Tagged: Fernando Martinez

Pitts…blah

After the terrible loss on Monday, the Mets played one of their most un-inspired performances of the year, as Santana didn’t pitch well and was marooned with a 3-1 loss.  Wednesday was washed away due to rains in Western PA.

Thursday, was an afternoon game.  I have always been a fan of afternoon games.  Businessmen take an afternoon off to watch some baseball.  There’s always lots of kids that come out to the game via either a summer camp trip or a field trip from school.  Its kind of an old school type of baseball that can take you away from the stress and frustrations of everyday life.  And, for people like me who try to watch/follow every game, it gives you a free evening.

A day after trading (I mean donating) their best player to the evil Braves, the Pirates came out swinging…and hitting.  Before anyone knew what happened, the Pirates landed 6 hits and a walk that plated 4 runs in the 1st inning…with only 1 out.  Much like the US in their game against Costa Rica last night, Pelfrey did not even show up against the Bucs.  He only lasted 3 and 2/3 9 hits, 9 runs (8 earned), 4 BBs, and 3 Ks.  Too bad for Pelf.  He pitched his 2 best games of the year in his last 2 outings.  If the Mets had scored an inning earlier in each game, he could be 6-1…well, now 2.  But, they didn’t and he falls to 4-2. 

Also, as I am writing this, JJ Putz is getting shelled.  He has not done well at all, lately.  I’m starting to form the opinion that he should go on the DL (I hear they need a 10th for Bridge).  Not that he is hurt to the point of some of the other Mets, but he might just need some time to work on some things, like his focus/mentality.  The Mets pitching staff (and bullpen especially) have been more than great this year.  So, let Putz work himself out and lean on your strengths for a bit. 

This has just been a rough trip and I think the Mets just need to start over.  They need to get out of Pittsburgh and begin a new series.  It wouldn’t shock me if the Monday night “giveaway” is still longering and maybe a plane ride can help it a little bit. 

The news on Reyes is not great.  He had a minor setback this week and it doesn’t look like he will be back this weekend in DC.  The latest I heard was the best case would be Jose could return on Tuesday before the series against Philly.  Ryan Church, however, is also supposed to come off the DL on Sunday.

 

While waiting for the Plane:

  • On the positive side, Carlos Beltran came back with a bang, today.  He went 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 extra base hits: a double and a HR!!!
  • The Mets hit a HR!  It was their first since last Friday against the Marlins…
  • David Wright seems to be starting to show signs of breaking out of his slump…maybe.  He went 2 for 3 with 2 BBs, an RBI, a stolen base, and 2 runs…he does needs to pick it up.  If the Mets are going to turn it around and make a little run before the All-Star Break that keeps getting closer, Wright is going to have to be the David Wright of old.  He doesn’t need to hit bushels of HRs, but he does need to start getting more doubles and triples…
  • Jerry Manuel has said that the next few games are an audition for Fernando Martinez.  With Church set to come off the DL, Martinez is going to have to start hitting better if he wants to stay in NY.  He did go 2 for 4 today, with an RBI and a run scored.    

 

Friday, 7:05, Nationals Park, Redding vs. Martis…  

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Blow-pen…

To quote Gary Cohen tonight, “…and the Mets lose their worst game of the year.”  That pretty much sums it up.  The Mets have dropped a few tough ones this year, but this might actually be the worst. 

First of all, they were staked to a 5-0 lead, through 3 innings.  Livan Hernandez pitched reasonably well.  He didn’t quite complete the 6th, but kept his team in the game.  He allowed 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 BBs, and 5 Ks.  Coming from your back of the rotation starter, that is more than acceptable. 

Second, they got great contributions from the bottom of their lineup.  Jeremy Reed went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored.  Wilson Valdez went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and a run scored.  Brian Schneider also had an RBI double.  Fernando Martinez also had a productive day in the 2 hole, going 1 for 3 with a run scored and 2 BBs.  These are guy who generally are not at the top of the list when it comes to “counted on” production. 

Lastly, it is the first game of the road trip…and in Pittsburgh.  The Mets pretty much dominated the Pirates in NY, a few weeks ago.  The Pirates also have not been playing overly well, lately.  This is just not how things needed to go for the Mets, who have been ridiculously short-handed, lately.  But, Santana is starting tomorrow…

 

Quickies:

  • Carlos Beltran missed another game with a “stomach virus”…
  • Alex Cora is scheduled to come off of the DL on Tuesday, but most likely won’t play until Wednesday…
  • Jose Reyes is playing in extended spring training in Florida and might re-join the team on Friday in DC…
  • Angel Pagan will most likely go on the DL…shocker!
  • There is a chance that I will be going to Pittsburgh for the Wednesday and Thursday games…as long as the weather (and money) work out…
  • Conan O’Brien debuted on the Tonight Show, Monday night…not too bad

 

Tuesday, 7:05, PNC Park, Santana vs. Duke…

Stacked Deck…

The Mets had the odds stacked against the today.  Part of it was the natural turn in the rotation and part of it was a managerial move by Jerry Manuel.

1.  Josh Johnson pitched for the Marlins.  He had been 5-0 against the Mets, coming into Saturday’s game.  He proved to live up to his reputation by going 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 BBs, and 5 Ks.  He pitched with no fear and went right after the Mets hitters.  Johnson got a lot of soft ground balls, which he normally gets when he is on his game.  The bullpen made the game interesting in the 9th inning, but was able to lock the game down, 7-3.

 

2.  Tim Redding took the mound for the Mets.  Redding has been up and down in his couple of starts.  Either way, he is definitely the #5 starter for NY.  Redding is way off of his game today, only goin 4+, 8 hits, 7 runs, 2 BBs, and 2 Ks.  He is now 0-2 in his 3 starts.  After looking promising in his start against the Dodgers, a week and a half ago, Redding has gone consistently downhill since.  It will be interesting to see how the Mets manage this situation with him.  All of the other 4 starters have been very good, but it seems no one is taking a hold of the last spot.  I think Redding will get another shot, but it also wouldn’t be surprising to see someone else get a chance.  Perhaps the newcomer in Buffalo, Broadway?

3.  With the pitching matchup set, Manuel decided to rest his 3/4 of his most consistent hitters.  Wright, Sheffield, and Castillo all sat today.  The offense did not look good at all as the Mets did not mount a serious big inning threat until the 9th.  I actually didn’t mind Manuel doing this because Sheff and Wright need days off sometimes.  And no one on the Mets was having much success against Johnson, anyway (except Tatis, who got the 1st Met RBI).  So, he might as well, “give” the game to the Marlins and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with all of the backups.  If you happen to stay in the game and somehow beat Johnson or get to the bullpen, great.  If not, well, the chances of beating him weren’t overly positive, anyway.  And, some people get some more playing time.  Not a terrible move at all. 

 

A Couple Memories:

  • F-Mart got his first couple hits in the Majors, today.  He also tacked on another RBI.  It should be interesting to see how much he plays, given that Sheffield is a necessary part of the lineup and Pagan in playing well…
  • Wilson Valdez got his first hit as a Met in the 9th inning…
  • Fernando Tatis committed his first error of the year, playing 3rd for David Wright.  That error broke the 4 game error-less streak for the Mets…
  • Ken Takahashi did a great job in relief, going 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  He saved many of the regulars in the bullpen and gave them an extra day off…

 

Sunday, 1:10, Citi Field, Volstad vs. Maine… 

A Bid to Stay…

 

omirsantos.jpgWith Brian Schneider eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday, Omir Santos seemed like the logical choice to be sent down to Buffalo.  He started the season as a relative unknown and Ramon Castro has a Major League contract.  He has, however, held his own in Flushing.  The only statistic that Castro really out-performed Santos was in throwing out runners (Castro has thrown out 7 of 15 and Santos 5 of 17).  Santos began his pledge to stay last Saturday night by taking Papelbon deep with a runner aboard in the 9th to give the Mets a 3-2 lead and ultimately the win.  Tonight, he continued…

Down 1-0 in the fifth against a pitcher the Mets had never seen (only his 2nd career start), Omir Santos lines a ball deep down the left field line for a game-tying HR.  Up to that point, the Mets only had 1 hit.  Then, in the 11th inning, after Sheffield’s lead-off single and a throwing error by Marlin catcher Ronny Paulino that allowed Sheffield to get to 3rd, Santos lined a single into left field for the Mets 3rd walk-off win of the season. 

Obviously, Castro and Schneider are not going to be sent down.  Both are proven veterans who have Major League contracts.  Both have their strengths (Schneider has been a great defensive catcher and Castro has a lot of pop in his bat).  Santos is kind of caught in the middle.  He apparently does have some power and is not a liability on defense, but how long can he keep it up?  My guess is that Santos will stay…for the time being.  Using 3 catchers can be risky, given that it can shorten your bench in other areas.  But, he has been such a vital part of the Mets success, it is just too hard to get rid of him. 

Fernando Martinez is the most likely candidate to be sent down.  He has gone 0fer since he had been called up and just didn’t really look comfortable.  He needs to be playing everyday.  With Sheff needed in the lineup and Pagan playing well, he won’t get that chance.  He did not start tonight, but pinch hit and flew out in the 8th.  F-Mart still might be an every day player for the Mets (if not a potential star), but the time is not now.  He still needs more seasoning.

Not to be forgotten is Mike Pelfrey.  If you can pitch better than he did Saturday in Boston, he did tonight.  Pelf went 7 2/3, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 6 Ks.  The chatter on Pelfrey is that he needs to cut down on walks and miss more bats.  He did both tonight and is really becoming a quality pitcher.  His ERA is now below 4 at 3.88.  Unfortunately, he is getting the Santana treatment and is not being scored for.  His best 2 starts of the year have resulted in no-decisions.

**Just as I am writing this**

Mets trade Ramon Castro to the White Sox for 2005 1st round pick P Lance Broadway.  Broadway will join the starting rotation in Buffalo…I guess that makes a couple of previous paragraphs unnecessary…

 

Walk-offs:

  • The Mets acquired OF Emil Brown from the Padres on Friday…kind of an interesting move, considering the Mets have too many outfielders.  He will start in Buffalo.
  • Marlins starter Sean West pitched very well Friday.  He went 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  The Mets also have a history of hitting poorly against pitchers they have never seen.
  • The Mets have now not committed an error in 5 straight games…not that that is a great accomplishment, but for this team it might be, right now.
  • Ramon Martinez went 2 for 3 tonight…maybe he has been reading my writing and trying to make me look foolish…that’s ok with me, Ramon.  Just keep hitting!
  • Matt Wieters made his MLB debut for the Orioles.  He went 0 for 4.  That one is for you, Josh…
  • Kind of bummed to see Castro go.  He has done a great job as a backup catcher for the Mets over the past few years.  Thanks a lot, Ramon and good luck in Chi-town!

 

Saturday, 1:10, Citi Field, Johnson vs Redding…

The Murph…and a review

 

murphy.jpgThis might have been Santana’s worst start of the year…and it wasn’t really that bad.  In some ways, he was in complete control (11 Ks).  And in others he was definitely not (6 BBs…including walking the pitcher and then Guzman to follow, forcing in a run).  But, like a true ace, he gutted his way through the 6th inning, still giving himself a chance for the win.  All in all, he went 6 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 6 BBs, and 11 Ks.  His ERA did climb to 1.77.  However, on the day that he might have needed it the most, the Mets offense responded, scoring 7 runs.  K-Rod did allow a run in the 9th, but other than that, the bullpen did their job, holding Santana’s win, 7-4.

Again, the offense played very well.  Pagan and Castillo each had a couple hits; Murphy chipped in with 3, as well.  Murphy, however, was the beneficiary of the Pagan and Castillo hits as he collected 5 RBI, tying a career high.  Sheffield got the offense going with a 2 run double in the 1st.  He is now starting to command the attention the way he did for years, in his prime.  And, without Delgado, that is exactly what the Mets need.  With Wright and Beltran both on fire (but neither with a lot of power), Sheffield can be the cornerstone of threat in the Mets lineup.  He drew 2 more BBs tonight, as well.  Murphy had the biggest hit of the night, though.  He hit a deep fly to right, that was initially called a double.  But, after Manuel complained, the umpires went to the replay booth (for the 4th time in 5 games, for the Mets).  It was then ruled a HR.  Now, I saw the replay a handful of times, and I don’t believe the ball ever left the yard…but I will take it.  And so will Murphy…and Johan.  Murphy would then add a 2 RBI insurance double in the 7th, all but securing the win. 

 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fernando Martinez should have been pulled out of this game.  In the 6th inning, he popped a ball up right in front of the mound.  Catcher Wil Nieves dropped the ball.  But instead of rounding 1st, Martinez was standing in the batter’s box.  Now, I don’t think Martinez is a lazy player and Manuel probably didn’t want to embarrass him, but that kind of effort will not stand…this is the Major Leagues.  We run everything out, Fernando…It also didn’t help that he went 0 for 4.
  • Ramon Martinez had his 2nd double in as many days…
  • Wilson Valdez got into his first game as a pinch hitter…he grounded to 2nd with the bases loaded…
  • The Mets are now 5 for 5 in replay reviews…they have had part in 5 of the 12 total reviews, the most in MLB…
  • Nick Johnson had a nice night, going 3 for 5 with an RBI…will he be a Met before July 31st?
  • Roy Halladay has his 9th win spoiled as the Blue Jay bullpen blew his 5 run lead…
  • My favorite play of the day was Jason LaRue coming out of the dugout in Milwaukee and almost getting stampeded by the Milwaukee Sausage Race…http://www.faniq.com/blog/Video-Jason-LaRue-Almost-Gets-Run-Over-By-Racing-Sausages-Blog-24546

 

The Mets are off tomorrow…but Friday, 7:10, Citi Field, West vs. Pelfrey… 

Livan, F-Mart, and the DL…

 

Greinke.jpgWell, quite a few things to talk about…

First, how about Livan Hernandez?  Being the 5th starter in the rotation, he was expected to be around .500 and keep his team in the game, giving them a chance to win.  Well, he has been more than that.  He’s probably been the 3rd most consitent starter the Mets have had (just ahead of Maine).  His last two starts have been his best of the year.  Tonight, he threw the Mets first complete game of the year: 9 innings, 9 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 6 Ks.  The Mets now have 4 starters who have 4 wins, already…a feat that only the Cardinals have matched.

Fernando Martinez was called up today and made his major league debut.  He went 0 for 3 at the plate, but got his first RBI of his career.  He also played a solid right field with 2 putouts.  As long as he’s up with the Mets, we should see him playing every day.  Some people have said that without his injuries, he’d already be with the Mets.  Ironically, with all of the injuries to the Mets, he now gets his shot.

The offense was again present for the Mets, Tuesday night.  Pagan, Wright, and Sheffield each had 2 hits, contributing to the Mets total of 10.  Sheffield had the biggest shot of the night with a 3 run bomb in the 6th.  His HR blew the game wide open, making it 6-1.  The Mets have needed some power pretty bad.  They only have 31 HRs in 44 games.  With Delgado on the DL and Wright having 3 and Beltran 6, somebody needs to step up and supply the power.  It seems that Sheffield is doing that.  He has 5 HRs in 21 games.

The Mets announced that Reyes and Church are finally headed to the DL.  The good news is that Alex Cora threw a ball today and is slated to come off the DL next Wednesday.  The Mets made a deal for Wilson Valdez from the Cleveland Indians to back up Ramon Martinez, for the time being. 

 

Breaths Held:

  • Carlos Beltran missed Tuesday’s game after receiving an MRI on his leg.  It was revealed that he had a bone bruise on his knee.  He will not be available for Wednesday.  Manuel also mentioned that Beltran may play Friday, as the Mets open a series against the Marlins.
  • Ramon Martinez had an RBI double in the bottom of the 2nd…
  • Livan Hernandez induced 3 double plays Tuesday night…
  • David Wright stole his 11th base of the year…he is tied for 9th overall…On a side note, the Rays have 80 stolen bases and Carl Crawford has 30 of them…the Mets lead the NL with 49…
  • Much to my Tigers friends’ chagrin, Zack Greinke owns the Tigers.  He pitched again Tuesday, going 9 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 0 BBs, and 8 Ks in only 116 pitches.  This year, he has pitched 2 games against them, going 18 innings, 9 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 BB, and 18 Ks and 2 complete games.  He now is up to 5 complete games!  That is tied with the Rangers for most in the MLB!!  He has more complete games than 28 teams…after today’s game, his ERA went up from .82 to .84

 

Wednesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Zimmermann vs. Santana…