Tagged: Omir Santos

A Bid to Stay…

 

omirsantos.jpgWith Brian Schneider eligible to come off of the DL on Saturday, Omir Santos seemed like the logical choice to be sent down to Buffalo.  He started the season as a relative unknown and Ramon Castro has a Major League contract.  He has, however, held his own in Flushing.  The only statistic that Castro really out-performed Santos was in throwing out runners (Castro has thrown out 7 of 15 and Santos 5 of 17).  Santos began his pledge to stay last Saturday night by taking Papelbon deep with a runner aboard in the 9th to give the Mets a 3-2 lead and ultimately the win.  Tonight, he continued…

Down 1-0 in the fifth against a pitcher the Mets had never seen (only his 2nd career start), Omir Santos lines a ball deep down the left field line for a game-tying HR.  Up to that point, the Mets only had 1 hit.  Then, in the 11th inning, after Sheffield’s lead-off single and a throwing error by Marlin catcher Ronny Paulino that allowed Sheffield to get to 3rd, Santos lined a single into left field for the Mets 3rd walk-off win of the season. 

Obviously, Castro and Schneider are not going to be sent down.  Both are proven veterans who have Major League contracts.  Both have their strengths (Schneider has been a great defensive catcher and Castro has a lot of pop in his bat).  Santos is kind of caught in the middle.  He apparently does have some power and is not a liability on defense, but how long can he keep it up?  My guess is that Santos will stay…for the time being.  Using 3 catchers can be risky, given that it can shorten your bench in other areas.  But, he has been such a vital part of the Mets success, it is just too hard to get rid of him. 

Fernando Martinez is the most likely candidate to be sent down.  He has gone 0fer since he had been called up and just didn’t really look comfortable.  He needs to be playing everyday.  With Sheff needed in the lineup and Pagan playing well, he won’t get that chance.  He did not start tonight, but pinch hit and flew out in the 8th.  F-Mart still might be an every day player for the Mets (if not a potential star), but the time is not now.  He still needs more seasoning.

Not to be forgotten is Mike Pelfrey.  If you can pitch better than he did Saturday in Boston, he did tonight.  Pelf went 7 2/3, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 6 Ks.  The chatter on Pelfrey is that he needs to cut down on walks and miss more bats.  He did both tonight and is really becoming a quality pitcher.  His ERA is now below 4 at 3.88.  Unfortunately, he is getting the Santana treatment and is not being scored for.  His best 2 starts of the year have resulted in no-decisions.

**Just as I am writing this**

Mets trade Ramon Castro to the White Sox for 2005 1st round pick P Lance Broadway.  Broadway will join the starting rotation in Buffalo…I guess that makes a couple of previous paragraphs unnecessary…

 

Walk-offs:

  • The Mets acquired OF Emil Brown from the Padres on Friday…kind of an interesting move, considering the Mets have too many outfielders.  He will start in Buffalo.
  • Marlins starter Sean West pitched very well Friday.  He went 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  The Mets also have a history of hitting poorly against pitchers they have never seen.
  • The Mets have now not committed an error in 5 straight games…not that that is a great accomplishment, but for this team it might be, right now.
  • Ramon Martinez went 2 for 3 tonight…maybe he has been reading my writing and trying to make me look foolish…that’s ok with me, Ramon.  Just keep hitting!
  • Matt Wieters made his MLB debut for the Orioles.  He went 0 for 4.  That one is for you, Josh…
  • Kind of bummed to see Castro go.  He has done a great job as a backup catcher for the Mets over the past few years.  Thanks a lot, Ramon and good luck in Chi-town!

 

Saturday, 1:10, Citi Field, Johnson vs Redding…

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… 

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…

The Bats and the Pelfrey

 

batsbelfry.jpgMike Pelfrey made his 4th start of the year for the Mets, tonight.  He, again, was on the precipus of something great, but couldn’t quite pull through and complete what he started.  He did, however, pitch well enough to qualify for the win (including his 8th hit of his career and 2 RBI).  He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 3 runs (all earned), but he walked 4 and struck out 0.  I still get excited when Big Pelf pitches.  He has tremendous potential and gets a lot of ground balls.  He’s still going to need to cut down on walks and miss more bats, but I think he is coming around.  The bullpen looked very solid, as well.  Pedro Feliciano did allow a HR to Utley in the 7th, but got 5 other outs and took care of some tough lefties.  Putz and K-Rod did their jobs in their respective 8th and 9th innings.  Although K-Rod and Feliciano did each throw a lot of pitches (keeping the entire weekend in perspective). 

The offense for the Mets also held their end of the bargain, getting 9 hits and scoring 7 runs.  They wrecked Chan Ho Park over his ineffective 4 1/3 innings.  Park did not help his own cause by issuing an alarming 6 BBs.  It was not one Met who did the damage; rather, the team used their hits wisely and drove each other in.  Fernando Tatis continued his dominance over CHP, going 2 for 4 with a BB and 2 runs scored.  Tatis has been very successful in filling the role for Delgado, who has missed his 4th straight game.  Castillo also missed tonight.  Santos continued his solid play by going 1 for 2 and driving in a run with a great piece of hitting on a hit-and-run.  Hopefully, the team can carry their momentum into the rest of the weekend, as taking 1 out of 3 games from the Phillies is not enough.

 

  Things to Watch This Weekend (and a couple points):

  • Bulls/Celtics Game 7 Saturday night…
  • Crosby (Pens)/Ovechkin (Caps) Saturday afternoon…
  • Kentucky Derby Saturday later afternoon…
  • Tiger Woods at Quail Hallow, Saturday and Sunday afternoons…
  • Heat/Hawks Game 7, Sunday afternoon…
  • David Wright has a great night at the plate on Friday.  He hit the ball solidly, all night.  Maybe he is starting to come out of his slump.  He faces a left-hander in Moyer on Saturday.  Normally, Wright tears up lefties…
  • I had my Master’s Graduation Ceremony tonight.  It was a lot of fun and several people came into town to see me.  Thank you to my family (Mom, Jim, Auntie Dell, and Oma).  Also, thank you to Lisa and Tony who even stayed through the reception.  You guys are great!  I’ve enjoyed my time here at U of M and it was a great way to end my academic career!

 

Saturday afternoon, Citizens Bank Ballpark, 3:40pm, Perez vs. Moyer… 

Maine Man!

 

 

MaineMap1_jog.jpgJohn Maine has returned to his old glory…at least for one start.  John Maine had arguably a do-or-die start last night and he came through.  He was in control of his fastball and went right after hitter…a receipe that helped him succeed the past few years.  In his six innings of work, Maine allowed an un-earned run and a hit.  He struck out 4, but did walk 3.  Despite his walks not coming back to bite him, it is still something that he needs to cut down on.  He has walked 12 in 21 2/3 innings.  He definitely has the stuff…if he can control it.  But, Big Ups to you, Maine!  Bring it again, next week!

I’m really getting tired of writing about this, but the first batter of the game hit a fly ball to left field…and Gary Sheffield just flat out dropped it (that ended up being the un-earned run).  Now, I don’t expect everyone’s fielding % to be 1.000, but these fly balls are going to have to be caught.  Everyone misses one from time to time, but it is happening at an alarming rate to numerous different outfielders.  Gladly, its only April and the Mets are still only a couple games back, but I am sick and tired of dropped fly balls and flailing about in the outfield!  Let’s cut the excuses and get it together out there!!  

 

Some “Offensive” Points…er, Runs:

  • The Mets actually scored some runs on Monday (7)…but it did all come in one inning.  It was nice to see the “tack-on” run in the 8th.  It can be alarming when a club can get hot for an inning, score a few, and then go silent the rest of the game.  Consistent hitting is always better.
  • Omir Santos hit his first HR (a grand slam) in the 1st inning!  Props to you, Omir!  I think I heard he hit 4 in 23 ABs during the Spring.  I’m guessing he will stay in the lineup…
  • David Wright MAY be on the verge of breaking out of his slump??  He went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored and…NO Ks!!  Yay for David.  Keep it going!
  • Delgado sat out with an injury and Castillo left the game with back spasms.  Delgado’s is not too serious, I don’t think and Manuel was looking for a reason to give him a day off.  Not too sure about Castillo…tonight’s lineup should give some more insight.

 

Tonight at 7:10 at Citi Field, Ricky Nolasco vs. Livan Hernandez… 

Coffey Brewer…

 

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With the luck Todd Coffey has been having, you’d think he’d be planning on heading to Atlantic City before going to Philly with the rest of the Brewers.  On Friday, he came into a 4-4 game with the bases loaded.  He got Beltran to pop up and Church to ground out, temporarily saving the game for the Brewers.  In the next inning, he loaded the bases, only to get out of his own jam.  After a day off on Saturday, he entered the game today with one out in 3-2 Brewer lead in the 7th inning.  Four of the previous five batters had reached base.   On his second pitch, Delgado hits a had ground ball back to him, deflecting off his glove, up into the air, and back down into his pitching hand.  He calmly throws to home, to start the 1-2-3 double play.  In the 8th inning, the first two batters reached base.  He, then, struck out Fernando Tatis (which, before he had reached the batter’s box, I SCREAMED that he needed to bunt).  On a 3-2 pitch (on which the runners took off…the previous pitch, they did not), Omir Santos hit a screamer down the the third base line, right to 3rd baseman Bill Hall, who placed the tag on Beltran to complete the 2nd double play in 2 innings.  Coffey then came BACK in the 9th inning and got three of the next four Mets out to complete a 2 and 2/3 inning save.  I mean…are you kidding me??  His line for he series was 4 1/3 inn, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 BBs, 2 Ks…and 0 of 6 inherited runners allowed to score.  I got nothin’…

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • The 3 Brewers starters for the weekend has respective ERAs of 6.14, 6.94, and 12.91.  The Mets got 3, 0, and 2 runs off of them in 6, 6, and 6 innings, respectively.  They got away with it the 1st 2 games, but Mr. Coffey came in today and quenched any and everything. 
  • Nelson Figueroa actually pitched rather well today, spotting for Mike Pelfrey.  He gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, giving the Mets a chance to win.  That’s all you can ask from a spot starter. 
  • Fernando Tatis got his first career start at 2nd base…
  • Omir Santos filled in nicely this weekend for the injured Brian Schneider, setting up the winning run Friday, scoring the only run in the game on Saturday, and going 2 or 4 with a run scored Sunday afternoon. 
  • Reyes and Murphy both went 3 for 5…    

 

Day off tomorrow…Mets go to St. Louis for Tuesday’s game…Perez (I believe this should be of “off” game) vs. Wellemeyer at 8:15…