Tagged: Gary Sheffield

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…

Welcome Home!

 

welcomehome.jpgThis is the type of game that the Mets needed…sort of.  After a long road trip, coming home to a nice, over-powering game against a team they should beat.  For the most part, it went according to plan.  John Maine looked very good on the mound.  He was visably frustrated after giving up a 2 out RBI single to Wil Nieves with the pitcher on deck.  That was, however, the only run he would surrender.  He pitched 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 BBs and 4 Ks.  Other than an extremely long bottom of the 6th, I assume he would have at least started the 7th.  Maine has pitched very well  this year, especially after his 1st 2 starts.  He got his 4th win of the year.  He has also been lowering his ERA steadily over the past month or so.  Two starts ago, the bullpen blew his shot at a win against the Giants and today is almost happened again…

Bobby Parnell was not at all accurate tonight, pitching in the 7th inning.  He allowed a hit and 3 BBs in 1/3 of an inning.  JJ Putz also came in and messed around in the 8th, allowing a hit and another couple of walks.  K-Rod also allowed a couple of base runners before finally setting down the Nats for his MLB-tying 13th save.  Through all of the walks and hits given up by the bullpen, only 1 run came in for Washington.  That was charged to Parnell in the 7th.  It also didn’t help for Washington that they hit 1 for 10 with RISP and stranded 13 runners on base…

The Mets also hit better Monday night.  Castillo, Beltran, and Sheffield each had 2 hits.  Wright went 0 for 1, but drew 3 BBs.  Tatis also finally got a hit.  He was 0 for his last 13…he was also robbed a couple times tonight.  In the 6th, Sheffiled hit a HR to left field.  They has to review it…and it took a while.  But, it was held up as a HR.  The Mets are now 3-0 in replay reviews. 

 

Things to Wonder About:

  • The Mets have now had a HR replay review in the last 3 games…and gone 3-0!!
  • Reyes and Church didn’t play again…there’s rumors that Reyes will play “tomorrow,” but we’ve been hearing that for a week or more.  Everyday, I check the Gameday when it comes out, hoping to see Reyes at short and leading off, but to no avail…there’s still no word on Church, and I’m not holding my breath…
  • The Mets grounded into 3 double plays…in the first 5 innings
  • There were 16 total walks in the game…
  • Ramon Martinez didn’t make any mistakes in the field…and he got an RBI on a Sac Fly
  • The Mets have now hit 30 HRs in 44 games…that’s 29th in the Majors…
  • At one point, Monday night, the Rays took 20 pitches in a row against the Indians.  At one point, the Rays were up 10-0.  The Indians scored 7 runs in the bottom on the 9th and won 11-10.

 

Tuesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Hernandez vs. Stammen…

A New Leader…?

 

Santana.jpgI think that we can remove the word “arguably” as an adjective from describing Johan Santana.  He is the best pitcher in the National League and in baseball.  Zack Greinke may be the future and Roy Halladay provides a great argument, but I think the title goes to Santana.  Given what has been happening to the Mets over the past week (DL trips, potential DL trips, surgeries, no scoring, errors, etc), this was a game the Mets had to win.  The last time the they chalked up a “W” was when he last pitched.  That is what an ace does.  He is a streak stopper.  He takes command of a sinking ship and just says no.  Now, he can’t control how the next few games go, but he gave it his all and was not going to let his franchise down on his watch.  In the midst of a 4 game slide, this was the best chance the Mets had at winning a game.  And he made the most of it.  Santana went 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 BB, and 8 Ks.  All of this against as good of a team that there is in baseball.  The last time the Mets were in Boston in 2006, they got swept.  This time, they claimed at least one victory.  On a team that has arguably lacked leadership, maybe they have found one.  In the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs, Santana threw inside to Youkilis (who was all over the plate) and drilled him in the right arm.  Youkilis (who can be very intimidating) didn’t take it very well and yapped at Johan as he walked down the line.  Johan wasn’t going to have any of it and yelled back, motioning for him to shut up and get on 1st.  This is a fight that you don’t see out of this team.  No one seems to take a stand and fight back (David Wright will from time to time…but it’s just not his team, yet).  You need a little cockiness and arrogance to win consistently.  You have to have some fight in you and Santana is showing it.  Not only is he putting up great numbers, but he is throwing this team on his back and dealing with the pressure of having to win, everytime he pitches.  The amount of anticipation and pressure, in such a great spotlight, that is put on Santana is tremendous.  And he is handling it with ease.  Hopefully, some other guys will get fired up and respond and continue to turn things around…

The Mets did a great job of “team hitting” on Friday.  No one was exceptional and no one had more than 1 hit, but they strung a few together and came through in the clutch…something that no one had done in a few games.  They almost matched their run total of the last 5 days, on Friday (scoring 5 compared to the 6 total since last Saturday).  With Reyes still out and not many others getting hot, this lineup is still very fragile.  But, today they got it done.

 

Beans in Beantown:

  • Gary Sheffield hit a HR in the 2nd inning, giving the Mets their 1st HR in 7 games (9 days).  That was their longest stretch since 1983…
  • The Mets have committed 11 of their 35 errors in Santana’s starts…if its not lack of scoring, its lack of fielding?  He seems to be overcoming all of it…
  • Playing a few games in the AL should help the Mets.  They can give Beltran and Wright a couple days off by DHing them.  Carlos took the day off with a sore knee, Friday night.  He played DH.  I look for Wright to DH soon…
  • Reyes was not available for anything tonight…it looks like he is NOT going to the DL, but that remains to be seen…
  • Ryan Church left the game in the 4th inning with an injured leg…his status is “unlikely” for Saturday’s game…
  • I missed this a couple days ago…I want to send a shout-out to Scott Schoenweis and his family…it’s really too bad about his wife.  I know he was ripped on and beared a lot of the bullpen blame, but he was a class guy and I’ve never had anything against him, personally…
  • Zack Greinke and Roy Halladay pitched yesterday and today, respectively…both pitched well and neither figured in the decision of their games.
  • Ramon Martinez FINALLY got a hit and RBI…but then he made 2 errors…why not play Tatis at short?  I know he’s not a natural there, but he can’t be THAT much worse than Martinez and then you would have another bat…I guess I’m just tired of seeing Martinez play…
  • Dice-K made his return to the Red Sox lineup…he went 5 innings and took the loss

 

Saturday, 7:10, Fenway Park, Pelfrey vs. Beckett…

David, the Giant-killer…Part 2

 

Wright.jpgThrough the first 5 weeks or so of the the season, the Mets hadn’t been overly impressive in games in which they didn’t get control of the game, early.  However, lately, they seem to be relishing that role.  Last night was no exception…

Livan Hernandez retired the 1st batter he faced and did little in the 1st inning after that.  5 of the next 6 hitter got hits, including a 2 out, 2 run single by Rich Aurilia, giving the Giants an early 4-1 lead.  That’s the second game in a row that the Mets scratched together a run in the Top of the 1st, only to have their starter give the lead away in the bottom of the inning.  Fred Lewis homered in the 2nd inning off of Hernandez to make it 5-1.  Now, there’s a couple ways to look at this…but I believe I called one of Livan’s starts “professional” a week or so ago, and that adjective applied here, again.  Granted, the game is looking out of reach because of the opposing pitcher (Lincecum), but he needed to be in this game…and for a few innings.  Its the 2nd game of a long road trip, the bullpen has been taxed lately…and Livan buckled down.  He sucked it up for the next 3 innings and kept the Giants scoreless, giving the Mets a chance to comeback.  

Despite blowing chances in the 3rd and 4th, comeback they did.  In the 6th, a leadoff double by Sheff, a one out single by Church, and a Sac Fly by Santos got the Mets a 2nd run.  After Reed singled, Murph came through with a pinch-hit RBI single to make it 5-3. 

In the bottom of the 6th, the Giants got a 2 out RBI single from Lincecum, himself, increasing the Giant lead to 6-3.  It was then that the Giant-killer would add to his reputation…

After a single and a couple walks in the 7th and Lincecum out, David Wright stepped up and ruined Lincecum’s effort all together.  He slashed a double down the left-field line, emptying the bases.  Unfortunately, after he stole 3rd, the Mets would strike out 3 times, failing to get the lead.  After 2 nice innings by Feliciano and Stokes, the Mets would strike again in the 9th.  A couple singles by Sheff and Wright, lead to a throwing error by Giant closer Brian Wilson on Church’s sacrifice attempt…that would score Sheff.  With Wright standing at 3rd, Omir Santos would deliver another Sac Fly to give the Mets a 2 run lead and hand the ball to K-Rod.  He would notch his 11th save. Santana to the hill with a chance to start the road trip 3-0…

 

Comebacks:

  • Jose Reyes pinch-hit…but struck out…
  • David Wright is absolutely ablaze…he went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI and a run scored.  This makes him 6 for 8 with 2 BBs with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored in this series…
  • Carlos Delgado is now on the DL retroactive to May 11th…Angel Pagan (the man with the most contradicting name) has been called up from Buffalo…
  • Tim Lincecum looked ok…he did have 8 Ks…but could not get the outs when he needed to…
  • Omir Santos is now tied for 5th on the team in RBI, despite playing in only 20 games…he has a knack for getting people in, especially by the Sac Fly…
  • The Mets have roughed up Brian Wilson, handing him his only 2 losses in the past 2 days…
  • Zack Greinke wins again…he went 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 2 BBs, and 6 Ks.  He gives up 1 run again and his ERA shot up to 0.60…He is now 7-1…

 

Saturday, 4:10, AT&T Park, Santana vs. Johnson…  

Maine Man!

 

 

MaineMap1_jog.jpgJohn Maine has returned to his old glory…at least for one start.  John Maine had arguably a do-or-die start last night and he came through.  He was in control of his fastball and went right after hitter…a receipe that helped him succeed the past few years.  In his six innings of work, Maine allowed an un-earned run and a hit.  He struck out 4, but did walk 3.  Despite his walks not coming back to bite him, it is still something that he needs to cut down on.  He has walked 12 in 21 2/3 innings.  He definitely has the stuff…if he can control it.  But, Big Ups to you, Maine!  Bring it again, next week!

I’m really getting tired of writing about this, but the first batter of the game hit a fly ball to left field…and Gary Sheffield just flat out dropped it (that ended up being the un-earned run).  Now, I don’t expect everyone’s fielding % to be 1.000, but these fly balls are going to have to be caught.  Everyone misses one from time to time, but it is happening at an alarming rate to numerous different outfielders.  Gladly, its only April and the Mets are still only a couple games back, but I am sick and tired of dropped fly balls and flailing about in the outfield!  Let’s cut the excuses and get it together out there!!  

 

Some “Offensive” Points…er, Runs:

  • The Mets actually scored some runs on Monday (7)…but it did all come in one inning.  It was nice to see the “tack-on” run in the 8th.  It can be alarming when a club can get hot for an inning, score a few, and then go silent the rest of the game.  Consistent hitting is always better.
  • Omir Santos hit his first HR (a grand slam) in the 1st inning!  Props to you, Omir!  I think I heard he hit 4 in 23 ABs during the Spring.  I’m guessing he will stay in the lineup…
  • David Wright MAY be on the verge of breaking out of his slump??  He went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored and…NO Ks!!  Yay for David.  Keep it going!
  • Delgado sat out with an injury and Castillo left the game with back spasms.  Delgado’s is not too serious, I don’t think and Manuel was looking for a reason to give him a day off.  Not too sure about Castillo…tonight’s lineup should give some more insight.

 

Tonight at 7:10 at Citi Field, Ricky Nolasco vs. Livan Hernandez…