Saturday, June 30, 2012

No Surprise

Well really, none of us should be surprised by what took place in Los Angeles last night.  Okay, maybe a bit of an eye opener that Daniel Murphy continued his torrid week, with another home run and five RBI.  Or even Ruben Tejada, finally getting his stroke back after spending six weeks on the DL, who smacked out four hits.

But as for the pitching.  No.  We all knew it was R.A. Dickey time.  And Dickey delivered again.  Throwing 8 innings of three hit, 10 stirkeout ball.  With the win he pushed his record to a league best 12-1.

It's becoming a league and country-wide story, this knuckle ball pitcher with the Mets.  He locked in his spot in the All-Star game about a month ago, but now the real question is when he'll be announced as the starting pitcher.  He should be in line.  He'll get the ball again on Thursday against the Phillies.  Tuesday would be his normal rotation day.  All of it will depend on how Terry Collins wants to use him post All-Star break.

With the win, the Mets kept pace with the Nationals while opening the gap to 6.5 games between them and the NL East cellar.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting Back at It

The sports world was watching last Sunday night.  All eyes on ESPN.  R.A. Dickey took the mound after two straight one-hit shutouts.  He was going up against the Mets in town brother, the Yankees.  Everyone had jumped on the knuckleballer's bandwagon.  He came back to reality.  Gave up five runs in six innings while walking and striking out three.

R.A. didn't get the loss, so his record remains a league best 11-1.  And he's on the mound again tonight in Los Angeles looking for his 12th win.  Maybe getting away from the NY media will help keep him focused on tonight's game (even though LA's media isn't too far behind in infamous as NY's).  Getting back on the road and keeping the distractions at bay.

The ace takes the hill tonight as the Mets look to push their win streak up to three.

Wright Stays Hot

In the early part of the season, the fun catch phrase was 'Pay The Man'.  Although David Wright has cooled off slightly (admit it, we all knew it would be difficult for him to keep the .400 average all season), the new phrase which all fans should use when speaking about Wright is 'Mr. All-Time Met'.

Over his last 10 games, Wright is hitting a cool .395 with 12 RBI and six runs scored.  And over the course of the season, has either established or added on to a number of offensive records in franchise history.

So far this season, Wright has passed Daryl Strawberry for the most RBIs and passed Jose Reyes for the most runs scored.  He also holds the most doubles and last night past Straw for the most walks.  He's within 80 hits of the most hits and 60 away from the most home runs.

With the way he's been swinging the bat this season, ya got to figure that Wright will come pretty close to eclipsing the hits mark by season's end.  Obviously he won't get the home run record this season and won't next season as well.  But, if not next season, will he have the chance?

Nothing new on the contract front has come to light.  Status quo.  Wright doesn't want to talk about it until the off-season.  Can't blame him.  No way he'd want that type of distraction in the way of his All-Star season.  But when Sandy Alderson calls him this winter, he better call from a dump truck.  A truck with a ton of cash in it.

There's no way that the Mets upper management can let Mr. All-Time Met walk away.

West Coast Lovin'

The Mets up and down performances followed suit last night.  After shlaking 17 runs on the Cubbies Wednesday afternoon, the Mets got a nit and grit victory last night in La-La Land.

Chris Young, who's becoming more and more Mr. Dependable in the five-hole, picked up his second victory of the season while throwing seven awesome innings.  Sandy Alderson waited and waited this off-season, walking a very fine line, but in the end made the smart move and brought Young back on a minor league deal to help provide some depth.  With the lose of Mike Pelfrey and the suckiness of the other #5 starters, the depth is proven that it's needed.

The Mets remain 3.5 games behind the Nationals.  It's late enough in the season that the outside world recognize the Mets aren't going to go away.  They're a good enough team to fight to the end.  In the same breath, it seems as if Washington in the same mold, as are the 2012 Braves.  It looks like we may have a fun three team race over the last three months of the season.  We know the first three months have been fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicks Dig The Long Ball

Well, that's one way to get back on track.  Just bash the hell out of the baseball, score the most runs as a team in about three years, and pitch well.

Going into this afternoon's matinee, most figured that Jon Niese would give the Mets a chance to win.  He's done it almost this entire season and especially so during afternoon games.  But the biggest questions by far would be the team defense and the sleepy offense.

In the end, both woke up.  The Mets played a clean game behind Niese and contributed 17 runs, the most since they scored 18 runs in 2009 also against the Cubs.

Daniel Murphy smacked his first two home runs of the season, Ike Davis had three more hits (including a three run home run) which pushed his average above .200 for the first time all season, and David Wright tacked on five RBIs.  

It's a breath of fresh air to watch as a Met fan.  The team hadn't had an offensive, no brainer output in a long time.  But on the other end, have been in a few games this season that has gone against them.  Hopefully they did not use all their offense since there are still many a games to go this season.

And it's outta here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This Sucks

I've said it over and over in the early part of the season.  This is team is exciting and fun to watch and compelling and over-achieving.  But they are not good enough to throw games away!

Jon Rauch is going to get the blame from some people, seeing that he gave up four runs in less than an inning.  But ya know what?  Those were all unearned runs because the defense behind him was absolutely atrocious.  Pop up dropped.  Twice.  

They Mets weren't going to win anywho because the offense was still on the plane, coming in from New York.  But it's a sign of what's going on.  One of the worst defenses in the league and the worst bullpen in the National League.  This team will start to wilt if they can't course correct.  And it's so frustrating.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just Another Game

Last night was a great night.  But not because the Mets beat the Yankees for the first time in 2012.  No, last night was a great night because the Mets won.  The only time it matters more when they are beating a NL East opponents.  Wins are wins and the Mets have been racking them up.

Moving seven games over .500 leaves the Mets only two and a half games behind the Nationals, and about six games clear of the Marlins and Phillies.  The Braves seem like a team that will not go away lightly though, they're hanging just a half game behind the Mets.

But last night was a great night because they got the win.  Jon Niese continued the torrid starting pitching stretch, tossing up a solid six plus innings.  The power is still showing signs of staying hot, with Ike Davis putting up a three run shot in the first.  Oh yeah, Ike is still coming around.  That's great news because we all know the Mets need that pop in the middle of the lineup.  Mr. Today's Franchise David Wright just does what he does, hit the ball, contributing with two more hits.

They have another game tonight.  And that's it, just another game.  Keep plugging along, keep trucking, keep winning.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It's become a consistent scenario over the last few series; get swept, sweep a series, get swept, sweep a series.  So yeah, the Mets are 6-6 over their 12 games, but when the winning is taking place, it feels so damn good.

Dillon Gee did his part and answered the bell last night.  He took a one-hitter into the 8th inning and then watched as the bullpen held on for his fifth win of the year.  The Mets completed the sweep and will now get a well deserved day off heading into the their series against the Yankees; the first team to sweep the Mets in this stretch.

This team is easy to love.  They're so young and naive that they don't know they are suppose to roll over and fall apart when a game or two doesn't go their way.  They just battle hard, put the nose to the dirt and grind it out.  The team's record is back up to six games over .500, where it's been for most of the season.  But they are only three games out of first.  It's there for the taking.  They can smell it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Come and Get It

The sweep is right there.  It's there for the taking.  Dillon Gee, all eyes on you buddy.  Dickey and Santana have set the stage for you.  Don't mess it up.

Terry Collins seems to be rolling the die in this one.  Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are all on the bench so who knows where the offense is going to come from.  That's why it falls on Gee.  Always on the starting pitching.

Go get em.

Power Stick

Yes, yes, we all know that the last two games have been amazing games for the Mets, largely because of their starting pitching.  Johan Santana followed suit last night and delivered six shutout innings as New York posted their second consecutive 5-0 victory over the Orioles.

But what seems to be missed in the run of great starting pitching is the heating up bat of the Mets right fielder.  Last night Lucas Duda went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.  Duda has now hit safely in eight of the team's last 10 games, raising his average to just under .270.  He leads the team with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs.

This Mets team is not a very powerful team.  They will play a lot of small ball, slapping singles, moving runners over and waiting for the gap double to plate some runs.  When Duda is on, he changes that mentality.  He has the power to hit the ball out of any park, pull or opposite field.

Over the second half of last season, Duda was the most consistent power threat in the line up.  This may be the time of the year when he begins to really heat up again.  David Wright's been consistent all season long, by far with the highest On-Base Percentage on the team.  Ike Davis has slowly been turning it around, getting so close to the .200 average mark.  Combine those two with Duda's power in the middle of the line and the Mets offense should be able to compliment their starting pitching the rest of the way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Valdy with Another Start

We all know the talk the past couple weeks has been the storm that is RA Dickey and recently we've all been seeing the bat of Ike Davis start to warm up.  Combined, those two helped the Mets end their mini losing streak and top Baltimore last night.

However there's another bar that should start to get some notice pretty soon.  Jordany Valdespin.

Valdespin has been up and down with the Mets so far this season, basically filling in because of the numerous injuries that have befallen the big club.  Yet, when he plays, he seems to be out of position, either in left field or at short stop.  His two most natural spots, second and third base, are blocked.

Last night, Valdespin started at second base, giving the struggling Daniel Murphy a night off.  And looking at tonight's line up, Valdespin is in it yet again, this time playing left field.

The kid can hit the ball and over the past couple of games, he's been getting more at bats and showing that ability.  Last night he had two more hits, both extra bases including his first career triple.

It's two early for speculation and heat to come onto Murphy, but his bat better get going pretty soon or there will be a legit competition for second base in the near future.


It's beginning to get to the point where there are no more words, no more adjectives for the season that R.A. Dickey is having in 2012.

At this point, Dickey leads the National League in wins, ERA, WHIP, strike outs (tied for the major league lead), and complete games.  He's thrown back to back one hit shutouts.  He has his opposing batters completely flustered and lost at the plate.  He's doing all of this with a knuckleball.

It's totally amazing and such a joy to watch.  With every outing, he is more and more of a shoe-in for the All-Star game in July and showing that he deserves to be the starting pitcher.  It's a bit early for post season accolades, but maybe not, so should we start to mention the words 'Cy Young' and 'R.A. Dickey' in the same sentence?

It'll be fun to watch Dickey's next outing, that's for sure.  A Sunday night match up, on national TV, against the NY Yankees; a team that just swept the Mets not even three weeks ago.  A Yankees team that has won 10 games in a row and will match up Dickey with their ace, CC Sabathia.

This is just me, but I feel that Dickey will be up for the task.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Back In The Swing?

As Mets fans, we've been waiting since last May to see the power threat that is known to be Ike Davis.  He showed some glimpses of it during Spring Training and all fans started to dream big.  Another season of Ike in the middle of the lineup, bashing home runs and driving the ball to all parts of the park.  Making a charge to be one of the best first basemen in the National League.

And then the season started.  And Ike began the season 0 for what seemed to be a century.  And he never picked it up.  Keeping his batting average around the .165 mark for the first two plus months of the year.  Everything was wrong.  He had a horrible eye.  Was out in front of way to many pitches.  His hitch was a problem, not a power source.  It translated to some rough defense at times.

There were many a time and many a people (mostly fans and the media) who thought that Ike belonged in the minors for a period of time.  Get his swing back.  Get his confidence back.  But that didn't happen.  Terry Collins stuck with Ike, yes, further down in the lineup but still in there.  The hits would come said the Mets.  Ike is too good for him not to turn this around.

And ya know what?  They may be on to something.  This isn't me saying that Ike is back and he's once again been the force he was last season.  But, he does seem to be coming back around.

During the Mets three game sweep of the Rays, Ike went 6 for 11, including a home run, a double, 3 walks, and 6 RBIs.  Adding on the final two games against the Yankees from last weekend, Ike is 8 for his last 14.  His average has climbed to .188.

The Mets still need not to rush Ike.  They better not push him up to the 4- or 5- hole in the lineup and watch him get exposed again.  Keeping Ike down for the next couple of weeks is crucial.  But let's keep the fingers crossed that he's found his flaw and is getting back into his groove.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One-Hit Wonder

It really is amazing how a good, if not great, starting pitcher can change the dynamics of a ball club.  After a rough stretch, losing five of six games, the Mets come down to Tampa, against a first place team, needing to find themselves.

The offense was able to open up and pour it on Tuesday night, helping guide Chris Young to his first MLB win in over a year.  But then the Mets were going up against the best pitcher (record-wise) in the AL last night, and typically, the Mets struggle against top pitchers.

So what did they do?

The entire team hopped on the back of RA Dickey and rode the train to a 9-1 victory, behind 8+ scoreless innings, one hit against, no walks, and a career high 12 strikeouts.  Dickey broke the Mets team record for longest scoreless streak, 32 2/3s innings.  Over his last five starts, Dickey has struck out 50 while only walking three batters.

Hopefully all will be able to realize that Dickey is the ace of this staff.  His 10 victories lead the majors so far.  He's not only expected to make the All-Star team next month, but there's a great chance that he will be the starting pitcher that night.

He gives his team a chance to win every single night.  That's all you can ask for from your elite pitcher.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lost Weekend

Oh the mojo is currently gone from this Mets team.  Now it seems as if it's filled with a bunch of head scratching and questioning.  Is the offense good enough?  How bad can the bullpen possibly get?  Can't guys play simple defense?

Over the past week, the Mets dropped five of six games to first place Washington and New York.  They've dropped a full five games out of first place and only sit three games above the .500 mark.  To make matters potentially worse, they are now down in Tampa Bay, another first place team, for a three game set.

The combination of Ike Davis and Jason Bay in the middle of the Mets line up is killing them offensively.  They can't get any sort of sustained inning going because it's almost automatic both of those guys will get out.  Enough is enough.  One would think that the Mets could just reach down to the minors and call someone up to spark an ignition, but there's a problem with that.  Most of those minor league players are already up in Queens due to injury.

The bullpen is in shambles.  All over the place.  Seems as if the only two consistent pitchers are Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell.  Other than that, it's a complete crapshoot.  It's saddening and maddening.

And the defense... woof! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Got The Finale!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's got the most wins of them all?

Wait, mirror, please repeat again... a bit louder.

One more time, having a tough time copying that mirror.

Ahh, that's right... it's R.A. DICKEY!

Dickey picked up his league leading 9th victory today.  Throwing another 7+ shut out innings, striking out eight in the process.  He was able to help the Mets get one victory in Washington before a fun weekend against the Yankees.


Bounce Back

Today is a very big game for the Mets.  They've now lost three in a row, including two to the first place Washington Nationals.  They need to get a victory this afternoon to get back on the right track and to prevent falling far out of first.

One of the biggest problems is that the Mets could have or should have won the last two games.  Normally, in the past, we would all blame the bullpen and their shoddy work for losing games.  This isn't the case this week.  It's been the absolutely putrid and porous defense.

Booted balls, bad throws, balls through the legs.  It's all happened the last two nights and the direct result is two loses.  A damn shame.

What hurts is that the Mets are playing with their backup's backup shortstop.  Does that even make sense?  They are so hurt up the middle, it's almost as if stick figures are playing there.

The Mets were expecting to get Ruben Tejada back this weekend but he aggravated his thigh earlier this week in a rehab game, so that's now out of the question.

RA Dickey gets the ball today and the Mets desperately need him to be the same pitcher he was last Saturday, limiting the opposition to no runs.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What a Weekend

With what has been going on with the Mets organization the past couple of years, this probably will go down as one of the best weekends the Mets have had in quite some time.

Three straight victories over the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.  Only one run allowed over the three games.  Three wins by the stating pitching.  Two complete game shutouts to start the series.  And the club's first no-hitter on Friday night.

The team is in a three way tie at top the NL East.  They have one more game this afternoon, weather pending, against the Cardinals before a first place show down with the Nationals in Washington mid-week.

The young guns are contributing.  Duda, and Nieuwenhuis, and Murphy, and Thole are all beginning to warm up and slap the ball around.  The older guys in Wright and Torres are continuing to make plays and get on base.  The starting staff has gone deep into games, giving their team a chance to win and also giving the bullpen some much needed rest.

The team is believing.  The fans are believing.  It's only a third of the way through, so there is still a lot that is needed to be accomplished.  But it's been a great third so far.  On to bigger and better.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nohan, Johan

For Mets fans, last night, June 1st, 2012, the stars aligned in the galaxy and the spot light was able to shine on the proud, but beleaguered organization they love to root for.

In their 51st season of existence, Johan Santana pitched a no-hitter at Citi Field for the first no-hitter in Mets history.

In the past, seven players had left the Mets and went on to throw no-hitters for other clubs.  35 times the Mets were able to toss a one-hitter.  But never was there a no-no.  Only two teams in baseball were able to say that, and now, that number is down to one lonely team.

When I opened my score app on my iPhone last night to check in on the score, I froze for a moment.  It was the top of the 8th, one out, and I saw that Johan had the no-hitter going.  I struggled to tell my fiance this, I was afraid that I would jinx it if I said those words.  But I mentioned it and immediately whipped our the iPad to watch the game live, simultaneously calling my father to make sure the biggest Mets fan that I know was awake to watch this.

Swing and a miss, strike three on David Freese, ball game over, no-hitter complete, history made.

As big of a moment as last night was for Mets fans, it's a bigger moment for the man.  There couldn't be a better person right now who Mets fans would want to toss that historic moment.  A man who came to the club years ago and worked so hard to be the best pitcher he possibly could be.  A man who last year spent the entire season in Florida, rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder.  A man who takes the responsibility as this team's ace very, very seriously.  #57.  Johan Santana.