Tagged: Ken Takahashi

Stacked Deck…

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

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

 

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

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

 

A Couple Memories:

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

 

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

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…

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, C-YA!

Well, that was absolutely pathetic.  I don’t know who needs to be sent down more, Oliver Perez or Sean Green.  Perez, in his do-or-die start, died.  He went 2 1/3, allowed 5 hits, 4 runs, and walked 6!  6!  That’s almost 2 walks an inning.  In the 3rd inning, before being taken out, got 1 out and walked 4, including the bottom 3 in the order and the pitcher to force in a run (this would be a recurring theme for the day).  As far as I’m concerned, that’s it.  He’s done.  Send him to Buffalo.  If he can straighten things out as a Bison, great.  But, there is no need to keep screwing over the bullpen and losing games up in the Majors.  Its really frustrating because we all know how good Ollie can be.  When he’s on, he’s literally unhittable.  But, he is SO off, right now.  And it’s not necessarily his stuff.  It’s his control.  I mean, as an opposing batter, if you step in the box, take a few pitches.  Chances are, you will be ahead 2-1, 3-0, etc.  I know we’ve paid him a lot of money and there’s not a clear cut alternative, but this option is not working and something has to be done.  A couple weeks ago people said “It’s only April.  It will turn around.”  Well, it has…sort of.  But not in the W/L column.  And Oliver Perez has only gotten worse.  His ERA is now 9.97…after 5 starts!  I’m also not saying banish him to the International League forever…but he has to go for a start or 2 or longer, depending on how replacements do. 

Then, it seems that Sean Green feels that Perez will need a friend on the bus back to Western New York.  Green started the year off nicely.  Looking very solid in his 7th inning role.  However, he got trashed in his appearance in the day game in St Louis and hasn’t been the same since.  On Tuesday, he was lit up (again because of lack of control) by the Marlins and tagged for 4 runs.  Today, he came on in the 10th and walked 2 and hit a batter, including walking in the winning run.  In that inning, he also walked Chris Coste (who’s hitting .182) with 2 on and 2 outs…in 5 pitches!  I understand not putting the ball on a tee, but you have to throw strikes at some point.  Make an under .200 hitter beat you.  I am just absolutely sick and tired of losing games because of stupid mistakes.  The Phillies are not performing well, either.  Their lineup is not hitting for average at all.  Their starting pitching is below average.  But they are, somehow, still winning games.  The Mets are not.  And I think Manuel’s trigger finger is getting very itchy and he’s got to do something…now.  

 

Screamers:

  • Jose Reyes is ready for a day off.  He went 0 for 5 at the plate with 2 K’s, including missing on a sacrifice bunt twice in the 10th inning and then striking out. 
  • The Mets left multiple people on base in the last 3 innings, scoring 0 in all three innings combined.  They left a total of 13 on today…
  • The Mets did hit well in the 6th, especially after getting 2 quick outs.  Back-to-back HRs by Murphy and Castro tied the game.  Cora pinch-hit tripled and, after a Reyes walk, Castillo singled him in, giving the Mets their only -and short-lived- lead, 5-4.
  • Pedro Feliciano gave up his 2nd HR to a lefty in 2 days.  That is NOT why he is on the team.  He is there to get lefties out.  He gave up the 6th inning lead…
  • Ken Takahashi made his MLB debut, going 2 2/3 innings, 1 hit and 0 runs, AND getting Perez out of a bases loaded one out jam in the third.  He may have just made a bid to make a start for Perez, next Thursday.
  • It’s time to watch the Bulls/Celtics Game 7…I’ve had enough baseball for today…

 

Tomorrow, Maine/Blanton at 1:35pm…