the lowest scoring team in the majors, scored 57 runs in 6 games against the Mets.

The Mets scored at least 6 runs in 9 of their last 11 games. They record in those 9 games in 4-5.

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Unhappy Recap: Nationals 10 Mets 9

So close, but yet so far. A stirring comeback fell just short for the Mets after the first 8 1/2 innings went exactly according to recent form.

Tom Glavine turned in a stinkbomb of a performance, allowing 3-run homer to Austin Kearns in the first inning.

And each time the Mets chipped away with a run, Glavine allowed another. And like most Mets pitchers he only went 5 innings forcing Randolph to put to much trust in a bullpen that deserves none.

Carlos Muniz gave Willie a scoreless 6th but walked the first two batters in the 7th before giving way to Jorge Sosa. With two outs Sosa failed to cover first on a groundball to Delgado which should have been an easy out. The next batter singled in two runs.

Aaron Sele came in for the 8th and allowed one run in each of the 2 innings he pitched, making the score 10-3 entering the bottom of the 9th, when the patient began to kick.

LoDuca singled, then Newhan struck out, then 6 straight Mets reached base. Gomez walked and Reyes hit a 3-run homer to right, his second homer of the game (he led off the first with one), his 12th of the year, his 4th career multi-homer game.
Castillo singled to right and then Manny Acta went to his closer Chad Cordero. Wright singled and Beltran walked, then the red hot Moises Alou ripped a double to right field to drive in all 3 runs and make the score 10-9.
Jon Rauch came in for Cordero and Endy Chavez came in to run for Alou. Carlos Delgado was up, the Nationals used the overshift on the infield yet Delgado refused to try to slap one to left field. He got tied up by inside pitches then struck out. And for some unknown reason Endy Chavez tried to steal third. He was safe, but only because Ryan Zimmerman fell down. Paul LoDuca flied out to end the threat.

Now it's too easy to say that if Sosa had covered the base and cut off two runs the Mets would have won 9-8. The Nationals would have played the 9th much differently had the lead been smaller. But the Mets had a lot of other chances in this game. The Mets hit into inning ending double plays in the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th innings. In the 5th and 7th Wright did the honors and in both cases two men were on. Two on, one out, no runs, twice. That's where the Mets lost this game. And in the first inning when Glavine got killed.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Nationals 13 Mets 4

For three innings this looked like it was going to be a great start for Mike Pelfrey, but in the fourth inning he allowed 3 hits and 2 runs, one of which scored only because of an error by Moises Alou.

But Pelfrey got out of it and through 4 2/3 innings it looked like it was going to be a solid start from Mike Pelfrey, but then he walked Zimmerman and Church and gave up a 3 run homer to Austin Kearns.

But Pelfrey got out of it and 5 2/3 innings it looked like it was at least going to a 6 inning start from Pelfrey but then he walked D'Angelo Jimenez (his 5th walk of the game) and that was it for Pelfrey. Joe Smith came on and allowed a double to Mets nemesis Ronnie Belliard to make the score 7-1.

The Mets almost staged a comeback in the bottom of the 6th but with the bases loaded and one out, Reyes and Castillo grounded out, cutting the lead to only 7-3.

Feliciano got through the 7th inning but walked and hit a better to start the 8th. Mota came on and got two outs before allowing doubles to Belliard (again) and Church which made the score 10-3.

But the bullpen wasn't done. Dave Williams pitched the 9th and allowed a 3-run homer to Ryan Langerhans.

Moises Alou extended his hitting streak to 28 games.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Marlins 6

A huge victory as this time the Mets survived the atrocious relief work and showed great heart by coming back and avoiding what could have been another crushing defeat.

John Maine pitched decent, but once again he only gave the Mets 5 innings forcing them to get 4 innings out of the bullpen, which they couldn't do. After Maine put two men on to lead off the 6th, Feliciano came in and allowed an inherited runner to score, but Sosa relieved him and kept the lead to only one run.

The Mets got a huge rally in the top of the 8th, Wright walked, Anderson singled, Alou singled to extend his hitting streak and tie the game, the Delgado homered to give the Mets a 3-run. An absolutely huge home run by Delgado. Incredibly clutch.

Delgado's home run ball a millisecond before it became a home run ball

But then Aaron Heilman came in. He walked the first two batters then gave up a double to make it 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Heilman got Olivo but then allowed a single to left, but it wasn't hit deep enough to score both runs, but Todd Linden tried to score anyway and Alou nailed him at the plate. Tremendous throw, tremendous play. That saved the Mets temporarily because even though Heilman hit the next batter he got out of it by getting Hanley Ramirez. Heilman faced 7 batters and 5 reached base.

Billy Wagner was called on to get the final three outs, but his back spasms may still have been hurting, he just didn't look right and he allowed a game-tying home run to Dan Uggla, his 31st. Dan Uggla has 31 home runs. I repeat Dan Uggla has 31 home runs.

But the Mets showed a lot of toughness coming back in the 11th inning, Reyes walked (a rarity for him lately), Castillo singled and Wright drove him home.

After a great 10th by Joe Smith, Aaron Sele got the first two outs of the 11th, then the Mets new closer Scott Schoeneweis sealed the deal. Lately it seems like Schoeneweis is more reliable than Feliciano or Heilman.

Carlos Gomez had a rough day going 0-5 including hitting a shallow fly ball with 2nd and 3rd in the 10th inning. He also had a chance to throw out a runner at home earlier in the game and made a bad throw.

Moises Alou has a 27 game hitting streak, the longest in Mets history.

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Happy Recap: Mets 7 Marlins 2

Oliver Perez stepping up when the Mets really needed him. He pitched a great game, and most importantly, he went 8 innings giving the bullpen some much needed rest. He had zero walks and threw only 102 pitches in 8 innings of work. Perez allowed only one earned run (he now has 20 unearned runs allowed this year, more than even Scott Olsen who allowed 8 on Friday night), but this time it wasn't a matter of him losing focus after an error in the field behind him. An absolutely perfect performance from Perez, and with one start left in the season you have to say that at 15-9 with a 3.32 ERA he had a really good year.

Another player having a really great year is Ramon Castro, he slugged another 3 run homer to give the Mets a 5-0 lead and some breathing room. He now has 10 homers and 30 RBI in only 135 at bats. I really wonder how this season would have turned out if Castro had been available to play while LoDuca was injured. I'm pretty certain the Mets are not bringing back LoDuca next year and I really hope they give Castro the chance to be the everyday catcher. I'm not saying he would hit 30 and 90 if he had 400 at bats but I think he could come close to what Bengie Molina is doing for the Giants, (.280, 19, 81) putting up excellent numbers for a catcher and number 7 hitter.

Willie Randolph used Endy Chavez for late inning defense in this game but brought him in to play center field for Beltran instead of left for Alou. As a result Alou got an extra at bat and singled to keep his hitting streak going. He did however make the error that allowed the second run to score, but it didn't matter, so I guess Willie made the right move there giving Alou the extra at bat.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 9 Marlins 6

Every win right now is crucial and the Mets got another one getting just enough good pitching to hold the Marlins down.

Pedro pitched ok, but he only lasted 5 innings, trusting his fate once again to the beleagured and overworked bullpen. This time the pen was called on to protect a 5 run lead as the Mets got 8 unearned runs over the course of 3 innings thanks to four Marlins errors (they made 6 in total).

But the Mets offense has been on fire lately scoring 7 runs for the fourth straight game. Timely hitting from Beltran, Alou and even Reyes contributed to the offense.

Beltran now has a team leading 105 RBI but he got hurt pursuing a deep flyball and had to be taken out of the game but it doesn't seem to be a serious injury.

Jose Reyes had two hits, bringing his average back up to .290.

When Pedro came out of the game Willie turned to Guillermo Mota who this time came through, pitching two scoreless innings.

In the 8th, Pedro Feliciano came in and was terrible. He couldn't find the strike zone, striking out two, but also walking two then giving up a double that cut the lead to 3. Joe Smith was called on to get the final out of the inning but walked Uggla to bring up the tying run. But Scott Schoeneweis came in and pitched the best he's ever pitched for the Mets. He struck Hermida to end the 8th, then got the side in order in the 9th for the 7th save of his career.

Four relief pitchers, two did well, two didn't, but that was enough to hold the lead.

The game was delayed by rain for more than 2 hours.

Carlos Delgado came back and hit a home run to make the score 9-4.

Pedro is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA this season.

The Mets need Oliver Perez to keep it going, because the Phillies keep winning.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Marlins 8 Mets 7

Devastating. I'm too hurt right now to go into great detail about the game, but it's been like so many others recently. The Mets got good hitting, took an early lead, then the starter blew it. Then they came back and bad defense and bad relief pitching and bad luck and bad managing cost them the game.

The Mets gave Tom Glavine a 3-0 lead which is a good way to get him to give up 4 runs, which is exactly what happened. And he only went 5 innings which forced the Mets to go to their horrible bullpen.

But the offense wouldn't be stopped, in the bottom of the 9th inning they loaded the bases and got four runs, thanks to Marlon Anderson. And no thanks to Jose Reyes who struck out (a double play would have been better).

But in the bottom of the 9th Pedro Feliciano gave up a leadoff single. Then Willie overmanaged and went right to Jorge Sosa who pitched two innings the night before. Billy Wagner was not available due to back spasms, and Mota, Heilman and Joe Smith had already pitched. He was relying on Sosa and Sosa only. Feliciano should have stayed in, right lefty nonsense be damned.

Sosa gave up a double, then an out for a run. Mets were ready to trade another out for a run, and they would have had a 1 run lead with 2 out and no one on but after making a diving stop David Wright committed a horrible throwing error which cost the Mets the game. After a lucky bloop double the Marlins tied the game on a groundout.

The Mets were dead at this point and had to trot Sosa out there for another inning. he promptly gave up two hits and lost the game.

While all this was going on the Phillies rallied back from a 6-2 deficit and beat the Nationals. The Mets magic number is 9 with 10 to play meaning if they can split which seems unlikely they'd need Philly to lose 4 times. The Mets playoff hopes are looking very dim right now. They need to win at least 2 of the next 3.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Nationals 4

The Mets got the win they needed and coupled with a Phillies loss Mets fans can breathe a lot easier.

The key to this game, and maybe the season, was Jorge Sosa. He came in with runners on first and third and no outs and the score 5-3. He struck out D'Angelo Jimenez then got Nook Logan to hit a groundball that Reyes snagged, stepped on (or maybe around) second base and threw to first for the inning ending double play. And then Sosa did something no Mets relief pitcher has been able to do in weeks (it seems), he pitched another inning, and retired the side. A Mets relief pitcher pitched two scoreless innings. Great job by Sosa.

Mike Pelfrey did a passable job in his third start since being recalled late on September 1. Although he allowed 3 runs and 9 hits in 5 innings Pelfrey improved to 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in his 3 starts in September. Prior to that he was 0-7 with a 5.92 ERA.

The Mets also got some offense in this game, starting with a good game for Jose Reyes. First he hit a double that got stuck in the padding of the left field wall, making for an unusual scene. And later he scored on a triple by Luis Castillo.

The Mets had 3 sacrifice flies in this game, 2 by LoDuca. They also had 2 unnecessary sacrifice bunts, I don't understand why Willie was playing for one run in the middle of the game the Mets were leading.

Moises Alou had 3 more hits upping his hitting streak to 23 games, one short of the Mets record. He's batting .402 since August 12th.

Billy Wagner finally pitched and gave up a run but no major damage in nailing down the game.

The Mets made three more errors, one each by Wright and Reyes on horrible throws they never should have even attempted.

Paul LoDuca was involved in another argument with umpires after he was ruled to have swung at strike three, even though it hit him on the hand. It was kind of humorous to watch LoDuca rotate his emotions between anger and agony. He tried to stay in the game but couldn't.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Nationals 9 Mets 8

I'm running out of adjectives to describe these horrible losses. This one was probably the worst because the offense was good, the defense was good, the bullpen was even good (1 run in 3 2/3 innings) but the starting pitching was awful.

John Maine pitched so badly the team had almost no chance to win. Maine had leads of 4-0, 5-1 and 7-3 and he blew them all. He allowed single runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th but in the 5th he melted down. A single, a walk, two more singles then a 3 run homer to Ronnie Belliard and the Mets were done.

Until the 9th. It seemed like the Mets were going to make an amazing comeback with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the 9th. Green, LoDuca and Conine all singled, but with the tying run 90 feet away Ruben Gotay struck out.

The Mets are in desperate need of a victory tomorrow when Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Matt Chico.

Jose Reyes is slumping again after a few good games. He went 0-4.

Moises Alou extended his over-40 hitting streak record to 21 games but got hurt.

Endy Chavez had 3 hits. So did Shawn Green.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Nationals 12 Mets 4

This game started off well as the Mets got 3 runs in the first as they took advantage of an error by the Nationals, and then Beltran slugged a 2 run homer. Shawn Green extended the lead to 4-0 with a homer in the top of the 4th.

But then the old Brian Lawrence resurfaced. Lawrence was pressed into duty because El Duque has a bunion on his right foot (the dangers of being 80 yeards old) and because Pelfrey is pitching Wednesday to give Glavine and Pedro an extra day of rest. Why didn't Philip Humber get the start? I have no idea.

In the bottom of the 4th the Mets wished they had started anyone else other than Lawrence. He allowed 6 straight batters to reach base before he was pulled for Sele who got 2 outs on 2 pitches to get the Mets out of the inning still tied.

Sele allowed another run in the 5th, but at 5-4 to the deficit wasn't so bad. But Then Scott Schoeneweis came in. He got the last batter of the 5th but he walked the first batter in the 6th. An error by Wright put two men on with nobody out. The Nationals tried to sacrifice but Schoeneweis threw the ball into right field bringing home two runs and putting a runner on third. After an out and a walk the Nationals tried to sacrifice again. Jorge Sosa who was in the game this time looked at second, then decided to come home instead. He would have had the runner dead at home, but his hesitation cost him. Then a walk and two outs made the score 9-4.

Two physical errors and one mental error. And later in the game the Mets would make two more errors, one by Castro, one by Reyes, for a total of 10 errors in 2 games.

In the 7th Willie Collazo gave up a double, then Joe Smith came in and gave up a single and a homer to make the score 12-4.

The bullpen sucked once again, absolutely killing the Mets for about the 20th game in a row.

Reyes's expression says it all

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 10 Mets 6

And the disastrous weekend series with Philadelphia met the absolute worst case scenario the Mets could have envisioned. The Mets have played against the Phillies in these last two series the way they used to play against the Braves. They did absolutely everything wrong. They have lost 8 in a row to Philadelphia now, after starting the season 6-2 against them.

This was by far the worst game the Mets played all season.

The Mets made 6 errors.
LoDuca throwing error in the first inning.
Reyes makes two errors on the same play in the second inning lead to two Philadelphia runs.
Moises Alou drops a fly ball by Rollins leading to another run in the 4th inning.

The normally sure handed Luis Castillo made two errors on the same play in the apocalyptic 6th inning, although by rule he could only be charged with one. But more on that later.
The last error was a meaningless one by Conine in the 9th inning.

But it wasn't just the errors that killed the Mets in this one. It was the walks. 11 of them in all. 6 of them by Perez who ended up allowing 3 unearned runs. Perez had to be removed in the 5th inning after a double by Rollins made the score 5-2.

Then the Mets got back in the game on one swing of the bat by the mighty Carlos Beltran. David Wright is getting all the MVP chants, but with 2 on and a 3 run deficit, Wright flied out, and Beltran tied the game.

But it didn't last long. Mota walked Burrell to lead off the 6th. But he got Howard to hit a sure double play ball at Castillo who dropped it, then rushed the throw to second, and it was wide and they couldn't even get one out. Then Mota walked Rowand to load the bases, and that was his afternoon. Jorge Sosa came in, walked the first batter he faced, then gave up a grand slam to Greg Dobbs to put this one on ice.

David Wright entered the 30/30 club with a home run in the 7th inning.

The Phillies had the leadoff man on in the first 7 innings of this game.

The Mets used 8 pitchers, a team record.

The Mets are 19-6 in their last 25 games against teams not from Philadelphia.

The Mets finish with 13 games against the Marlins and Nations. If they win 7, the Phillies have go to 10-4 to tie them with 90 wins. Then the Mets would have to make up a rained out game against the Cardinals.

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Unhappy Recap: Phillies 5 Mets 3

Another horrible loss against the Phillies in which the Mets were done in the by their bullpen, their defense and their lack of timely hitting.

Pedro pitched well again, allowing only one run in the first inning and nothing else through 6. He did allow 7 hits but he struck out 9 and walked none, but with a pitch count of 98 Willie decided to take him out there.

The Mets gave him three runs of support, but it should have been a lot more.

In the second the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out. LoDuca hit into a fielder's choice, and after the Mets scored when Milledge got hit by a pitch, Pedro made out (to be expected) and so did the slumping Jose Reyes.

Beltran and LoDuca contributed RBI singles in the third to give the Mets the 3-1 lead.

The bottom of the 6th against Kane Davis was really the beginning of the end for the Mets. With one out he walked Gotay but Gotay was caught stealing. Then he walked Reyes and Castillo, but for some reason Reyes tried to steal third with Wright up, and got thrown out. Three walks and no runs.

And in the top of the 7th, things started to crumble. Iguchi led off with a double against Feliciano and then Green botched a hard ground ball to put Rollins on base with a run in and no outs and Utley, Burrell and Howard coming up. And Feliciano struck out all three of them.

But then Willie fucked up again, leaving Feliciano in for the 8th inning (I guess he has no one else) and that resulted in the Mets' ruin. Aaron Rowand led off the inning with a game tying home run. Jorge Sosa came in and walked 2 batters but got two outs. The third out should have been an easy fly ball to Beltran, but he came in on it first, and it went over his head for a triple for Jimmy Rollins and a 5-3 lead.

Even though the game was over at this point Marlon Anderson went nuts in the bottom of the 9th when he was called out on a pitch that was 6 inches (or more) outside. And like LoDuca the night before Anderson was ejected by an umpire with a very short fuse.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Philles 3 Mets 2

The Phillies mastery over the Mets continues as the Mets bullpen continues to suck against them.

This time it was Aaron Heilman who blew the game, and for the second time this year it was his poor defense that did him in. With the game tied 2-2 Heilman came in for the 10th inning and allowed a leadoff single. The next batter tried to sacrifice. He should have been out when he popped up a bunt in foul territory but DiFelice dropped it (I think it hit him in the face) and he was charged with an error for prolonging the at bat. Then the bunt was fielded by Heilman who turned and fired to get the lead runner and threw the ball right into centerfield. The Phillies sacrificed again and with 2nd and 3rd and one out Dobbs hit the game winning sac fly.

Heilman has been in 71 games (probably too many) and he's lost 7 of them. That means he's lost 10% of his appearances. I know he also has 7 wins, but a few of those he vultured, he earned all his losses.

But it never should have gotten that far because the Mets should have won the game in the bottom of the 8th. Milledge was hit by a pitch but forced at second on a bad bunt by Gomez. Gomez made up for it by stealing second, and he went to third on an infield hit by Reyes. Then Castillo struck out and after Wright was hit by a pitch, Beltran struck out.

Beltran is batting .196 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.
Alou is batting .100 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.
Delgado is batting .173 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.
LoDuca is batting .170 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.
Wright is batting .213 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs.

That's the number one reason the Mets aren't better this season. They do not consistently get the big 2 out hit.

Another good pitching performance by Tom Glavine was wasted. He allowed a 2 run homer to Chase Utley but nothing else. It was the first homer he had allowed in 57 innings.

The Mets absolutely have to have one of the next two games against the Phillies. They have now lost 6 straight to the Phillies and scored exactly 2 runs in 4 of the last 5.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 4 Braves 3

This game wasn't crucial (the Braves are out of it either way) but it was a good sign that after the bullpen blew the lead the offense came back to get a run and the win. But it was a bad sign that the bullpen blew the lead.

John Maine pitched well for the second straight time against the Braves. Although those two good starts sandwiched a bad one in Cincinnati Maine is starting to pitch a little better.

Maine shouldn't have even allowed a run in this game but a fly ball to center landed in between Reyes and Beltran. After that, for some reason Maine melted down and walked the next three batters to force in a run and tie the game.

The Mets took the lead back on a home run by Marlon Anderson (he is incredible) then added an insurance run on a single by Reyes after a pinch hit triple by Milledge. Reyes was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, continuing to break out of his slump.

After a scoreless 7th by Sosa, the Mets bullpen went to work. Heilman got the first two outs but then walked Renteria and gave up a single to Teixeira so Willie went to Feliciano to face the lefty Brian McCann. McCann walked and Willie went to Mota. Mota gave up a single to Francoeur which tied the game.

But the Mets showed heart and fought right back to take the lead again in the bottom of the inning. Beltran singled, stole second and went to third on a groundout by Alou. Then Shawn Green, on Rosh Hashanah got the game winning hit.

Billy Wagner seems to have gotten his groove back, throwing a 1-2-3 inning for the save.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Braves 13 Mets 5

For the second straight start El Duque got hammered, this time giving up 8 runs in only 3 innings. His ERA has gone up from 3.07 to 3.75 in those two starts.

I thought El Duque might wiggle his way out of it, after he walked in a run he got a double play when Beltran nailed McCann at home to end the second inning with only one run.

One thing about that play that really pissed me off. Paul LoDuca didn't block the plate. He stood out of the baseline and reached out with his glove. He easily could have missed the tag or had the ball jarred loose.

LoDuca clearly trying to avoid a home plate collision

But El Duque couldn't settle down, he had no control, walking Kelly Johnson to lead off the third, then giving up a home run to Yunel Escobar.

And things got even worse for El Duque in the 4th. The first 5 batters of the inning reached base against him for 3 more runs. Aaron Sele came out of the bullpen and got two outs, but then allowed a homer to Mark Teixeira to make the score 9-0 and pretty much end this one.

There were some good signs on offense. Jose Reyes had his second good game in a row, hitting three doubles. He should have scored in the first but he was too anxious on a comebacker and got thrown out by the pitcher.

Moises Alou and Paul LoDuca both homered.

The Mets wore their caps with NYPD, FDNY, PAPD and OEM logos on them as they did right after 9/11 in 2001.

Cool picture of David Wright pursuing a foul ball.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Braves 2

The final heap of dirt on the Braves coffin this season. They also tied the season series against the Braves at games each.

Oliver Perez pitched a great game, mowing down the Braves for 6 innings before tiring in the 7th and allowing a 2-run homer to Brian McCann. For the season he is 4-1 against the Braves with a 3.03 ERA. Taking out that one bad start his ERA is 1.76 in the four others.

Jose Reyes finally got something going in this game, reaching on an infield single and scoring a run in the first inning, and almost creating another Reyes run in the 6th. He walked, stole second, went to third on a bunt by Castillo and scored on a home run by David Wright.

Wright is simply on fire right now. It's not just that he's hitting home runs and driving in runs, it's when he's doing it. In close games, giving the Mets the lead. The Mets fans broke into an M-V-P! chant for Wright which is nice but I remind you that his stats are almost identical to Beltran's so it would be hard for voters to go for Wright over a candidate like Prince Fielder who doesn't have another player as good on his team, although Ryan Braun is pretty awesome.

Billy Wagner pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for his 33rd save and his 3rd in 3 days.

The Mets have now won 9 of their last 10, their best stretch of the season.

Tim Hudson had his good sinker working at one point retiring 13 Mets in a row all on ground balls, including these 7 in a row in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings:
L Milledge grounded out to second.
O Perez grounded out to second.
J Reyes grounded out to second.
L Castillo grounded out to second.
D Wright grounded out to second.
C Beltran grounded out to second.
M Alou grounded out to second.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 4 Astros 1

Pedro pitches 5 shutout innings, but it isn't as great as it sounds. He was in trouble in almost every inning and threw 92 pitches in total. But he got the job done, and as long as he is healthy this has to be considered a successful outing.

In the second inning he got Pence to ground out with the bases loaded after he hit Oswalt with a pitch (a HBP that should not have been granted since Oswalt didn't try to get out of the way).
In the third inning he struck out the first three guys, but Biggio reached first on a wild pitch. He stranded 2 runners in the inning but failed to tie the record for most strikeouts in one inning.
And in the 5th inning he once again got the Astros to strand 3 runners on base.
9 runners in all left on base during Pedro's 5 innings.

The Astros left 3 more runners on base in the 6th, but Willie let Mota work out of trouble after his bonehead play put runners on first and second (he should have taken the sure out) he struck out two in a row and got out of the inning.

As far as the offense, Pedro scored a run after he doubled to left. Beltran had earlier in the game driven in Castillo to tie Wright for the club lead in RBI.

Pedro calls this move pumping

Alou hit a 2-run homer to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

Wagner got the save without allowing a run.

It was the Mets second sweep at home this year, the first was against Oakland in late June. Four other times they lost the third game after winning the first two of a series.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Astros 1

Tom Glavine pitched a great game, perfect through 5 and 1 hit through 7, but he got a little unlucky in the 8th. He was taken out after two hits (one solid, one bloop) and then Heilman came in and the Astros got another bloop single which tacked a run onto Glavine's account. But Heilman roared back to strike out the side and preserve the lead.

The Mets got their run one at a time in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. First run came on a David Wright home run (he is on fire) then LoDuca doubled in a run and the last run was a Castillo run (walk, steal, to third on groundout, score on wild pitch).

Billy Wagner ended his streak of 5 appearances with a run by pitching a perfect 9th for his 31st save.

This game took only 2 hours and 18 minutes to play.

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Happy Recap: Mets 11 Astros 3

The first start for Mike Pelfrey after his breakthrough performance against the Braves was adequate, good enough for a win, but without some luck it might have been a lot worse. He started off with bad luck as Beltran almost caught a home run by Lance Berkman.

In the second inning Pelfrey allowed a single walk and hit batter to load the bases with one out. The pitcher hit a high chop to Reyes. Reyes tried to turn the double play before he got the ball and the ball bounced off his hip, but right to Castillo who stepped on the bag threw to first in time for the double play.

Pelfrey allowed another run in the third but he led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, then Castillo walked and Rodriguez was completely losing his control and got behind Wright 3-1. Wright doubled on the 3-1 pitch to tie the game and Beltran singled to give the Mets the lead. Timely hitting finally seems to be coming around for the Mets.

Pelfrey got through the 4th and 5th and got 2 more runs of support thanks to a Beltran homer and a Conine single.

But in the 6th, Pelfrey once again loaded the bases with one out. Randolph went to Sosa who got Biggio to hit a bloop to right field which Milledge caught with a diving catch.

great catch by Lastings Milledge

That catch served as a turning point in this game as the Mets pounded the Astros for 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th. It started with a Reyes triple, and was punctuated by a 3-run homer by Milledge.

Milledge had 2 hits in this game plus the great catch and I love what he brings to this team. I am hoping that he can get some playing time while Delgado is hurt and that Green can get some at bats while playing first base. I really think the Mets should carry Milledge on the playoff roster as a right handed bat, defensive replacement and speedy runner, and start him against lefties. Plus I hope the Mets dump Green and Alou next season and give Milledge and Gomez the starting jobs.

This is the 3rd time in 4 games that the Mets have scored in double digits.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Reds 7 Mets 0

The Mets didn't care about this game at all.

That message came from the top. Willie rested Reyes, Delgado, Alou, Green and LoDuca. I understand why he gave Reyes the day off, but couldn't a couple of these guys have rested Friday instead?

Another unknown chucker, this time Tom Shearn, shut the Mets down.

John Maine got pounded giving up extra base hit after extra base hit, a home run to Phillips in the first, one to Votto in the second and a few doubles sprinkled in as well.

Willie Collazo looked good in relief, Philip Humber looked just okay in his two innings.

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Happy Recap: Mets 11 Reds 7

The longest winning streak of the year. The first time the Mets got to 5 games. Maybe that 11-10 loss in Philadelphia lit a fire under this team. It's amazing how quickly things can change, this team is on fire right now and everyone is hitting.

And that includes Paul LoDuca who in one fell swoop turned his season from terrible to passable. He had 2 3-run homers (giving the Mets 3-0 and 11-6 leads) and 7 RBI. It was a career high in RBI. It was the 3rd 2 homer game of his career, his first since 2001. LoDuca had been tied at 34 RBI with his teammate Jeff Conine, but he's had 150 more at bats than Conine. Now he's barely in the top 100 in the NL in RBI.

Oliver Perez wasn't great, walking 5 and allowing 5 runs in only 5 innings. Perez also allowed 2 unearned runs. After a LoDuca error he gave up a double and a sac fly, but more distressing was that he walked the next 3 guys before getting the third out. This season Perez has now allowed 16 earned runs, the most of any top pitcher in the majors. It is not just the product of bad defense behind him. When the defense makes an error Perez gets frustrated or flustered and turns it into a bigger inning.

But the Mets bounced right back from those 5th inning runs. Beltran hit a homer to tie the game and to tie Wright for the team lead. When he hit Keith Hernandez said "just missed." But in Cincinnati balls you just miss are still home runs. Then Green doubled in two runs, bringing his total to 42 for the season.

Mota, Feliciano, Heilman and Schoeneweis all pitched an inning in relief. Feliciano looked like the exact opposite of the guy who struck out 5 in a row in Atlanta, but the pen held the lead and the Mets are looking for their second consecutive series sweep.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 10 Reds 4

What a great game. To continue the winning streak, to get a good start out of Pedro and to beat the toughest pitcher to beat in the NL.

Pedro's line says he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings but he pitched much better than that.

The first batter, Hamilton, reached base on a little dribbler up the third base line that stopped in fair territory. Gonzalez hit a fly ball that should have been caught but Alou played it into a double. Both of those runners scored, but Pedro could have gotten out of the first with on runs had Alou caught Gonzalez's ball.

The Mets offense took advantage of the ballpark as Alou blasted one into the upper deck for the first run, and the Mets took the lead on a 2-run homer to right by Wright. David Wright has been absolutely incredible lately. The 11-10 loss in Philadelphia may have been a coming of age game for him.

The Reds got back to within one after Dunn walked and scored on a single that was butchered by Beltran.

So Pedro left with a one run lead and the game was in the hands of the bullpens.

The Mets pounded the Reds pen, and the Mets pen gave up only 1 run in 4 innings.

2 runs scored in the 6th off Harang (Green double, Gotay single), two more off Coutlangus in the 7th (Beltran single, Green groundout), one in the 8th off Stanton (Castillo double) then another run off another former Met, David Weathers in the 9th, as Delgado homered (his 4th in 7 games).

The Mets have put the Philly disaster behind them and with a couple good weeks are looking at clinching early again and coasting into the playoffs. Hopefully!

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Braves 2

The Mets really showed some championship heart this weekend by coming into Atlanta and sweeping the Braves after the diastrous series in Philadelphia. I will officially declare the Braves dead for this season.

The Mets came off a crushing series and handled the Braves in 3 games, allowing only four runs.

Tom Glavine fought back after giving up a run in the first inning on two hits and a walk. He might have gotten out of it had Wright come home with the ground ball hit by him, but only 1 run was good enough, and it was the only one he would allow.

Glavine then got the run back himself with a bases loaded sac fly that could have been a lot more, but Andruw Jones tracked it down.

David Wright stayed on fire by slugging his 25th homer of the year to give the Mets a 3-1.

Glavine, Sosa and Heilman held the lead and turned it over to Wagner. The fact that he gave up a run again was troubling, but he did nail down the victory which is all you can ever ask for from a closer.

And this was a huge victory. A three game sweep in Atlanta, that didn't seem possible on Thursday afternoon after the Phillies losses.

Just an incredible turn of events for the Mets, and it saved the season.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Braves 1

Momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher and this time Mike Pelfrey was excellent. He threw a lot of balls (48 of his 99 pitches) and he was behind a lot of hitters but he allowed only one hit. And when he got in trouble, he buckled down instead of letting it bury him. Even in the 5th when he hit Francoeur and Francouer yelled at him, which he followed up with two walks, he eventually settled down and worked his way out of it. Just an awesome performance by Pelfrey, the first glimpse of him fulfilling his potential. It's a shame he may not get another start. But I would skip El Duque and give Pelfrey at least one more chance.

The Mets gave Pelfrey an early lead after two hits, Delgado grounded into a double play.

Then Delgado and Milledge homered in the 5th to give Pelfrey some breathing room. Beltran homered and tripled for the last two runs. If the Carloses start hitting at the same time, this team will be dangerous.

I would have let Pelfrey start the 7th but Willie went to Mota and it worked out. He also let Feliciano go 2 innings instead of bringing in Wagner in a non-save situation and Feliciano pitched his best game of the year, striking out 5 guys.

Pelfrey retired the first 11 batters in the game. The first 8 outs were 7 groundballs and one fly ball. After that Pelfrey struck out 7 of the 10 outs he got. Mota got one K in his 3 outs and Feliciano got 5 out of 6. 13 of the Braves last 19 outs came via the strikeout. An impressive pitching performance.

Glavine vs. Smoltz for the sweep. I think it would be hard for the Braves to make up 8 games in less than a month so if the Mets can knock them off on Sunday, they can knock them off this season.

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