Tagged: K-Rod

Classic, Part 2…

If last night was amazing, tonight was ridiculous.  Don’t get me wrong, when Werth caught the ball in the bottom of the 10th, I sensed something bad would happen.  Parnell coming in to face Utley, Howard, and Ibanez?  In Extras?  *cringe*  Yeah, I had a feeling one of them would go deep…and Utley did.  He has 15 HRs this year and 4 have come against the Mets.  BUT…this game was still great and it would have been worth the price of admission…

Normally, games like this are awesome and sometimes you lose them…but, we should and could have had this one.  Mike Pelfrey pitched well.  I know people have not been throwing him a bone at all this year, but he is selling me every start he makes.  He pitched very well into the 7th inning.  I agree with Keith Hernandez and absolutely love how he stared down Chase Utley twice.  When Utley kept stepping out on him, Pelf stared him down and Utley stared back.  A few pitches later, Utley grounded out and both players passed each other, again staring each other down.  This is what the Mets need.  They need to get emotionally involved and add some fire.  It happened on Tuesday and Pelf replicated it again Wednesday night.  He did give up a couple hits in the 7th and Beltran dropped a ball he would catch 99 out of 100 times.  But all in all, Pelf held his own in a huge game and deserved a better fate.  He went 6+ innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (only 2 earned), 1 BB, and 2 Ks. 

Sean Green came in and could not keep any inherited runner from scoring.  That is something that cannot happen when you consistently enter games in the middle of innings.  Feliciano might be the unsung hero of this team.  He entered in the 8th and got the assignment Parnell would later get and it wasn’t close.  3 up, 3 down against Utley, Howard, and Ibanez.  K-Rod pitched 2 innings and was great, with the help of Tatis’s sick double play in the 10th.

Offensively, the Mets tore the cover off the ball, collecting 16 hits in all.  Pelfrey started the charge, going 2 for 3 with a double, RBI and a run scored.  The Mets shelled Hamels, who barely made it through the 5th, allowing 11 hits, 4 runs, 2 BBs, and a K.  David Wright also a nice night going 3 for 5 with a walk and a run scored.  He has continued to rake.  He hit a sinking liner in the bottom of the 10th, with F-Mart on 1st, that Jayson Werth made a diving grab on.  If Werth misplays that ball at all, it gets by and Martinez walks home to end the game.  That is how the entire game went.  Santos contributed 3 hits, while Castillo and Beltran each had 2.  Santos’s big flub came in the bottome of the 8th when he popped up (on the 1st pitch, no less) with the bases loaded and only one out.  That is what killed the most.  I saw a stat during the game that the Mets lead the NL is batting average with RISP (something like .282).  I suppose it could be true…just sometimes hard to believe, watching this team. 

Could Have Beens:

  • 15 of the Mets 16 hits…were singles.  That’s a 4 hits:1 run ratio.  That’s terrible.  Only Pelfrey got more than a base.
  • The Mets loaded the bases twice and had 2 runners on twice and didn’t score in any of those 4 innings…
  • During the 7th inning, when the Phils got 3 runs, Beltran dropped a catchable ball (but it was a hit) and Wright misplayed a grounded that would have been an easy out at home…defense always does come back to bite them
  • The Mets were 6 for 19 with RISP (not terrible) but had 16 LOB…that’s bad. 
  • If these were the first 2 games, I cannot wait to see Thursday night’s rubber match.  Unfortunately, I do have 2 playoff softball games, so I will be watching the game, after the fact…
  • Also, I watched the Series Premiere of Royal Pains tonight…USA Network is coming out with some awesome shows.  Their summer slate (Burn Notice, Royal Pains, and Psych) might rival CBS during year…

 

Thursday night, 7:10, Citi Field, Moyer vs. Redding…   

Show Me The Apple!

 

CitiApple.jpgThis was just an amazing game.  There was quality pitching, quality hitting, punches and counter-punches, comebacks, lead changes, great plays, and lots of gut-wrenching drama…

First, in the top of the 8th, my MLB.TV DVR stopped and I was help in purgatory-limbo for another hour+…but, I did manage to stay away from all scoreboards and see the end of great Stanley Cup and NBA Finals games…

This might have been the best game Johan Santana has played in as a Met.  Yes, he did give up 4 HRs (3 of the were solo…and to lefties), but he contributed in other ways.  His pitching line was 7+ innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  Yeah, not that great of a pitching night, but for the run support given to him, I’ll take it.  Just seeing his emotion and the way he got out of innings showed his leadership.  You could tell by his expressions that he knew how much this game meant and that his team needed him out there.  After giving up a 3-run lead in the top of the 6th, Santana came through with his bat.  With Santos and Church on 1st and 2nd and one out, Santana could not get the sac bunt down in 2 attempts.  On an 0-2 pitch, Johan lines a ball into the corner to tie the game with his first RBI of the season.  In the top of the 7th, with a runner on 1st and 1 out,  Shane Victorino lined a shot back up the middle that Santana snagged and tossed over to 1st to complete the double play.  When Manuel finally went out to get him after his 4th HR, Santana was not so pleased and tried to stay in.  This was his game and he wanted to finish.  That is what the Mets need to show more of.  Yes, he has been giving up more runs in his last few starts and he did give up 4 HRs on Tuesday, but he used the run support he was given and he hung in the game long enough to get his team to the back end of the bullpen.  The Mets had to have this game and Santana got them to the end.  There are more aspects to leading a team than pitching your best game, statistically and Santana did that.

Major props to Pedro Feliciano and K-Rod for their solid performances in the 8th and 9th.  Pedro threw 4 pitches and got Howard to hit into a double play and Ibanez to ground out, ending the 8th.  K-Rod made his way through the 9th, including 2 Ks of Feliz and Dobbs.

As for the offense, they hit HRs!  That’s plural…and more than 2!!  Woohoo!!!  David Wright hit his 1st HR in 100 ABs in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  Carlos Beltran added a 2 run shot after a Cora double.  To add to the power surge, Ryan Church hit a deep ball in the 7th inning.  To top it off, Church hit the ball INTO the Apple well!  It turned out to just be enough, as the Mets held on, 6-5. 

 

Relief Points:

  • Not to complain, but in the bottom of the 6th, after Tatis doubled and reached 3rd via a bad throw on a pickoff by Ruiz, Church grounded to 1st and Tatis was thrown out at home.  Except that he wasn’t…the replay clearly showed that Tatis was under the tag. 
  • There is still no timetable on Reyes…its better that he not rush back.  We are going to need a healthy Reyes for the last couple months…
  • Every Phillies starter (except Ruiz and Happ) got at least 1 hit and Rollins continued his dominance over the Mets by going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run scored…
  • The Mets, again, showed great team hitting.  Wright and Cora each had a couple hits, but everyone in the starting lineup got a hit (except Castillo)…
  • The Nationals picked Stephen Strasburg with the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft…it would be tough to turn him down.

 

Wednesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Hamels vs. Pelfrey…

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…

Heroics, Redemption, and Defense…

 

Santos.jpgPerhaps I am a little biased, but this might have been one of the best regular season games I have seen in a while.  The starting pitching was absolutely phenomenal.  Mike Pelfrey threw 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, and 6 Ks.  He did get roughed up a little in the 1st, but settled down and kept his team in the game.  Josh Beckett, on the other side, one-uped Pelfrey going 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 0 BBs, and 5 Ks. 

The Defense was also amazing.  Boston made at least 4 or 5 nice running plays on line drives by the Mets.  They could have had several more hits, had it not been for the nice work of the Red Sox fielders.  In the 9th inning, the Mets defense saved the game for them.  With a runner on 1st and no out, Jason Bay hit a screamer down the line that Wright stabbed and threw to 2nd to get the lead runner.  The throw was off the mark, but Castillo made the stretch and stayed on the bag.  With 2 outs, Mike Lowell hit a ball deep in the hole between short and 3rd and Ramon Martinez dove and got it, rose to his feet and threw him out at 1st to end the game (Martinez also went 1 for 4 at the plate, gathering another hit).  Ramon, I know I have been tough on you, but you made some plays tonight.  Props to you.  Keep it up!

While all of this was great baseball, the highlight came in the top of the 9th.  Facing the most intimidating closer in baseball, Jonathan Papelbon, Gary Sheffield drew a leadoff walk.  Papelbon then absolutely over-powered Wright and Reed for 2 quick outs.  Omir Santos stepped in, looked 1st pitch fastball and launched a shot into deep left-center to give the Mets a 3-2 lead!  The play was reviewed, but it was clearly a HR.  So, the Mets, down 2-1 for almost 8 complete innings, steal a game with one swing of the bat by the backup catcher.  JJ Putz stepped in and closed the deal in the 9th for his 2nd save. 

Those of you who have read my blog consistently know that every game that I feel the Mets let get away (there are 5 or 6 to date, I believe), I tag “One Game.”  This game is the exact opposite of that.  Given all of the ridiculous circumstances and injuries and fatigue, etc that this team is going through, this could be a season-turning game.  Maybe not.  It could be just another win.  But after seeing some of the emotion from some of the players and how this win came from out of thin air, I would not be surprised to see this team rattle off a nice little 5 out of 7 or 8 out of 9 streak.   One more game to this road trip, tomorrow.  The Mets have cemented at least a .500 record.  Even if they lose Sunday, I think the team should be relatively high and positive about this trip and what they have come through…

 

We Want Chow-dah:

  • K-Rod had some serious back spasms on Saturday and was taken to the hospital.  He was not available Saturday night and most likely will not be on Sunday…who else is going to get hurt?
  • Ryan Church announced that he has had a hamstring problem since Spring Training, but wanted to play…well, that seems to have caught up with him.  Hopefully, he will get it worked out and be back soon…
  • Jose Reyes says he felt better today, but probably won’t play for another couple/3 days…
  • There were only 7 official ABs with RISP tonight for both teams combined.  The Mets went 1 for 4 and the BoSox 1 for 3.  There were 10 combined LOB, each team leaving 5…
  • Papelbon blew his 1st save of the year and 1st in his last 17 chances…I love how competitive he is, but I love beating him even more…
  • Daniel Murphy looked solid again in the field at 1st.  Here is a thought: Why not have him be the everyday 1st baseman for years to come?  Given age and injury, I assume the Mets will not re-sign Delgado after the year is done.  If Murph keeps this up (and he has looked as comfortable as he ever has defensively), maybe that is where he plays permanently.  Just a thought…

 

Sunday, 1:35, Fenway Park, Redding vs. Wakefield… 

A Walk Off Win…literally

 

carlosBeltran.jpgIn keeping with the theme of this series, Pelfrey and Jurrjens gave us another great pitching duel.  Jair Jurrjens (the key component of the Edgar Renteria trade to Detroit) pitched as well as I have seen him pitch.  He started running out of gas in the 8th inning and the Mets got to him.  Up 3-0, he allowed a couple of singles to Reed and Church, before Reyes slammed a ball to the wall in left-center.  Reyes was then thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple, ending the Mets threat in the 8th.  That wasn’t the only great defensive play by the Braves.  In the 2nd inning, Brian McCann threw out David Wright, attempting to steal 2nd on the back end of a “strike ’em out/throw ’em out” double play.  In the 7th, David Wright was again thrown out, this time at home on an attempted Sac Fly by Fernando Tatis.  The Braves just flat-out made plays on defense.  Mike Pelfrey pitched as well as he had all year.  He ended up going 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, and 3 Ks.  That’s almost identical to Jurrjens, 7 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, 4 Ks.

Despite allowing a leadoff hit, K-Rod got through the top of the 9th.  How do you lead a team?  You hit .370+, lead the team in RBIs, play a sick center field, and get lead off doubles in 9th innings.  Beltran lined a shot down the left field line, crusing into 2nd.  After Wright HRISed and failed to get the him to 3rd, Beltran decided it was up to him to tie the game.  In a ridiculously ballsy moved he stole 3rd and made it by inches.  After Tatis was hit by a pitch, Castillo hit a pinch hit Sac Fly to left to score Beltran and tie the game.  Going to the 10th, K-Rod made it interesting again, but held the Braves scoreless.  In the bottom of the 10th, Jeff Bennett came on and quickly retired the 1st 2 Mets.  This is why Jose Reyes is so dangerous.  He beats out an infield hit and promptly steals 2nd, forcing an intentional walk to Alex Cora.  Bennet unintentionally walks Castro to load the bases.  Running the count full, Bennet then throws a borderline pitch that the umpire called low, to walk in Reyes for the Mets “Walk” off win.  I guess that’s kind of redemption for Sean Green walking in a run in the 10th against the Phillies a week and a half ago.  See, this is why I LOVE Jose Reyes.  Sure, he has his flaws, but with 2 out and no one on, he single-handed changed the entire complexion of the inning.  While on 3rd, he was jumping around, clapping and firing everybody up.  His smile, intensity (when he brings it), and intangibles are what can take the Mets from being good to great.  This is the kind of game that championship teams win, stealing the momentum from an opponent who had them down and out.  With the afternoon game on Wednesday, this is a chance for the Mets to get on another roll before their 10 game road trip.

 

Building Blocks:

  • K-Rod pitched 2 innings tonight.  The last time he went 2 innings in a major league game was 2007.  He also earned his first win as a Met.
  • The Mets are now 1-13 in games they trail after 8 innings.  That is something to work on…
  • The Braves went 2 for 12 with RISP, leaving 10 on base…
  • Beltran, Reyes, and Wright (the Mets 3 best everyday players) each had 2 hits…
  • The Braves had 3 outfield assists on Tuesday…
  • Carlos Delgado missed his 2nd straight game…
  • HRIS is my term for a pop up…Home Run In Silo

 

Wednesday, 1:10, Citi Field, Jo-Jo Reyes vs. Jon Niese… 

Four Victories, Four Saves…

After Pelfrey gave up 3 hits and a run to the Phillies in the Top of the 1st, the Mets came out blazing in the Bottom of the 1st.  One-out walk to Castillo leads to a Beltran 2 run shot to left.  After Delgado doubled to the right field corner, Wright launched another bomb to dead center, making it 4-1.  Reyes hit a solo shot in the 2nd, and Castro doubled in 2 more runs in the 3rd, expanding the Met lead to 7-1.  That was it for Moyer.  He went 2 1/3, 7 hits, 7 runs, 2 BBs and a K.  Mike Pelfrey took over from there, going 4 more innings.  He worked out of a jam in the 6th, as well.  In all, he went 7 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 BB, and 0 Ks.  This was Pelfrey’s best start of the year.  He did give up a few runs, but went the deepest in a game of any Met pitcher, not named Santana.  Plus, with the lead he was given, he threw strikes and not too many pitches, resting the bullpen.  Pelfrey has now improved to 4-0 and lowering his ERA to 5.46.  Not great, but on its way down.  Pedro Feliciano pitched the 8th, but surrendered 2 more runs on a 2 run homer by the newest Met-killer, Jayson Werth.  K-Rod came in 9th, made it relatively interesting after a 2 out walk to pinch-hitter Matt Stairs, but got Rollins to pop out to Castillo.  K-Rod has now pitched in 4 straight games, saving the 9th inning in each, and tying again for the MLB lead in saves with 9.

The Mets announced they were placing Ollie Perez on the DL today.  Now, after his last “start” last Saturday, he complained of some pain in his knee.  This is an interesting situation.  There is great debate in Metsland.  Is he really hurt?  Is that his/the team’s way of “sending him to the Minors?”  What is the best move?  Well, I was thinking about it a couple days ago and I was thinking a DL stint might be the best move, regardless.  First of all, there is no way Perez is going to start a game in the next couple times through the rotation.  Second, out-right sending him down could have an adverse affect on his confidence, something that is essential to any pitcher and especially Perez.  This way, while on the DL, he can have as many rehab starts and workouts as he/the Mets would like.  And, the Mets can audition a spot in the rotation…Friday night Jonathan Niese will get his shot.  He looked OK in his attempts last year but hasn’t done well in Buffalo this year.  Some people have said the Mets should cut Perez.  These people need to learn a little more about baseball before spouting off.  Perez can be a good pitcher.  Since we are going to pay him a lot of money, anyway, we might as well have the option of using him.  If something is wrong with him, that could be why he is struggling.  DL him, send him down, but cutting him isn’t an option, yet. 

 

Sub-Plots:

  • The Phillies bullpen looked great today, going 5 2/3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB, and 1 K.
  • David Wright looks to be coming around.  He went 3 for 3 with a HR, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored.
  • Ramon Castro also continued his hot hitting going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
  • The Mets went with their “all-right-handed” lineup against the lefty Moyer: Tatis for Murphy and Sheffield for Church.
  • Jayson Werth might be my newest “scary Phillie” as he continues to tear up the Mets.  Tonight, 4 for 4, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored…
  • The Royals won their 6th in a row and hold a 2.5 game lead in the AL Central.  Meanwhile the cross-town Yanks have lost their 5th in a row…
  • Manny Ramirez failed a drug test and will be suspended for 50 games.  He said it was a personal subscription, not a performance-enhancer.  And, he owned up to it and took responsibility for the mishap.  I don’t believe he was on steroids…

 

Friday, 7:10, Citi Field, Karstens vs. Niese…