Very interesting note from ESPN this morning. Mets catcher Josh Thole said if Giants and NL All-Star catcher Buster Posey doesn’t contact him, he’ll reach out to him to give tips on how to catch knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Too bad Dickey can’t bring his own catcher.
It’s a great gesture by Thole, and one that shouldn’t be underestimated. We know it’s silly, but the winning league gets home field for the World Series. Yes, that’s easily one of baseball’s most inane rules. But, it is a rule, and it could come back to bite the NL.
Suppose for a moment the NL loses by a run, with that run being scored on a passed ball by Posey with Dickey pitching. Would kind of stink wouldn’t it?
So, the call could be worthwhile.
Of course, the best line I ever hear about catching a knuckleball came from Ball Four, when Jim Bouton wrote, “let the ball stop rolling then pick it up.”
Slides often end this way, with the Mets taking out their frustration of the last four days with a 17-1 mauling of the Cubs this afternoon. Daniel Murphy, who hadn’t homered since last July, went over the ivy twice to back the solid pitching of Jon Niese.
MURPHY: Homers twice.
You can’t call this a turnaround game unless they reel off a few more, but it was a good start heading into Los Angeles. At one point, the Dodgers were running away with the NL West, but after losing eight of their last ten games, including being swept by the rival Giants, Los Angeles finds itself tied for first with San Francisco.
Chris Young goes against former Met Chris Capuano (who should have been re-signed) tonight, but with R.A. Dickey and Johan Santanta going the next two nights, the Mets will have the pitching advantage. With Clayton Kershaw starting Sunday night, LA would get that pitching advantage thereby making the series a toss up. If the Mets come home from LA with a split, who wouldn’t take that consider how this trip started?
As bad as the Mets played the first two games, they were that good today. Pitching and power; the Mets had it all together this afternoon. Will they keep it up over the weekend? It’s possible, but they showed signs of life and answered being pushed around by pushing back.
With how the Mets played the first three months of the season, it was what we’ve come to expect.
With Mike Pelfrey on the shelf – he’ll see Dr. James Andrews on Monday – and watching Chris Schwinden and the bullpen get torched last night, the Mets must get strong performances from Dillon Gee, not only this afternoon, but all the time.
GEE: Mets need more from him.
Gee, the Mets’ fourth starter, was brought up early last year and won his first seven starts, but hitters caught up with him and he finished 13-6. In his last start against the Giants, Gee gave the Mets six innings, but was hit for seven runs. Not a good tradeoff.
Last night’s four errors and an 11-run inning that overshadowed Scott Hairston’s cycle was one of those freaky things that happen. The defense can’t afford lapses like those because the Mets don’t have the firepower or the bullpen depth to overcome them.
Mets pitchers are typically working roughly six innings, which means the bullpen gets three. It got more last night. The more a pen is used the less effective it becomes over the long haul.
I must admit, that following their rough stretch against Atlanta and San Francisco, I thought the Mets were heading into a tailspin. However, strong pitching performances from Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey – following up stinkers – appear to have stabilized.
COLLINS: Happy so far.
I’m not saying all is well as it is way to early for that, but I have seen the Mets respond to a weekend like the one they had against the Giants in the opposite fashion. And, today their best pitcher, Jon Niese, will go for the sweep.
Playing well early against a tough schedule is a good sign, Terry Collins said: “It’s important. One of the things that makes it important, is that our guys know they can compete. We have a long hot summer ahead, we are very aware of that. They have to understand that they can compete with the teams we’re playing. Right now they’re seeing it.”
I suppose it could have been uglier.
That’s what I took from yesterday’s doubleheader loss to the San Francisco Giants. Sure, they could have lost a marathon game as they once did in a nightcap with the Giants, or get no-hit, as they did another time against San Francisco. However, yesterday was exasperating in its own right.
DAVIS: Tosses bat after another strikeout. (AP)
After a 4-0 start, the Mets lost eight of their next 12 to fall to .500. I’ve been saying .500 would be great for the Mets this season, but it also matters how you get there, and they are now reeling. Big time.
Ike Davis continues to flounder and yesterday stranded 11 runners. And, he didn’t even start the second game. That’s almost hard to do. Davis’ swing is a mess and the most action his bat got was when he threw it after getting rung up late in the second game.
Also on the negative side of the ledger was Jason Bay injuring his ribs when he dove for a ball near the warning track. Bay was in the midst of a hot stretch, so you figured he had to get hurt soon. Don’t count on him tonight.
And, once again the Mets’ starting pitching was torched. The Mets traded for Johan Santana to be a stopper. They need him to come up big tonight against the Marlins. They need him to prevent this from turning into a free fall.
ON DECK: Wright shows real leadership.