Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Series Win

Sports overall, but especially baseball, are great because there are always games to be played, always a way to right the ship when things seem just a bit off.  Only a week ago, the Mets were about to have a double header swept away from them by the San Francisco Giants, evening their record at .500 on the year.

But after yesterday's gut check victory, the fifth in six games, the Mets record is four games on the plus side and the team is only a game behind Atlanta and Washington near the top of the NL East.  Heading into the season, many of the 'experts' claimed the month of April would be a pretty difficult month for New York because of the five divisional series they had scheduled plus a visit from the Giants.  Well, regardless how tonight's game goes, the Mets will finish April over .500.

Yesterday's game for New York had a lot of hits.  Ike Davis put up three hits on the afternoon, including the game winning RBI single.  Ruben Tejada also followed suit with three hits, collecting 10 in the series.  David Wright put up two more well Josh Thole connected on his first home run of the season.

There seems to be the feeling that this Mets club wants to get on a bit of an extended streak.  For the most part, the pitching has been there for them most of the season.  It's been the lack of runs that's slowed them down at times.  But the offense used their trip to Colorado to correct that.  Davis is beginning to find his swing.  Lucas Duda has shortened his stroke the past week and looks more comfortable at the plate.  Nothing seems to big for the kids either as Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Thole, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are all contributing to the offensive effort.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rough Outing

That's a statement thats true for everything but the offense in last night's game. Rookie starter Chris Schwinden struggled in his first start of the season, but it was mainly due to throwing errors.

Committing four throwing errors in one inning will mess up every teams chance of winning a ball game. That became evident last night as the Rockies put up 11 runs in the fifth inning alone, 18 total.

Sloppy play and giving extra outs to professional teams will haunt any team every time.

The offense came out strong on the road trip, putting up nine runs in the effort. Scott Hairston was the man of the night, recording the Mets first cycle since 2006.

They get back at it tonight with Dillon Gee taking the ball.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Behnd the Mask

One great story early on this season, even if it is kept quiet for the most part, has been the play of catcher Josh Thole.

Thole's entering his second season as starting catcher but was doing so with a bit of a short leash.  When he entered the majors near the end of 2010, Thole was a contact hitter.  He was able to slap the ball the other way and was good at working deep counts.  However as last season came and went, Thole was not the same hitter.  He struggled offensively for most of the season, unable to maintain a high, or even overly respectable, average.

So far 2012 has been a great bounce back year for the backstop.  Thole is tied with David Wright for the highest batting average on the team at .362.  Going into tonight's game at Colorado, Thole is carrying a nine game hitting streak.  He has been a steady presence at the bottom of the Mets lineup which is very important because it'll allow the team a good chance to clear the pitcher's spot and turn over the order.

Very early in the season indeed, but a start the Mets wanted to see.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How Sweep It Is!

The Mets were able to take care of business this afternoon, coming from behind again to finish off the sweep of the Marlins.  This is the second sweep of a division rival for the Mets this season.

Once again, great starting pitching took most of the headlines today.  Jon Niese was awesome for the Mets, following in the week footsteps of Johan Santana and RA Dickey.  He allowed two runs over seven innings.

But he was not able to get the win since the Mets offense was pretty stagnant for most of the afternoon.  They scratched out a run in the first inning but then entered the bottom of the ninth with only that run to show.  Miami pitchers continued their wild trend as Heath Bell walked three Mets before Justin 'Ginger Power!' Turner stepped up to the plate.  Turned had the at bat of the season, working 14 pitches from the Marlins closer before finally being walked himself to push in the tying run.

That set the stage for rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had already collected a triple and a single.  Nieuwenhuis continued his impressive big league stint with a rope to the right field and his first walk off hit.

To make things even sweeter... Jose Reyes laid up another goose egg and finished his Return to New York series 1 for 12.


Last night David Wright moved into first place for the most RBIs in Mets history with 735.  His go ahead two run home run moved him past Darryl Strawberry.

This is definitely the brightest moment in the short season for the Mets, and for Wright personally.  And throughout the rest of the season, Wright will continue to walk the political line and say how he does not care about individual performances and records, that he just wants to see this organization win.

But this is something he should relish.  He has been through a lot with this club.  The ups and the downs.  Both as a team and for him as a player.  He began his career on fire, an all-star, the toast of New York City.  But then losing began to set in.  Then the injuries.  And now Wright will constantly be bothered about his contract and his future with the Mets.

Wright needs to continue to smash the baseball all over the park, keep extending this record and work on breaking others.  Make the front office realize what type of colossal mistake it would be to let the man of the franchise get away.  The money will come for Wright, regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, but needs to force the Mets hand and make them pay him.

Congratulations to #5.  Job well done.  Well deserved.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Cure

Winning ball games does a lot to help one's perception.  Going into last night's game, the Mets were a bit of a mess, all across the board.

But a 2-1 win, a win over a division rival at that, will make things look a bit brighter for the time being.  In the middle of snapping a two game losing streak was the ace, Johan Santana.  Pitching just shy of seven innings, Santana allowed only one run (in the seventh) while striking out 11 Marlins.  He looked every bit the Santana from 2008-2010 and not the man we saw get yanked early in Atlanta last week.  He did his job.  He's the number one guy in this rotation and the first person everyone looks to in order to stop the bleeding.  After last night, consider the bandage on.

Chalk up the dead offense to some fantastic pitching from Marlins starter Josh Johnson.  The first Mets run didn't even come off a base hit.  Instead four straight walks, from four different pitchers, plated the tying run for New York.  But in struggling times, take a run any way you can get it.

Take a win, anyway.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Public Enemy #1

Tonight marks the return of Jose Reyes to Citi Field.  As a Miami Marlin.

There are quite a bit of people who do not seem to be overly saddened, anger, pissed, annoyed with Reyes and how his free agency situation took place this winter.  People will say that it's the Mets fault since they didn't even offer Reyes a contract.  That he was a goner no matter what.

And ya know what, that may be true.  But this is the Marlins.  Division rival.  Long time pain in the ass to the Mets.

I am not happy at all to see Reyes.  If I were lucky enough to be at Citi Field at all over the next three days, I would boo Reyes.  I would boo the Marlins.  I don't want him to succeed at all.  I am saddened to see a career Met leave.  I am angry he went to a division rival.  I am pissed the Mets are giving him a small video tribute today.  I am annoyed with the Mets over the last two weeks.

Let's go Johan.  Show him what's up.  Keep him off base.

Ah Crap

And in matter of minutes, it's another one.  Word coming from Citi Field is that Mike Pelfrey has now also ended up on the Disabled List with elbowing swelling.

No word on who will take his place in the rotation, but early word is it will not be neither of their two Triple-A propects; Matt Harvey nor Jeurys Familia.

Anytime an elbow is the reason for a pitcher to head to the DL, the immediate thought is Tommy John surgery, effectively finishing Pelfrey's 2012 season.  Hopefully word will come down sooner than later, just so we fans know what to expect.

If this ends up being a long term injury, it's only a matter of time before either Harvey or Familia end up in the bigs.  If it's only two or three turns through the rotation and then Pelfrey returns, it may not be worth bringing either of them up yet.

Bay Injury

So the first major player on the Mets landed on the DL this afternoon (sorry, I don't count Ronny Cedeno as a major player), as Jason Bay will be out the next few weeks with a dislocated rib.

As much as this should hurt the Mets, it probably won't.  As been the case for the first two years, Bay hasn't been lighting it up for the Mets offensively so his bat out of the lineup can potentially be a positive.

For the time being, it'll probably mean a combination of Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston in left field, but that can change soon.  When Andres Torres come off the DL, left field can become the home for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  Another possibility is to shift Nieuwenhuis to left sooner than later and play Jordany Valdespin in center field; one of three positions he has played in the minors.

Or the Mets can do something completely head scratching because, well, they're the Mets.


All the good vibes and positive attitude that emulated from Citi Field over the first week of the season are officially gone.  Instead, the place is filled with negative thoughts and fulfillment of the poor off-season expectations.

The Mets fell to .500 for the first time this season yesterday, having the double header swept away from them by the Giants.  In very poor fashion.  The Mets could not pitch.  The Mets could not hit.  All around disappointing, disgusting, frustrating, and saddening.

What had been a staple for the team over the first few weeks of the season imploded yesterday.  Both Miguel Batista and Dillon Gee allowed multiple first inning runs against an amazing pitching team and the Mets offense wasn't able to respond in the slightest.

And it is finally time to admit that the Mets lineup has a lot of problems.  Last season, although there wasn't much power, the Mets were second in the National League in batting average.  They were able to slap together enough singles and doubles to get the job done.  This year they have fallen to the middle of the pack in batting average and near the bottom in runs scored.

Ike Davis can't hit the broad side of a barn.  Same goes for Lucas Duda.  Jason Bay is a consistent, frustrating question mark.  Look what happens to this team when both David Wright and Daniel Murphy cool off.  Nothing happens.  Can't generate runs.  Can't manufacture excitement.

It's still early; hell, it's not even the last week of April.  But if these are signs to come for the rest of 2012, then it's going to be a very long year.  Winning cures almost everything.  Get back on the field tonight against the newly branded Miami Marlins and new nemesis Jose Reyes, get a W, and yesterday will be forgotten.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Very Frustrating

So Game 1 of today's double header isn't over yet, but it may as well have been over before it even started.  Due to the extra game, the Mets needed to find a spot starter for one of the games this week and they choose to go with Game 1 today.  And that starter was Miguel Batista.

Batista is 41 years old.  A career journeyman, at this time of the season, is the best that the Mets could come up for a start.  And that all falls on upper management.  The phrase 'you're only as strong as your weakest link' is a very common phrase in sports and it could not be more true today.

The Mets could have called up one of their Triple-A starters for a game.  Give a kid a cup of coffee and see what he has.  Show some potential.  Give the fans something to be excited about.  Give the team a chance to get a W on the day.

Instead they opted to play behind the 8-ball and make the offense play catch up; something extremely difficult to do against the tough pitching Giants.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ugly Recap

So things seem to be coming back to normal for the Metropolitans.  Sloppy play and untimely hitting for an extended period of time.

Happened again this afternoon, blowing a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and wasting an awesome effort from Mike Pelfrey.  Big Pelf was pulled after eight innings and 102 pitches, only giving up one run.  But the bullpen and a combination of Ruben Tejada and Kirk Nieuwenhuis let that three run lead slip away and forced the Mets to come up at the bottom of the inning.

Luckily they did a better job than last night.  Although it was a sloppy play which led to the winning run, the Mets were able to walk off as winners while snapping their three game losing streak.

If they continue to play with fire, over the long haul of the season, they will get burned more often that not.  The sloppiness and ugliness needs to get eliminated.  Quickly. 



That's the main feeling in my gut witnessing last night's loss.  The Mets returned home last night and fell in extra innings to the Giants, after trying it in the bottom of the ninth.

To me, this was a game to win.  The Mets best pitcher, Jon Niese, was on the mound against a team with a very weak offense.  On the mound for the Giants was Barry Zito, a lefty that the Mets have had success with in the past.  But all the Mets could muster against Zito was four hits, including two solo home runs.  Meanwhile Niese pitches well enough, but he picked up his first loss of the season as he allowed three runs to cross.

Going down a run in extra innings was discouraging but what was more upsetting was getting two runners on in the bottom of the 10th, only to have Jason Bay and Lucas Duda both fail to get across the tying run.

Power will be needed from this club, but base hits are also just as important and last night the Mets weren't able to get the timely hit.

Don't look now, but the Mets are only one game over .500 in a division where the other teams are beginning to warm up quickly.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome Home

The Mets come back to Citi Field tonight after two series against division opponents.  Tonight they open up a four game set against the SF Giants before welcoming the newly branded Marlins into town.

Jon Niese, who's started the season 2-0 so far, is on the mound tonight and the Mets are in desperate need of a quality start.  In their last two games, both Johan Santana and RA Dickey struggled badly and the offense was behind the eight ball early on.

The Mets and their pitching staff needs to get back to theirs ways of the first two weeks.  Limiting base runners.  Striking out hitters.  Pitching quick to keep their rhythm in tact.  The bullpen must also keep it short and simple. An inning here, maybe two there.  Keep the arms fresh for the long haul.

They started the season with four wins at Citi Field, here's to going for win number five.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oh Jeez

On an afternoon where the Mets offense was able to put up pretty decent numbers, the pitching laid an egg for a second day in a row.  RA Dickey wasn't able to make it through five innings today, giving up eight runs on eight hits, with three of those being home runs.

One would look to blame the rain for those numbers.  Around the second inning the skies opened up and Turner Field began to get wet.  Once this happened, Dickey wasn't able to get any knuckle on his knuckle ball.  Instead of dancing up and down, in and out, the ball seemed to just hang around the middle of the plate and the Braves hitters were welcomed to a feast.

What became extremely disheartening aspect was the six runs the bullpen gave up the rest of the way.  Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, and Frank Francisco each give up two runs in loss.

Some bright spots were able to shine through however.  David Wright continued his terrific start with two more hits and three RBI.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis, batting leadoff first the first time, reached base three times and Ike Davis added two more hits, including his third home run.

If the starting pitching can put it back together, the Mets should have some success this week as they welcome in the weak offense of the San Francisco Giants.

Reality Check

At least we know that Johan Santana will indeed make his next start.

Last night, Santana had the shortest outing of his career, not able to get out of the second inning.  He allowed four earned runs (six total) on four hits and for the first time in a very long time, did not strike out at least one batter in a game.  But Santana told everyone that his shoulder is fine and that last night had nothing to do with the arm.  He said it had everything to do not being able to locate his pitches and throwing to many pitches early on.

Games like this will happen, they happen to every pitcher at some point in the season.  The best news is again there is no issue with Johan's shoulder.  It was just a bad game.  The Mets will still be able to take the series with a victory this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jason Friggin Bay

So far in 2012, Jason Bay has not be the complete disaster many of the fans and media members think he has become.  Don't get me wrong, Bay isn't having a stellar start to the season either.  He isn't making people believe that he will finally earn his $16 million contract.

He is still batting under .200 on the season and strikes out almost 40% of the time.  But signs are there.  He's collected a hit in each of the past three games and two of them have been home runs.  Potentially more important, until that bat ever turns it around fully, is Bay's defense.  That was a question mark about him at the time of the signed contract, due to bad knees and a bad shoulder.  But the defense has always been a strong suit for Bay in New York.  His latest display was an over the wall, home run saving catch last night in Atlanta.

This may be the year Bay has a respectable season.  Or, maybe not. 

Ike's Big Stick

It took a while to happen.  An 0 for 18 stretch to open the season had many people, Ike Davis included, scratching theirs heads and wondering what was wrong with the Mets cleanup hitter.  He had punched one or two singles to snap his skid, but the power still wasn't there.

Sunday afternoon saw that power return as Davis hit a two run shot in the first inning in Philadelphia, the Mets only two runs of the afternoon.  Davis' swing and power may finally be here for good as he connected on another shot, this time a three run dinger, which gave the Mets the lead for good.

Over the course of the season, the Mets will desperately need Davis' bat to be a lethal weapon in the middle of the lineup.  With a lot of youth and not much experience throughout the order, there will be times when the offense can't get out of first gear.  David Wright can not do it alone, he'll need help.  That is where the big stick of Ike will come in handy.  Just a swing of the bat can change a game, and that's a fantastic tool to have in the middle of the order.

The Mets have opened their season with four straight series opening wins.  Once again their starting pitching has just about everything to do with it.  Dillon Gee picked up his first win of the season, going seven innings allowing only one run on four hits.  The Mets have received quality starts from their starters in every game so far this season.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Familar Foe

The Mets return to action tonight in their house of horrors, Turner Field in Atlanta.  Over the past 15 or so years the Mets have had nothing but nightmares down in Atlanta.  It seems that for the life of them, they could not win a game, let alone an actual series.

But tonight the Mets are coming in as the more confident team.  It was on a week and a half ago that the Mets finished off a three game sweep of the Braves to open their 2012 season.  The Mets starting rotation has been the biggest plus in the early going; second in the NL in ERA and near the top in strikeouts.

The batting order seems to be settling in finally.  Ike Davis has a mini two game hitting streak going, including his first home run of the season, to get his batting average over .100.  Lucas Duda seems to be warming up a tad as well and both David Wright and Jason Bay will be in the line up tonight, healthy enough from their finger woes.

The Braves are a hungry team and will be seeking some retribution at home this week against the Mets, but New York is playing good enough ball right now to win another series.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pay The Man

Well 24 hours will certainly change one's outlook.  The black cloud was still lingering over the club Friday evening, but when Saturday rolled around, clear skies.

David Wright returned to the Mets lineup, deeming himself fit enough to throw the ball and to grip the bat.  In his first at bat since Monday, Wright sent the first pitch he saw deep to center field.  Clearing the wall by a long shot and clearing any doubters minds.  Wright added on two more hits during the game and that was a huge sign for the Mets.  Having their number three hitter in the lineup everyday makes the lineup so much longer and so much more lethal.  It's only a couple of games, but Wright is having a very strong start to season, batting over .600 with five RBI.  There is no question who the leader of the club is.
Back to back starts and back to back solid outings for Jon Niese this season.  Niese once again took a shutout into the seventh inning and this time he was able to leave the game without giving up any earned runs.

Niese and RA Dickey have each had two very good starts early on and if this in the trend that will play out through the season, the Mets will be in good hands.  Neither of these men need to be aces, but both are extremely capable of quality starts each and every time they step on the mound.  And that's all the Mets can ask for right now.  As a team that so many thought would be nothing this year, having the chance to win each night because of their starting pitching is a huge crutch.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Back to Basics

Lookie lookie, pitching once again was the main theme for the Mets and their 5-2 victory tonight over the Phillies.  RA Dickey pitched seven awesome innings of one run ball and as a whole, the Mets struck out 10 Phils en route to their third straight series opening win.  The bullpen responded from a poor outing on Wednesday to wrap up the game.

Some of the beleaguered bats also came alive tonight as Jason Bay, yes that Jason Bay! connected on a two run shot in the first inning and Scott Hairston added a solo shot a few innings later.  Although he won't get credit with a hit, Lucas Duda was able to tack on a RBI for himself with a sac fly late in the game.

Things are perfect for the Mets however.  Ike still can't hit the ball and soon the fans will be turning on him.  Seven games and only one hit on the season is not good, not by a long shot.  It should start by a drop in the order, but the question then becomes who will hit clean up.  Bay can not be trusted and Duda has almost the same struggles as Davis right now.  Finally is the continued absence of David Wright.  After missing his third straight game, the Mets need to figure out when he can play.  If it's tomorrow, great.  If not, then he needs to get on the DL in order to get an extra body on the bench.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Pop

Can't win many games when you don't hit the ball.  That has been the main problem for the Mets through their past two games and it's no coincidence that they have dropped each game.

Two games and two different reasons for the lack of hitting.  On Tuesday evening, the Mets ran out a Triple-A lineup and the results showed.  No timely hitting and they were only able to scratch out two runs near the end of the game.  Yesterday it was a case of facing a tough, tough pitcher who was on top of his game after the first inning.

The hits will come for the team and the Mets will be able to put up a good number of runs over the course of the season.  For those with a short memory, New York did lead the NL East in runs scored last season.

The bit of disturbing information is the lack of hitting, not power, but overall hitting from Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.  Both of these left handers are having a difficult time at the plate right now and with those outs, coupled with the absence of David Wright, the Mets lineup just cannot get anything going at all.

Hopefully the course will correct itself this weekend in Philadelphia, a place known to be a hitter's ballpark.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All Around Ugly

Over the last couple of years, the Mets have been known to throw out a Triple A lineup, mostly because it's near the end of the season and they have nothing to play for.  Last night, a game in which they had a ton to play for, mirrored a Triple A lineup, or at least a Spring Training lineup.

Four bench players started last night, and although yes, I do agree these players need to see time and get at bats to keep fresh, I do not like having all of them in the lineup at one time.  Terry Collins will tell us all that three of the players in the lineup were right handed options against a tough lefthander on the mound and the fourth was a late injury replacement.

That's not something I'm buying.  It's early in the season and the best players need to play.  Worry about righty-lefty matchups later in the season, when there's a larger sample to dissect and it's easier to see who is better suited to sit out against a particular pitcher.

And the way the Mets played last night, you could tell they weren't going for broke.  Although, the RBIs and a number of hits did come from two of those bench players.  Poor defense behind decent pitching doomed the Mets last night.

They go back at it this afternoon with hopefully a major league lineup.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Too Good?

Son of a bitch.

Wright will definitely miss some time has he has a small fracture of the middle joint in his right pinky.  Whether it's only two games or becomes two weeks, we still don't know yet.

But son of a bitch.  This team can't avoid injury.
Of course it was bound to happen.  If not now, then next week, or the week after that, or multiple players a month from now.  Someone of importance goes down with an injury.

Word has just come across that David Wright will miss tonight's game with a bruised right pinky.  

The gods above seem to have enough of the Mets good fortune, even if only for a night.  The team has said that Wright will be in the lineup tomorrow afternoon against the Nationals, so hopefully it is only a few hours that he'll need to get everything squared away.

But what hurts is looking at the line up card for tonight's game, a line up that includes four bench players.

Hold the fort Dillon Gee.  You're on your own for this one.

Game Recap

It was good waking up this morning and knowing that your team is off to a great 4-0 start, a start nobody saw coming.

Last night's game had a little bit of everything.  Starter Mike Pelfrey was okay, allowing three runs through the first three innings but then settling down and allowing no more runners to cross home plate.  He did allow 10 hits however and one has to figure that over time, more than just three of them will come home.

The bullpen just continues to be lights out over this opening week.  Another three plus innings of no run baseball.  For a team that had such a weak bullpen a year ago, this is such a blessing to have consistent, quality work.

Not as many this time around, but the hits keep coming.  Notably from the bat of Daniel Murphy, last night's hero with a walk off single in the ninth.  But Ruben Tejada added another double, David Wright added another RBI, and rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis connected on his first career home run.

Things are going right in Mets land.  Keep the good times coming.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pressurized First Start

Fresh off their three game sweep to open the series, the Mets will be welcoming in another division rival to Citi Field this week, when they open up a 3-game set vs the Washington Nationals.  Again pitching should take the headline in this series, mainly due to the battle of aces on Wednesday afternoon.

But tonight's game is extremely important for the Mets and more specifically the Mets starter, Mike Pelfrey.

Pelfrey was on the end of a lot of criticism last season due to his poor performance and he didn't fare much better in Spring Training.  Although his final two starts in March had better results, the overall body of work wasn't to be desired.

Mets fans have their position player they love to boo, Jason Bay, and it seems as if Pelfrey will be the pitcher feeling the wrath from fans.  Bay did a small part this weekend to quite the birds for a few days, collecting a pair of hits and an RBI.

The Mets are off to a 3-0 start all in part to the strong starting pitching they received.  Pelfrey doesn't have to replicate Jon Niese's performance and throw a no hitter into the late innings, but he can't get chased early on and not give the team a chance for the W.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

How Sweep It Is

The Mets took care of business this afternoon, again besting the Braves by a 7-5 score.

Not many people, and I include myself in that group, figured the Mets would start the season and sweep a series from a division rival.  Especially a rival like Atlanta, a team that always has a knack for inflicting damage to the Mets.

The key for the entire series was pitching and it held true yet again today.  Jon Niese started for the Mets and was absolutely fantastic.  Yes, he'll get marked for letting up four runs, but those runs were at the end of his day and he was plagued by an error behind him.  Niese took a no hitter into the 7th inning and at one point, retired 14 straight Braves.  The man was paid the other day and he gave upper management a sturdy thank you with today's outing.

The hitting came around late in the game, but around it did come.  David Wright picked up another RBI, Daniel Murphy collected two more doubles, and Ruben Tejada looked very comfortable in the leadoff spot day as he picked up four hits.  This is a long, deep lineup and it will wear out opposing teams.  They may be able to get outs early in the game but the third and fourth time through the batting order is tough for teams.  The Mets have to many good hitters to not score often.

The one player who still needs to get going is Ike Davis.  Only three games in, so not to worried, but he has yet to record a base hit and has looked over-matched at the plate, especially against any breaking balls.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Put it in the Books!

Ya can't win them all if you don't win the first two games... okay, I'm done with that phrase.  While in attendance this afternoon with my family, the Mets won their second straight game to open the season, 4-2, over the Braves.

The biggest story of the afternoon was Lucas Duda, who connected on two laser shot home runs.  A big, strong left hander, Duda has the potential to hit a lot of home runs in the middle of this line up.  He was not the only person to go yard today as David Wright gave the Mets an early lead with an opposite field home run in the first inning.  That's one aspect to keep an eye on this year, especially when the Mets are playing at Citi Field; home runs that are hit.  With the outfield wall brought in throughout the field and the fences lowered in left field, the Mets should be able to pop a few more balls into the stands.

RA Dickey started this afternoon and pitched well for the most part.  He did struggle at times throughout the game but that was mostly due to weather and him having trouble getting control over the knuckleball.  Dickey was able to make it through six innings however and the bullpen that followed him was again lights out.

Zippity-DUDA! Zippity-DUDAAAA!!!

At the game

It's a warm one here, when in the sun. In shade is about 15 degrees colder and very windy. Not sitting my actual seats, let's see we get moved.

Considering the very small looking crowd so far, I'd be surprised.

25 minutes til first pitch. Let's go Mets.

Heading to the Stadium

A couple of months ago, I felt like most Mets fans, or at least the preconceived notion of how Mets fans feel.  I told myself I wasn't going to spend money on the team and I wouldn't be making the trip to Citi Field.

Yeah, that lasted long.  I'll be making my way over to Citi in just a few minutes for a Saturday morning tailgate and some afternoon baseball.  The positive vibes from Thursday afternoon are still around so, and especially after yesterday's Yankees loss, I am damn proud to say I'm going to see my team live.  I like them and I like baseball.

Let's go RA Dickey, let's go Kirk Nieuwenhuis, let's go Mets.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Game Recap

Ya can't win them all if you don't win the first one.

In what turned out to be a pitcher's duel, the Mets squeezed past the Braves 1-0 this afternoon to get their first victory of 2012 and pushed their Opening Day record to an all-time best 33-18.

For what the Mets needed, Santana was brilliant today.  It was everything a Mets fan could have asked for from their ace. It was only five innings, but it was five innings more than we saw last season from Santana.  The rest of his line read two hits, two walks and five strikeouts.  Outside of the last part of the fifth inning, Santana was simply superb.

The offense was left in the starting gate for the most part.  They collected seven hits but their 4-6 hitters went a combined 0 for.  Daniel Murphy started his season with what many will expect from him; a lot of hits.  David Wright picked up a hit in his eighth straight Opening Day, a RBI shot into left that wound up being the only run needed.

The bullpen, which was thought to be a strength in the winter, but became a question mark in the spring, was lights out when it matter.  Four shutout innings from four different relievers.  Up and down.

The only negative on the day was the reinjury to Andres Torres' calf and the likelihood of him landing on the disabled list.  Ah well, it's the Mets and ya knew an injury had to happen at some point.

Opening Day.  A success.  Feels good.

Opening Day

Oh how I would love to be there today.  Opening Day.  Albeit small, the fresh optimism in the air.  The memories of yesteryear.  The blue sky, green grass, and white uniforms.

I've been lucky enough to have gone to a few Opening Days in the past, the most recent in 2010 with my awesome fiancee.  It just seems that nothing can go wrong that day at the park.  Spending $8 on a beer, worth it.  $10.50 for a burger and fries, sure why not.  Hell, even the $20 to park your car isn't a downer.  How can it be.  It's Opening Day.

In approximately five hours, the team will trot out of the dugout, Johan will take the mound and away we go.  Who knows what will happen over the course of the season.  Who knows what will happen this weekend, I mean, the Braves are suppose to be a superior team and potentially win the division.  But none of that will matter shortly.  It's a blank sheet, it's Opening Day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Over

After weeks of the same reports, the same questions, the same routine... Spring Training if finally over.

2012 Mets baseball begins tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM against the Atlanta Braves and it can't come soon enough.

Finally, for everyone, it's time to shut up and play ball!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Training Record

Following the Mets walkover 7-6 victory over the New York Yankees this afternoon, their spring training record stands at 9-19.  Not a good record.  Not at all.  But the good thing is that this record will not matter in just a couple of hours.  Once the regular season begins Thursday afternoon, every team will start 0-0 (outside of the four teams who will have opened by then).

What does matter, is how the team is playing leading up to the regular season.  How everything is coming together for the club.  For as poor as the record looks, the Mets are 3-3 in their final week of spring training, winning their last two games.  What is most important for Terry Collins however is that this afternoon, he was able to run out his Opening Day lineup for the first time this spring.  Because of all the minor, and more concerning, injuries throughout camp, the Mets haven't been able to consistently run out their regulars and get a consistency in order.

It's only a one game sample, so of course it isn't the way it'll be all season, but this afternoon's game saw Wright, Murphy, Duda, and Thole have multiple hits, Torres come back to the lineup to score two runs from the leadoff spot, and Davis hit the walk off homerun.  Hell, even Pelfrey had a solid final outing on the mound.

Things seem to be coming together of late.  Whether or not this will translate into wins once the regular season begins is another story, but it's on the right path.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Closer Issues

Reports coming out of Port St. Lucie this weekend is that closer to be Frank Francisco has been battling a sore knee.  For some time, the reports have been that it was Francisco's toe which had been laboring him, but the truth came out recently about the knee.  Francisco had an MRI done on the ailing knee and results came back negative, but that still did not prevent the doctors from training fluid from the area.

This will be a worrisome issue for the Mets moving forward if Francisco is hampered.  The Mets restocked their bullpen this winter and feel very confident the group will be much better than last season.  However, dipping into the depth of the bullpen this early on can create a ripple effect the Mets don't want to see happen.

Should anything happen with Francisco long term, it seems as if Jon Rauch will be next in line to take over the closer responsibilities.  Although he has thrown the ball remarkably well this spring, Bobby Parnell is not an option right now to take over that role.  The front office is still a bit weary about Parnell since he had struggled last season in a small role audition for the closer spot. 

Spring Training Mission - Success

One of bigger questions for the Mets heading into this Spring Training... okay, check that, it was the biggest question... was how Johan Santana and his shoulder would hold up through the workouts and when he may be able to pitch.

Well, that was answered yesterday morning when Terry Collins told Santana, the rest of the team, and the media that Santana will indeed take the ball this Thursday when the Mets start their 2012 season against the Atlanta Braves.  There was a bit of hesitation a few days ago when Santana had body soreness but he passed his bullpen session on Saturday with flying colors.

For a team that has had so much negativity surrounding them for as long as the Mets have, hearing this piece of information is quite possibly the freshest breath of air they could have asked for.  This sets the tone for the rest of the team; their ace and number 1 guy is here, healthy and ready to go to battle for the long haul.

Santana will be limited to around 80 pitches for his first couple of starts, and thanks to the multiple off days in the early part of the schedule, he will be receiving an extra day's rest for the first few times through the rotation.

Thursday will be fun.  For many reasons. Seeing #57 jog to the mound for the first pitch may be the biggest reason of all.