Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mets Lose Another Series With Sunday's Loss to the Nationals

The Mets lost 6-3 earlier today against the Nationals in Washington pushing their record to 20-23 leaving them 3.5 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves as they head into an off-day on Monday. They have now lost half of their fourteen series played so far this season.

Even though he took the loss, Zack Wheeler was better this time around than in his last outing. He completed six innings, struck out five, and walked just two. Wheeler's record is currently 1-4 and his earned run average stayed pat at 4.53.

In the home third inning, two of Wheeler's five runs would be unearned due to shortstop Ruben Tejada's inability to backhand a ground ball hit by Jayson Werth with two outs. Nats catcher Wilson Ramos (2-for-3 on the day) would be up next, making the Mets pay for their poor defense as his double would produce two runs putting the Nats ahead 3-1. Ramos would finish the afternoon with four RBI.

For the Mets, back-up catcher Juan Centeno went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI but was thrown out in the top half of the sixth inning for the third out trying to stretch a single into a double.

For more Mets coverage of today's game, check out these links:

ESPN NY...Zack: 'I need to hurry up and turn it around'

Mets.com...Wheeler takes step back in rubber-game loss

NY Post...Wheeler shaky as Mets fall to Nationals, 6-3

Amazin' Avenue...Final Score: Nationals 6, Mets 3 - base running and defensive miscues prove costly

NY Daily News...Mets bumble way to defeat against Nationals as Zack Wheeler takes loss

MetsBlog...Jenrry Mejia still not closer until back-to-back outings

Mets Win, Lagares Wins, We All Win

Mets evened up their weekend series late Saturday evening against the Nationals with a 5-2 victory.

Bartolo Colon earned his third win of the season surrendering just two earned runs in eight innings of work. Colon now has 192 wins for his career.

Juan Lagares drove in three runs going 3-for-4 with a home run raising his batting average to .304. He also robbed Jayson Werth of a home run.

"Well, he'll play tomorrow," Terry Collins said of Lagares.

The decision to allow the Mets young centerfielder to ride the pine in favor of proven veterans has been a hot topic of conversation amongst Mets fans. Most Mets faithful are up in arms with the organization's idea to relegate one of their more productive hitters to the bench and have him merely waste away.

Here's a few links to keep you up-to-snuff on what's going on with the Mets:

NY Post...Lagares sends message with homer, 3 RBI as Mets win

Newsday...Jenrry Mejia nails down first big-league save

Mets.com...Mets aim to build on breakout against Zimmermann

Faith and Fear in Flushing....Lagares, Come Forth

NJ.com...Mets find production from Eric Campbell, minor leaguer given chance to play

ESPN NY...Farnsworth flops in Astros debut

The Daily Stache...Juan Lagares takes a home run away from Jayson Werth 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

For Good Or Bad, Spotlight Finds Granderson

After driving in the winning run in last night's 4-3 walk-off win, Mets right-fielder Curtis Granderson is hitting a miserable .141. How, you might ask? Striking out 26 times in 78 at-bats and producing just 11 hits in 90 plate appearances well, that's how! With that type of production thus far as a Met, who needs him you might ask?

Well, for starters, the Mets have committed $60 million this off-season to Granderson and have signed him to a four-year contract with the hopes that his high strike out numbers would be off-set by his home run and runs batted in production.

Looking at the 31-year-old's last two full seasons in 2011 and 2012 with the New York Yankees (Granderson played in just 61 games in 2013), he averaged 42 home runs, 119 runs scored, and 112 runs batted in. On the flipside, he struck out an average of 182 times per season. As startling as those strike out numbers may sound, during those two seasons, Granderson's on-base percentage averaged .342 and his slugging percentage held it's own at an impressive .522 per season which most likely contributed to him earning a trip to the All-Star Game for both of those years.

In 22 games so far this season, Granderson's on-base is a paltry .244 and his slugging is an embarrassing .231. Not to mention that he has produced just one home run and only 7 RBI which has led to tons of criticism from the fans and the media who have begun to label him as this season's Ike Davis or even worse, Jason Bay.

To his credit though, two of Granderson's seven RBI have led to two of the Mets thirteen victories, both coming in walk-off fashion lending to what has become an up-and-down first month of the season for Granderson. Unfortunately, the ups have been out-weighed by the downs and have allowed for the career .259 hitter a moment in the sun in good times and in bad, more bad than good perhaps. But some good, nonetheless.

What are you thoughts so far concerning Grandy's first go-round with the Mets?

Feel free to fill out the comments section with your opinions.

       

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bobby Abreu, the Ike Davis Trade, and A Camel's Broken Back

Bobby Abreu? Was he really the stick that broke the camel’s back on the Ike Davis trade? A trade that according to Mets GM Sandy Alderson had been in the works for the last eight months. Not this latest trade, specifically, between the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the idea of trading the former Mets first rounder, who was not only a helluva guy in the Mets clubhouse but a player you rooted for through thick and thin.

Listening to Alderson speak to reporters last Friday night after the trade between the Pirates had been officially consummated, it made you feel comfort in the fact that Lucas Duda is very similar to Ike Davis (with the exception of having your father as a former major leaguer, of course!). Also, Duda has a better chance of hitting left-handed pitching, and oh yeah, Bobby Abreu is, ahem, waiting in the wings. I mean, c'mon, doesn't it all make sense. Dave Hudgens, whom Abreu played under during Hudgens' tenure as manager of Caracas in the Venezuelan winter league, can vouch for the 40-year-old.

Doesn't it feel like sometimes the Mets front office genuinely cares about the fans best interest and sometimes the Mets front office doesn't genuinely care about the fans best interest? Wait, whaa?

Who wanted Curtis Granderson? The fans? If you ask WFAN's Mike Francesa, he'll say that he's slightly responsible for the Mets going all in on the power-hitting former Yankee, former Tiger outfielder. We can definitely pinpoint who wanted to sign Chris Young. What am I getting at here?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Sandy Alderson and his company of lieutenants may have gotten more than bargained for by taking over the Mets back in 2010. For the last four seasons, nothing has really changed. The pitching has stayed steady, the offense has floundered, and hell, Terry Collins is still the Mets skipper. Not to mention that Alderson's moves have left you confused and scratching your head. What ever happened to Vic Black? You know, one of the guys the Mets acquired in the Marlon Byrd trade. Oh yeah, he's in AAA Las Vegas. I'll admit, Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran so far looks promising.

But if Ike Davis follows in the foot steps of Atlanta's Freddie Freeman for the next four or five weeks and Bobby Abreu pulls his groin running out a ground ball, one would have to wonder who's running the controls over there in Flushing, a savior or just a camel who's just broken his back.    

  
 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Forget The Bullpen, Mets Need Offense to Step It Up

Other then the majestic blasts of Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, etc., the Mets offense can easily find itself at a Stop Sign waving the other cars on.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning of today's 2-1 loss to the Reds, the Mets had men on second and third, with one out. Daniel Murphy and David Wright due up, the meat of the order. Conclusion? Two strikeouts, back-to-back. Even Cincinnati's starting pitcher, Alfredo Simon, was able to muster up a base hit.

The bullpen will hopefully work it's way back. But if the Mets can't score many runs, well, they won't win many games.
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Playing Pepper 2014 With Cardinal 70

For the past several seasons, Daniel Shoptaw of the St. Louis Cardinals' blog, Cardinal70, has asked me to participate in his Playing Pepper series. Well, this year is no different.

Below are my answers to this season's questions concerning the New York Mets. In addition, to my responses, six other Mets bloggers gave their opinions as well. You can check out their responses and Daniel's link via the Cardinal Conclave.

Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below. Lets Go Mets!

1) How would you grade the offseason?

The important thing during this latest offseason for the Mets is not the quality of player but the fact that the Mets can actually spend some legitimate mullah.

Mets fans were screaming bloody murder when Sandy Alderson signed a .235 career hitter in OF Chris Young. ‘Why would he give a fourth outfielder $7M?’ they asked. I guess Alderson is hoping that Young will be this year’s Marlon Byrd. 

Outfielder Curtis Granderson who will give the Mets some legitimate pop and journeyman right-hander Bartolo Colon who will be asked to anchor the back of their young rotation were both good signings in my opinion. In terms of bullpen help, veteran right-handers Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth, who both signed minor-league deals, are hoping for one more bolt of lightning in a bottle.

In terms of a grade, I would have to say, (emo-con – slightly pleased)

2) Can Zack Wheeler step up and fill the gap left by Matt Harvey’s surgery?

He’ll definitely fulfill the anticipation factor that Harvey brought every fifth start. Wheeler’s rookie season consisted of seventeen starts (7-5, 3.42 ERA, 84 K in 100 IP) was a learning experience. I’ll be the first to say it, “I‘ll make sure to catch every one of Wheeler’s starts this season.”

3) Which roster battle will be the most intriguing during spring training?

Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems that the Mets have a variety of roster battles. Most notably, the first base position. It’s pretty funny when a right-handed-hitting platoon player, Josh Satin, has already received a green light from his manager that he’ll make the big club come Opening Day backing up either Lucas Duda or Ike Davis, who both face a stint at Triple-A if they’re not chosen to participate on March 31st.    

4) What rookie, if any, will make the most impact on the team in 2014?

My hope is that Travis D’Arnaud makes the biggest splash this season, however, young right-hander Noah Syndergaard is the one that’s on all Mets fans’ radar.

5) What will be the final record of the team and where will they finish in the division?

Vegas has the Mets over-under at 72.5 games. Sandy Alderson has been feeling giddy lately and has projected his $87M Mets can win 90 games. So, I’ll just meet somewhere in the middle and say 81.25 games. Finishing up at .500 would be an improvement.

6) Which player from your team do you most enjoy watching?
I like Daniel Murphy because I know if there’s ducks on the pond and he’s up, there’s a chance that he’s going to come through in the clutch. Plus, he adds some comic relief with his mental lapses on the base paths and he lackluster, at times, defense at second base.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Should Mets Opt-Out On Stephen Drew?

With the start of Spring Training fast approaching, some valuable free agents still linger. One of those being 30-year-old shortstop Stephen Drew.

It's no secret that the Mets front office has not been enchanted with the idea of Ruben Tejada as their starting shortstop. However, Drew is reportedly asking for at least $10M a year, a three-year commitment, and an opt-out clause after one year. Tejada would most likely cost much less. However,Drew's value would likely add three more wins.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Keeping Wright Healthy for 2014 Critical to Mets

'Remarkably durable over his last seven seasons, Wright has averaged 123 games per year since 2011.'

Mets.com's Anthony DiComo writes in his recent take on the projected corner infielders for the Mets.

We need close to a full season from David Wright if the Mets are to become serious contenders for 2014.

Without Wright in the lineup, the Mets offense becomes very weak and not so intimidating. That said Ike Davis, the projected starting first baseman, needs a breakout season in the worst way to provide much-needed protection for Wright.

Harvey's Rehab Going Smoothly

Mets ace Matt Harvey, who's coming off October elbow surgery, is making good progress and expects to begin throwing in two weeks.

"I haven't had any setbacks," Harvey told the NY Post. "I can't wait. I just want to pick up a ball."

Harvey intends to report to Spring Training on February 15th, along with the other Mets pitchers and catchers.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wright on the DL, Six-Man Rotation On-Hold, and Wilmer Flores

Listening to Terry Collins' post-game last night, he was obviously distraught. Perhaps feeling guilty that he didn't address David Wright's ailment sooner. Or maybe the real reason for his abrupt comments after the game stemmed from the fact that his 6-man rotation experiment was thwarted once again. When asked, "Who's pitching tom'row?" (meaning Saturday), Collins snapped, "Hefner."

As for Wilmer Flores, he doesn't have an exact position on defense and as one tweeter suggested, the Mets may want to keep his trade value high by leaving him down on the farm where he has excelled offensively. Right now he's a solid prospect, exposing him too soon to the majors where he could falter in a short stint may move teams to write him off as a bonafide big leaguer much quicker.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Alderson Makes Clear, Changes Are Not Staff Related

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is frustrated and he's sure Mets fans are frustrated, too. Up until Saturday's 20-inning marathon loss to the Miami Marlins, the front office of the Mets have given their players the benefit of the doubt that they'll be able to right the ship. A little over 24-hours has passed since that dreadful loss and Alderson's approach has drastically changed.

Ike Davis, Mike Baxter, and Robert Carson have been demoted to Las Vegas making way for Josh Satin, Josh Edgin, and Colin Cowgill. Nothing to really get excited about. Two-thirds of this trio have already had their share of trials and tribulations earlier in the season. Edgin and Cowgill made the Opening Day roster but weren't able to stick. As for Satin, he's a 28-yr-old minor leaguer still trying to prove that he belongs on an MLB roster. So why the change in personnel?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lost Weekend for the Mets

Who are these Marlins? Marcell Ozuna, not yet a household name, is one of them. These Marlins don't roll over and boy can they hit. With 16 hits on Sunday, 10 of those hits against phenom Matt Harvey, the Marlins are good. When they play the Mets that is. The Marlins now have 16 victories, 6 of them against the Mets.

When the most entertaining aspect of a 3-game series occurs when Keith Hernandez blurts out from his microphone, "my pencil disappeared," during Sunday's broadcast you can imagine what transpired in Miami this weekend. Maybe the Mets were trying to save their precious 1962 season of futility when they lost 120 games. With this weekend's sweep of the Mets by the Marlins, Miami's pursuit of that record has been derailed at the moment.

I've said it before with this Mets team and I'll say it again. To find any enjoyment from this season you're going to have to find small positives to get you by. Ike Davis had a solid 2-for-4 with a HR and 3 RBI.

Mets have now lost 3 after winning 5. Ouch!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mets Pitching the Obvious Culprit In Latest Loss

After reading about how the Mets top prospect, Zack Wheeler, struggled in his last AAA start, my concerns regarding the future and current state of the Mets pitching staff have begun to grow worrisome. With RHP Shaun Marcum's return to the starting rotation in limbo and current fourth and fifth starters, RH Jeremy Hefner and LH Aaron Laffey, respectively, unable to show any signs that they belong at the major-league level, the thought of a strong Mets pitching staff this season is a definite long shot.

Earlier today, Hefner and Laffey's sub-par performances against the Washington Nationals pretty much reinforced that point. Hefner was lifted for a pinch-hitter, Ruben Tejada, in the bottom of the fourth after giving up 3 runs on 4 hits, two of those hits being home runs, raising his earned run average on the young season to 7.07. The decision to pinch-hit for Hefner paid off for manager Terry Collins. Tejada would eventually work out a walk and prolong the inning allowing Tejada to score one of the Mets five runs that inning that gave the Mets a 5-3 lead.

With the Mets now on top, Collins would hand the ball off to Laffey hoping to keep the game in check.That theory would prove to be wishful thinking as the southpaw would go on to surrender a three-run homer to Nats first baseman, Adam LaRoche, in the top of the fifth inning, putting Washington up 6-5. (Laffey's pitching line today, 0.2 IP - 2 hits - 3 runs - 3 ER - BB - HR - 7.20 ERA)

The Mets would go on to tie the score at six in the bottom of the seventh on John Buck's 21st RBI only to see that lead evaporate when reliever Josh Edgin coughed up a solo shot to Bryce Harper in the top of the eighth inning putting the Nats up to stay, 7-6.