May 24

Today in Mets History: Cone hurls second straight shutout.

David Cone was always one of my favorites. He’s one of the few players who chatted with you on the days he pitched. A lot of guys are basket cases, but not Cone. He was always great to deal with, win, lose or draw.

CONE: Always a straight shooter.

And, if you saw him later in the hotel lobby, he’ll visit with you over a beer. And, funny, too. Glib and smart is a great combination.

Just like his fastball and nasty curve, when mixed with guile made him hard to beat. You wanted him in the clutch. Cone just would not give into hitters with the game on the line, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to get himself in and out of jams. It is why he became a hired gun with Toronto and later the Yankees.

On this date in 1992, Cone was at his unbeatable best, throwing his second straight complete-game shutout, defeating the Giants, 6-0. Five days before, he beat the Padres, 8-0. Cone went 81-51 with a 3.13 ERA and 15 shutouts in his seven years with the Mets, and finished his career at 194-126 with a 3.46 ERA.


Cone was traded to the Mets prior to the 1987 season along with Chris Jelic for Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo. He went 5-6 in 21 appearances (13 starts) that year. He began the next season in the bullpen, but was in the rotation by the first week of May and went 9-2 in the first half to earn his first All-Star appearance.

Cone went on to win 20 games, but what is remembered most about that season about him was the controversy he stirred as a guest columnist for The New York Daily News when, among other things, he called the Dodgers’ Jay Howell, “a high school pitcher.’’

The Mets lost that NLCS to Los Angeles and the dynasty fizzled, although Cone stayed on until 1992 when he represented the Mets in the All-Star Game, but was traded as a mercenary to Toronto.

Cone currently does Yankees games for the YES Network.


ON DECK: Looking at Wilpon’s criticism of Beltran.

May 23

Wilpon rips Reyes, Beltran; say a prayer for Gary.

Good Monday morning all. Still ailing.  Spent the weekend in the hospital and will be here maybe through tomorrow.

WILPON: Rips Reyes, Beltran.

I asked Joe D. from Mets Merized Online to post during the weekend and grateful he did. I had my laptop brought to me, so I will get back to posting, including Today in Mets History later this afternoon.

Never mind the games, it wasn’t a great weekend all around for the Mets, beginning with the news of doctors discovering four small brain tumors after Gary Carter complained of headaches.

I’ve spoken with Carter on several occasions. I don’t know him, but always found him to be cooperative and pleasant. I wish him and his family well and ask you say a prayer.

Now there’s the latest Wilpon mess, which will take more than a prayer to fix.

In an article in The New Yorker, Wilpon is quoted as taking shots at Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, questioning their value and performance.

Reyes will be a free agent after the season and Wilpon has to consider the reported $100-plus million the shortstop is seeking. To listen to Wilpon, he’s certainly not going to get a monster payday.

Said Wilpon: “He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.’’


Crawford’s deal with the Red Sox is $142 million over seven years, which is steep. I never thought Reyes would get that, especially since Wilpon is correct when saying everything has gone wrong with Reyes.

Reyes is playing well, but has been injured and produced little the last two seasons. A player heavily reliant on this legs, what will Reyes’ game look like at the end of a long-term deal?

That’s the gamble question the Mets, or any team considering Reyes for the long haul, must consider. I’ve said the Mets would like to deal Reyes at the deadline if they can find any takers, and still feel that way. I am even more sure of it after Wilpon, who, in questioning Reyes’ value hurt himself in his asking price.

“Well Fred, if you don’t think that much of him, then you can’t expect much in return, can you?” would be be the logical thinking of any owner talking to the Mets about Reyes.

Reyes could be traded to a contender as a rental and then test the free agent market. However, I can see Reyes pushing for a deal with the Mets or a new team because the collective bargaining agreement will expire in December. He’s obviously won’t get that deal from the Mets now.

Because of the CBA, figure a slow free-agent season early in the winter, and that’s something Reyes would like to avoid.

Wilpon is dead-on about Reyes, and also Beltran, whom the Mets signed after his monstrous 2004 postseason with Houston.

Wilpon said: “We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series. He’s sixty-five to seventy percent of what he was.’’

Hard to tell if that schmuck was then GM Omar Minaya or if Wilpon was talking about himself. Kind of think it was the latter.

To be fair, the Mets received production from Beltran early, but little the last two seasons because of injuries. However, the Mets must accept some responsibility for Beltran after mishandling his knee injury in 2009.

According to the author of the magazine piece, Jeffrey Toobin, when asked if the Mets were a cursed franchise, Wilpon pantomimed Beltran’s checked swing strikeout that ended the 2006 NLCS against St. Louis.

In all fairness, there is no guarantee of what would have happened had Beltran swung, or even had he made contact. It was nasty pitch from Adam Wainwright.

Also, the Mets had several opportunities earlier in the game before Aaron Heilman coughed up the series-losing homer to Yadier Molina in the ninth inning.

Wilpon did say the Mets were snakebitten, but how can a franchise whose history includes the 1969 miracle and the Bill Buckner-Mookie Wilson play complain about bad luck?

Most of the Mets’ run of poor luck is self-induced with poor management decisions and even worse play on the field.

I can’t see how Wilpon helped himself any in the Mets’ attempts to deal Reyes and/or Beltran by ripping them.


May 22

Turner Sets Mets RBI Record In 7-3 Loss To Yankees

Game Summary

Mets took an early lead but just got completely out slugged by the Bronx Bombers. Capuano got hit hard in his start, bullpen gave up a run, and Reyes and Turner led the Mets to three runs. However, Mets lose game two of the Subway Series 7-3.

Game Notes

What looked like was going to be a good start to the game for the Mets in the first inning, quickly became mute once the sandbox of a ballpark came into play. Four homeruns were given up by Mets pitchers with only one of them possibly being a homerun that would count at Citi Field. Of course Capuano was completely out matched in the game. He went 5.1 innings giving up six runs on six hits, four homeruns, no walks and five strikeouts. He receives his fifth loss of the season and an ERA over five. However, if this was Citi Field, it would have been a completely different outcome as the Yankees only scored one run that didn’t come from a cheep homerun.

The bullpen comprised of the still perfect Pedro Beato as he pitched a hitless and scoreless 1.2 innings with one strikeout. Glad to have him back. Also, Buchholz pitched an inning giving up that sac-fly run.

Mets and Yankees both had only seven hits, but Mets only went 3-8 with RISP, the biggest problem this season for the offense.

Jose Reyes comprised of three of those hits and two of the runs scored for the Mets. Daniel Murphy had two hits and scored the other run for the Mets. RBIs came from Beltran, “Big Red” Justin Turner, and Jason Bay, despite Bay not having a hit in the game.

As my colleague mentioned, Justin Turner drove in a run for the seventh straight game during the first inning, setting a Mets rookie record. Congratulations to him. I wonder if Wright will turn into Wally Pipp?

F-Mart, Pridie, Bay, Thole, and Tejada all had 0-fers. Thole’s average is reaching the Mendoza line with a .205 average.

Game Ball

Justin Turner for his RBI in the first setting a Mets rookie record.

Up Next

Mike Pelfrey starts the rubber match for the Subway Series against the Yankees who will have rookie pitcher Ivan Nova on the mound for them. Game time is 1:05 PM on WPIX.

Courtesy of Mets Merized Online


May 20

Subway Series Game Preview: Mets @ Yankees

Game 1 Pitching Match-up

RHP R.A. Dickey (2-4, 5.03) vs. RHP Freddy Garcia (2-2, 3.40), 7:05 p.m. ET

Starting Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Daniel Murphy, 1B
  3. Carlos Beltran, RF
  4. Jason Bay, LF
  5. Fernando Martinez, DH
  6. Justin Turner, 3B
  7. Josh Thole, C
  8. Jason Pridie, CF
  9. Ruben Tejada, 2B

Subway Series Mets Notes

BEL-TRON: Carlos Beltran is 14-for-31 against Freddy Garcia and has been consistently good against him. He was 7-for-his-first-15 and is since 7-for-his-last-16 against him. Of the 86 pitchers that Beltran has faced at least 20 times, his .452 batting average against Garcia ranks sixth-best (Kyle Lohse tops his favorites list, .541).

METS ON THE MOUND IN MAY: The Mets are 10-6 this month. New York’s pitching staff has the fourth-best ERA in the month of May (2.76). The Mets bullpen is 4-2 and has a 1.12 ERA (six earned runs/48.1 innings) this month, the third-best in the majors. Mets starters are 5-4 this month with a 3.54 ERA (40 earned runs/101.2 innings).

INFIELD: The Mets’ starting infield yesterday of Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Jose Reyes and Justin Turner, had the youngest average age for the starting infield for any major league team in any game this season (25.5 years old).

BAY WATCH: Jason Bay is hitting a Ted Williams-esque .406 against the Yankees over the last two seasons. In that span, he rates in the top 3 against the Yankees in batting average (2nd), on-base percentage (.500, 1st), and slugging percentage (.739, 3rd).

FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ: Converted his 14th straight save chance yesterday, his longest such stretch since saving 16 straight to start the 2009 season. Rodriguez, who is tied for second in the majors in saves, also extended his scoreless innings streak to 18.0 innings, the fourth longest active streak in the majors.

APPLE TURNER: Turner has reached base safely in his last 10 games dating back to May 7. During this span, he’s batting .382 (13-34) with six runs, four doubles, one home run and 12 RBI.

SUBWAY BUZZ: Entering tonight, 11 members of the Mets active 25- man roster have played in a Subway Series game (Reyes, Beltran, Bay, Evans, Isringhausen, Martinez, Misch, Murphy, Pelfrey, Tejada and Rodriguez). There have been 111 players to play for both the Mets and Yankees including two to join that list this year (Gustavo Molina and Luis Ayala).

INTERLEAGUE PLAY: The Mets begin their 15th season of Interleague play tonight. The Mets are 118-111 (.515) all-time during Interleague action. The Mets’ .515 winning percentage is the fourth best all-time among NL clubs. The Mets went 13-5 against the American League last year, setting a franchise record for wins in a single season. The Mets won five of their six series vs. AL squads and Jose Reyes led the majors with 19 runs scored during Interleague play in 2010. Francisco Rodriguez was second in the majors with seven Interleague saves in 2010 and ranks sixth all-time with 33 Interleague saves.

Game Preview

It’s that time of year again where the Mets and the Yankees play each other, and the 2011 Subway Series opens up in the Bronx this year. For the Mets, they are coming off of a two game shutout sweep of the Nationals as they look to return to .500 in tonight’s game. Since the game is happening in the Bronx, the Mets will have a DH tonight, and as of last night (when this article was written) the DH was penciled in as Fernando Martinez as he looks to get some much needed AB’s. Tonight Dickey will look to bounce back as he takes on Freddy Gracia.

R.A. Dickey has struggled at points this season, and hopefully he can turn back to his consistent self tonight. This season he is 1-5 with a 5.08 with over 50 innings logged. Things have been rough this month, as he has posted a 7.36 ERA in three starts. The last time Dickey faced the Yankees was in 2009 where he pitched 9.3 innings where had an ERA of 0.93. The Yankees have the following numbers on Robert Allen:

Granderson 3-10, 2 2B
Jeter 1-8
A-Rod 5-8, 2B
Swisher 0-6
Posada 0-3

The Mets will get a look at Freddy Garcia tonight who is 2-3 this season with a 3.22 ERA. This month he has pitched 18.1 innings and has posted an ERA of 4.42. The last time he faced the Mets was back in 2007 where he pitched 4.2 innings allowing 3 ER over 8 hits on his way to a loss. The Mets have posted the following numbers on Freddy:

Beltran 14-31, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR
Harris 3-12
Bay 0-7
Paulino 3-3, HR
Reyes 1-3

Let’s Go Mets!

Subway Series Game Preview, Courtesy of Mets Merized Online


John is ill and will resume blogging again in a day or too. He apologizes for not being able to post, but does have a special message for all his readers for the Subway Series; LETS GO METS!

May 19

Today’s Mets lineup: May 19 vs. Washington.

They got the game in last night, but I wonder if it is worth the risk when I hear Jon Niese had trouble gripping the ball.

Teams have a huge investment in players, but it isn’t a stretch to figure out why they put them at risk by playing in such rotten conditions. If you must use blowtorches to dry the field, it isn’t worth playing that day.

The Mets clearly didn’t want to play a doubleheader today to tax their bullpen prior to the Yankees series, and didn’t want to play one later in the season.

There aren’t as many off days as there used to be because of interleague play and the unbalanced schedule. And, most teams don’t want doubleheaders not because of the impact on pitching, but because they don’t want to give up the gate.

Anyway, it is better today than it was yesterday, although the field is still soggy. Here’s the Mets’ lineup today behind Dillon Gee:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Justin Turner, 3B

Jason Pridie, CF

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Dillon Gee, RP

COMMENTS: Terry Collins floated the idea to the media last night about hitting Jason Bay second, but he hasn’t talked to him, yet. That explains why there’s been no move. Theoretically, hitting Bay second should present him with more fastball opportunities.