he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: May 2006h

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Milledge promoted after nady goes on DL

The Mets number one prospect, Lastings Milledge, will get his first taste of the majors tonight against the front running DBacks. Xavier Nady will be placed on the DL due to an appendectomy which will keep him out for about three weeks. Milledge, a five tool outfielder, hit .291 in 182 at bats, while walking 32 times, and slugging 22 extra base hits. Milledge also stole eight bases in fourteen attempts. Milledge was hitting primarily leadoff for the Tides, however he is unlikely to hit leadoff in the majors. He is expected to hit eighth in tonight's lineup against Miguel Batista. Milledge has reportedly been unsuccesful against breaking pitches, but hopefully he has learned how to cope with the "uncle charlies." I am personally surprised that Victor Diaz didn't get the call, however Diaz is only hitting .220 in 118 at bats.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Game Preview: El Duque looks to make Florida put up their "Dukes"

The Orlando Hernandez for Jorge Julio deal made a few days ago has gotten more praise than bashing. However, if Hernandez today gets bombed than the trade will immediatley become known as the next "Scott Kazmir trade". Hopefully Hernandez pitches good today against the Marlins, a team in which none of their hitters have faced El Duque. The Marlins have never faced the "36" year old, and Florida's average age is only 26 which bodes well for a veteran pitcher.
Game Preview:

1) Ricky Nolasco has never faced the Mets, and he has only appeared in thirteen career games, and only two were starts.
2) The Mets' series record thus far this year is 10-4 with two ties, and with a win today the Mets will win this series.
3) David Wright is hitting 1.000% on the team's current road trip and has six rbi with three home runs over his last five games.
4) Cliff Floyd leads the Mets with seven career home runs against the Marlins.
5) The 3rd, 7th, and 8th innings are the innings when the Mets make most comebacks thus far this season.
6) Carlos Beltran leads the Mets in multi-rbi games with ten, Delgado is second on the team with nine.
7) The Mets are 18-6 when scoring first, and 5-12 when they score less than three runs.
8) Left handers hit .270 off of El Duque, however right handers hit 60 points lower at .210.
9) In Hernandez's only career outing in Florida he threw 6.2 innings, allowing no earned runs.
10) Over "The Dukes" last nine innings pitched he has allowed only one run to cross the plate.

On this day in 1986... Doc Gooden pitched a complete game ten strikeout game against the Dodgers.

Game score predictions:
Mets 6 Marlins 2
WP- Orlando Hernandez
LP- Rick Nolasco
H- none
SV- none

Game play predictions:
1) Carlos Beltran will homer in this game.
2) El Duque will go at least six innings.
3) One of the teams will have a four hit game.
4) Darren Oliver will pitch.
5) The Mets will win.

Maine rehabs finger succesfully

Starting pitcher John Maine rehabbed his injured finger on Saturday night for the St. Lucie Mets. Maine earned a victory after throwing five shutout innings, and allowing only five base runners. Three of the five runners reached via hit, and seven of his fifteen outs fell victim to an umpire punch out. Ironically, Maine's rehab start comes the day before Orlando Hernandez's start. El Duque is indirectly linked to Maine because of the long string of trades dating back to July 31st of 2004. Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, and Justin Huber were traded to the Pirates (Huber went to the Royals) for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger. Kris Benson was then traded for Jorge Julio and John Maine. Julio was traded once again a few months afterwards to the Diamondbacks for Orlando Hernandez. In conclusion, El Duque, John Maine, and Jeff Keppinger are the remaining pieces of the "Kris Benson deal."
With the aformentioned acquisition of Hernandez, Dave Williams, and the emergence of Alay Soler Maine's spot in the rotation is lost for now, although down the road a chance may re-open. Soler may prove to be overmatched in the majors, Hernandez may prove to have nothing left, and Dave Williams may never get his act together. However, even with all that said Mike Pelfrey and Brian Bannister should be ready and healed, respectivley by the time all of those things happen, if they do come to pass. However, hopefully none of those things happen, Hernandez re-discovers his NY past, Soler builds off of his first start, and Dave Williams becomes a nice middle reliever in the bullpen. All in all, it's unlikely we will see John Maine at Shea Stadium again this season.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Gonzalez throws quality start, but Mets fall to Phillie ace

Quick Summary: Jeremi Gonzalez allowed three runs on two home runs in the first inning during today's loss to the Phillies. Gonzalez had the odds stacked up against him going up against Brett Myers, Philadelphia's ace. However, after a Jose Reyes three run home run the Mets came back to tie the game at 3-3. The game was held there until Pedro Feliciano appeared in the seventh when Philadelphia had two rbi singles to take a 5-3 lead. That was all of the scoring for either team on the day, as Gordon finished off the Mets in the ninth striking out Carlos Beltran for the 27th out of the game.
Thoughts: Reyes has had unbelievable stretch of important home runs over the past few games, although it is starting to concern me, and make me happy at the same time. The home runs have come in big spots, although I am a bit worried that he will start swinging for the fences. On the other hand, he did fall only a triple short of the cycle today, which is a sign that he is not necessarily trying to hit a long ball every at bat. Right now I am happy for him, but I'm a bit worried. Beltran did not look good at the plate at all today, striking out three times in five trips to the plate. By the way, did anybody else notice that Beltran was not wearing batting gloves in his at bat in the ninth inning. It's no big deal, but it was a bit odd to me. Floyd is starting to heat up and I can see a 2005 April like hot streak coming soon, and one can only hope. Lastly, kudos to Heath Bell who gave the Mets bullpen a needed rest, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings.

Mets trade for WIlliams

Mets acquired LHP Dave Williams and cash from the Reds for RHP Robert Manuel. Williams was traded from the Pirates to the Red in the offseason for Sean Casey, and in the Cinncinati bandbox he has struggled mightily, and eventually getting Designated for Assignment. Williams was 2-3 and had a 7.20 era while waling 16 batters, and striking out 16 in 40 innings. Williams will most likely start in Norfolk, but eventually be given a shot in the Mets bullpen, but should any more injuries come or if Soler or Hernandez struggle than the 27 year old may get a shot to start. Shea Stadium should provide Williams with some more cushion, although it is unlikely he will be anything better than a long reliever/5th starter. The prospect the Mets gave up Manuel is 22 and is a long shot to make it the majors in his career. The Mets also demoted today's starter Jeremi Gonzalez, in a move that I assume leaves Bell in the bullpen when Orlando hernandez arrives.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Orlando Hernandez returns to New York

Orlando Hernandez, commonly referred to as El Duque, was acquired by the Mets today through trade. Jorge Julio and his 14.1 k/per 9 was sent to Arizona for the former Yankee star. Hernandez now joins Alay Soler as the only Cubans on the Mets major league roster, while still providing leadership in a role that Jorge Julio was unable to fulfill. El Duque has had only one full season in the majors during his eight year career, and that season came in 1999, only his second year in the majors. "The Duke" has a career 4.20 era, however over the past two seasons the "36" year old has a 5.62 era pitching in the bandbox in Arizona and the "slight hitters park" in Chicago. El Duque changes his arm angle and throws multiple pitches, however his quirky delivery is difficult to repeat. Baseball Prospectus said before the season that Hernandez could be a valuable set-up man for a good team due to his weird delivery and differentiating stuff. Does this mean that El Duque was acquired to be in the bullpen, and for Heilman to go into the rotation? Right now it does not seem likely, but keep it in the back of your mind. Hernandez has been injury prone throughout his entire career, in fact two starts ago Hernandez left after throwing two innings with a mid-back strain and he may have injured his right knee as well. Although, it did not effect his last start, when he threw seven innings of one run ball with nine strikeouts. In five of Hernandez's nine starts he has allowed three runs or less, however in the other starts he has allowed at least five runs and he allowed six runs twice. I'll have to see if going back to New York energizes the Duke, but right now I like the trade, but I'm not in love with the idea of trading for a "36" year old injury prone pitcher.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Minor League Report: May 22nd

AAA: The Norfolk Tides had off tonight.
AA: For the B-Mets Willie Collazo took the mound against Portland. Outside of Pelfrey and Soler Collazo has been the B-Mets most consistent starter this season, and tonight, despite getting the loss, was no different. In the 26 year old's seven innings pitched tonight he allowed three earned runs, four in total on nine hits and one walk. Collazo's record on the season is now 3-3 with a 2.35 era. With Alay Soler coming to the major leagues to pitch in the Phillie series the Mets now have only one Cuban prospect left in AA. His name is Michael Abreu, and he is 30 years old. However, despite his age and lack of major league experience Abreu is hitting .365 after going 3-4 tonight with a home run and three rbi. Jorge Padilla, the number three hitter for the B-Mets tonight, also went 3-4 driving in one run and scoring one as well. C/1b/DH Andy Wilson went 1-4 with a double off of starter Jose Vaquedano.
High A: Joshua Petersen went 3-5 in tonight's 5-6 loss to Fort Myers. Petersen knocked in one run and raised his season average to .351 through 134 at bats. Defensive wiz Jose Coronado went 2-4 with a double, a run scored, and one run batted in, however Coronado's average on the season is only .195. Ambiorix Concepcion went 1-4 with a walk, while lowering his season average to an impressive .320. Concepcion may finally be finding his stroke, or he may simply be a 23 year old overmatching single A pitching. Salvador Aguilar pitched for the St. Lucie Mets in the loss, and in his six innings of work Aguilar allowed six runs, five earned on seven hits and three walks.
Low A: With 17 year old Fernando Martinez injured the Suns have gone with seemingly a different leadoff hitter each night, and tonight it was Joe Holden's turn. Holden responded well, going 3-4 with a walk, an rbi, and two runs scored. Holden's average is now .368, although he has only batted 38 times. Firstbaseman Nick Evans went 1-4 with two rbi's, raising his average to a lack-luster .226. Jonathan Sanchez hit a home run, while going 1-4 in the 4-2 win over Lakewood. Starter Eric Brown went 5.1 innings, allowing only one run on four walks and two hits. Brown's victory lowered his era to an astronimcal 7.14. Kevin Tomasiewicz pitched 2.2 perfect innings to help secure the victory. I pray that Tomasiewicz does not get traded to the Royals, because if there was a 3-4-1 double play than the box score would say Mientkiewicz-Grudzielanek-Tomasiewicz, talk about a mouth full.

Real reason for Floyd's struggle?

The following is simply spectulation, and bringing up a topic that has plagued the Mets all season. I have not seen or heard that Floyd does this, once again it is purely spectulation.
Entering the 2006 MLB season Bud Selig released a new drug testing plan. 50 games for your first offense, 100 for your second, and a lifetime ban if caught a third time. In addition, the stimulant amphetamines is now being tested in the MLB drug test. Cliff Floyd has been the main weak link in an otherwise strong offense for the Mets this season. Much has been made about his struggles this year, and in my opinion the reason could very well be that he used amphetamines last year, and is not doing so this year. Last year Floyd played only his second healthy season of his career, while bashing a career high 34 home runs in the process. Amphetamines increase alertness, energy, and a sense of well-being all of which are very important when playing baseball at a major league level. Last offseason Fran Healey often (he does everything often it seems) mentioned how Floyd was the first player he ever knew who admitted that he was injury prone. Maybe the leftfielder finally realized that he should do something about it. Cliff Floyd was vastly improved in the field, a part of the game based mainly on reaction (alertness), Floyd also played day games after night games consistently for the first time as a Met (energy). Lastly, Floyd had almost no injuries last year, and the only stretch of games he missed was at the beginning of the season from April 13-17, all other days he missed were normal off days. Thus far this season Floyd has sat seven games, and pinch hit in two of those games. Some of those games that Floyd did not start were in part to his struggles, which can once again be linked back to amphetamines. To conclude, everything I just mentioned about Floyd's game may be purely coincidental. His fielding may of improved because he was surrounded and possibly tutored by two Gold Glove Calibur centerfielders in Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron. Floyd may of just been healthy for one of the first times in his career, which in turn leaded to his production. I feel a bit guilty even bringing this subject up since Floyd is such a nice guy, and a favorite of mine. On the other hand, Floyd has always been a streaky hitter, where he will hit about .290 one month and .200 the next month, maybe he is saving his hitting for the second half of the year, and hopefully the playoffs. Or maybe Floyd is simply unlucky, or maybe he is off of the amphetamines. What do you think?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Game Preview: Mets look to take series on ESPN

It all comes down to this, the Mets have one win, the Yankees have one win. Tonight is the night that the fans of New York will know who is the better team at this point in the season. Tom Glavine will take the mound for the Mets, while Aaron Small takes the mound for the Yankees. Small was the first ever Yankee to go 10-0 in his first season with the Yankees, however thus far this year Small has an 8.71. Glavine, on the other hand, has a 2.43 era with a 6-2 record.

Game Preview:

1) The Mets pitching staff leads the majors in strikeouts by 30 with 344 punch-outs.
2) With Tom Glavine's two strikeout game against the Cardinals on Tuesday he passed Sandy Koufax for 37th all time in strikeouts with 2,397.
3) Last year against the Yankees Glavine went six innings and allowed only two runs.
4) The likely catcher in tonight's game for the Yankees is Kelly Stinnet, who is only 2-14 against Glavine in his career.
5) Glavine is lucky that both Matsui and Sheffield are hurt, combined the two outfielders have a .323 average with five home runs and 12 rbi's against Glavine in 60 at bats.
6) Although Glavine has dominated lefties this season Jason Giambi is 3-8 against the 40 year old in his career.
7) Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cairo, and Johnny Damon are all 1-3 against Glavine in their careers.
8) In 10 games against the Yankees Kazuo Matsui has a .325 batting average with two of his eleven career home runs against them, to go along with his ten rbi. The team Matsui has the most rbi against is the Braves with twelve, however he has played 29 games against the Braves.
9) David Wright has been extremley succesful against Yankee pitching throughout his short career, in fact in 31 at bats Wright holds a .419 average.
10) Aaron Small has never started against the Mets.

On this date in 1986:On this date in 1986 the Mets scored four times in the first inning, led by a two rbi doubles from Howard "HoJo" Johnson and Darryl Strawberry. Ron Darling pitch seven innings of two run ball on three hits, while improving to 5-0 in the process.

Game Result Prediction:
Mets 6 Yankees 3
WP- Tom Glavine
LP- Aaron Small
H- none
SV- Duaner Sanchez

Game Play Predictions:
1) Glavine will throw seven innings.
2) The Mets will have at least two home runs.
3) Duaner Sanchez will pitch tonight, most likely in the ninth.
4) Glavine will strike out five tonight.
5) Aaron Small will retire the first 7 batters succesfully.

Funny: post from another blog

I don't normally do this, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity of quoting this hilarious story from anther blog. The writer under the name "Schuyla" said the following (it's a bit long, but rewarding):
The Tom Glavine Renaissance experienced yet another phase on Tuesday night, as the veteran lefty vanquished the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching six innings for the win. All of this was due to what happened on June 19, 2005.
Tom Glavine faces the Seattle Mariners on the road. The lefty gets shellacked to the tune of 6 ER in 2 1/3 innings. He comes in to talk about the loss with Pedro.

"Dr. Pedro, why can't I pitch well?"
"Tom, I don't know. Why don't you ask DeJean?"

"Mighty Mike, why can't I pitch well?"
"Go see Zambrano."

"¿Hola, Victor, why can't I pitch well?"
"No lo siento. Throw more pitches that are out of the strike zone maybe? Hit some more batters?"
"I'm good, thanks."
"Dios mio. Go talk to Ishii."

"Kaz, I need to ask you a question. Why can't I pitch well?"
"I don't really know. Maybe you should throw more balloon-like curves."
"I don't have a good curve!"
"Well then go ask Heilman!"

"Aaron, why can't I pitch well?"
"Tom, you're a likely hall of famer and I'm Aaron Heilman."
"Oh, sorry."
"Talk to 'Bert. He knows what he's doing."

"Roberto, why can't I pitch well?"
"Well, do you have a 96 MPH fastball?"
"Uh, no."
"Well, then. You look a lot like Kris. Go talk to him."

"KB, why can't I pitch?"
"Well, have you already tried coming down with a bunch of minor injuries, blaming your collegiate and former team's coaching staff for ruining your arm?"
"Try that then. If not, get a slutty wife. If you can't even do that, go talk to that chubby lefty who needs a haircut."

"Royce, my boy! Why can't I pitch?"
"Duuuuude, have you ever watched Dark Side of the Moon with Wizard of Oz in your record player?"
"Well this can't be helpful."
"Waiiiiit, dude, I totally meant the opposite of that. Okay, well, go talk to Piazza. I think he had a 40-win season once."
"You mean 40 homers."
"Yeah, sure."
"Thanks, Royce. Stay away from my kids."

"Mike, why can't I pitch?"
"I dunno, Tom. I try to help behind the plate."
"Well, sure you do, but sometimes you aren't very good at holding the strike zone! Or throwing out runners!"
"Well, I'm sorry, but I'm Mike friggin' Piazza! I don't have to take this! I'm going to go sulk! Ask Fran Healy!"

"Fran, why can't I pitch?"
"Tom, the reason why you can't Nikon pitch is because so many balls go over the Geico sign during the Amtrak Acela Home Run Inning! I don't like watching them sail into the Pepsi picnic area! And you know what happens when somebody hits the Budweiser sign."
"I know what happens. I've seen them."
"Here's one thing you should see: Jose Reyes run! He and David Wright are really exciting players!"
"Thanks, Fran..."
"Have you ever had one of those Primo Italian sausages? They're very good."
"I have to go..."
"Ralph Branca... Ralph Kiner... Johnny Olerud! VORP! Go talk to Rickey. He's still around."
"As an instructor. Thanks again, Fran."
"You're Chevy welcome, and that's a can of corn."

"It's Tommy. What can Rickey do for Tommy?"
"Rickey, why can't I pitch?"
"Well, Tommy gun, I'll tell ya a thing or two about pitching. It's easy. Rickey could pitch, but he's too busy being better than those pitchers he faces. Rickey can do it all, field, hit, run, play baseballs."
"But what's wrong with my pitches?"
"Well, Tombola, I think you don't throw enough pitches in the strike zone."
"But what about my change up?"
"Well, Tomfool, you don't know a change-up 'till you've partied through dawn with Greg Vaughn. Who you thought was straight-o, but no, TomTom Club, he's gayer than a banan-o."
"Excuse me? I won two Cy Youngs."
"Yeah, Rickey cares. You ever won an MVP, Tom Hanks?"
"No, can't say I have..."
"Go talk to Rey-O. He can help."

"You know man, I hit the ball, I run the bases, I swing and hit the ball."
"Jose, why can't I pitch?"
"You know man, you pitch the ball, you run the bases, you throw and pitch the ball, you know?"
"I don't think I follow. Should I throw more curveballs?"
"You know man, you throw the curveballs, you run the bases, you swing and hit the ball, man."
"You know man, you hit the ball, you run the bases, you hit a triple."
"I don't hit triples."
"You know man, go talk to Matsui, he's a man among men."

"Kaz, why can't I pitch?"
"(through interpreter) I'm very sorry. I will try my hardest to do my best. I respect the fans of New York and I think they are great people who just want to see good baseball."
"Well, maybe I shouldn't be asking you."
"I respect your opinion!"

"Oh, lonesome Glavinely soul, whoever shalt I talk to? Whatever can I do to save myself? I'm Tom friggin' Glavine!"
"Yes. Mahalo."
"No, Tom. It's the ghost of Tyler Yates, who is sort of the ghost of Mark Guthrie who is the ghost of David Justice who is the ghost of Robin Ventura."
"Fine. It's Tyler goddamn Yates! I can help, I swear."
"How so?"
"I know a guy. He's a man trained in all sorts of pitching. I can give him a heads-up if you want."
"Tom Emanski?"
"No. They call him a healer. I call him 'the jacket.'"
"Oh no. Not him. He really creeps me out."
"Tom, you have to talk to him. This is what they pay him to do."
"He couldn't fix you!"
"Well, in case you joined us late in this conversation, I'm Tyler Yates."
"He couldn't fix James Baldwin!"
"He couldn't turn Dae-Sung Koo into a lethal lefty!"
"Hell, he actually managed to make Kaz Ishii and Victor Zambrano into worse pitchers than they originally were."
"Fluke. Fluke. The man fixed Barry Zito!"
"Barry Zito was never broken."
"He fixed Tim Hudson!"
"Huddy is one of the most consistent pitchers in all of baseball."
"He made Billy Koch look like Billy Wagner and Billy Taylor look like Jason Isringhausen, who used to look like Billy Taylor, but then he didn't, and now he does again."
"Listen, Tyler, I don't think I can go through with it. Last time he tried to put my pitching arm on a Jose Cuervo drip."
"It's called alternative methods of teaching pitching."
"Well do I really have to go by it? I'm Tom Glavine!"
"Well, Tom, you can toil in mediocrity until that aged left arm of yours falls off and nobody sheds a tear, or you can take a gamble on Slick Rick and his jacket of pitching skills. Your choice."
"Thanks, Yatesy, you've been helpful."
"You're welcome, Tom. Could you foot the bill for my next Tommy John surgery? I want Don Ho to perform it, but apparently his fees are a little out of my price range."
"Okay... Aloha, my buddy!"


"Who's there?"
"Rick, it's just me. Are you... making... meth?"
"No, I just enjoy the taste of boiled Sudafed and Windex. It cleanses the palette."
"This was a bad idea."
"You're not going to tell Wilpon, are you?"
"No, I guess I won't. But you have to help me first. I'm having trouble pitching."
"Hah. If that isn't the understatement of the year..."
"I resent that. I won two Cy Youngs!"
"Listen, I spoke with the ghost of Jerry Garcia three weeks ago. He said 'Driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones YOU BETTER watch your speed. Trouble ahead, trouble behind, And you know that notion just crossed my mind.'"
"You've been incredibly helpful, Rick."
"No, Tom, you don't get it! I want to help you! I really do. Did you ever try the Tequila drip? That's the kind of thing that worked for Barry Zito and that's what's going to work for you."
"Rick... I'm not Barry Zito. I'm Tom Glavine and I want to be treated like I am Tom Glavine."
"Well then, Tommy, in the words of Mike Breen, let's go to the videotape."
Out of a pocket in Rick's ubiquitous nylon-polyester jacket, he whips out a tiny cassette. Rick inserts the videocassette into the nearby player.
"It's 1995. Game 6. I threw eight innings of shutout baseball. We won, 1-0. Clinched the series. I remember it like it was yesterday."
"Well, it's not like you're throwing any harder. It could just as well be yesterday."
"But I was pitching like that every year with the Mets! First I do what Vern "The Golden" Ruhle tells me to do and throw all of these curveballs, and then they get hit hard..."
"Tom, it's just me now. You have to listen. I promise we can work on whatever without Wilson Betemit seeing a thing."
"That's just your problem, Tom. You have to respect your opposition. He's Wilson Betemit, and according to the resident Mets blogger at Crosstown Rivals, he will do all he can to singlehandedly destroy the Mets. And he, more so than any other Brave, is capable of doing it."
"You can't mean that. What about all the good players I played with? Chipper Jones, Brian Jordan, Rafael Furcal, Andres Galarraga, Javy Lopez, Eddie Perez, Bret Boone, Walt Weiss and Ryan Klesko? Do they not exist? I'm freaking out about the mere concept of keeping Andruw Jones, Gerald Williams and Otis Nixon in check on the basepaths. And that Hank Aaron is closing in on Babe Ruth's all-time home run record."
"Well, I thought you were the enlightened one, but apparently you're just like all of the others. I will educate you with these NL East flashcards I have. This is Wilson Betemit. He's the best player in the NL East. The Braves also have Jeff Francoeur, a good young slugger. Ryan Howard, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell can hit it far for the Phillies-"
"But what about Mike Schmidt? He's a tough one. They have Doug Glanville too. And have you heard about this kid Rolen that's coming up? He's supposed to be the next Schmidt. And if you forget about John Kruk and Len Dykstra, well then, you're in for a world of hurt."
"No, Tom. That was a long time ago. Anyway, this is Alfonso Soriano. He plays second base for the Nationals. And here's Miguel Cabrera. He plays for the Marlins."
"The who and the whats?"
"They're new teams in the NL East. The Marlins have been around since 1993, so I expected you to know that one. And the Nationals, they showed up in 2005, so I can't really fault you there. They used to be called the Expos."
"Oh, the Expos! Tell Rusty Staub I said hello. Oh that Grande Orange!"
"Anyway, Tom, I think I know what to do about your problem. I figure that if you just throw these cheesy changeups and fastballs to the outside of the plate, you're only using half of the plate. Hitters can lean out over the plate. Have you considered using a cutter and/or inside fastball?"
"Wait, Rick. Are you serious? You actually know how to coach pitching? I thought you were all about karma and reformation of the country's 'archaic drug laws.' This is a really surprising development, especially since I heard all you told Victor was 'just do it' and you gave him a bunch of Nike memorabilia. Then, according to legend, you drugged him, stole his arm tendons and replaced them with those Paul Wilson's old arm that you found in the basement."
"I am a licensed medical professional. I can perform Tommy John surgery and, according to recent studies, peyote and Rohypnol can be an effective anesthetic. And furthermore, I don't appreciate you impugning my methods. I fixed Barry Zito."
"For the last time, Barry Zito was never broken. I'll try to take your tips into account. Do you have any other suggestions?"
"I have one final idea. I learned it when I took Tai Chi with Bill Lee and Horacio Ramirez. It's called beating the snot out of Tom Glavine and getting those replacement teeth back in your head."
"Okay, Rick. Any better ideas?"
"I have this jacket..."
"I'm leaving."
"No, just wait. It has strong ionic currents running through it that can turn your arm into a fusion of Brad Lidge and Randy Johnson during their primes. You can throw high-90s with an unquestionably lethal slider."
"I think you're deceiving me."
"Listen, Tom. I wear this jacket for strictly ridiculous purposes. Call it superstition, but I do think it seriously brings me luck."
"Are you sure it's not just a placebo jacket?"
"I toured all of 1997 with Placebo! I earned that jacket!"
"Jeez, Rick. I'll wear the damn jacket. Only when I'm not pitching, though."
"Glad we're on the same page."

Pelfrey won't get call

Well, it seems that after all of the hoopla over Mike Pelfrey possibly starting on thursday Alay Soler will get the call instead. Soler was pitching better than Pelfrey in AA, however his stuff is obviously not on the same level as Pelfrey. Soler combined for a 1.53 era between A and AA thus far this season while going 3-0, and he has "big league experience" pitching in the Cuban League a few years back. Soler's name was mentioned in SPring Training as a possible dark horse to make the bullpen, but in his 3.1 innings of work Soler allowed an incredible nine runs, eight earned. Soler is expected to start on Thursday against a s trong Philidelphia lineup.

Reason Pelfrey was pulled after only .2 innings

Well, I did some snooping around, and I discovered why Pelfrey was pulled so quickly. Some people said it was because of the weather, others said it was due to his struggles, and others said it was because he was promoted, all of which are false. The face is that the Mets have a rule that if a prospect pitcher reaches more than 30 pitches in an inning than they must be pulled. Therefore, there is no worries, Pelfrey is not hurt, although he has not been promoted, yet. A couple of days ago 17 year old prospect, Deolis Guerra, ran into the same problem in Hagerstown and pitching coach Shawn Barton said "Our Mets policy is that we don't want kids throwing over 30-pitch innings and he was at 33 so we didn't want to run him back out there, especially coming off of an injury."

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pelfrey pulled after rocky outing

All Mike Pelfrey had to do tonight was pitch relativley well, and he most likely would be in the majors by Thursday. However, tonight Pelfrey did not pitch solid, in fact he barely pitched at all. In his .2 innings of work Pelfrey walked three batters, allowed two hits, two un-earned runs, and one strikeout. It is debatable whether Pelfrey buckled under the pressure of having to make a big start to make the majors, or if he just simply struggled. To me this almost clinches Soler coming to the majors, although I could be wrong. It is a bit confusing why they would take Pelfrey out when he couldn't of thrown more than 30 pitches, and it would of been interesting to see if his struggles continued, or if he was able to work through them. Perhaps he was promoted mid-inning, which would be a bit weird in itself, as the Mets are in no rush to promote him.

Wagner blows four run lead in Ninth

Starter: Today is the reason Pedro Martinez is Pedro Martinez. Martinez was once again masterful, and in his seven innings today he allowed only five base runners, four via hits. Pedro followed up his back to back 10 strikeout games with an eight strikeout game today, while lowering his era to 2.82 in the process. However, Martinez did not move to 6-0 on the season, as Wagner blew a four run lead in the ninth inning. The outing by Wagner was the second time this season that the closer has deprived Pedro of a win. Last year it was the inabillity to score Pedro an adequate amount of runs every game, and this year it's not being able to close out his wins. I thought this was one of the reasons we overpaid for Wagner.
Bullpen: After the Mets used a combination of Aaron Heilman and Darren Oliver to pitch five innings last night the Mets bullpen was a bit depleted. Anderson Garcia was now a fresh arm in the pen, although he was not used. Duaner Sanchez, however, was used and in his one inning of work he allowed a hit, a double play ball, and no runs. Sanchez breezed through his one inning of work, throwing merely 10 pitches. Sanchez's easy outing begs the question of whether or not he should of stayed in to finish the game. Wagner came in for the ninth, and was expected to send down the Yankees 1-2-3, much less finish the innings, and Wagner did neither. In his .1 inning of work Wagner allowed four runs on two hits, an incredible three walks, and one hit batter. The closer's era ballooned from 1.80 to 3.54. Talk about a bad outing. Personally, I would of done the same thing as Willie in pitching Wagner. Wagner has been well rested, and too well rested if you ask me. Willie should try to get him into a better rhythm no matter the score of the games. In addition, Wagner had strucken out the side in his last three outings. Feliciano came in behind Wagner with the bases loaded and got a ground ball to Reyes, who nearly turned a game winning double play, however Johnny Damon was running. Damon is fast, and barely beat out the relay throw by Matsui. Bradford then came in to get the final out of the ninth. Jorge Julio pitched the next two innings, and in the eleventh he allowed an Andy Phillips rbi single, however Julio was not terrible in today's outing, and certainly does not deserve the blame for the loss.
Offense: The Met offense was solid today, against a good and hot pitcher in Mike Mussina. Jose Reyes was 0-5, however he did reach base twice on two of the four Yankee errors, and scored once. Beltran went 1-5 with an rbi single, while Carlos Delgado hit an impressive opposite field home run. Wright also had an rbi, despite striking out three times in the game, and Cliff Floyd hit a home run over the right field fence. Xavier Nady combined for 0-9 and amased six strikeouts. In all the Mets struck out 14 times in today's loss.

Mets make moves, Pelfrey to start?

Last night before Willie Randolph had his daily post game press conference he announced that the Mets designated pitcher Jose Lima for assignment. With an open spot on the 25 man roster the Mets promoted reliever Anderson Garcia from AAA. Thus far this season Garcia his pitched 31.1 innings, and has allowed only five runs. Garcia's walks have increased since moving up to AAA, while his striekouts decreased in 3.1 less innings. On the other hand, opponents are hitting just .170 off of Garcia in AAA, compared to the .270 average hitters had against him at Binghamton. Last season between AAA and AA Garcia had a lack-luster 4.66 era in 54.1 innings. However, Garcia did pitch three Sprin Training innings, and he allowed no runs on three hits. Randolph said he has "great stuff" which is a quote you can take either way since apparently Randy Johnson had "great stuff" last night. The Mets acquired Garcia, ironically, from the Yankees in the Armando Benitez trade.

With Lima demoted the Mets now have an open slot in their rotation. The few options th Mets have for the spot are AA stars Alay Soler and Mike Pelfrey and AAA starters Jason Scobie and Evan MacLane. Appearing on WFAN, Ed Coleman announced that the Mets are 99% likely to promote Mike Pelfrey for a start on Thursday against the Philles and Bret Myers. Even more encouraging than that is Omar Minaya's quote "I'm not afraid to pick up a guy from Double-A." In addition, in a pre-game interview on the fan Randolph appeared likely to promote one of Mike Pelfrey or Alay Soler.

I'm on the fence on which AA pitcher I want in the majors at this point. Obviously Pelfrey is beyond talented, but if a player gets rushed their whole career and confidence could be shot, especially in New York. On the other hand, there is Soler who has "major league experience" and if he fails he would probably be able to deal with it better, and I would rather have a shot confidence of Alay Soler when compared to Mike Pelfrey. Either way I'll be happy with whomever the Mets pick.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Game Preview: Mets versus Yankees

The Mets versus Yankees has been marked on nearly every Mets fan calendar as the day the Mets take back New York officially. It's time to walk the walk now, the Mets and Yankees fans have both talked the talk, now it's time to put up or shut up. Jeremi Gonzalez will take the mound for his second start of the season, and will be up against Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

Game Preview:

1) The Yankees ironically lead the American League in sacrifice bunts, with 14. The Yankees have been notorious for home run ball over the past decade, and bunts are usually not the fortay for home run hitters.
2) The Yankees are 20-1 this year when leading after six innings, and 13-8 when they score first.
3) Reigning American League MVP, Alex Rodriguez, is merely 1-12 with a double off of Mets starter Jeremi Gonzalez.
4) Johnny Damon has also struggled against Gonzalez going 2-9 in his career.
5) Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams have also been suprisingly unsuccesful against Gonzalez. In 8 career Jeter at bats he is only 1-8, while Williams is only 1-6.
6) Paul LoDuca leads the Mets in at bats against Randy Johnson, and he is 14-52 with a .269 average.
7) Carlos Beltran has a .455 batting average against Johnson however his five hits in eleven at bats were all singles.
8) Don't look for Jose Valentin to get another start tonight, inn 13 at bats versus Johnson the utillity infielder has yet to record a hit.
9) Carlos Delgado is the all time rbi leader in interleague play, with 123 rbi's, and is third all time in interleague home runs, with 39.
10) David Wright is hitting .367 over his last 13 games.

Game Prediction:
Mets 10 Yankees 8
WP- Aaron Heilman
LP- Scott Proctor
H- Duaner Sanchez
SV- Billy Wagner

Game Play Predictions:
1) The Mets will hit at least three home runs.
2) Gonzalez will retire the first nine consecutive batters.
3) Jose Reyes will walk in tonight's game, and steal two bases.
4) David Wright will have two hits tonight.
5) Billy Wagner will pitch tonight.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pitching wins, but not tonight

Starter: The old baseball cliché of "pitching wins championships" didn't work out in the Mets' favor tonight. Steve Trachsel, the Mets' starter, was brilliant in his seven innings of work. Trachsel allowed merely one run on four hits and three walks, lowering his era to 4.33. However, Trachsel was outdone by Cardinals starter, Mark Mulder. Mulder went 8.1 innings and allowed no runs on four hits for his fifth win of the season.
Trachsel dropped to 2-4 on the year, in the Mets first real (the only other shutout came in a five inning game) shutout of the season. Despite the 1-0 loss Trachsel was aggresive, and not a bore to watch. However, the only mistake Trachsel made was walking Albert Pujols in the sixth inning, and letting him later score on a Scott Rolen rbi double. Pujols, despite being surrounded by two potential hall of famers, is the one man you cannot let beat you, and tonight Pujols beat us without even swinging the bat.
Bullpen: The pen didn't get much work in today's game. The one reliever Randolph used was Duaner Sanchez, who walked two, but allowed no runs in his inning of work.
Offense: The offense was almost non-existant in tonight's game. Delgado, Floyd, Nady, and Matsui combined for an 0-12 game. Beltran also went 0-2, but he walked twice, while striking out once. Jose Reyes had his first hit of the night in the ninth off of Mulder to lead off the inning, a double to rightfielder Juan Encarnacion. Reyes thought about going for three, but thought better of it and stopped at second, after a very wide turn. LoDuca had a quiet 1-3, while David Wright went 2-4 with a single and a double. However, one of Wright's outs came in the ninth inning with one out and the bases loaded. All Wright needed to do was hit the ball to shallow outfield (didn't have to be very far with Reyes on third), but instead he struck out.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Minor League Report: May 15th

AAA: The 12-25 Tides have been struggling all season long. However, tonight a victory was in sight. Jason Scobie took the mound for the Tides on a rain stricken afternoon, and he was less than stellar tonight. Scobie pitched five innings, allowed four runs on six hits and four walks. Scobie's era is beyond comprehension, at 7.52. Last year Scobie won 16 games, however this year he may be looking at a demotion, or even a release if he keeps this up. Anderson Garcia pitched tremendously again, going 2.2 innings in relief of Scobie, allowing no runs on three hits, and lowering his era to an impresssive 1.32 over 19.2 innings. Thus far this season combined between AA and AAA Garcia has an outstanding 1.49. Heath Bell got the final four outs of the game for the save, all via strikeout. As for the offense, Lastings Milledge went 0-2 with a walk and three runs scored, and his averaged continued to drop, now at .287. Anderson Hernandez had the breakout game every Mets fan has been waiting for, however it the game was for the Tides. Hernandez went 4-5 with two doubles, a rbi, and a run scored.
AA: The Binghamton Mets had the night off tonight.
High A: Joshua Petersen hit a home run in tonight's Dunedin route over the St. Lucie Mets, 14-5. Petersen went 2-4 with a rbi and a run scored, while raising his average to .358 on the season. Defensive wiz, Jose Coronado, went 2-5 with two doubles, in tonight's loss. However, the real story tonight was that of Mets starting pitcher Jose Sanchez. In 3.1 innings Sanchez allowed an astounding 11 earned runs, balooning his era from 2.18 to 4.23. Wow, that reminds me of Jae Seo's thirteen run outing last year at AAA, however the only difference is I don't see Sanchez being promoted to the bigs and going 8-2. Although, there is always hope.
Low A: Hagerstown had the night off.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Gotham Baseball Site, kinda

In an e-mail sent out to his main readers and associates, Mike McGann, the former owner of Gothambaseball.com, announced the beginning of his new site. NY Baseball Central is the name, and the look of the site is very similar to that of Gotham Baseball, since McGann designed Gotham. When talking about his new site McGann said in the e-mail the enviornment is "more relaxed, more fun, more entertaining..." Gotham Baseball will now be run be Mark Healey and partners, and I wish Healey and McGann good luck in their separate ventures.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Game Preview: Trachsel looks for arguably the biggest win of the season

Tonight is arguably the biggest game of the season up to this point, in terms of the standings. If the Mets win tonight's game then their lead over the Phillies increases to five, which is one more coming into the series. However, should the Mets lose the lead drops to three, which is a very different number then five, and can be overcame in one series. Steve Trachsel will oppose Gavin Floyd, and will look to go over .500 on the season for his third win.

1) In 27 career starts against the Phillies Trachsel has a 3.93 era in 169.1 innings pitched with a 10-9 record.
2) Bobby Abreu has had the most at bats of any Phillie agaisnst Trachsel, 57 and he only has 12 hits, which is a .211 batting average. Seven on those 12 hits were for extra bases.
3) David Bell has been the most succesful against Trachsel of any Phillie. In fact in 31 at bats the thirdbaseman has 12 hits, good for a .387 batting average along with his .459 OBP.
4) Pat Burrel has had 46 at bats against the Mets starter, and he has merely 10 hits, however four of those were over the fence.
5) Chase Utley has only eleven at bats against Trachsel and only one hit. However, that one hit was a three run home run.
6) In two career games (one started) against the Mets, Phillies starter, Gavin Floyd, has allowed nine runs in ten innings.
7) Floyd has struggled with his control thus far this season. Floyd has struck out 19 batters, and has walked an incredible 17.
8) Jose Reyes hit a home run in last night's game, and in two career at bats against Floyd Reyes has one hit, a home run.
9) David Wright has four rbi's, including a home run in three at bats against Floyd.
10) Floyd's best pitch is a curveball, however when a curveball is hung it is almost always good for hit, and in Phillie it's usually a home run. In fact, in six starts and 30.2 innings pitched Floyd has allowed an astronomical seven homers.

Score Prediction:
Mets 7 Phillies 6
WP-Aaron Heilman
LP-Arthur Rhodes
H-Duaner Sanchez
SV- Billy Wagner

Game Play Prediction:
1) Billy Wagner will pitch tonight, and be booed ruthlessly.
2) Jose Reyes will have a big game.
3) Chase Utley will hit a home run.
4) Beltran and Wright have at least four hits combined.
5) A Met makes an incredible diving catch.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Game recap: The case against Wagner

Game Overview:
Starter: Pedro Martinez was once again Pedro Martinez tonight. In his seven innings of work he allowed three runs on merely six base runners, two of which reached base via a free pass. Pedro also struck out 10 batters, which matched the amount of strikeouts of Mike Pelfrey today. Pedro's outing was very impressive, outside of the first two innings, in which he walked two batters and allowed all three runs. Pedro raised his era to 2.89.
Bullpen: Sanchez's domination has finally ended, at least for one night it has. In his one inning of work Sanchez allowed two hits, and one earned run. The earned run came on a close play at the plate in which the ball skidded out of LoDuca's glove. Sanchez's era is now an astronimical .41. Now, Aaron Heilman came into the ninth in a tie game. With two outs the Phillies preceded to load the bases, and the arguement from Mets fans that I am hearing is that Willie should of brought Wagner into the game at the point. I understand the opinion, but here is my reasons why Wagner was not brought in:
1) Abreu was 2-8 in his career against Heilman, which favors Heilman's odds for getting Abreu out.
2) Abreu was 0 for his last 11 at bats, with a few walks thrown in between.
3) Over his career Heilman has been very tough on lefties, in fact last year lefties were less succesful against him than righties. They had a measley .208 BA against him.
4) Billy Wagner would of been booed viscously, obviously he has to pitch through it anyway and it shouldn't effect him. However, you never know.
5) Wagner has allowed 3 runs over his last 3 IP including a homer and 3 walks
6) The fact that he kept Heilman in gives Heilman a vote of confidence which helps in the future, especially when Heilman is upset about not going to the rotation for the injured Zambrano.
7) Abreu is 3-6 in his career off of Wagner with 1 double and 1 home run.
8) Wagner stopped warming up right after Matsui struck out on a pitch that I still think was high. By the time the first two outs were made he had been sitting for about 20 minutes.
Offense: The Mets offense appears to be playing wait and hit a dinger. Which is not good news at all. Delgado and Nady's home runs were huge, but I would of rather those runs come from singles and doubles. However, the Delgado home run came in a huge spot against a pitcher who he has never hit well against. Delgado finished the day 1-4. Jose Reyes went 0-4 with a strikeout. LoDuca's one hit came in the ninth, and he eventually scored on the Delgado blast. Xavier Nady homered in the eighth inning to give the Mets some life, and Kazuo Matsui went 1-4, and struck out with runners on second and third in the ninth inning. The pitch Matsui struck out on was high in my opinion, and in Julio Franco's opinion. Franco was thrown out for arguing the call.

Personal Note: Did you guys see the "Ask the Booth" section of the broadcast? Well, the question was about knuckleballs, and why they were so hard to perfect. That question was asked by yours truly, and I thought that was pretty cool.

Pelfrey has good start, promotion coming soon?

As I reported a few hours ago Mike Pelfrey was starting for the B-Mets tonight, and if he had a "positive" outing he may get promoted to either AAA or MLB shortly thereafter. Well, in his seven innings of work Pelfrey allowed only three runs, two earned on seven hits and two walks. Pelfrey also matched his major league Hall of Fame teammate, Pedro Martinez, with 10 strikeouts. I guess that's what they call a positive outing. Hopefully an announcement comes in a few days on whether Pelfrey is promoted or not.

Pelfrey to be promoted to MLB soon?

The Daily News reports that should Mike Pelfrey have success in tonight's outing then an insider with the team said "team brass will seriously consider promoting him..." There are two ways to interpret this. One is that if he is good tonight he will be promoted to AAA, and the other way is to believe they are referring to the majors. I tend to believe the latter, but I would understand if it is the former. The article was about potential starters for the major league Mets, therefore why would the Daily News say Pelfrey may be promoted to AAA if the article is not about the Tides? As one of the people who is rooting for Pelfrey to be promoted this is positive news anyway you slice it. However, as I reported last night the Tides will need a starter either way because Gonzalez will most likely get the start in a few days, leaving a space in the Tides' rotation. Alay Soler and/or Mike Pelfrey should be at least in AAA by next week. Speaking of the Tides, their closer, Heath Bell, was promoted to the Mets, and Bartolome Fortunato was demoted.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Minor League Report: May 8th

AAA: In Evan Maclane's first start in AAA he threw seven innings of three run ball, although only one run was earned. MacLane earned the win, and he only surrendered four base runners, three on hits.
MacLane was recently promoted to AAA after Jose Lima was promoted to the bigs, and the Tides were in need of another starter. MacLane posted a 4.64 era in six Binghamton starts. Alay Soler or Mike Pelfrey will probably be promoted in a few days to AAA since Jeremi Gonzalez is expected to fill Victor Zambrano's rotation spot. Victor Diaz went 2-2 tonight, and is seemingly finding his AAA stroke, especially after his second home run of the season. Diaz walked three times and raised his average to .255.
Diaz's home run came with Lastings Milledge on base, and Milledge scored one of his two runs of the game. Milledge went 1-3 with two walks as well. Jeff Keppinger also drove in three runs on a bases clearing double.
AA: Yesterday Carlos Gomez was bumped from the leadoff spot. He hit ninth and went 2-3 with three rbi's. In today's 4-3 loss Gomez had two more hits in three trips to the plate. Gomez added a triple and a walk to his line. Gomez is either more comfortable not hitting with the constant pressures of leadoff, or he simply is trying to show the organization that he deserves to be the number one hitter. Cuban defector Michael Abreu is at it again. Abreu hit his second home run of the season in tonight's loss to Connecticut. Abreu is now hitting .390 on the season, and is making a strong case for AAA. William Vazquez made his first AA start and went only 3.1 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. Eww.
High A: Today High A announced that Michael Devaney won the POW of the pitcher's award for last week. Over the course of last week Devaney went 2-0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 games, with 14.1 IP, and only 4 runs allowed, 3 earned on nine hits 3 walks and 12 strikeouts. Anderson Hernandez made his first rehab start, and was an unsuccesful 0-4 with a strikeout. Ambiorix Concepcion, who has been awesome this season, went 0-4 and lowered his batting average to .331. Shawn Bowman hit his second home run of the season, Bowman's shot was the only run scored for the St. Lucie Mets. The third baseman did strikeout twice in the game, however which is Bowman's main problem.
Low A:Jonathan Niese made another start for low A tonight, and he continued to impress. Niese went six innings, allowed two runs on five hits and one walk. The left hander also struck out six in the process. Niese was labeled as a potential breakout star coming into the season, and he is certainly delivering to the tune of a 3.34 era. Shortstop Jose Castro went 3-4 with a rbi and a run scored, while raising his average to a lackluster .182.
Nick Evans hit a two run home run, and the firstbaseman raised his average to .242. 17 year old phenom Fernando Martinez went 1-4 and lowered his average to .325.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Zambrano out for season

After leaving the mound yesterday in the second inning Victor Zambrano's injury has been speculated about all over Mets nation. An MRI revealed that Victor Zambrano has a torn flexor tendon. The injury will require surgery and he will miss the remainder of the 2006 season. Zambrano was just coming around too, he can't catch a break. Rumor has it that various Mets knew about Zambrano's discomfort but that Zambrano wanted to pitch through it, as shown in the second inning when Zambrano didn't even through tosses to see if the elbow hurt. This injury upsets me mainly because I do not want to see Jose Lima for the rest of the year. However, it may also mean that the Mets will have both Brian Bannister and John Maine in the rotation when they return from their injuries. Hopefully it's the latter. Either way get well soon Zambrano!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fortunato promoted, Maine DL'd, Smoltz to start

Bartolome Fortunato was promoted to the bigs today for seemingly a one day trip. Fortunato was promoted to give the Mets an extra arm after the 14 inning marathon last night.

In order for the Mets to make room for Fortunato the Mets placed starter John Maine on the 15 day Disabled List. Maine was originally expected to start Sunday, then he was a question mark, now it is all but official that Jose Lima will start.

With Jorge Sosa working 1.2 innings last night he will not be able to go in tommorow's series finale. Sosa was originally lined up to start, but now John Smoltz will pitch on three days rest. In Smoltz last start (Wednesday) he threw 109 pitches.

Fortunato promoted, Maine DL'd, Smoltz to start

Bartolome Fortunato was promoted to the bigs today for seemingly a one day trip. Fortunato was promoted to give the Mets an extra arm after the 14 inning marathon last night.

In order for the mets to make room for Fortunato the Mets placed starter John Maine on the 15 day Disabled List. Maine was originally expected to start Sunday, then he was a question mark, now it is all but official that Jose Lima will start.

With Jorge Sosa working 1.2 innings last night he will not be able to go in tommorow's series finale. Sosa was originally lined up to start, but now John Smoltz will pitch on three days rest. In Smoltz last start (Wednesday) he threw 109 pitches.

Zambrano hoping to build off of last start

Victor Zambrano should have one goal in mind when he takes the mound for today's game. Innings. The majority of the mets bullpen pitched two innings last night, and the only un-worked reliever was Darren Oliver. Zambrano needs to give at least seven innings today, and hopefully the Mets offense can build a big enough lead to get to the Braves depleted bullpen. Therefore, Oliver can pitch the last two innings. That would be in a perfect world, but our world isn't exactly perfect.
1) In eight career starts against Atlanta Victor Zambrano has an unsuccesful 5.01 era.
2) Adam LaRoche has the most success of any Brave against Zambrano. LaRoche is 5-12 with a double and a home run against Zambrano.
3) Andruw Jonez has the most at bats against Zambrano of any Brave, however he only has modest success against Zambrano. In 13 at bats Jones has three hits, two of which were home runs.
4) Leadoff hitter, Marcus Giles, is 3-10 in his career against Zambrano.
5) Ryan Langerhans has also been succesful against Zambrano, in nine at bats he has four hits.
6) The Met offense, individually, has been pretty good against Hudson in their careers, and none more than Carlos Delgado. In 36 at bats versus Hudson Delgado has five homers with 11 hits, good for a .306 average.
7) Carlos Beltran also enjoys great success against Hudson. Also in 36 at bats Beltran has 13 hits, good for a .361 average. Beltran has not faced Hudson yet this season.
8) Jose Reyes and David Wright struggle the most against Hudson. In 18 Reyes at bats he has merely four hits, a .222 average. Wright has 14 at bats against Hudson, and has only three hits.
9) Cliff Floyd will look to build off his home run last night, and versing Hudson today will give him a good opportunity. Floyd is 4-11 career against Hudson.
10) Earlier this season Hudson threw a complete game against the Mets, allowing merely three hits an a run.

Score Prediction:
Braves 5 Mets 10
WP- Victor Zambrano
LP- Tim Hudson

Game Play Prediction:
1) Darren Oliver will pitch today.
2) The Mets will use three pitchers.
3) Cliff Floyd will have a real breakout game.
4) Wright will have two hits.
5) The game will be considered an all around good game.

Amazin' game ends in Wright way

Game Overview:
Starter: Steve Trachsel is struggling a bit, at least against the Braves he is. In his last two starts Trachsel has pitched 9.2 innings, and he has allowed 10 runs, which is a bit over a nine era. Last night the 35 year old pitched six innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. However, Trachsel couldn't blame the umpire, as he only walked one batter. Trachsel has been known as the model for consistency, however so far this season Trachsel's runs allowed have gone 1,4,2,1,6, and 4. It seems he has been up down up down all season, and that should be good news for his next start against the Phillies. Hopefully Trachsel can turn around his recent struggles, as the start will be a big one, especially with the current six game win streak of the Phillies.
Bullpen:Let's see where to start. Of the six relief pitchers who pitched for the Mets last night the first one to pitch was the worst. Chad Bradford record only two outs in the seventh inning, after allowing three hits and a walk two runs scored giving the Braves a 6-2 lead, at the time. Pedro Feliciano came in to end the seventh as the second reliever used in the game. Feliciano retired the one batter he faced with ease, something he has done quite often this season. Next inning it was Aaron Heilman's turn. Through his two innings of work Heilman only one hitter reached base via hit, and no runs scored. Heilman has been amazing thus far this season next to Sanchez in the set-up role, he now has a 2.04 era. After Heilman it was Wagner's turn, and Wagner's outing was easily the most dissapointing one of the night. Wagner's first inning of work (the tenth) was a breeze retiring the first three batters he faced. However, the eleventh inning was the inning to be worried about. Wagner gave up a pinch hit home run to SS/3b Wilson Betimit, giving the Braves a 7-6 lead. Wagner then preceded to give up a single to Marcus Giles, and eventually intetionally walk Jones before getting out of the inning. A few things to worry about and not to worry about with Wagner. First, don't get too worked up over the home run because it was Wagner's second inning of work which is something that he will not have to do often this season. However, he obviously will need to pitch two innings again this season, but the first inning he pitches is much more important, and Wagner was perfect in his first inning of work. Also, when Wagner signed his former manager, Larry Bowa, was interviewed and he said that Wagner's fastball loses some MPH in his second inning of work, however Wagner threw 96 mph in his second inning so that is not a big worry. Something that does scare me about Wagner now is the fact that his two set-up men (Heilman and Sanchez) have lower era's then him, and during Wagner's post game interviews for games when he blows a save or a lead he appears to have confidence in the pitches that go over the wall. Which either shows me that the hitters are getting better, Wagner is not as good as he thought he was, or the finger injury is bothering him and he wants to make it seem like he is fine. Anyway, back to the other relievers. Duaner Sanchez followed Wagner continuing his awe-inspiring scoreless streak, throwing two innings. Jorge Julio pitched the 14th succesfully, striking out Andruw Jones and allowing no balls to be hit out of the infield in the air. A great sign for a pitcher who is prone to the long ball.
Offense: Now it's the offenses turn. Jose Reyes had an outstanding game, going 5-7 with a triple and scoring two runs. Reyes raised his average nearly 20 points in the game, and his left handed swing is looking much better, as he is stepping less in the "bucket". Reyes was the third Met in as many days to have at least four hits in a game. Endy Chavez and David Wright were the first two, respectivley. Beltran also had a notable game, hitting a first inning home run, Beltran had two rbi's, three runs scored, and two walks in the game. Beltran is now hitting .266 on the season, however his OBP is an outstanding .417. David Wright is officially out of his slump, and he has done a 360 degree turn from cold to hot. Wright now has seven hits over his last two games, and he had arguablly the biggest hit last night. In the 14th, with Beltran on second, Wright hit a double (scored as single, but I consider a groundrule double since it bounced over the wall) to win the game, finishing off hit 3-5 day. Wright also walked three times in the game. Cliff Floyd had a very interesting game. Floyd left an outlandish 10 runners on base, however all of his sins were forgotten. In the seventh inning he had a two out rbi single to continue to four run inning. And of course he also had the monstrous rocket home run in the 11th inning, to bail Wagner out. Floyd finished 2-6 with a walk, and he raised his average to .194. Hopefully he is coming out of his season long slump. Nady went 0-4, despite drawing three of the 13 Met walks. Kazuo Matsui didn't have the best game according to the box score, but he did play a splendid game. Matsui made a tremendous tag to catch Jeff Franceour in the 3rd inning. Matsui also had an rbi single, to go along with his two perfect sacrifice bunts.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Game Preview: Glavine goes for fourth win

Last year Tom Glavine was dominant in his one start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In seven innnings Glavine allowed merely one run and gave a free pass to only one batter. Glavine, who is 3-2 with a 2.29 era, is looking to have similar success as the Mets go for a two game sweep against the struggling Pirates.
1) Last night Jose Hernandez had the biggest hit for the Pirates, a game tying rbi single off of Billy Wagner in the ninth, however he probably won't have as much luck against Glavine tonight. In 37 at bats Hernandez only has seven hits, good for a .189.
2) Left handed hitter, and former Met bust, Jeremy Burnitz, is 6-31(.194) in his career against Glavine.
3) Jack Wilson has been off to as good of a start since 2004, when he had over 200 hits, however he may not get another hit against the 41 year old Glavine. In 14 at bats the shortstop has only three hits.
4) Craig Wilson has the least success against Glavine of all Pirates. In 12 at bats Wilson has an un-impressive one hit.

5) Jason Bay is the main Pittsburgh threat on any night, but especially tonight. Bay has been very succesful against Glavine, in eight at bats the former Met has three hits, including a home run.
6) Paul Maholm has never faced the Mets in his career,
7) In Pirate's starter, Paul Maholm's last start he had his most succesful outing of his career. In seven innings Maholm allowed merely one run over seven innings against the Phillies.
8) Glavine is tied for 20th in baseball in strikeouts with 31.
9) Tom Glavine is one out behind Pedro Martinez for 19th in baseball in innings pitched with 39.1.
10) Duaner Sanchez has yet to allow a run this season in 18 innings.

Score Prediction:
Mets 8 Pirates 4
WP- Tom Glavine
LP- Mike Stanton
H- Aaron Heilman
SV- no save

Game Play Prediction:
1) Jose Reyes will lead off the game by getting on base.
2) The Mets will have a three run inning.
3) Glavine will look either very bad or very good in his first few innings but then reverse as the start goes on.
4) The game will be close until the seventh.
5) Tom Glavine records two hits.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Maine succesful, unsuccesful in Met loss

Game Overview:
Starter:John Maine pitched well in his first start of the season for the major league Mets. Maine pitched 5.1 innings, and allowed four runs, which sounds bad, but for a young player's first start in New York it's a solid outing. Maine is still trying to get accustomed to the pressure of the New York media, and he is also trying to learn a bit more about catcher, Paul LoDuca. LoDuca and Maine did, however pitch a bit together in Spring Training, however it was not nearly enough for them to earn a strong pitching relationship. Maine did strike out six batters, while walking only two men. Maine did end up with the loss, but his nice strikeout rate and low walk rate shows that he has what it takes to be succesful this season, and hopefully succesful enough to eventually knock Zambrano out of the rotation. Maine said after the game that he is capable of better work, and when Willie was asked about if Maine would get the next start when his turn in the rotation comes he said "we'll see." His next start would be a big game, against the Braves on Sunday. I fully expect Maine to get the start on Sunday, and the encouraging signs from today's game should hopefully grow to a greater stage.
Bullpen:Darren Oliver and Jorge Julio were the relief pitchers in yesterday's 6-2 loss. Oliver pitched well in his two innings of work, despite his two run home run given up to pinch hitter Damian Jackson. Oliver has been solid out of the pen this season pitching to a 3.65 era. However, the other lefty in the bullpen, Pedro Feliciano, has pitched better than Oliver this season, and may eventually replace Oliver down the road. Jorge Julio followed Oliver with 1.2 impressive innings. Julio allowed no hits, walked none, and struck out two batters. Julio has an incredible strikeout per nine innings rate this season, at 16.5.
Offense:The Mets offense was pretty much non-existant last night, coming from only two men. Paul LoDuca went 2-4 with a single and a first inning home run. Carlos Beltran added a ninth inning home run. That's all of the offense from the Mets. Only three hits and two walks the entire game. Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, David Wright, and Xavier Nady all had 0-fers.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Maine takes the hill in hopes of first succes

John Maine gets the start for the Mets tonight, and it will be the first chance for Mets fans to see Maine pitch in a major league game. I had a brief look at him in Spring Training, and I was not very impressed. In five innings Maine allowed seven runs, which is an un-impressive 12.60 era. However, in four starts in AAA Maine has a 2.62 era, despite a 1-3 record. Maine is 25 years old, and was required by the Mets, along with Jorge Julio, in the Kris Benson deal. Keep in mind this: if Maine bombs tonight in the minds of 60% of the fan base the Benson deal is a complete bust, since Julio appears useless as well. However, please remember that he has a good arm, and is still a young and developing pitcher, players are bound to throw some bad games in their career, so no matter what happens tonight please do not judge too quickly. Last season Maine's stats are worse than Maine actually was. He went into a bit of a funk ending the season, however through Maine's first 37.1 innings he had a 3.27 era. Although, in his last three starts Maine had a cool 18.00 era, a feat not easy to achieve. Maine said that if he controls his fastball and can control his changeup he will keep his team in the game, and I assume that he could not control his pitches, as he walked seven batters in eight innings.

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