Apr 09

April 9, Mets Lineup Against Phillies

Bartolo Colon will go after his 219th career victory tonight against the Phillies, which would tie him with Pedro Martinez for the most by a Dominican-born pitcher.

Here’s his support group:

Curtis Granderson, RF

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Yoenis Cespedes,  CF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Neil Walker,  2B

Michael Conforto, LF

Wilmer Flores, 3B

Travis d’Arnaud, C

Colon, RP

NOTES: Interesting Cabrera is hitting second and not Conforto. … Flores got a huge cheer yesterday. Hope he gets another one today. … With the weather cold and perhaps rainy later, it’s a wise move to rest David Wright. …

ON DECK: Mets Wrap: Game # 4 vs. Phillies.

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Apr 08

Mets Wrap: DeGrom Shines, But Hurt In Opener

GAME #3:  Mets 7, Phillies 2.  Record: 2-1.

SUMMARY:  Jacob deGrom gave up one run in six innings before leaving the game with tightness in his right lat muscle. While it is premature to say how long he will be out, it must be remembered this isn’t a good issue for a pitcher. Steven Matz had a similar issue last year and missed two months.

DeGROM: Back injury is worrisome. (AP)

DeGROM: Back injury is worrisome. (AP)

KEY MOMENT: Neil Walker‘s RBI single in the sixth gave the Mets a lead they would never relinquish. Walker has driven in five runs in the season’s first three games for the first time in his career.

HEARING THE CHEERS: On the unofficial cheering meter, Wilmer Flores, Bartolo Colon and Terry Collins got the loudest cheers during the pregame introductions. Unquestionably, Noah Syndergaard‘s ovation was louder than that of Matt Harvey‘s.

CONFORTO CONTINUES HOT HITTING:  Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. Even so, Collins said he’ll keep his platoon system with Juan Lagares.

WRIGHT IS RIGHT: If David Wright is to be kept in the No. 2 slot in the batting order, perhaps the Mets shouldn’t worry about his power numbers and he just concentrate on getting on base. He doubled and has now gotten a hit in each of his 12 home openers. … Wright also made a nice barehanded pickup and throw to first. … Collins said Wright will sit Saturday night.

THUMBS UP: The bullpen was solid for the third straight time. Jim Henderson threw another strong 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. … Jerry Blevins stranded two inherited runners in the eighth. … Asdrubal Cabrera made two strong plays in the field. … Travis d’Arnaud threw out an attempted base stealer.

THUMBS DOWN: Of course, deGrom’s injury put a damper on the day and has the potential to do a lot worse. … Yoenis “I am human,” Cespedes misplayed Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff flyball in the sixth into a leadoff trouble.

INJURY UPDATES: We’ll know more Saturday on deGrom. … Zack Wheeler will undergo a minor medical procedure Tuesday to remove an undissolved stitch in his right forearm. … Lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, was examined Thursday.

QUOTEBOOK: “I was going to go out there for the seventh, and then I thought twice about it and said, ‘Hey, maybe I should say something. It’s early on. It’s a little cold out today. Let’s not push it.’ ” – DeGrom on coming out of the game.

BY THE NUMBERS: .375: Wright’s average (18-for-48) in 12 home openers.

NEXT FOR METS: Colon will start Saturday night against Vince Velasquez. With a victory Colon would tie Pedro Martinez for victories for a Dominican-born pitcher with 218.

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Apr 08

My Favorite Opening Day Memories

Major League Baseball always talks about the need to market itself, especially to the younger generation. A national Opening Day could be a good first step. A good second step would be for school districts around the country to shut it down for a day when their hometown team plays its home opener.

I don’t know how to go about it, but if I had a son or daughter I would take them out of school to go to Opening Day. That’s what my late father did on April 7, 1970, when he took my brother and I out of school for the day to watch the Indians on Opening Day against Baltimore.

Dave McNally against Sam McDowell. Damn, that was a good matchup.

Despite his note, the school did not approve, but he took us out anyway. His reason was we would take more from being at that game with him than anything we would have learned that day in class.

He was right. Baseball was very big in our home, and it still is in our family. That’s how you cultivate the fans of tomorrow.

Looking back, he was right, and it is one of my fondest memories of him.

My dad got it 46 years ago. I wonder how many fathers around the country will it today and take their kids to Citi Field.

My other favorite Opening Day memory was last year. I had been hurt the year before and spent nearly seven months in a hospital and didn’t go to the park for an Opening Day for the first time since 1988. I remember watching on TV from the hospital and promised myself I would go the next year.

Which, I did. There was a sense of accomplishment I will always remember.

I’ve watched on television Opening Days since 1966, but the memories of plays are scattered. Both those two memories were personal and that’s why I remember them vividly. To me, baseball’s Opening Days are about being personal, about who you watched them with and the circumstances in your life at the time.

So, what about you? What are your favorite Opening Day memories?

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Apr 08

April 8, Mets-Phillies Lineups; DeGrom Still On

With game time bearing down on us, Jacob deGrom is still on as the Mets’ starter in their Citi Field opener against the Phillies. Of course, the phone could ring anytime.

mets-logoball-2You have to wonder what’s going through deGrom’s mind right about now. He’s a professional, so you’d hope his mind would be able to focus on his job. Then again, he’s human so maybe his mind and heart are in Florida with Stacey.

I don’t know, the Mets have had three days off this week so everybody is rested. Plus, they have other options in Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz so maybe the best move might have been to send him home – after all, his wife was supposed to deliver three days ago – until his mind his clear.

Then again, maybe pitching would be the best thing. We’ll know in four or five hours.

Until then, here are the lineups:

METS

Curtis Granderson, RF

David Wright, 3B

Yoenis Cespedes, CF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Neil Walker, 2B

Michael Conforto, LF

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Travis d’Arnaud, C

Jacob deGrom, RP

PHILLIES

Freddy Galvis, SS

Cesar Hernandez, 2B

Odubel Herrera, CF

Ryan Howard, 1B

Andres Blanco, 3B

Cedric Hunter, RF

Cameron Rupp, C

Emmanuel Buriss, LF

Jerad Eickhoff, RP

ON DECK: My favorite Opening Day memory. 

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Apr 08

Mets List: Home Opener Starting Pitchers

A feature I want to establish this year will be a Mets List, to run on Friday’s. Today’s topic is Mets’ starting pitchers for their home opener:

2015: Jacob deGrom

2014: Dillon Gee

2013: Jon Niese

2012: Johan Santana

2011: R.A. Dickey

2010: Santana

2009: Mike Pelfrey

2008: Oliver Perez

2007: John Maine

2006: Tom Glavine

2005: Glavine

2004: Steve Trachsel

2003: Glavine

2002: Al Leiter

2001: Kevin Appier

2000: Mike Hampton (at Tokyo)

1999: Bobby Jones

1998: Jones

1997: Mark Clark

1996: Jones

1995: Bret Saberhagen

1994: Jones

1993: Dwight Gooden

1992: Gooden

1991: Gooden

1990: Gooden

1989: Gooden

1988: Ron Darling

1987: Bob Ojeda

1986: Gooden

1985: Gooden

1984: Darling

1983: Tom Seaver

1982: Randy Jones

1981: Pat Zachary

1980: Craig Swan

1979: Swan

1978: Jerry Koosman

1977: Seaver

1976: Seaver

1975: Seaver

1974: Koosman

1973: Seaver

1972: Seaver

1971: Seaver

1970: Koosman

1969: Seaver

1968: Koosman

1967: Don Cardwell

1966: Jack Fisher

1965: Al Jackson

1964: Fisher (first Opening Day at Shea)

1963: Roger Craig (at Polo Grounds)

1962: Sherman Jones

ON DECK:  My favorite Opening Day.

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