Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Yankees 1

The Mets saved a little faced and took the Subway Series 2008 in this one, thanks to good Ollie.

This guy is so frustrating to Mets fans because we know he has this in him. It would be unfair to expect this performance every time, but why not two-thirds of the time, instead of just half the time?

Perez always seems to bring his A game against the Yankees, improving to 5-1 lifetime against them.

He really was dominant in this one, setting down the first 10 guys in a row and never losing his composure, even though he had chances to.

His first show of strength was in the 4th inning when Jeter singled and went to second on a wild pitch. A-Rod fouled off several good pitches before Perez finally struck him out.

Then in the 7th Betemit homered, and Reyes made an error, but Perez buckled down and got the last out.

I know people are making a big deal out of Reyes's error but I think he was only mad at himself.

Why did Manuel bring in Tatis for defense at first base and not Phillips.

That was a monster shot by Delgado.

Nice to have Ryan Church back.

Luis Castillo sucks. His numbers are so misleading. He always tries to bunt in the first inning which is a bad play, but when Reyes got to second, which makes it a good play, or at least a better one, he tried to swing away and struck out. And his RBI hit only drove in one run because he can't get the ball out of the infield.

Huge save by Billy Wagner.

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Unhappy Recap: Yankees 3 Mets 2

Another disappointing loss for Santana.

I know it is not all his fault because the team never scores any runs for him, but they really need him to be better. He always pitches just well enough to lose.

It's not the hitters' fault that he walked the first two guys in the 4th inning. I know you can't expect the guy to be perfect but he is not blameless in his recent losing streak. He is 0-4 over a 5 start span, despite having a 2.53 ERA during that stretch. But the grand slam to Felix Hernandez isn't counted there, but it was certainly Santana's fault.

That said, the Mets offense is putrid at times, especially for Santana. They scored 27 runs in the last 6 games (4.5 per game) but 23 of those were in 2 games.

They can't get the big hit to drive runners home, or even the out to get them over.

What was Reyes doing getting picked off second base? An idiotic play to be sure, but it did not cost the Mets the game as some have said. Wright still would have needed a hit in that situation.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Yankees 9 Mets 0

Man does Pedro suck. We've been waiting three years for him to come back and be a good pitcher and he is absolutely awful.

But this is what a .500 team is like. Score 15 runs in the first game of a doubleheader, get shutout in the second game.

Combined score in the two games, Yankees 15 Mets 15.

We keep trying to deny it and holding onto hope but facts are facts, this is a .500 team.

But the Mets did have their chances early in this one but left the bases loaded in the second and third innings. The first time it was bases loaded and no outs.

Although it wouldn't have mattered if Pedro pitched the way he did. He allowed 11 base runners in 5 2/3 and the 6 runs allowed ballooned his ERA up to 7.12 in 30 1/3 innings overall.

He's had one good game, one decent game and four horrible games. Yet everyone praises Pedro and thinks he's great but those same people want to send Oliver Perez to the bullpen even though he has a 1 to 1 good to horrible start ratio.

The Mets need more out of Pedro.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 15 Yankees 6

Wow, what an offensive explosion.

Obviously the big story here is Carlos Delgado setting a Mets record with 9 RBI in one game. The first 2 came on a double which was key because it broke a 4-4 tie. The rest were just gravy. Tasty gravy, but just gravy.

The other player I malign frequently in this space also had a huge game. 5 runs scored for Luis Castillo.

I was a little disappointed with Pelfrey because he blew a 1-0 lead and then a 3-1 lead. And I wish he could have gone more than 5 innings in a game they led by so much, especially because it was the first game of a double header.

But there was little not to like about this game as the Mets pounded the Yankees into oblivion and completed the sweep of the series at Yankee Stadium.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Mariners 2

The Mets really needed this one. But I'm still not going to get too excited. This has been their MO all season, win a few lose a few. That's what a .500 team does.

It was nice to see David Wright break out of his slump with two huge home runs. But I promise you there is no possible way there can be such a direct correlation between his day off and his 2-homer day.

There were a couple discouraging signs in this game however.

After exploding for 8 runs in 3 innings they didn't even get a single base runner off the Mariners' bullpen in the last 5 innings.

Also, once again John Maine threw way too many pitches in 6 innings (102) and had to come out of the game. Heilman, Smith and Sanchez all had to come in, which is unfortunate because it would have been nice to give them 2 days off before the big doubleheader against the Yankees.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Mariners 11 Mets 0

If you're going to lose you might as well lose in spectacular fashion.

A quick word on Oliver Perez even though I've said it before. When he's bad he's horrible and your team has no chance of winning. When he's good, he's great. The Mets are 7-9 in games he's started, which isn't terrible on a .500 team. And he's admittedly having a very bad year. The Mets should definitely sign him for next year and should probably do it now while his value is low. I think a lot of his problems are mental and maybe they can be fixed or at least improved.

A lot of attention is focused on Perez and Santana losing these two games, but the offense has scored exactly two runs. The lack of hitting is the major reason why this team is so bad.

The Mets are now 3-4 in the Manuel era, not yet enough to prove that the manager wasn't the problem, but it's a pretty good indication.

And Mets fans are so glad so happy that we have a manager with fire. So he got himself thrown out of the game. Big deal.

The umpire was way out of line, and I have no problem with the way Manuel handled it, but don't think him getting ejected is going to light a fire under this dead team.

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Unhappy Recap: Mariners 5 Mets 2

This team just cannot seem to build any momentum. With each loss like this it becomes quite clear they are a .500 team no matter who is managing.

The Mets have lost Santana's last 4 starts, even though his ERA is 2.08 over that span. He got better support in Minnesota. Overall the Mets are 9-7 in his starts.

And I know it was Wright's fault for booting the ball with 2 outs. But how can Santana groove one to the pitcher for a grand slam? An American League pitcher no less. First grand slam by an AL pitcher in 38 years.

The offense of course is mostly to blame, because they couldn't get any hits, except for Reyes and Beltran.

David Wright is in a brutal slump right now. He's fallen below Reyes and Beltran in OPS.

When the Mets started to get something going, Carlos Delgado came up. I don't know how he ever gets a hit. It seems when pitchers commit to pounding him inside with fastballs, they get him out 100% of the time.

The play at home with Felix Hernandez was unfortunate. But it was his fault. He's supposed to keep his feet behind the plate, receive the ball and swipe the tag. His legs were in harm's way and he gave Beltran no room to slide. I hope he's not out too long.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Rockies 1

I think we are witnessing the maturation of Mike Pelfrey. Over his last 5 starts he has a 2.76 ERA. He is made 14 starts this year, he's allowed 2 runs or fewer in 8 of them. That's a very strong ratio. Of the 7 starts when his ERA for that start is 3.00 or lower he is only 3-1 taking one very tough luck loss and 3 tough no decisions.

The bullpen pitched great on this road trip, allowing only 2 earned runs in 18 1/3innings. And those two runs came in the last 2 games and didn't really affect the outcome. Now the bullpen sunk Willie Randolph by blowing four games in a row. Is this recent stretch just the natural reversal of fortune, poorly timed (for Willie Randolph) or is it indicative of some kind of change in philosophy or attitude by Jerry Manuel that is helping them perform better? I hope Manuel's presence is the impetus for the improvement but I think it may only be temporary.

Jose Reyes led off the game with a triple for the second day in a row, that's always fun.

Carlos Beltran blasted a 2-run homer (he is really starting to come around).

And that was all the Mets need to cap a very successful, if tumultuous road trip.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Rockies 7 Mets 1

It seems like we've been waiting for three years for Pedro to come back from injury. And now he finally is back, and he's terrible. I don't want to hear that he had four good innings, he got bombed. No one expects him to be anywhere near as good as the old Pedro but he needs to be as good as Maine and Perez to be a solid 4th starter. And right now he's not even as good as Pelfrey.

The Mets got a run off Ubaldo Jimenez in the first on a Reyes triple, then nothing. Literally nothing. The next hit didn't come until the 8th inning. And Jimenez was 1-7 coming into this game.

At least for once the pitching and hitting sucked in the same game, usually it's one or the other. But the bullpen pitched decently well, 3 2/3 with only one run allowed.

Now the Mets put themselves in the unfortunate position of having to win the rubber game in order to take series and make this a winning road trip. If they lose they will continue to be what they've always been, a .500 team.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Rockies 2

I was worried about John Maine after the first inning homer but he settled down and Jerry Manuel gave him tons of chances to keep working through trouble. And when he finally took him out he brought in Smith for one out, and I think he would have left Smith in for the 8th if his spot in the batting order hadn't come up.

The key to this game was Delgado's homer in the first. The Mets are a very weak psychological team right now, they can go either way, and the fact that they got right on the board after going down 2-0 was another key factor.

The Mets need more innings like the 2nd, when everyone keeps getting hits.

Monster home run by Trot Nixon.

Brian Schneider's base running was interesting in this one. First he scored from second on a single by Chavez with a perfect slide, getting his hand in just before the tag. That's a play Alomar never would have sent him on.

But then, when the Mets has bases loaded and no outs in the 7th, Reyes dumped one into right field but for some reason Schneider was bag at the bag, trying to tag up. And he got thrown out at third. I've never seen that before. It was scored as a fielder's choice meaning Reyes didn't get credited with a hit.

The Mets defense was awesome tonight as Endy Chavez, as per his usual, made an incredible running catch with a man on. Trot Nixon made a nice sliding catch to strand two runners in that same inning.

The Mets are back at .500 and need to keep it going with Pedro on the mound.

Great defense
Brian Schneider's base running.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Angels 4

If this is the Jerry Manuel era, I'm very happy to see it.

If you didn't think the manager made a difference, now you know better.

Maybe you can't attribute the Mets comeback off the best closer in baseball, solely to Manuel, but that kind of thing never seemed to happen under Willie Randolph.

If you don't want to give that to Manuel, there are a few things you can credit him with.

Jerry Manuel had a discernible difference on this game

First off, a more aggressive Reyes. Maybe Manuel gave him a good chewing-out after the tantrum the night before, because he ran out a popup, but he also got three hits and scored three runs.

Manuel put something in Reyes
nothing better than watching a Reyes triple

The key was Reyes running in the first inning, Randolph always seemed to have him standing on second and waiting for a sacrifice bunt. This time he ran, drew a throw, forced an error and scored on an out.

The second big strategical difference was in the handling of Oliver Perez. He stuck with him through that tough inning when Randolph and even I would have pulled him out.

He did get a little lucky to get a fluke 5-2-4-6-5 double play to get out of it when Hunter seemingly forgot how many outs there were.

Wright tags out Torii Hunter to end a crazy double play

But he extended Perez for another inning after that. So Manuel did limit the innings by his bullpen but he also got 4 scoreless innings from 4 different relievers, something very uncommon in the Randolph era.

Hopefully, he instilled a little something in Perez which will help him get out of jams in the future.

The fact is the Mets got lucky at several points to win this game, including the wild pitch that put Reyes at second. But luck is the residue of design and the Mets got key hits (wright single, Easley homer) and got the key outs that kept them in the game longer enough to secure one of their biggest wins of the season.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Angels 6 Mets 1

The Jerry Manuel era looks a lot like the Willie Randolph era so far.

Bad hitting, bad starting pitching, and a new wrinkle, horrible defense. The bullpen actually wasn't all that bad though. Heilman pitched a good inning and Vargas only allowed one unearned, which could have been a lot worse.

This was probably Santana's worst start as a Met and it was disappointing for several reasons. First, they needed a win to get this manager change behind them. Second, they got a run in the first which is always key, but Santana allowed 3 in the bottom of the inning and that was that. Lastly, the runs scored with 2 outs, meaning he was one good pitch away from getting out of trouble.

But the biggest thing that happened was the injury to Jose Reyes and his subsequent temper tantrum. Why did Manuel take him out of the game if he said he wasn't hurt? Was he trying to flex his muscle and show Reyes who's the boss now? Reyes was 100% right to be pissed off about it. It was a stupid thing to do. I would have preferred he showed the new manager a little more respect (because of the way it's going to be perceived by outsiders), but he was absolutely justified in being angry about it.

Reyes is furious that Manuel yanks him from the game

Two interesting plays in the bottom of the 8th. With runners on first and second, Tatis fielded a groundball and elected not to tag the runner who was right in front of him. Instead he threw the ball to second, low, and Castillo dropped it and nearly broke his wrist. The next play, Easley was interfered with while trying to field a ball, and Matthews was called out.

I thought SNY did a good job of talking about the firing without killing the Mets. They didn't gloss over the poor timing of it, but they didn't hammer away on it. They explained some key differences between what we can expect from Manuel compared to Randolph.

Ron also did a job explaining differences in philosophy between Warthen and Peterson.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finally Fired

The Mets finally fired Willie Randolph. And along with him they got rid of Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto.
Jerry Manuel will serve as interim manager and Ken Oberkfell, Dan Warthen and Luis Aguayo were named as new coaches.
Oberkfell was the manager of New Orleans, the Mets Triple A affiliate. He'll be the new bench coach. Warthen was the pitching coach for New Orleans, he'll replace Peterson.

Ok, so now that that's out of the way, here are my thoughts:
First of all, Willie was not being evaluated on a day to day basis so the fact that the Mets won the last two games, and three of four has nothing to do with it. It makes the timing a little weird is all. But he was fired because of a huge collapse, followed by half a season of mediocrity. Does anyone think the Mets suddenly turned it around in the last few games? No, they just happened to win a few, because they're a .500 team, not a .000 team.

The best time to make the move would have been last Monday, on an off-day, after a devastating sweep. I have no idea why they waited. Maybe a different manager could have squeezed out an extra victory on the homestand with better bullpen management, but I doubt it.

I really have almost no hopes that these changes will lead to a sudden and drastic turnaround. The problems with this team are on the field, the players are the ones who have to improve.

That makes Willie an unfortunate fall guy, hut I'm glad he's gone.

I'm glad Willie is gone because he's so stubborn and refuses to make any major changes that might help the team. "Keep battling" is not a plan for improvement, it's the definition of insanity.

I also think he is a bad strategical manager, especially when it comes to using the bullpen. He is also not aggressive enough with base runners, and too often plays for one run with the sacrifice bunt at inopportune times.

To repeat, I'm glad they made this move, I think it's unlikely to start a drastic turnaround but it had to be done because there were no other ways available to make a major change to this team.

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Happy Recap: Mets 9 Angels 6

The last game of the Willie Randolph era.

And as it turns out, he actually managed the bullpen properly, but almost got burned anyway.

He let Pelfrey go as long as he could, then left him in for one more batter. Too bad he couldn't get an out, forcing Willie to go to Feliciano, who of course promptly allowed the inherited runners to score and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.

Fortunately Aaron Heilman, yes, Aaron Heilman, saved the day with two strikeouts. The strikeout of Guerrero was very impressive,

Withe the up and down nature of the bullpen lately I would have stuck with Heilman in the 8th but thankfully Duaner Sanchez had his good stuff.

I think Wagner might have gotten a little lucky to get out of the inning that way, he was really starting to struggle.

Carlos Beltran is starting to get hot. He's hitting homers and driving in runs. If he can keep that up I think that will help get Wright off the schneid.

Jose Reyes contributed two runs by himself, or what Howie Rose calls Reyes runs.

The first was walk (he's on pace for 70 which is pretty good), move up on groundout, steal third and score on throwing error.

The second Reyes run was a thing of beauty. He singled and took a wide turn to draw the throw behind him. When the throw came Reyes took off for second. Then Randolph had Castillo sacrifice (a smart time to use the sacrifice) and Wright drove him home for an important insurance run.

It's small things like that which make Reyes so much fun to watch.

Although Pelfrey didn't pitch great, I'm glad he got the win. He deserved it after pitching to tough luck in several recent outings. I think it was his first major league win ever on regular rest.

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Happy Recap: Mets 4 Rangers 2

At least the Mets salvaged one game from the doubleheader and got the win in the series but with the hole they're in they need to start sweeping series, not just winning them.

Pedro pitched very well for 6 innings. Willie had to take him out when he did though. As nervous as the bullpen makes me you have to pinch hit with the bases loaded and 2 outs in a time game.

Luckily Robinson Cancel came through, the third big hit by a bench player in the doubleheader.

It was nice to see Billy Wagner bounce back with a save. Especially a strong 1-2-3 inning with 2 strikeouts.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Rangers 8 Mets 7

When is Willie Randolph going to learn that he has to leave the starters in when they are in trouble. The bullpen blows it way too often for him to rely on them. The Mets actually had a chance in this game until 5 runs scored on the bullpen's watch. He has to let the starters go deeper or this is going to keep happening.

Another thing Willie has to do is let Reyes steal more. He was on in the first and 5th to lead off the inning and he didn't even try to steal.

I'm not going to make the leap that the Mets would have won if the bullpen could have cut off a few more runs, because everything else would have changed. The Rangers pitched much differently because they had a 6-run lead. There's no guarantee the Mets would have scored 7 runs if the Rangers only had 6.

That said I was impressed by 2 great rallies they put together in the 8th and 9th. The only problem was two rally-killing double plays. The first one was totally Sandy Alomar Sr's fault. He should have sent Schneider on Tatis's single. The Rangers probably wouldn't have even let the ball go through because it would have put the tying run on second base if Schneider scored. Also, worst case scenario Schneider gets thrown out, the Mets still have 2nd and 3rd. Instead Alomar held him, but had him tag on a shallow fly ball by Reyes and he was out by 10 feet killing a rally.

In the 9th, 5 of the first 6 batters to come up reached base, the only one who didn't was the awful Carlos Delgado who grounded into a crushing double play.

Getting big hits in this game were: Fernando Tatis, Ramon Castro and Carlos Beltran.

Delgado did have a homer and another run-scoring single.

Just like Oliver Perez, the Mets are 7-7 in games started by John Maine. The only difference is when Maine loses, he gives up 3 or 4 runs, and when he wins it's 1 or 2. As oppoesd to Perez who pitches shutouts or gets bombed. Either way, the Mets win about half the times those pitchers start. They are 2 and 3 in this rotation, so this is where the Mets need to make up wins in order to improve from below .500.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Rangers 1

A game to stop the bleeding.

Oliver Perez was excellent after the home run to Josh Hamilton in the first inning. I think Willie learned his lesson and let Perez stick around for the 7th.

This was the third straight game in which the starter pitched 7 innings or more, threw 100 pitches or more and gave up one run or fewer. Except this time Perez got the win.

It was his first win since that gem against the Yankees on May 18. He followed that up with 3 stinkers in a row but has come back with two straight good starts. He's had 14 starts, 7 good and 7 bad. The Mets are 6-8 in his starts winning 1 of the bad ones but losing two of the good ones.

The Mets took advantage of Reyes getting on base twice, once Beltran drove him in with a 2 out hit, then Wright drove him in with a sacrifice fly, two things the Mets could use more of.

Following up on a point I made about last night's game, 3 times this season the Mets sacrificed Reyes to second in the 8th inning or later, he hasn't scored in any of those situations. He needs to try to steal in those late game situations.

Schoeneweis and Sanchez finished the game out. Why couldn't they have allowed 5 runs in this game instead of in the other ones?

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Unhappy Recap: Diamondbacks 5 Mets 4

The season is over, this team is through.

I've never seen a worse bullpen.

Two games in row they get great starting pitching, some early runs and a huge blown lead. They're lucky to have won one of those games.

There's really not much else to analyze other than the pitching but I'll say a few more things.

Santana was awesome, exactly the pitcher we wanted when we traded for him and needed to get us back on the winning ways.

Ramon Castro is awesome, I wish he could stay healthy and show up on time.

David Wright is in a horrible slump.

Willie Randolph from now on has to let his starting pitchers pitch until their arms fall off. If he wants to win he has to forget pitch counts and let these guys go as long as they can. He cannot trust anyone in this bullpen.

Now that the season is over Billy Wagner will start saving games again. And when he gets hot, they should dump him to a contender for a good prospect. I'm sure someone would take him, but who needs a closer when your team sucks, especially one who blows every fuckin important game.

Two things in defense of Wagner. First, the umpire was squeezing him. But the same thing happened on Sunday. The umpires made bad calls so he just threw the ball right down the middle on the next pitch. Second, Willie hung him out to dry twice so far this season when he made a comment, and was 100% right, and Willie made him apologize. I doubt that has anything to do with his performance but it's a real example of how Willie has mismanaged this team.

Why did Willie leave Joe Smith in so long, but is so quick to take out his starters who are doing well. Forget the lefty-righty bullshit when a relief pitcher is doing poorly, yank him.

Also, Willie has to stop bunting so much. When Reyes got on to lead off the 9th he needed to have him steal second and let Chavez swing away. A guy on second with one out is not a great position. You still need a hit, might as well let Reyes steal and Chavez swing. Or if Reyes steals second, then you bunt Endy.

I know the Mets got really unlucky in this game on umpire's calls and Diamondbacks defense, but that's no excuse for blowing every single lead.

In the last 4 games the Mets bullpen has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 innings. That doesn't include an inherited runner charged to Pelfrey and does include 4 good innings after the blown lead in Pelfrey's game.

That is just beyond horrendous.

This team sucks.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Diamondbacks 3

Boy did they need that one.

The Mets were verging on the brink of nuclear winter when that home run by Reynolds went over the wall.

But luckily they got some good relief pitching (after Wagner) from Heilman, Feliciano and Vargas.

And Beltran came through in the clutch. I know he is a popular target for many Mets fans and even I've begun to sour on him but he has hit some huge home runs during his career with the Mets including two in the last 2 weeks.

Carlos Beltran homers to win the game in the 13th inning
Beltran chucks his helmet
and celebration ensues

But I feel bad for Mike Pelfrey, he pitched the game of his life and had nothing to show for it.

Mike Pelfrey deserved better

In his last 3 starts his ERA is 1.71 (4 earned runs in 21 innings) but he has 3 no decisions. He started the game against the Dodgers, where Beltran's homer put the Mets ahead, he started the game Schoeneweis lost with a walkoff HBP and now this one.

And if you go all the way back to his second start in May, he is 0-4 with a 3.59 ERA. Now that's a decent ERA for a 5th starter (so is 4.24 which is his new season total) but he's been a victim of bad bullpen and bad hitting several times.

Let me repeat. In his last 7 starts, he's allowed 2 runs or fewer 5 times (all in at least 6 innings) and has zero wins to show for it. That's pitching to tough luck. But if he keeps pitching this way, he's going to fulfill his promise. He's shown better mental toughness as well as better command and an increase in his strikeout rate.

But I don't have a problem with the way Willie managed him in this game. I was actually shocked he left Pelfrey in to hit for himself in the 8th inning. Shocked but pleasantly surprised. And I don't have a problem with him taking Pelfrey out after one hit. Even though he seems to blow every big save you can't manage scared of your closer. You can manage scared of your other relievers, but if you're afraid to bring your closer in with a 3-run lead it's going to hurt you more times than it helps.

Thankfully Wagner's blowup didn't cost the Mets, and hopefully this comeback galvanized them to finally get their heads out of their collective asses and start playing winning baseball.

But we should point out that this whole thing might not have happened if not for a bad call that allowed Reyes to reach base in the 4th which led to the Mets 3-run inning. So they did catch a huge break in this one.

Jose Reyes should have been called out

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Diamondbacks 9 Mets 5

The Mets had been finding new ways to lose, but this time they went back to the same old way. A starter who can't go deep, a horrible bullpen and an offense that can't score run when it needs to.

I understand it was hot but John Maine has to go more than 5 innings.

There's nothing to say about the bullpen. Every guy sucked. Nothing Willie Randolph can do when every guy he brings in gives up runs.

The best thing the Mets bullpen did all night was when Schoeneweis and Wagner helped the grounds crew hold down the tarp.

And the offense pounded 5 runs in 2 innings then completely went in the tank.

I will say Moises Alou helps the offense a lot, but they need Church back too. And they need Wright and Beltran to get hot as well.

The scene before the rain delay was crazy. Shit was blowing all over the field, and I'm not talking about the Mets players.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Padres 8 Mets 6

Another disastrous loss for the Mets. They are fading fast and in big trouble.

There is never a good time to blow a save but it sure seems like Billy Wagner always picks the worst times to do it. He's been excellent so far this year, yet he still has 3 blown saves.

I don't blame Willie for going to Wagner early, he needed to manage this game desperately, and he felt if he could get out of the 8th, Wagner would be ok for the 9th. But he wasn't.

I think the Mets lost this game when Pedro gave back the 3-run lead in the first inning. Right now I think this team is very weak mentally and when Pedro blew that lead I think they thought "here we go again."

Two Mets did play a great game, first Endy Chavez who should be playing everyday and batting second. He has a great arm and a great head for the game. That drag bunt was perfect. He's the only guy on the team who makes those little plays that win games.

And Carlos Delgado got 3 hits for the second straight day.

Carlos Beltran looked like he wanted no part of Hoffman in the 9th inning.

7 1/2 games behind the red hot Phillies with games against the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Angels coming up. Things are not looking very good right now.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Padres 2 Mets 1

The third straight loss by the exact same 2-1 score.

This team has no heart and no guts and no chance of going anywhere this season. A little bit of a hot streak was interrupted by the Mets entering the same offensive funk they've been in all season. No one can get a hit with men on base, and now they are back below .500 again and trail the Phillies by the largest deficit they've had all season.

Don't blame Oliver Perez for this one. He didn't pitch great but he only allowed one run. On a decent team Perez would have a few more wins. But this team cannot score.

And don't blame Pedro Feliciano either. The bullpen did a pretty decent job and you can't expect them to be perfect, the offense needs to get a hit every once in a while.

I'm so disgusted with this horrible team right now that I can't even bear to back and look at all the failures.

But once again they left the bases loaded, then the next inning left 2nd and 3rd and then in the 5th they stranded a man on 3rd base.

The tenth inning though might have been the worst. Castillo leads off with a walk. And Wright and Beltran, allegedly the two best hitters both strike out.

I don't know how anything is going to change but I now think they have to fire Willie Randolph. This ship is sinking and unless they want to give up this year they might as well make a change.

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Unhappy Recap: Padres 2 Mets 1

Another very disappointing game because the Mets need to win pretty much every time Santana pitches, especially when Santana pitches as well as he did.

I don't think getting hit in the shoulder by a pitch affected Santana. The problem was he made a bad throw to third base. It was the right play, but it was made poorly.

And that's the problem with the Mets right now. They are a .500 team because they can't make the plays to win games. They either screw it up on defense, or make a bad pitch, or leave runners on base.

They left the bases loaded in the 5th and 6th innings. I know David Wright crushed the ball and all he got was a sacrifice fly, but this happens all the time for the Mets, they can never get the big play or big hit to win a game.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Padres 2 Mets 1

This is a tough one because of the way it ended, but really the Mets didn't even deserve to be in this one.

What pisses me off about this though is that Scott Schoeneweis didn't even compete. He's been so good this year but you can't lose a game on walks and a hit batsman. Throw the ball over the middle, try to get lucky. He took the Tom Glavine way out.

You can look at this start by Mike Pelfrey one of two ways. You could say he sucked and just happened to get out of some jams. He did give up 11 base runners in 6 innings and get out of bases loaded 1 out situations twice without giving up a run (though in one of those a run had previously scored).

But if you want to look at it another way, he gave up only 1 run in 6 innings and runs allowed is really all that matters. And previously the knock on him was that he folded when things got tough, he showed some toughness in this start which is encouraging.

He lowered his ERA from 5.33 to 4.65 in his last two starts. 4.65 is a respectable ERA for a 5th starter. But the Mets are 3-8 when he starts.

Jose Reyes has 10 multihit games in his last 20. And he made several great plays in the field in this game.

The Mets will have a hard time winning their 4th straight series but it would be a disaster to not salvage at least a split out of it.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 5 Giants 3

This has now become a prolonged winning streak, exactly what the Mets needed. 7 out of the last 9, but because they lost 7 out of 8 right before it, they're actually worse off than they were on May 18th.

A key during this stretch has been scoring in the first inning, of course helped out by the hot hitting of Jose Reyes. Who by the way apparently had his reached base streak ended because an error is not sufficient to prolong the streak.

Reyes did however make an error, his 10th, that led to a run, and some extra pitches for John Maine. But he made up for that with a 2-run homer, his 8th. Reyes has shown uncharacteristic power this year, but also uncharacteristic bad defense.

John Maine pitched pretty well, but I'd like to see him give the Mets a little more length. Other than Santana there doesn't seem to be a guy on the staff who can pitch more than 6 innings.

Carlos Beltran is now officially on fire. He's 6 for 16 with 2 homers and 7 RBI starting with that game-tying shot against the Dodgers on Saturday. And he was starting to heat up before that.

The Mets have now won their third straight series.

They are 7-2 this season in rubber games of a 3-game series.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 9 Giants 6

That turned out to be a little more difficult than it should have been, but a win is a win and I'll take it.

And Scott Schoeneweis has been so great this season that I'll forgive him this trespass if he promises never to do it again in a closer game.

I have mixed reviews on Pedro's comeback. He started off well, but lost his steam and only lasted 6 innings. I'm willing to concede that maybe he let up a little once he got the big lead. He did throw a lot of pitches but remember, he's recovering from a leg injury, not an arm injury.

Pedro even got two hits and exhibited some of his trademark enthusiasm which many are convinced will turn the Mets around.

There's not much to say about the Mets 4th inning other than it was awesome and they need to keep it going.

The Mets have now won 6 of 8 games, which is great, except they lost 7 of the 8 games before that.

Jose Reyes's 18-game hitting streak is over but he set a Mets record by reaching base in his 34th straight game, the most in one season.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Unhappy Recap: Giants 10 Mets 2

I think the key thing we can take from this game is not to overreact. Every team has stinkers like this and it's really no better to lose 3-2 than 10-2.

Winning streaks are nice but the key for the Mets is to win series, winning a long stretch of 3 game series is better than a short 5 or 6 game winning streak.

And I'm not sure the Mets can use the whole flying cross-country thing as an excuse. Did Oliver Perez fly out early? If not, he should have.

The Dodgers did the same trip, and they won 8-2.

And the Mets got off to a hot start in the first inning, loading the bases before Tatis struck out. Now Tatis has been so good we can't blame him here. But this game was a little scary because the Mets reverted back to their old ways of stranding a lot of base runners.

Also scary was a Mets pitcher going only 1/3 of an inning. I don't think I need to remind you the last time that happened.

The previous shortest stint of Perez's career was 1 2/3 innings.

The last time the Giants knocked out a starter in the first inning was last year, and the pitcher was Claudio Vargas, who actually did a decent job holding down the fort.

I'm not ready to give up on Oliver Perez yet, but I'm growing increasingly frustrated with his inconsistency.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Dodgers 1

This one went down just the way they drew it up when the assembled this team.

Johan Santana dominated (ok, maybe not quite dominated, but he went deep and allowed only one run). Reyes got on base and started rallies. Wright got a big 2-out hit. Beltran blasted another one.

I was very happy with Santana. I still think he's not quite what he was, but he's still an excellent pitcher and believe it or not he's on track to win between 18 and 21 games. If he keeps pitching consistently well, and the offense comes around he could get there. Remember he's gotten wins in only 58% of his starts and in two of his non-wins he allowed only one run.

Santana wins his 7th

Beltran blasted his home run right when Jon Miller was talking about his diminshed power numbers. As soon as Joe Morgan said "but he can get hot" Beltran cranked one.

Beltran blasts another

But the key to that whole inning, and the whole win was David Wright's 2-out single. Without that the Mets don't get any of those 5 runs, and who knows what happens after that if the game is still 1-1. That's the biggest difference between the Mets of the past week, 2 out hits, especially with men on base. I have no idea what suddenly changed, but something did, and maybe it will change back, but for now it's why the Mets are winning.

Glad to see Ryan Church back and right into home run form. I hope Willie gives him the night off to clear his head after a cross-country flight. But Willie may want to rest him on Tuesday against Zito instead.

Ryan Church comes back with a home run

Scott Schoeneweis has really been awesome this season.

The series drew 208,853, a Mets record for a four-game series.

Jose Reyes has a 17-game hitting streak and a 32-game on base streak.
There has been a lot of talk that Reyes is not the player he was in 2006, but I disagree.
2006: .300 BA .354 OBP .487 SLUG .841 OPS
2008: .284 BA .347 OBP .480 SLUG .827 OPS

Those numbers are essentially the same. And his counting stats are roughly the same (pro-rated of course) as well, except for runs scored, proving that maybe the team isn't quite what it used to be.

Note: I understand that I am making this comparison at a high point for 2008 Reyes while 2006 Reyes incorporates highs and lows. I'm just illustrating that the Reyes lost a step talk is probably not accurate in reality, even if it exists in our perceptions.

Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux threw out the first pitch.

Kent Desormeaux looks taller on the mound

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Happy Recap: Mets 3 Dodgers 2

Huge win because the Mets got back the one they gave away the previous night.

And it was especially huge because Beltran delivered the key hit. He hasn't had a terrible season but he's been productive in reaching base than in driving in runners. This homer came at exactly the right time for him and for the team.

Beltran's bomb brought the Mets back

What can you say about Fernando Tatis, two game winning hits in a week. Now, I don't expect him to keep up this clutch hitting all season but for now Willie must keep him in the lineup. I truly believe that hitting in big spots is something certain players are good at while others aren't and Tatis certainly seems to have the knack for it.

Mike Pelfrey was pitching for his job and he certainly earned it for at least another start. It's very likely he will remain in the rotation and Vargas will go to the bullpen.

A couple of things impressed me about Pelfrey in this start. First off, he generally has done great in the first couple innings and faded late in games. He reversed that in this game.

Also he didn't allow bad defense mind him to get him rattled in the first inning.

He threw a ton of pitches in the fourth inning but fought back to minimize the damage.

Pelfrey fought for his spot in the starting rotation

Excellent relief work from Sanchez and Wagner. Wagner dominated in striking out the side.

People often wonder why closers get paid so much to essentially get three outs in a somewhat low pressure situation. This is why, because these late-game comebacks are huge psychologically, and you need a guy to nail it down with ease.

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