Tagged: Livan Hernandez

Coming Through…

 

Livan.jpgThat was a must-win.  And, honestly, who has been better in the last few starts than Livan Hernandez?  He pitched well in Pittsburgh, last Monday, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.  From a guy who entered Spring Training fighting for the last spot in the rotation, Livan might be the #2 starter, if the Mets were in the playoffs today.  His ERA has dropped steadily since his only loss on April 23rd (7.31 to 3.88 after today).  He’s only given up 5 runs in his last 28 2/3 innings.  Today, he only added to his great numbers, going 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 4 BBs, and 4 Ks.  He is not scheduled to pitch against the Phillies (obviously) but should take the mound next Friday against the rival Yankees in the Mets first trip to the New Stadium.

The Mets jumped on Stammen early and often.  That is exactly what needed to happen after last night…and against a good, young starter.  5 of the first 6 Mets reached base and all ended up scoring…2 by wild pitch.  After the 1st inning, though, the Mets didn’t do much until the late innings.  Fortunately, Hernandez took care of that.  To me, though, it was important that more runs scored, especially via hits and not on gifts.  In the 7th, Cora singled, stole 2nd, and scored and Wright’s RBI single.  And in the 9th, Martinez reached on an error, but Beltran lined a shot into the right-center gap, gathering an RBI.  On a day when Wright and Beltran each only had an RBI, the Mets still scored 7 runs.  Sure, a couple came on on wild pitches, but Fernando Martinez, Murphy, and Schneider all drove in runs.  Everybody is going to have to get clutch hits until Reyes and Delgado are back.

 

Positives Ending a Negative Road Trip:

  • Ryan Church had a successful return to the lineup.  He has said that he needs to be an everyday player and he backed it up today.  Church went 2 for 5 with a run scored and he hit the ball hard 3 times.  He also played strong in the field, making a couple of nice catches.  It should be interesting how much he plays against the Phillies, as the Mets will be facing 3 lefties…
  • Daniel Murphy also looked solid again, today.  Murph hit well (2 for 4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored) and looked right at home at 1st base.  He fielded a hard hit ball and started a double play, including getting back to the bag from a reasonable distance away.  These are the type of plays that good first basemen make, routinely…and Murph is getting there.
  • Gary Sheffield got to rest his aging body another day.  This is going to be key, as I expect him to start the next 3 games against the Philly lefties.
  • David Wright is quietly getting hot again.  Today, he went 2 for 3 with an RBI, a run scored, and 2 BBs.  On his last 4 games, he went 9 for 13 with 4 RBI, 4 doubles, 5 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, 5 BBs, and NO Ks!!! 
  • Roy Halladay won again today.  He threw his 2nd complete game, allowing 7 hits, 0 runs, 0 BBs, and 6 Ks.  His ERA is not Greinke or Santana-esque, but 2.52 is nothing to fret over.  It is Top 5 in the AL.  Halladay got his 10th win…can he give 30 a run?

 

The Mets are off again tomorrow, so…

Tuesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Happ vs. Santana…

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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…

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… 

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…  

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…

Sweep!

 

broom.jpgSo, I almost had to re-do my entire entry for tonight.  Like any writer, I was putting my thoughts together and organizing how I was going to write everything down, when the bottom of the 9th happened.  My TV’s life was extended after Ryan Church caught Chipper’s attempt to win the game for the Braves.  With a 4-1 lead and 2 down in the bottom of the 9th, K-Rod gives up a hit and a walk, when Omar Infante pops up a bloop right to Delgado.  I was about to walk into my kitchen, but thought that nothing is a sure thing (especially with the Mets) and stayed to watch Carlos flat out DROP the ball.  Funny thing is, if everyone runs it out, the runner on 1st is at least on 3rd and Infante is easily on 2nd, instead of 1st.  He would then have scored on Escobar’s single, tying the game.  Thankfully, Omar loafed it, made it to 3rd on the single, and was stranded on Chipper’s flyout. 

Up until the 2 out roller coaster ride, the pitching for the Mets was amazing.  Livan went 6 1/3, 7 hits, 1 run, 2 BBs and 2 Ks, only throwing 75 pitches (discounting the Ollie start, it was the Mets 4th straight quality start).  He totally could have gone at least another inning, but got into a bit of a jam, and Manuel decided not to push his luck (not a bad decision at all).  Parnell, Putz, and K-Rod did their respective jobs.  K-Rod’s would have been smoother, if not for Delgado’s error.  In keeping with the theme of not allowing runs, the Mets defense (in the 1st 7 innings) was great.  They turned 3 double-plays.  And on Prado’s run-scoring double, Murphy made a great play, cutting the ball off, otherwise, Schafer probably scores and ties the game at 2.  Then, the defense went downhill, as Castillo and Delgado made routine-play errors.

Offensively, the effort was mixed.  They got 11 hits: good.  Only 4 runs (including leaving 2 on in the 9th…2nd and 3rd with no out and neither scored): bad.  4 players wth multiple hits, including Castro with 3: good.  Leaving 12 on base and goin 3 for 13 with RISP: bad.  Luckily, the pitching out-weighed the hitting and the Mets got away with a sweep in the ATL…  

 

Points for your morning coffee:

  • Daniel Murphy had a nice game.  He went 1 fo 4 with a run scored.  Also, he saved a run with a nice defensive play in the 7th.  And, after a botched throw by Chipper in the 9th, moved up to an un-occupied 2nd base.  That forced the Braves to walk Beltran, creating a big opportunity for Delgado.  As defensively challeneged as he was to start the year, I’m enjoying watching his progress, not only as a fielder, but as a baseball player.
  • Despite his almost biffing the game away, Delgado did have a huge hit in the 9th with the bases loaded, plating the soon-needed 2 runs.  Give and Take, I guess…
  • The Mets have swept a series -albeit a mini 2 game series- in Atlanta for the first time in 2 years…winning there will never get old for me.
  • Yunel Escobar is just adding to the log-jam of great short-stops in the NL East…he went 3 for 5 with an RBI tonight…
  • Johan Santana has given up 4 earned runs this year.  That is fewer than 3 Mets relievers (Putz, 6; Feliciano, 5; Green, 12 -yikes)…
  • Is anyone else excited about the Royals?  The epitome of a small market team and they are leading their division by 1.5 games (I know its early May, but let’s enjoy it while we can).  Greinke has 37.5% of their wins…
  • This is fun: the Nats and Astros had their 10-10 game called in the 11th inning today because of rain.  The game was played in DC.  But they don’t play again until July 9th (in Houston).  That will be the date that this game will be continued.  So, the home team will wear gray in the1st game?  And, given the probable lack of success of both teams (sorry, Nats and Astros fans *Cassie*) and it being near the trade deadline, how will they handle players who won’t be on the roster then and players who weren’t today but will be on the roster then?  Yay for tight schedules and short series…
  • Also, tough loss for the Wings to the Ducks tonight…sometimes, life just isn’t fair…not much else you can say about that game…

 

 

Quote of the Night:

“Keith, its your favorite song.”  “[Its] all around major league baseball.  You just can’t get away from it.”  -Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, upon hearing the sound bite “Everybody Clap Your Hands.” 

Wednesday, 7pm, Park/Santana… 

Luis, Luis!!! And also The Sheff…

 

 

Sheffield.jpgThe 1st walk-off at Citi Field!!  What a great night for many a Mets player.  For a while, it looked like the Mets would win comfortably.  Livan Hernandez looked almost perfect through 4 and even through 5, only allowing a run.  But after the 1st 2 Brewers reached the plate in the 6, All Star Ryan Braun hit his 1st HR of he season, giving the Brewers a 4-3 lead.  Gary Sheffield would answer an inning later with his 500th Big Fly of his career.  In the bottom of the 9th, Luis Castillo slapped a ball into the hole between short and 3rd, plating Delgado for the 5-4 win.  What a play for Castillo.  He has been ridiculed (and to some degree, rightly so) for over a year, now about his play, attitude, etc.  With many fans (myself included) clamouring for the Mets to sign Orlando Hudson, Castillo has faced a steep uphill climb.  However, he is hitting .387 with 4 rbi, hitting in the 8 hole.  His defense has also been great.  After a tough week (going 1-3 before today), it was a necessary win for the Mets tonight.  Again, its still early, but we need to get out to a good start and win the games we should win (especially against sub .500 teams and games at home).  Hopefully, we can build on this win with Santana taking the ball tomorrow afternoon…he takes on Brewers potential ace Yovani Gallardo at 1:10…

 

Pondering Points:

  • Perhaps, I was wrong about the Padres…being down 7-1 after the 4th (to Cole Hamels and the Phils), the Padres rally to win 8-7…with ex-Met Heath Bell notching his 6th save of the year…
  • Our favorite ex-Met of all time is actually doing well with the Cubs.  He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 7 appearances, allowing his only run on a HR.  He also has 4 BBs and 5 Ks.
  • Despite the win, the Mets still haven’t stopped leaving people on base at an alarming rate.  Again, the Mets left double-digit men on base (11, I believe).  They also left the bases loaded 3 times!  Interesting point, Beltran was key in stranding the bases loaded, each time.  He came up and struck out (with bases loaded and 1 out) in the 1st and 8th and popped up in the 8th.
  • The other major struggle for the Mets was almost solved today, as Hernandez looked great through 5 innings.  However, before he could record an out in the 6th, he gave up 3 runs and the lead.  Other than Santana, there is yet to be a Mets starter who you can count on to give you 5 decent innings…if that.
  • A bright spot for the Mets is their bullpen.  They lead the NL in bullpen ERA, 2.17 (entering tonight, I think).  That is great.  They just need to be used less. 
  • Endy Chavez is off to a torrid start with the M’s, hitting .417 with a HR and 6 RBI, starting every game this year…
  • Gary Sheffield became the 1st Met to ever hit his 500th HR with the Mets…he is also the 1st player to ever make his 1st HR with a team, also his 500th career…

 

Quote(s) of the Night:

“This is…uh…I don’t know…uh…Little League?  Ill-advised is what that is.”  Keith Hernandez commenting on JJ Hardy’s throw from short that went halfway between 3rd and home.

“Can’t play that deep against Fielder…he can run a little bit.” [uh…yeah?  I respectfully disagree]  Gary Cohen on Castillo playing in shallow right field when Prince Fielder came to bat.