Tagged: Ramon Martinez

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…

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The Murph…and a review

 

murphy.jpgThis might have been Santana’s worst start of the year…and it wasn’t really that bad.  In some ways, he was in complete control (11 Ks).  And in others he was definitely not (6 BBs…including walking the pitcher and then Guzman to follow, forcing in a run).  But, like a true ace, he gutted his way through the 6th inning, still giving himself a chance for the win.  All in all, he went 6 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 6 BBs, and 11 Ks.  His ERA did climb to 1.77.  However, on the day that he might have needed it the most, the Mets offense responded, scoring 7 runs.  K-Rod did allow a run in the 9th, but other than that, the bullpen did their job, holding Santana’s win, 7-4.

Again, the offense played very well.  Pagan and Castillo each had a couple hits; Murphy chipped in with 3, as well.  Murphy, however, was the beneficiary of the Pagan and Castillo hits as he collected 5 RBI, tying a career high.  Sheffield got the offense going with a 2 run double in the 1st.  He is now starting to command the attention the way he did for years, in his prime.  And, without Delgado, that is exactly what the Mets need.  With Wright and Beltran both on fire (but neither with a lot of power), Sheffield can be the cornerstone of threat in the Mets lineup.  He drew 2 more BBs tonight, as well.  Murphy had the biggest hit of the night, though.  He hit a deep fly to right, that was initially called a double.  But, after Manuel complained, the umpires went to the replay booth (for the 4th time in 5 games, for the Mets).  It was then ruled a HR.  Now, I saw the replay a handful of times, and I don’t believe the ball ever left the yard…but I will take it.  And so will Murphy…and Johan.  Murphy would then add a 2 RBI insurance double in the 7th, all but securing the win. 

 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fernando Martinez should have been pulled out of this game.  In the 6th inning, he popped a ball up right in front of the mound.  Catcher Wil Nieves dropped the ball.  But instead of rounding 1st, Martinez was standing in the batter’s box.  Now, I don’t think Martinez is a lazy player and Manuel probably didn’t want to embarrass him, but that kind of effort will not stand…this is the Major Leagues.  We run everything out, Fernando…It also didn’t help that he went 0 for 4.
  • Ramon Martinez had his 2nd double in as many days…
  • Wilson Valdez got into his first game as a pinch hitter…he grounded to 2nd with the bases loaded…
  • The Mets are now 5 for 5 in replay reviews…they have had part in 5 of the 12 total reviews, the most in MLB…
  • Nick Johnson had a nice night, going 3 for 5 with an RBI…will he be a Met before July 31st?
  • Roy Halladay has his 9th win spoiled as the Blue Jay bullpen blew his 5 run lead…
  • My favorite play of the day was Jason LaRue coming out of the dugout in Milwaukee and almost getting stampeded by the Milwaukee Sausage Race…http://www.faniq.com/blog/Video-Jason-LaRue-Almost-Gets-Run-Over-By-Racing-Sausages-Blog-24546

 

The Mets are off tomorrow…but Friday, 7:10, Citi Field, West vs. Pelfrey… 

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…

Welcome Home!

 

welcomehome.jpgThis is the type of game that the Mets needed…sort of.  After a long road trip, coming home to a nice, over-powering game against a team they should beat.  For the most part, it went according to plan.  John Maine looked very good on the mound.  He was visably frustrated after giving up a 2 out RBI single to Wil Nieves with the pitcher on deck.  That was, however, the only run he would surrender.  He pitched 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 BBs and 4 Ks.  Other than an extremely long bottom of the 6th, I assume he would have at least started the 7th.  Maine has pitched very well  this year, especially after his 1st 2 starts.  He got his 4th win of the year.  He has also been lowering his ERA steadily over the past month or so.  Two starts ago, the bullpen blew his shot at a win against the Giants and today is almost happened again…

Bobby Parnell was not at all accurate tonight, pitching in the 7th inning.  He allowed a hit and 3 BBs in 1/3 of an inning.  JJ Putz also came in and messed around in the 8th, allowing a hit and another couple of walks.  K-Rod also allowed a couple of base runners before finally setting down the Nats for his MLB-tying 13th save.  Through all of the walks and hits given up by the bullpen, only 1 run came in for Washington.  That was charged to Parnell in the 7th.  It also didn’t help for Washington that they hit 1 for 10 with RISP and stranded 13 runners on base…

The Mets also hit better Monday night.  Castillo, Beltran, and Sheffield each had 2 hits.  Wright went 0 for 1, but drew 3 BBs.  Tatis also finally got a hit.  He was 0 for his last 13…he was also robbed a couple times tonight.  In the 6th, Sheffiled hit a HR to left field.  They has to review it…and it took a while.  But, it was held up as a HR.  The Mets are now 3-0 in replay reviews. 

 

Things to Wonder About:

  • The Mets have now had a HR replay review in the last 3 games…and gone 3-0!!
  • Reyes and Church didn’t play again…there’s rumors that Reyes will play “tomorrow,” but we’ve been hearing that for a week or more.  Everyday, I check the Gameday when it comes out, hoping to see Reyes at short and leading off, but to no avail…there’s still no word on Church, and I’m not holding my breath…
  • The Mets grounded into 3 double plays…in the first 5 innings
  • There were 16 total walks in the game…
  • Ramon Martinez didn’t make any mistakes in the field…and he got an RBI on a Sac Fly
  • The Mets have now hit 30 HRs in 44 games…that’s 29th in the Majors…
  • At one point, Monday night, the Rays took 20 pitches in a row against the Indians.  At one point, the Rays were up 10-0.  The Indians scored 7 runs in the bottom on the 9th and won 11-10.

 

Tuesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Hernandez vs. Stammen…

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 New Leader…?

 

Santana.jpgI think that we can remove the word “arguably” as an adjective from describing Johan Santana.  He is the best pitcher in the National League and in baseball.  Zack Greinke may be the future and Roy Halladay provides a great argument, but I think the title goes to Santana.  Given what has been happening to the Mets over the past week (DL trips, potential DL trips, surgeries, no scoring, errors, etc), this was a game the Mets had to win.  The last time the they chalked up a “W” was when he last pitched.  That is what an ace does.  He is a streak stopper.  He takes command of a sinking ship and just says no.  Now, he can’t control how the next few games go, but he gave it his all and was not going to let his franchise down on his watch.  In the midst of a 4 game slide, this was the best chance the Mets had at winning a game.  And he made the most of it.  Santana went 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 BB, and 8 Ks.  All of this against as good of a team that there is in baseball.  The last time the Mets were in Boston in 2006, they got swept.  This time, they claimed at least one victory.  On a team that has arguably lacked leadership, maybe they have found one.  In the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs, Santana threw inside to Youkilis (who was all over the plate) and drilled him in the right arm.  Youkilis (who can be very intimidating) didn’t take it very well and yapped at Johan as he walked down the line.  Johan wasn’t going to have any of it and yelled back, motioning for him to shut up and get on 1st.  This is a fight that you don’t see out of this team.  No one seems to take a stand and fight back (David Wright will from time to time…but it’s just not his team, yet).  You need a little cockiness and arrogance to win consistently.  You have to have some fight in you and Santana is showing it.  Not only is he putting up great numbers, but he is throwing this team on his back and dealing with the pressure of having to win, everytime he pitches.  The amount of anticipation and pressure, in such a great spotlight, that is put on Santana is tremendous.  And he is handling it with ease.  Hopefully, some other guys will get fired up and respond and continue to turn things around…

The Mets did a great job of “team hitting” on Friday.  No one was exceptional and no one had more than 1 hit, but they strung a few together and came through in the clutch…something that no one had done in a few games.  They almost matched their run total of the last 5 days, on Friday (scoring 5 compared to the 6 total since last Saturday).  With Reyes still out and not many others getting hot, this lineup is still very fragile.  But, today they got it done.

 

Beans in Beantown:

  • Gary Sheffield hit a HR in the 2nd inning, giving the Mets their 1st HR in 7 games (9 days).  That was their longest stretch since 1983…
  • The Mets have committed 11 of their 35 errors in Santana’s starts…if its not lack of scoring, its lack of fielding?  He seems to be overcoming all of it…
  • Playing a few games in the AL should help the Mets.  They can give Beltran and Wright a couple days off by DHing them.  Carlos took the day off with a sore knee, Friday night.  He played DH.  I look for Wright to DH soon…
  • Reyes was not available for anything tonight…it looks like he is NOT going to the DL, but that remains to be seen…
  • Ryan Church left the game in the 4th inning with an injured leg…his status is “unlikely” for Saturday’s game…
  • I missed this a couple days ago…I want to send a shout-out to Scott Schoenweis and his family…it’s really too bad about his wife.  I know he was ripped on and beared a lot of the bullpen blame, but he was a class guy and I’ve never had anything against him, personally…
  • Zack Greinke and Roy Halladay pitched yesterday and today, respectively…both pitched well and neither figured in the decision of their games.
  • Ramon Martinez FINALLY got a hit and RBI…but then he made 2 errors…why not play Tatis at short?  I know he’s not a natural there, but he can’t be THAT much worse than Martinez and then you would have another bat…I guess I’m just tired of seeing Martinez play…
  • Dice-K made his return to the Red Sox lineup…he went 5 innings and took the loss

 

Saturday, 7:10, Fenway Park, Pelfrey vs. Beckett…

Just Too Much…

What started as a promising road trip has now fallen straight on its face.  The Mets seemingly have left their bats in San Francisco.  John Maine gave it his all today, but got dinged for a 3 run homer in the 6th that all but sealed the team’s fate.  He ended up throwing 5 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 BBs and 3 Ks.  Just not good enough tonight.  Chad Billingsley lived up to his hype, pitching 6 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 5 BBs and 7 Ks.  Ramon Martinez has now become completely useless as he has gone 0 for his stint in the big leagues, this year.  He struck out 3 more times today and grounded into a crucial double play with 2 on in the 8th.  I think the Mets are just overwhelmed right now.  Reyes did come back and played tonight, but he has been out of the lineup.  Delgado has surgery and is now out 10 weeks.  Ryan Church is in a 2 month slump.  Luis Castillo has cooled off.  Neither catcher is doing anything special.  Fernando Tatis is also slowing down.  David Wright and Carlos Beltran are both still hot, but unless both of them get several RBI a game, its just not going to happen.  Also, that puts a lot of pressure on the pitching staff (which has performed admirably), but only Santana is going to win 2-1 or 3-2 games.  They way things are looking, both with the Mets and the opponents they are going to have to play, I think the Mets will be lucky to win 1 more game on this road trip.  If it can go against the Mets right now, the ball will find the way to do so.  That’s just how it goes.  Something is going to have to change.  Reyes is going to have to get hot or a new player is going to have to jump start some life back into this team.  If that doesn’t happen, its going to be a while waiting for people to start getting healthy…

 

Things I’m Getting Sick Of:

  • The Mets haven’t hit a HR since the Tatis Slam last Wednesday.  That’s 5 games.  You can’t win consistently getting a HR once a week…
  • The Mets go 2 for 8 with RISP and leave 6 more on…John Maine had 1 of those hits and 2 of the team’s 3 RBI…
  • We only had 6 hits tonight…scored 5 runs in the last 3 games
  • Daniel Murphy dropped another fly ball in left.  It even hit him in the glove…
  • He also started stealing 2nd before the pitcher made any move…he was out.

 

Wednesday, 10:10, Dodger Stadium, Hernandez vs. Stults…