Oct 04

Something with your morning coffee ….

I am always thinking about ways to enhance and improve the blog. I like the little snippets This Day in Baseball History and They Said It … I am thinking of combining the two and adding some other trinkets in one larger post. This could work. Tell me what you think. Several small posts or one big post?

This Day in Baseball History

This Day in Baseball History

The Mets were filled with hope on this day in 2006, even after knowing Orlando Hernandez wouldn’t be available for the playoffs. Hernandez pulled a muscle running and would be scratched from the rotation.

The Mets opened their National League Division Series with a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Carlos Delgado had four hits, including a homer, and Cliff Floyd also homered to power the Mets. David Wright added three RBI.

DELGADO: Big day vs. Dodgers

DELGADO: Big day vs. Dodgers

Guillermo Mota would get the victory in relief.

The game will always be remembered for the relay from Shawn Green to Jose Valentin to Paul Lo Duca that nailed two Dodgers at the plate.

The Mets would go on to sweep Los Angeles, but lose in the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals, with Game 7 ending when Carlos Beltran took a third strike on a nasty curveball from Adam Wainwright.

The Mets were filled with such promise then and entered the following season as heavy favorites to reach the World Series. However, the Mets blew a seven-game lead with 17 remaining and their playoff window further slammed shut with another collapse in 2008.

They are a reeling franchise today.

They Said It

They Said It

As this miserably disappointing season draws to a close, there has been wonder of what torturous way the Baseball Gods would end this mess known as 2009.

Said David Wright: “We already had a game-ending triple play. I’m excited to get it over with.”

While it is a season the Mets would love to forget, it will always be one they’ll forever remember.

In addition to that game-ending triple play, there were other memorable moments, such as Luis Castillo’s dropped pop-up at Yankee Stadium; Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly ball that let in the winning runs in a game at Florida; Ryan Church’s failure to touch third base in Los Angeles; a wild-pitch by Sean Green to lose a game in Philadelphia; blowing a five-run lead in a loss to the Pirates; losing two games in one week on grand slams; Francisco Rodriguez’s meltdown in Washington; and Mike Pelfrey’s three-balk game in San Francisco.

BY THE NUMBERS

95: Homers hit by the Mets this season. They are the only team in the majors to hit less than 100 home runs. In contrast, the Yankees lead the majors with 242 homers.

A QUICK GLANCE AT TODAY’S GAME.
Nelson Figueroa has the honor of starting the final game of the Citi Field’s first season today against Houston. Figueroa, a member of the Mets’ patchwork rotation in September, lost five games for the month.

ELSEWHERE IN SPORTS
The Twins and Tigers enter the final day of the season tied. Should there be a one-game playoff, it would be Tuesday in the Metrodome, as the stadium is reserved for the Vikings-Packers on Monday night. … In an odd bit of scheduling, both the Giants and Jets are out of town today. The Giants are in Kansas City, while the Jets are in New Orleans to face the undefeated Saints.

Oct 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When it comes to what John Maine did last night, I have to keep telling myself, “it was only one game.’’

Yes it was, but Maine’s starts have been getting progressively better in terms of pitch count and effectiveness. Last night, he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Most importantly, no walks. As in zero.

Maine squeezed in those seven innings with 106 pitches. Usually with Maine, if the throws that many pitches it is over five innings.

Maine attributed the success with his slider to a new grip, which again reinforces it was good for him to come back this month.

There will be games when his slider doesn’t have movement or bite, but hopefully he’s been able to come up with a way to get out of those funks. A pitcher only learns that by pitching.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.


“I was just trying to pitch to contact a little more,’’ Maine said. “Walks always hurt me, I’d always give up a lot of walks, and that’s how they end up scoring. This start I just had a better slider, and that always makes your fastball better.’’

Maine’s start doesn’t answer all the Mets’ pitching questions, but it does offer encouragement.

The Mets (68-92) hope for another dose of positive this afternoon from left-hander Pat Misch (2-4, 4.71 ERA) who is coming off a complete-game victory over the Marlins last Sunday.

Misch has pitched well at times in his month-long audition for the No. 5 slot in the rotation next year. So has Tim Redding, but he could be more suited for the long-man role.

Here’s today’s batting order vs. Yorman Bazardo (1-2, 8.23 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

David Wright isn’t hurt, so I don’t understand the need to give him a day off the day before the season finale. He had a good game last night, so why not keep it going?

I don’t like how manager Jerry Manuel has handled his line-up the last month. September was supposed to be about learning for next year.

Wright has had a miserable month for the most part, but is coming out of it. Too late, of course, but he’s hit well the past week.

I don’t like how Nick Evans has wasted away on the bench. He’s been rushed, but this month was a way to get him some consistent at-bats. Instead, Tatis and Pagan have gotten considerably more time. We don’t even know if Tatis will be with the Mets next year. It is so much more important to learn about Evans.

I’m also not crazy about the batting order. Can we please find a spot for Daniel Murphy and leave him there? Murphy has hit from second to seventh, but he’s never in one spot long enough to get comfortable. And, please spare me the injuries excuse. The juggling is unsettling for a young player.

The juggling also shows a lack of consistency from the manager. There are times to juggle, but not every day.

Oct 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #160; The last weekend in a lost season.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It all comes to a close this weekend. One of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory ends with a three-game series against the Houston Astros, a team that had its own problems this year.

It’s John Maine going for the Mets against Wandy Rodriguez.

Here’s the line-up for the Mets (67-92):

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
John Maine (6-6, 4.72 ERA), RP

Oct 02

Please join me

The Mets’ season mercifully ends this weekend. I’ll be around to live blog as I’ve been all season and I hope you’ll join me and add your comments.

I’ll do the postseason as I did last year. Next week will also include season wraps and looking ahead to the Hot Stove Season.

I hope you’ll join me and spread the word.

Thanks.

JD

Oct 02

Enough of the guessing …. you really don’t know.

It is agent Peter Greenberg’s job to protect his client, to put the best spin possible, but in this case he really doesn’t know. Greenberg is only guessing when he says, “He is going to be good for next year. I don’t think that is a question.”

Of course, it is a question. It’s one nobody really knows.

REYES: Nobody can say when he'll be ready.

REYES: Nobody can say when he'll be ready.


Greenberg told Jeff Wilpon that Jose Reyes, who has a torn hamstring, should be working out in either December or January. But, is that with or without surgery? Nobody is saying.

If Reyes’ injury is a new one sustained when he tried running this week, it’s more bad luck. Or is it? Had the Mets been proactive in their treatment, then this is more than bad luck. Perhaps, the weakened condition of Reyes’ tendon problem made the tear possible. One must consider all the possibilities.

If, what happened was the worsening of the original condition, then this was poorly played.

Come to think of it, it was poorly played all along. The perception was Reyes was dictating all the shots, and when does a patient do that? Yet, another Mets’ injury spins out of control.

If the hamstring hasn’t healed by now, it won’t without surgery. And, once you go under the knife, everybody’s recovery time is different. So, Greenberg can’t say December. What if it is January of February? If that’s the case, there’s no way Reyes will be ready for spring training.

And, what if Reyes injured himself to such a degree that the surgery doesn’t work? Or the surgery is more extensive than what is anticipated?

All season there have been projections of Reyes’ return and none of them have been correct. Why should this time be any different?

Nobody really knows. What we do know, is that this has been a mess.