Tagged: Pedro Feliciano

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…

All Aboard the Maine Traine…

 

john-maine.jpgJohn Maine takes the Mets through another pitcher’s duel.  Today was probably Maine’s best performance of the year.  He was throwing the ball very nicely, getting a lot of first pitch strikes.  Unfortunately, after warming up for the 7th inning, it looked like he may have strained his side (or something to that affect) and Manuel was not going to take any chances with his blossoming young right-hander.  He yanked him out in favor of Pedro Feliciano.  In all, Maine went 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  Maine is probably the Mets pitcher that loves the 16 foot wall in left to left-center the most.  Again, today, he had another ball kept in the yard by a foot or so.  In such a big park, he can be more aggressive with his fastball and not be worried about giving up HRs. 

Feliciano came in to relieve Maine and did another wonderful job.  He is kind of a lost man/unsung hero for the Metsies this year.  Parnell is now established as the 7th inning guy (and today saved Putz in the 8th).  Obviously we know about Putz and K-Rod.  But Feliciano has done very well, lately.  He has given up only 1 hit and 0 runs in his last 8 appearances (6 innings).  Other than the 2 HRs to Utley in early May, he has completely dominated left-handers, striking out 13 in 44 ABs and holding them to a .136 clip.  I know he doesn’t get a lot of press, so here’s to you, Pedro!

JJ Putz, however, stuggled today and was chased in his hold attempt in the 8th, allowing 2 hits and 2 runs in 1/3 an inning.  Parnell came on to relieve Putz, and after allowing a run-scoring single to Han Ram, he K’ed Cantu and got Hermida to fly out to left.  K-Rod came in to slam the door shut in the 9th, notching his 14th save.

There are the kind of games the Mets need to win.  They simply do not have to power or hitting to score 4 or 5+ runs on a consistent basis.  Today, they only got 7 total hits and 4 of the came with RISP.  Unfortunately, that is going to be how it has to be until we get some stars off the DL and everyone is hitting again.  Pagan, F-Mart, and Santos all had RBI doubles today.  Pagan had to leave the game in the middle of the game with a strained groin.  That’s very unfortunate as he was just starting to find his groove.

 

Injury Bugs:

  • Carlos Beltran missed Sunday’s game with a “stomach virus”…
  • The latest report I found was that Maine came out of the game due to a “stomach virus,” as well…who is feeding these people?
  • Han Ram roared back into this series, going 3 for 4 with an RBI single, today…
  • Angel Pagan, who left the game in favor of Jeremy Reed, is also listed as day-to-day…it seems that half of the Mets are day-to-day…
  • Zack Greinke pitched again today.  Maybe his worst outing of the the year (and again, not terrible).  He went 7 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 0 BBs, and 7 Ks.  With the Royals and White Sox tied at 4 in the 8th, Greinke will get a no-decision.  His ERA is now 1.10.
  • I’m not a huge Nadal fan at all, so the French Open has just become a lot more interesting to me…

 

Monday, 7:05, PNC Park, Hernandez vs. Snell…  

Last Chance…

So, I don’t really have a particular way I write after games.  I’ve tried to give my opinion sometimes and do recaps other times.  Sometimes, I do a bit of both.  Well, today I can’t write a recap.  That was just too frustrating…

Losing to the Braves always just burns deep inside me.  Yeah, I love beating the Yankees and Phillies, but I always want to beat the Braves.  So, to start, these are the reasons why Wednesday’s loss was very frustrating:

  1. Last game on a homestand before a 10 day road trip
  2. Faced an opposing Starter who had lost 9 games in a row
  3. Had a lead going into the 7th inning
  4. Had the winning run at 2nd in the 9th and 10th innings
  5. Had the tying run on 3rd with less than 2 outs in the 12th

 

That being said, it was a tough game that was played tightly and the Braves just made one more play.  Over the course of the year, you lose games like this, sometimes.  In fact, the Mets probably “should have” lost the game on Tuesday but stole it away.  Games like Wednesday suck, but they can’t let it turn into a losing streak.  John Maine has been pitching well and hopefully he can come out strong Thursday night. 

One thing I would like to discuss is Jon Niese being taken out.  Not that it would have mattered in the long run (probably), but I would have left him in and see if he could fight his way out.  First of all, it was a scoring fest, so runs were not hard to come by.  Plus, its the 5th inning, give him a chance for the win.  If he doesn’t, oh well.  You have time to come back.  Also, he’s a young kid.  Even though Stokes did get out of the jam, it wouldn’t have benefited Niese at all.  He’d just be thinking that he couldn’t get through the 5th.  I guess its all a moot point.  I just figure give Niese a chance.

Also, I have to harp on this.  In the 12th, Reyes NEEDS to score.  On 3rd with less than 1 out…that is what frustrated me the most.  Beltran is the #3 hitter and he has to at least hit a fly ball.  If they went 1, 2, 3…it happens.  But do the little things right.  Kind of ironic that Beltran swung at the bad pitch and Sheffield took the good one?  Anyway, let’s head West…

 

Plane Points:

  • The Mets grounded into 4 double plays…including one in extras
  • JJ Putz has given up a run 4 of his lst 6 outings…I know he’s the 8th inning guy, but…maybe a give him one opportunity off…
  • Pedro Feliciano had probably his most impressive outing this year.  He’s a lefty specialist and he pitched 1 2/3 innings, including getting out of Sean Green’s jam…
  • Maybe put Stokes back in the “long relief” role…it kind of makes me nervous having a lefty in that role
  • Tatis had a great day at the plate, going 3 for 5 with a HR and 4 RBI and a run scored…with Delgado potentially going on the DL in the next couple days, it seems we may have a bat to replace his
  • Jordan Zimmerman has his 30 game hit streak snapped today…
  • I missed this yesterday: Roy Halladay won again, making him 7-1…

 

Thursday, 10:15, AT&T Park, Maine vs. Sanchez…

Not so many friends in Lowe places…

Well, it was going to happen eventually.  The Mets had won 7 in a row and eventually, statistics catch up to you.  It also didn’t help that Derek Lowe pitched an amazing game.  It was a 1-1 game going into the 7th inning.  Santana did not have his best stuff, but gutted it out and kept the Mets in the game.  He ended up going 6 1/3, 7 hits, 2 runs (0 earned), 1 BB, and 6 Ks.  Unfortunately, Lowe had a little better defense…and some better help from his bullpen.  With 2 outs in the top of the 7th and runners on 1st and 2nd in a 1-1 game, Jerry Manuel took out Bobby Parnell to go to Pedro Feliciano to face lefty Brian McCann.  I am actually ok with that move.  Go lefty-lefty.  Pedro gets the ground ball and Reyes can’t field it.  So, bases loaded for Matt Diaz, who tears up left-handers.  Now, with going lefty-lefty, you would think Manuel would go with the warmed up, right-handed Stokes in the bullpen.  No.  He’s going to leave in Feliciano.  Diaz rips a single, scoring 2.  Then, Anderson rips another, scoring 2 more.  Finally, Manuel takes out Feliciano…but too late.  So, Santana will get the loss, but, in my opinion, the loss can go to Feliciano/Manuel/Mets atroscious defense.  Santana comes into the game with an ERA just over 1.  He leaves the game with an ERA under 1…but loses the game.  Sigh.  Well, I still hate the Braves, but I’m not overly upset about this one, despite it being a close/winnable game for a while.  But with what Lowe did tonight…you have to tip your hat and try to win the next one.

 

Hits and Misses:

  • In Santana’s 7 total starts,the Mets have scored 15 total runs in those entire games…
  • After scoring 7, 7, 10, and 8 runs in the past 4 games, the Mets scrounge up 3 today.  Again, the statistics will catch up to you…but, in the game before those 4, the Mets scored 1. Ironically, that was Santana’s last start.
  • Not a great day for Reyes…0 for 3 with a key error…
  • Derek Lowe got 1 ground ball double play all year…in the 1st 3 innings, he got 2 more…
  • Carlos Delgado and Chipper Jones each sat out Monday’s game because of nagging injuries…

 

Tuesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Jurrjens vs. Pelfrey…

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… 

Old-fashioned baseball…

 

old baseball.jpgTonight was a great throwback baseball game.  A good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.  And you wouldn’t have thought that, after reading the pitching matchup.  Chan Ho Park might have just saved his spot in the rotation…at least for now.  He went 6 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 BBs and 5 Ks…a far cry from what the Mets did to him last Friday night.  Daniel Murphy finally broke through for the Mets in the 5th inning by blooping a double into left-center.  That was the only hit the Mets would get until the 7th inning.  With Delgado on 1st and 2 outs, Tatis pinch-hit for Jeremy Reed and singled to 3rd, when Pedro Feliz made an ill-advised throw that Ryan Howard could not get to.  The ball went into foul/shallow right field.  Before Jason Werth could get to it and throw home, Delgado rumbled around 3rd and beat the tag of Ruiz to break the 0-0 tie.  That would be the only productive offense of the game for either team. 

Johan Santana saw and raised Park’s performance, going 7 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 BBs, and 10 more K’s.  He did another amazing job getting out of jams in the 3rd and 7th.  However, 2 of his BBs were to the opposing pitcher.  The error-produced run allowed Santana to be on the winning side of another of his wonderous outings.  He is now 4-1, despite very little run support.  Although, I would much rather have the Mets have their scoring outbursts when pitchers other than Santana are on the mound.

 

Notes:

  • In Santana’s 6 starts this year, the Mets have scored 12 runs.  That’s 2 runs a game.  However, he has won 2 games, 1-0.
  • The Phillies had committed 5 errors coming into Wednesday’s game.  In the game they committed 3 more. 
  • K-Rod is now tied for the most saves in the Majors with 8.  He has 3 saves in the last 3 games.
  • JJ Putz got the day off, as Feliciano pitched the 8th.  This was also to be expected, though, as the 8th inning went through the heart of the Phillies order, including Utley and Howard.
  • Carlos Beltran did not reach base for the 1st time this season.  He also had his 16 game hitting streak snapped.
  • I went to the Michigan/ohio state softball game today, as the Wolverines swept the buckeyes to clinch at least a tie for the Big Ten Title.  Go Blue!!

 

Thursday, Citi Field, 7:10pm, Moyer vs. Pelfrey… 

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…