Tagged: Jose Reyes

Crucial Times…

As I sit here writing this, the Mets are in extras against the Reds.  After what was a phenomenal week, ending the home stand, the Mets have hit a skid.  Granted, I will take a 5-1 week all the time (Sun-Sat).  But the end of the series in Philly has left a horrid taste in my mouth.  After dominating 3 less-than-stellar teams and going 9-1 on a critical home stand, NY has dropped its last 2 against its main rival.  I was not as frustrated about Saturday’s loss (although, I always hate to them…and watching Pelfrey get blitzed).  After winning 8 in a row, losses are to be expected and a lot of times, crushing losses.  That’s just baseball.  -side note: what a play by Davis to get Votto at first…love this kid.  Love his defense- It was more Sunday’s loss that was so disheartening.  Although it is still early in May, this was a big series.   The Mets were hot and had a big test.  Played a great game on Friday to get at least a win and got bombed on Saturday…how would they respond?  Especially in the lion’s den?  Coming right out of the gate and watching DW5 hit that bomb…I was psyched and thought that Saturday was behind us.  Even after Santana gave up the 2 HRs (both were after he had 0-2 counts), he still looked good.  And then Barajas’ huge 2 run shot…it just looked like they were over the hump and going to make a statement.  Especially with Santana on the mound.  And then it happened…the walk to Moyer was the breaker…after that, everything was a blur.  I didn’t even make it through the inning before catching up on my DVRed tv shows.  -side note: I have a feeling that Chuck is ending, unfortunately- 

This brings me to my point…can the Mets respond from such a disheartening weekend?  And what does this team want from this year?  They have showed how much potential they have, pitching the way they have (both starting and relieving).  With no one other than Wright (and not BA-wise) really on track (maybe Francoeur), only good things should be coming from the offensive department, right?  Well, tonight, they start a 3 game series in Cincy…a team they can take 2 of 3 from.  And then back home.  So, this is a time to show that the speed bump was just that…and not a huge pothole.  -game has gone to Top 11, now-  Ollie looked solid, tonight, going 6 innings, only 2 runs.  4 BBs, though.  But, again, I will take that from him. 

So, I might have been wrong about hitting Reyes in the 3 hole…sort of.  They have won 7 of 9 games, entering tonight, with him hitting in that spot.  But, it has not been due to Reyes, whose average is down to .217.  I think that they have to continue as things are…but only because there’s not a lot better option.  Bay finally hit a HR last week…but still waiting for him to break out.

Ok, so, I also want to bring up something else that is going on in sports…the NBA Playoffs.  More specifically, the Spurs/Suns series.  I’ve been a Suns fan for years (don’t ask) and definitely have my feelings about the Spurs.  But this is going to be a tremendous series.  With all of the history between the teams and the Spurs maybe reaching the edge of their dominance and the Suns playing better defense.  This is what the playoffs are all about.  People are finally starting to come around on the Suns and pick them to actually beat San Antonio.  They have home-court.  Amare has been playing out of his mind; Grant Hill has revived his career.  -Game to Bot 11, Acosta in-  I know the Cavs/C’s series is going to be great, as well, but this should be a series that goes at least 6 games. Its tough for me to see either team beat the Lakers, but…to finally vanquish the Spurs might give Amare just enough reasons to stay in the Valley of the Sun.   

Hopefully, the Mets will pull this one out and can go for the series win, tomorrow…and…no…Nix homers off of Acosta for a 3-2 win…3rd loss in a row

Tuesday, 7:10, Great American Ballpark, Maine vs. Arroyo…

 

Advertisements

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…

Weekend Mess…

What a series with that Nationals.  They say that you can’t tell anything in the first month or so of the season.  And that you spend the first couple months figuring out who your team is and what you’ve got to work with.  Unless, either, the results are similar to the previous year or spring training.  I believe both to be the case for the Mets.  Examining how the Mets have played in their first few games reminds me exactly of what I watched all of last year.  The pitching has been average at best.  The offense is odd.  There are some proven hitters, but no one has been consistent.  And no one wants to hit in the clutch.  In the 2 wins, the Mets have scored 15 runs.  In their 4 losses, they have scored 12 runs.  Now, you would expect that to a certain degree b/c runs are how you win games.  But this is what the team did all of last year.  They would get red hot and win a game or 2, and then go ice cold and lose 3-4.  The Mets start the season with a relatively easy schedule (at least a home-favored one) and these are wins that need to be had.  Losing series at home to Florida and Washington are just unacceptable.  Granted (again), its still very early, but the way this club has been playing…I don’t see a lot of reasons why the culture of this club should change.  Getting Reyes into mid-season form and getting Beltran back with both help, but there is something deeper with this team that needs to be addressed.  And until that happens, one or two players will not make a difference.


The Good:

  • Mike Pelfrey: pitched a good game on Friday and picked up the win.  He went 6, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, 4 BBs, and 4 Ks.  He also only threw 94 pitches, so he would have been in good shape to pitch the 7th if needed…
  • Jeff Francoeur: off to a tremendous start, hitting .476.  He leads the team in BA, hits, RBI, doubles, tied for 1st in HRs and has only stuck out twice…
  • Jose Reyes has returned…I think that’s good.  We’ll soon see…

The Bad:

  • Starting Pitching: no starters’ ERA is under 3.00.  Also, no one has gone more than 6 innings in a start.  Ok, maybe the starting pitching isn’t bad, but…it could definitely be a lot better.
  • Mike Jacobs: Cut him.  Now.  With a Knife.  Or else I will.  He has 2 hits in 15 ABs…and has 4 K’s.  Thankfully, he did not start the last 2 games.  Again, is it kind of early to be wanting to cut someone?  Maybe…but the 4th or 5th place hitter cannot only have 2 hits and 4 Ks in 15 ABs…not on this team, anyway…

The Ugly:

  • Hitting with RISP:  here is why the Mets don’t score runs.  If you don’t hit HRs, then you need to get hits with people on base.  The Mets are the worst team in the NL, hitting .188 with runners in scoring position.  Tell me you don’t remember THAT from last year…
  • Santana’s 1st Inning on Sunday:  Yikes.  This was bad.  2 hits, 4 runs, 2 BBs.  He only gave up one more run in his next 4 innings, but if Santana is pitching like that (at all), this team doesn’t have a prayer.  Ron and Keith were talking during Sunday’s broadcast and said that the Mets are going to need to win pretty much all of Santana’s starts.  Is that unrealistic?  Yeah.  But, is it necessary?  Probably.
  • Starting From Behind:  The only game that the Mets did not give up a 1st or 2nd inning run was in the 1st game of the season.  The way this offense has performed this year, playing from behind from the beginning does not bode well.

Tuesday, 8:40pm, Coors Field, Maine vs. Smith…

  

In Other News…

I had a varied interest in the sporting world tonight.  So, I’ll see what I can do about covering it all…

First, I got a free ticket to the Frozen Four in Detroit.  After being in Fort Wayne until past midnight a week and a half ago, as my Wolverines were screwed out of a berth in Detroit, I am a little surprised I took the ticket.  I decided to go with a couple friends, but only stayed for the 1st game.  I wanted to root on my hometown RIT Tigers.  It did not help.  At all.  They lost 8-1.  At least they scored…and they brought their fans!  Props to Rochester, NY for coming out to Detroit to support your team.  This was their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament and they made the Frozen Four.  As the game ended, the arena was chanting “R-I-T!” 

Second, I skipped the second game to come home and watch some of the Mets game, but also see the Masters on my DVR.  It was great to watch Tiger, again.  You would have never known he hadn’t played in 140+ days by watching him.  He shot -4 and it easily could have been -6 or -7.  It was his lowest round on the opening day of the Masters (68) and he scored 2 eagles for the 1st time in a Masters round in his career.  Also, his 2nd shot on the 9th hole was absolutely magnificent…

Oh, yes.  And the Mets.  Well, we’re not to Santana, yet.  So, another interesting day in Queens.  I only saw the last 4 innings.  But, from what I looked at, Niese looked all right.  He went 6 innings, 8 hits (probably a few too many), 3 runs, 2 BBs, and 3 Ks.  That’s fine.  I will take that from him, at this point.  The bullpen did a great job, finishing the last 3 innings.  Of course, after I write about my lack of faith in our 2 Japanese relievers, both come through with nice innings, giving up nothing. 

More so, I’m just disappointed with the offense.  Granted, we got 5 runs to rally to tie last night, but we did so without a hit for an RBI.  Again, today, only 7 hits and 1 run.  Pagan and Francoeur each got a couple more hits.  But, we couldn’t string any together and the Marlins didn’t walk anyone.  That will lead to a lack of base runners and, ultimately, runs.  We’ve had 13 hits in the last 18 innings.  Still only 1 HR, this year…

Game Points:

  • Ruben Tejada made his Mets MLB debut, tonight, at SS…he went 0 for 3 at the plate, but looked fine in the field…
  • Burke Badenhop pitched great in relief for the Marlins, tonight, going 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 BBs, and 2 K’s.
  • The Mets opted to go with an entire right-hand hitting lineup against the lefty Nate Robertson…
  • There’s a rumor that Jose Reyes may be back on Saturday night.  We could sure use him.  Not necessarily in the field (although, I’m not turning that down), but in the lineup.  There’s just a spark that he provides that has been obviously missing since last May…
  • Also, as a Suns fan, on a night that I actually have to root for the Lakers, Kobe wants a night off…

Friday, 7:10, Citi Field, Mock vs. Pelfrey…

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…  

Rough Day at Fenway…

This game had 2 halves…literally.  Before the middle of the 5th and after the middle of the 5th.  Well, obviously, that is how all games go.  But today, the Mets seemed like 2 different team…one in each half.  The took a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning.  Everyone, up and down the lineup, was hitting.  Nobody was hitting overly well.  But, everyone was contributing.  Even Tim Redding was looking strong.  He made one bad pitch to Mike Lowell that was hit over the Green Monster.  He also walked a few batters, but he was controlling the Red Sox lineup, for the most part.  After David Wright flew out to deep center and Carlos Beltran tagged from 2nd and went to 3rd, the game changed. 

The Mets had a 5-3 lead and runners on 1st and 3rd with only one out.  This is where the game hangs in the balance and a team can take complete control or they can allow the other team to hang around.  Reed struck out and Castro popped out, ending the threat.  Redding got through the first 2 hitters quickly before the trouble started.  Four consecutive hits for the Red Sox with 2 outs plated 3 runs and it was 6-5.  From there, it just snowballed.  The Sox threw up 6 more runs in the next 2 innings and it was done.  12-5, final.  After that Wright Sac Fly, the Mets got one more hit (a Castro double in the 8th).

 

Bottom Line(s):

  • The Mets are still over-matched in most cases.  With Jose Reyes out of the lineup and Ramon Martinez in the field, it is almost like they are down 2 guys.  While they have gone 5-5 w/o Jose, they need him back in order to continue making progress.  Losing Alex Cora has hurt more than anyone would have thought a couple of months ago…If Murphy can hit between .270 and .290 (he’s currently at .248), he will be a viable option at 1st.  He’s looking more and more comfortable there.  I think he needs to be in the infield. As an infielder who has had to play outfield, I know the feeling…
  • This game was coming.  The Mets have been in every game on this road trip and even stole a couple…maybe even games they should have been blown out of.  But, against this quality of an opponent, they were going to get trashed at some point.  Take your lumps and be ready again, tomorrow. 
  • Ken Takahashi had one of the weirdest plays I have ever seen.  In the middle of his wind up, he dropped the ball.  So…he followed through with no ball.  The ball, apparently, started rolling towards 3rd.  That would be a balk (a runner was on 1st).  That’s 4 balks on this road trip.  Is that a record?  Should be…
  • K-Rod ran out to the bullpen today in the middle of the game…that is a great sign because A) He ran B) He might have been able to pitch…
  • All things considered: Church, Reyes, Sheffield, K-Rod getting injured; 4 balks; 6 runs in the middle 4 games, Fernando Tatis playing short for the 1st time since the 1900’s, going Coast-to-Coast against 3 +.500 teams…I think a 5-5 record is something to be positive about…

 

Monday, 7:10, Citi Field, Lannan vs. Maine…

Four in a Row…

 

depression.jpgWell, tonight was relatively predictable.  I watched the game with a friend and I made a bet that 2 things would happen. 

1. Every time the Mets were to get an RBI, it would have to be a hit by either Wright or Beltran.

2. Whenever the Mets were to “almost” score, Beltran and Wright were going to be in the middle of it.

I was right…twice.  They are a 2 man team, right now.  When they are not involved, this team will do nothing…at all.  Daniel Murphy started at his first game at 1st.  He played very well…in the field.  At the plate, he had 2 Ks, grounded into a double play, and grounded weakly to first with 1 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd.  We have now scored 6 runs in 4 games. 

Livan Hernandez probably pitched the best game he has pitched this year.  He went 7 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  JJ Putz then came in the 8th and threw lots of balls, gave up a hit and allowed the Dodgers to take the lead…and win the game. 

Orlando Hudson has played a great series against the Mets.  That is ironic, given that he really wanted to play for the Mets.  But they decided to stick with Castillo.  The move looked good through April and into May.  We’ll see how that pans out for the next couple years…

 

Times I’ve Thrown Up in My Mouth:

  • Jose Reyes legged out a single (that he was thrown out by Hudson) and re-injured his calf…that means more Ramon Martinez.  Yay.
  • The Mets are 0 for their last 13 with RISP.  Tonight, they went 0 for 10, leaving 9 on base.
  • Coming into the 8th inning, I heard a stat that the Mets bullpen had not allowed an earned run in 14 1/3 innings…they gave up one tonight.  Apparently, they have the best bullpen in the league, according to ERA.  2.63 or something like that…
  • We haven’t seen Sheffield in a couple games…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury had 12 putouts tonight, setting an MLB record in a 9 inning game…

 

The Mets are off tomorrow…Thank God…