Tagged: John Maine

A Week in Review…

Over the last week, the Mets have been on a tear.  And the key has been the starting pitching.  Oliver Perez had the iffy start on Wednesday against the Cubs that resulted in the Mets only loss, since last Sunday.  I think he did enough to keep the heat off of himself in the rotation.  He went 5 innings and only allowed 3 runs.  That’s…ok, not terrible…and that is what the Mets need (at the minimum) from him and John Maine.  The problem on Wednesday was the bullpen.  Newly-acquired Manny Acosta got wrecked in that game…as did Takahashi.  John Maine got hurt in his start on Friday against the Braves.  He was pitching better than his first few starts, but then he got hurt.  That just seems to be how it goes for Maine, unfortunately.  I’m not entirely sure what needs to be done with him.  It’s really hard for me to see the Mets re-signing him in the off-season.  I would wish him well and enjoy it if he succeeds some place else…but he just has been so inconsistent over the last 2-3 years, whether it be pitching or injury. 

Jon Niese had 2 very nice starts last week.  Not quite what I want to eventually get out of him (5 and 2/3 with 1 run and 5 and 1/3 with 1 run).  But he’s not getting crushed and he is striking out people (7 and 6, respectively).  Unfortunately, a lack of run support has stopped him from getting a win, in either game.  Still, I am liking what I am seeing from him and look forward to his starts, now. 

Johan and Pelfrey are both looking amazing.  Each got a win last week and looked very strong, doing so.  Pelfrey could get another win, tonight, pending the outcome (which is stuck in the 6th due to a rain delay…Mets are up 1-0, though).  Pelf looked good (but not), tonight.  He did not have the control we’ve seen him exhibit this year.  He allowed 10 baserunners in 5 innings, but still managed to get out of it every time, extending his scoreless streak to 24 innings.  If he does win tonight, he will be 4-0 with a .69 ERA…early Cy Young candidate, anyone?

Now…to the hitting.  Sigh.  Still…not good.  Its getting better, as they are getting timelier hits…but, no one is tearing the cover off the ball.  They still only have 50 hits over the last 7 games (including tonight’s that hasn’t been called yet).  Yet, assuming they win tonight, will be 6-1??  That’s just baseball, I guess.  Still waiting for the Jason Bay that we heard about all off-season.  He’s picked it up the last couple games, but still no HRs and 5 RBI, while hitting .269.  David Wright is a little better, but not much 3 HRs, 10 RBI, .222.  Francoeur: 3, 10, .286.  That’s around what I expect from him. 

The Mets have called up Ike Davis.  I was originally against it, but it seems that maybe its what this team has needed.  He has looked right at home, playing 1st base.  He’s also hit very nicely in his 7 games.  1 HR, a couple RBI, and a .318 average.  Granted, its only a week, but he looks like he could be the real deal.  And to have left-handed power is only going to help.  

So, there has been a lot of talk about Jose Reyes hitting in the 3rd spot in the lineup.  It has been thrown around quite a bit over the past couple years.  I’ve thought about it in different circumstances and I finally made a decision as to what I feel about it.  Under ideal circumstances (Beltran being back, Wright and Bay hitting like they are capable, etc), I am supremely against it.  However, given what is going on now, I absolutely love the idea.  And for these reasons:

  • David Wright has not been (W)right.  I still think something is up with him.  Maybe its mental.  Maybe there’s an injury somewhere that no one knows about.  Maybe he’s just trying too hard.  Or maybe (gulp) he’s not as good as we all thought he was??  I hope like everything that its not the last one.  But…whatever the reason…he is not the center-piece of this lineup, right now. 
  • Carlos Beltran is not healthy and it doesn’t look like he will be, anytime soon.  Hopefully before the All-Star Break, but…I’m not holding my breath.  So, we need to move on…at least for a while. 
  • I know his average doesn’t reflect it now (but who on the Mets is sporting a nice BA), but I think that Angel Pagan belongs near the top of the lineup.  He is making strides as a base runner.  He has the speed.  You can hit him in the leadoff spot, followed by Castillo, Reyes, etc..

Monday, 7:10, Citi Field, Kuroda vs. Perez…

Not in the Cards…

The series with the Cardinals was very similar to that with the Rockies.  The Mets didn’t necessarily play that bad…they just didn’t win a majority of the games.  Which…is not good…but at least the games were watchable.  Actually, the Mets were only losing for 5 of the 38 innings played.

The one very good thing has been the starting pitching (ironically) has been the starting pitching.  Oliver Perez threw a nice outing on Friday night: 6.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 BBs and 4 Ks.  I will take that from Ollie every single outing.  But…that is not likely.  Bullpen blew his chance for a win, though.  On Saturday…(well, Saturday is a story in and of itself) Santana did a wonderful job starting as well, pitching 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB and 9 Ks.  A nice rebound from has last performance against the Nats, where he gave up a 1st inning grand slam.  And the much awaited 3rd start of John Maine on Sunday did not go terribly.  He gave up a 3 run shot to tie the game in the 5th inning.  That was so disheartening to watch b/c he always seems to get by the one inning.  His pitch count got obscenely high for only 5 innings and not a lot of runs (115). 

We just still can’t hit.  At all.  The Mets did scrap together 9 hits on Friday and did fight back to get a couple runs in the 9th, but still fell a run short.  Saturday…was awful.  They went hitless until the 7th when Pagan blooped a single in.  Despite the game going 20 innings, they could still only manage another 6 hits.  So, the got 7.  In 20 innings.  And the last 3 innings were against non-pitchers.  On Sunday, the Mets got 4 hits…and none of them after the 2nd inning.  That’s just ridiculous.  I mean, I know they faced Carpenter and Wainwright in the series, but still.  That’s 20 hits in 38 innings.  And only 2 of them were extra base hits.  And both were on Friday.  That’s just…not how you win games…regardless of how good your pitching is.  I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but…they just need to hit better.  It also would be more interesting to watch the games if you actually felt like you didn’t need 3 hits in an inning to score a run. 


Points:

  • Jeff Francoeur has cooled off considerably…coming into Monday night, he was 0 for his last 11…
  • Mike Jacobs was FINALLY sent down to Buffalo…in favor of Tobi Stoner, in order to save arms in the bullpen
  • Stoner was then sent back down in favor of much-heralded Ike Davis, who made his MLB debut Monday night…
  • Coming into Monday, the Mets are last in the NL in BA with RISP…still
  • Mike Pelfrey has more saves this year than K-Rod…1
  • Also, Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche, had one of the best goalie performances I have ever seen in the NHL playoffs on Sunday night…saving all 51 shots in a 1-0 OT win over the Sharks…

Next up for the Mets: 4 games against the Cubs at Citi Field…

Ending on a Rocky Mountain High…

Despite going 1-2 this week in Denver, there are still some positives that can be had.  I really like the way Mike Pelfrey has been throwing the ball.  He had a wonderful game today, going 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 runs, 0 BBs, and 6 Ks.  The number that really sticks out to you is the 0 walks.  Mike has had trouble throughout his short career with walking batters.  In his first start, he did have 4 BBs, but stayed ahead of the count very nicely, this afternoon.  He also became the first Mets starter this year to pitch into the 7th inning.  No other starter has looked even half as good as Pelfrey so far, this year.

Jeff Francoeur has continued his blazing start.  In the series against the Rockies, he went 4 for 11.  While Wright has looked solid and Bay has been….well, there, it is Francoeur who has been the consistent threat in the lineup. 

The Mets bullpen has also looked very solid this week, only allowing 4 runs in 11+ innings.  Other than Nieve (who has 1 bad outing in 6 appearances) and Jenrry Mejia (who may be in over his head right now), everyone in the bullpen has been very solid. 

I really, really want to like Jon Niese.  He has looked…ok.  I like a lot of his pitching and the way he handles himself, but he just gets beaten up by that one batter every game and it ruins his outing.  In both of his outings, he’s looked like he was figuring it out and almost making it through his 5 or 6 innings and then just gets caught.  He got bailed out by an offense that finally scrapped together some runs.  Otherwise, he would be 0-2.  Hopefully, he can finish his next start stronger.

John Maine is on his last straw.  He looked awful on Tuesday.  Gave up 1st inning runs, despite getting the first 2 hitters out.  That seems to be a theme with him.  He seems to be almost out of an inning and just can’t close it out.  His fastball isn’t where it used to be and his off-speed pitches don’t have the confidence, yet.  But…after rushing a throw to 1st and allowing more runs to score on his own error…and barely making it through the 3rd…sigh.  He’s got a chance…maybe 2…and then he’s got to be out of the rotation.  It’s that bad.

Are you telling me that the best we can do at 1st base is Mike Jacobs or Fernando Tatis?  That has to be a joke.  Tatis was a nice story 2 years ago…and he was…ok…last year, but the time has come.  Give a kid a chance.  Or someone else.  I am done with Tatis.  And Jacobs…is just terrible.  He is 3 of 18 this year.  Put Cora at 1st…or Angel Pagan (if Beltran ever gets back).  Call up Nick Evans…just not Mike Jacobs. 

My last rant is going to be on scoring runs.  We seem to be the same team as last year (in which we lead the league in BA but were 11th (?) in runs).  We can get guys on base.  We draw walks or get hits (sometimes), but we do stupid things on the base paths.  For example: David Wright came up today with no out and Reyes and Castillo on 2nd and 1st respectively.  Castillo was thrown out on a botched double steal -where Reyes didn’t run but Castillo did.  And then Reyes was thrown out at 3rd, trying to steal.  When Wright stuck out, he was the 3rd out after coming to the plate with 0 outs.  I mean…what?  How does that happen?  And that’s just one example.  We are horrible at getting runners over and using outs productively, not to mention hitting with RISP.  Coming into today, the Mets were something like .175 with RISP.  That would be last in the NL…obviously.  I am starting to think this is on Manuel.  Its almost like Herm Edwards and Time Clock management with the Jets back in 2004.  Some of these principles are very basic in baseball and this team is almost clueless on the base paths and manufacturing runs.  Hopefully, they will figure something out in St Louis, tomorrow…

Friday, 8:15pm, Busch Stadium, Perez vs. Carpenter…

Not Quite…

To start off, I want to say that I watched the first 6 innings and then had to leave to play in a broomball game, so some of my analysis will come from recaps and box scores…

First of all, we began the non-Santana version of our rotation tonight.  John Maine got the nod and did not look very good at all.  He barely went 5 innings, gave up 8 hits, 4 runs, walked 1, and struck out 3.  Surprisingly, he did not throw many fastballs, which has been his calling card since he came into the league.  He has been developing other pitches in Spring Training (and with his arm surgery dropping his mph, he will need them), but hung a few off-speed pitches and got burned.  The first HR to Cantu was one of those.  He was also plagued with a lack of control.  His strike/ball ratio was 53/39 and had 1 quick inning.  We’re going to need more out of Maine, in the future…

The bullpen pitched…eh.  6 relievers combined to pitch 5 innings, but still gave up 3 runs and 9 hits.  Hisanori Takahashi gave up the run in the 10th inning and took the loss.  I really have very little confidence in the bullpen, at all.  K-Rod is fine.  I like Feliciano for the most part and I want to trust Nieve (who actually came in to clean up Takahashi’s mess)…he is very close to gaining my trust.  Other than that…its completely hit or miss. 

I do like that the team fought back to tie it from down 6-1.  That shows some fight and tenacity that seemed to disappear in 2009.  But…we only got 6 hits…in the entire 10 innings.  During the rally, they scored 2 runs on bases loaded walks, 1 on an error, 1 on a sac fly, and 1 on a balk.  While, I will take runs any way we can get them, I would like to see some hits, especially with RISP (0 for 6, tonight). 

Tidbits:

  • The ratio of hits to K’s for Mike Jacobs is 1 to 4…in 9 total ABs…
  • I am not a fan of Japanese relievers. Perhaps there are a few good ones, although I cannot think of 1 (Sasaki for a year?  Maybe Okajima?).  The Mets always seem to start the year with at least one…and they never seem to work out. 
  • Jenrry Mejia made his MLB debut for the Mets, tonight.  Pitched 1 inning, 3 hits, 1 run with a K.  He can throw 4 pitches, all for strikes.  Depending on the progression of the rotation, I would not be at all surprised to see him get a start, this year.  At 20 years old, he is the youngest Mets pitcher to make his debut since…Dwight Gooden.
  • The Marlins pitchers combined for 9 walks…
  • Nolasco has had trouble with the Mets throughout his career; yet, he was in position to win, tonight…ironic, due to Johnson’s consistent dominance of the Mets and they beat him, yesterday…

Thursday, 7:10, Citi Field, Robertson vs. Niese…

All Aboard the Maine Traine…

 

john-maine.jpgJohn Maine takes the Mets through another pitcher’s duel.  Today was probably Maine’s best performance of the year.  He was throwing the ball very nicely, getting a lot of first pitch strikes.  Unfortunately, after warming up for the 7th inning, it looked like he may have strained his side (or something to that affect) and Manuel was not going to take any chances with his blossoming young right-hander.  He yanked him out in favor of Pedro Feliciano.  In all, Maine went 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  Maine is probably the Mets pitcher that loves the 16 foot wall in left to left-center the most.  Again, today, he had another ball kept in the yard by a foot or so.  In such a big park, he can be more aggressive with his fastball and not be worried about giving up HRs. 

Feliciano came in to relieve Maine and did another wonderful job.  He is kind of a lost man/unsung hero for the Metsies this year.  Parnell is now established as the 7th inning guy (and today saved Putz in the 8th).  Obviously we know about Putz and K-Rod.  But Feliciano has done very well, lately.  He has given up only 1 hit and 0 runs in his last 8 appearances (6 innings).  Other than the 2 HRs to Utley in early May, he has completely dominated left-handers, striking out 13 in 44 ABs and holding them to a .136 clip.  I know he doesn’t get a lot of press, so here’s to you, Pedro!

JJ Putz, however, stuggled today and was chased in his hold attempt in the 8th, allowing 2 hits and 2 runs in 1/3 an inning.  Parnell came on to relieve Putz, and after allowing a run-scoring single to Han Ram, he K’ed Cantu and got Hermida to fly out to left.  K-Rod came in to slam the door shut in the 9th, notching his 14th save.

There are the kind of games the Mets need to win.  They simply do not have to power or hitting to score 4 or 5+ runs on a consistent basis.  Today, they only got 7 total hits and 4 of the came with RISP.  Unfortunately, that is going to be how it has to be until we get some stars off the DL and everyone is hitting again.  Pagan, F-Mart, and Santos all had RBI doubles today.  Pagan had to leave the game in the middle of the game with a strained groin.  That’s very unfortunate as he was just starting to find his groove.

 

Injury Bugs:

  • Carlos Beltran missed Sunday’s game with a “stomach virus”…
  • The latest report I found was that Maine came out of the game due to a “stomach virus,” as well…who is feeding these people?
  • Han Ram roared back into this series, going 3 for 4 with an RBI single, today…
  • Angel Pagan, who left the game in favor of Jeremy Reed, is also listed as day-to-day…it seems that half of the Mets are day-to-day…
  • Zack Greinke pitched again today.  Maybe his worst outing of the the year (and again, not terrible).  He went 7 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 0 BBs, and 7 Ks.  With the Royals and White Sox tied at 4 in the 8th, Greinke will get a no-decision.  His ERA is now 1.10.
  • I’m not a huge Nadal fan at all, so the French Open has just become a lot more interesting to me…

 

Monday, 7:05, PNC Park, Hernandez vs. Snell…  

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…

Just Too Much…

What started as a promising road trip has now fallen straight on its face.  The Mets seemingly have left their bats in San Francisco.  John Maine gave it his all today, but got dinged for a 3 run homer in the 6th that all but sealed the team’s fate.  He ended up throwing 5 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 BBs and 3 Ks.  Just not good enough tonight.  Chad Billingsley lived up to his hype, pitching 6 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 5 BBs and 7 Ks.  Ramon Martinez has now become completely useless as he has gone 0 for his stint in the big leagues, this year.  He struck out 3 more times today and grounded into a crucial double play with 2 on in the 8th.  I think the Mets are just overwhelmed right now.  Reyes did come back and played tonight, but he has been out of the lineup.  Delgado has surgery and is now out 10 weeks.  Ryan Church is in a 2 month slump.  Luis Castillo has cooled off.  Neither catcher is doing anything special.  Fernando Tatis is also slowing down.  David Wright and Carlos Beltran are both still hot, but unless both of them get several RBI a game, its just not going to happen.  Also, that puts a lot of pressure on the pitching staff (which has performed admirably), but only Santana is going to win 2-1 or 3-2 games.  They way things are looking, both with the Mets and the opponents they are going to have to play, I think the Mets will be lucky to win 1 more game on this road trip.  If it can go against the Mets right now, the ball will find the way to do so.  That’s just how it goes.  Something is going to have to change.  Reyes is going to have to get hot or a new player is going to have to jump start some life back into this team.  If that doesn’t happen, its going to be a while waiting for people to start getting healthy…

 

Things I’m Getting Sick Of:

  • The Mets haven’t hit a HR since the Tatis Slam last Wednesday.  That’s 5 games.  You can’t win consistently getting a HR once a week…
  • The Mets go 2 for 8 with RISP and leave 6 more on…John Maine had 1 of those hits and 2 of the team’s 3 RBI…
  • We only had 6 hits tonight…scored 5 runs in the last 3 games
  • Daniel Murphy dropped another fly ball in left.  It even hit him in the glove…
  • He also started stealing 2nd before the pitcher made any move…he was out.

 

Wednesday, 10:10, Dodger Stadium, Hernandez vs. Stults…

David, the Giant-killer…

 

DavidGoliath.jpgSo, I had a couple of softball games tonight, which caused me to miss the first 5 innings of the game.  No problem.  I used the DVR function on MLB.TV.  Well, after the 6th inning, it logged me out and wouldn’t let me back in.  Yay.  So, its 2:15am and I am excited and ready for the the last couple innings and I had to miss them and just look at the final score.  It’s a good thing they won…

Well, John Maine pitched very well.  He was rather erratic in the 1st inning, walking 2, throwing 2 wild pitches, giving up 3 hits, and allowing his only 2 runs.  He also threw 30+ pitches, I believe.  After the first 2 runners reached base in the 2nd, he seemed to flip the switch.  Not only did he get out of that inning with no runs, he did not encounter another jam until the 6th.  All in all, he went 6 2/3, 7 hits, 2 runs, 4 BBs, and 4 Ks.  He should have gotten the win, but Bobby Parnell (who will be the set-up man…I presume…until Putz deals with his bone-spurred elbow) couldn’t hold the save.  Luckily for Parnell, the Mets offense responded and tallied 3 in the 9th, allowing K-Rod to get his 10th save of the year. 

Offensively, the Mets looked good all game…despite getting only 4 runs through the first 8 innings.  The Mets heart of the order (Beltran, Sheffield and Wright) went a combined 7 for 12 with 3 RBI.  In the 9th, Beltran doubled with one out and stole 3rd.  After Sheffield walked, Wright singled home Beltran to take the lead.  Both Sheff and Wright would later score on a clutch 2 out single by Ramon Castro, giving the K-Rod the 7-4 lead.

Frustratingly, I was unable to see the exciting conclusion of this game, but all is well that ends well.  After a rough loss on Wednesday afternoon and a long plane ride to the Bay Area, a road-trip-opening win is very satisfying…

 

Five Smooth Stones:

  • David Wright reached base all 5 times today, going 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and 2 BBs…He also had 4 steals…
  • The Mets stole 7 bases in total…wow…that was a team record…
  • The Mets have not won a road trip opener in San Francisco since 1988…
  • Jose Reyes had the day off because of a sore calf muscle…Delgado will not play in this series and JJ Putz is still iffy/day-to-day…
  • The Mets are now back to 4 games over .500, 8-2 in their last 10, and have their largest division lead of the year…2

 

Friday night, AT&T Park, 10:15, Hernandez vs. Lincecum…

Walk the Plank!

 

walkplank.jpgSo, I was out of town for the weekend and my information/visuals of the 3 game sweep of the Bucs was more limited than normal.  I’ve read up on Friday’s game, listened to most of Saturday’s, and watched Sunday’s game.  So, here’s a couple of quick thoughts and hopefully some statistics to ponder…

 

Friday:

I think the main thing to take in from Friday is the 2009 debut of Jon Niese,  I believe he pitched well.  He went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 5 Ks, while walking 0.  That’s definitely a positive for this rotation.  He also did very well in the 1st couple innings by really only using his fastball.  He also has a “Barry Zito” curveball…which might be one of the most fun things to watch in sports.  I think my favorite aspect of his outing was the fact that he wasn’t phased by the 2 runs in the 3rd inning.  With 2 outs in the top of the 3rd and a runner on 2nd, McClouth hit a fly ball to right-center that, despite being in position, both Beltran and Church flat out missed.  He could have easily come un-raveled, but remained calm and got the next hitter to ground out.  Unfortunately, that hit cost him the win.  But, he held his own and kept his team in the game.  The offense finally came around during a 5 run 8th inning.  The highlight was a 3 run bomb by Delgado, his 4th of the year.  The Mets held on, 7-3. 

 

Saturday:

Game 2 was all about John Maine and the Offense.  Maine continued his comeback trail, giving another quality start.  He earned his 3rd win by going 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 BBs and 3 Ks.  The only thing Maine didn’t do well was give up a HR to opposing starter Paul Maholm…but no one is perfect.  The Mets offense almost looked perfect, though.  They scored 10 runs on 17 hits.   7 Mets starters had at least 2 hits, including Jose Reyes who went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run scored.  Beltran also tacked on his 6th HR of the year.  Jerry Manuel was suspended for this game for contact with an umpire during Thursday’s win over the Phillies.  Apparently, the Mets didn’t need him, as the game was all but over by the end of the 4th, when it was 6-0.

 

Sunday:

Coming into this game, the Mets were 0 for 3 in potential 3-game sweeps (after winning the 1st and 2nd games).  But, Sunday, they were 1 for 1.  The best word to describe Hernandez’s pitching performance is ‘professional.’  In the first couple innings, it was clear he did not have his best stuff.  However, he battled and hung around long enough for the offense to come through with some runs.  He even stuck around to finish the 6th.  After the 3rd, it seemed like getting 5 from him would be a stretch.  The Mets finally wrestled the lead from the scrappy Pirates (and tough pitcher Ian Snell) on Omir Santos’s opposite field base hit, knocking in 2 runs.  They tacked on more runs in the 7th and 8th.  That is a great sign of a championship team.  The Mets are already great at getting out of the gate quick by scoring in the 1st inning.  Now, being able to add to that, should only solidify those chances at wins.  Reyes ripped his 10th bag of the year, taking 3rd.  He got a couple more hits, raising his average to .276.  When he gets going, it will be tough to stop this team.  They really are starting to click on all cylinders and are turning would-be weaknesses (starting rotation, clutch hitting) into strengths.  The winning streak is now at 7, with the hyped “Santana/Lowe” matchup looming Monday night.

 

Weekend Stats:

  • K-Rod got the weekend off…he deserved it after getting 4 saves in 4 days.
  • In the 7 wins in a row, the Mets have had 7 quality starts…coincdence?  I think no…
  • Tying in with the previous stat, the Mets clutch hitting was unreal this weekend.  Going 18 for 33 with RISP…they only left 21 runners on base this weekend.  With pitching and hitting like that…but then, its also against the Pirates.
  • Part of the Mets success also stems from their increased stolen bases.  They swiped 7 more bags this weekend.
  • After struggling lately, Jose Reyes ripped up the Pirates, going 7 for 13 with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored this weekend.  He is such a key to success for the Mets.  When he is on base, stealing bases, and wreaking havoc, the Mets are as dangerous as any other team in the league.
  • David Wright had a nice weekend, offensively and defensively…but also struck out 5 more times…
  • Brain Stokes came out of exile and worked a scoreless inning on Saturday…
  • Zack Greinke finally lost Saturday night, despite throwing ANOTHER complete game, going 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 BBs and 5 Ks.  With that game, his ERA went UP eleven points.
  • After Sunday, the Mets are in 1st place by at least a game for the 1st time this year…

 

Monday, Citi Field, 7:10, Lowe vs. Santana…

Home Runs!!

 

beltran.jpg

Boy, it sure feels good to beat the Braves!  I know they aren’t one of the best teams in the league and they certainly aren’t what they were, years ago.  But, there really isn’t a feeling like getting a victory at The Ted. 

Entering the game today, the Mets had hit 16 HRs this year, which included 2 in their previous game against the Phillies.  After not doing much at all in the first 5 innings, the scoring barage began.  Murphy led off with a sharp single to center.  Beltran then worked th count to 3-1 before launching the next pitch to straight away center to make the game, 3-2.  Dlgado blooped single to left and Wright jacked another 2 run homer to center to give the Mets the lead.  Beltran would add another 2 run shot in the 7th, making it 6-4.  He now has the club lead in HRs with 4.  Now, I’m sure the spacious Citi Field has something to do with the Mets lack of power this year, but I can’t imagine it is the entire reason.  Either way, balls are just not leaving the yard for the Amaizin’s so far.  Although, maybe the way the last few games have gone, maybe we should stay on the road (6 HRs in the last 3 games). 

All this was done in support of a, perhaps, rejuvenated John Maine.  He won his scond start in a row, going 6 innings, allowing 3 hits, 3 runs, 6 BBs, and 7 K’s.  He has a great fastball tonight, a key ingredient in his 7 Ks.  He, like all Mets pitchers, had trouble with command.  He didn’t get burned as bad as Ollie did on Saturday, but his walks definitely need to decrease.  However, like Pelfrey, he looks like he is turning the corner and I am feeling a lot more comfortable with him on the mound.  The bullpen did a great job in the last 3 innings.  Bobby Parnell now has Green’s old job in the 7th.  Putz did give up a HR to Chipper, but other than that, looked great.  K-Rod had a shut-down 9th, earning his 6th save.

 

This and That:

  • Jose Reyes finally broke out of a slump, getting a hit, finally.  He also had a run scored and 2 SBs.
  • Alex Cora had another pinch hit.
  • Carlos Beltran, with his 2 hit game, continues to lead the NL in batting at .400.
  • Zack Greinke continues to astound me, as he complete-game, 6 hits the White Sox.  He had 0 BBs and 10 more Ks.  He only threw 104 pitches.  

 

Tuesday, 7:00pm, Livan Hernandez vs. Kenshin Kawakami…