May 17

Today in Mets History: Milner unloads vs. Expos.


MILNER: Had big day vs. Expos.

Nicknamed “The Hammer,’’ because he could rake, John Milner is another whose career never lived up to its expectations because of injuries. In his case a succession of hamstring issues.

A left fielder and first baseman, Milner broke in with the Mets in 1971 and played through the 1977 season. He was traded to Pittsburgh (1978-81), played with Montreal (1981-82) and spent the latter part of the 1982 season back with Pittsburgh.

On this date in 1972, when he hamstrings were still fresh and had a lot of spring, Milner drove in five runs in a 12-2 rout of the Expos at Shea Stadium.

Milner finished with a career .249 average with 131 homers and 498 RBI.

Milner died Jan. 4, 2000, at age 50, from lung cancer.

CAREER RECORD

BOX SCORE

 

UP NEXT: Tonight’s line-up against Florida.

May 16

Not a great match-up for Mets tonight.

It is a match-up not in the best interest of the Mets. Josh Johnson against Mike Pelfrey pits Florida’s ace against the Mets’ No. 1, but the numbers clearly favor the Marlins.

PELFREY: Fish not his dish.

Johnson (3-1, 1.63 ERA) is 8-1 with a 2.73 ERA lifetime over 13 starts against the Mets. Pelfrey, meanwhile, won the first start of his career against the Marlins, but has lost his last seven decisions.

After a slow start, Pelfrey is coming off back-to-back victories over San Francisco and Colorado.

The Mets aren’t helped any with Ike Davis on the disabled list and David Wright out with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Wright’s injury tempers the momentum of winning three straight series.

 

May 16

Today in Mets History: Straw hits the first of many.

When he first broke into the big leagues, they used to say of Darryl Strawberry he had the swing of Ted Williams. However, he never had the plate discipline of Williams, and as great as his numbers were, there was always the belief he could do more.

Strawberry’s career high in homers was 39, accomplished twice. Perhaps the most memorable homer in his career was the 440-foot drive off the scoreboard clock in St. Louis in 1985.

STRAWBERRY: What a sweet swing.

 

That proved to be overstated, but Strawberry was one of those rare players who grabbed and held your attention whenever he came to the plate. How far would this one go? Would he be punched out?

On this date in 1983, Strawberry hit the first of 335 homers in a career marred by drug use and suspension. Strawberry averaged 34 homers and 102 per 162-game stretch.

In a career oddity, Strawberry played for all the teams with New York roots: the Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Yankees.

Strawberry played out the last years of his career with drug problems and will be remembered as a wasted talent. Had he stayed clean, there’s no telling what his numbers might have been.

CAREER NUMBERS

BOX SCORE

 

May 15

Capuano goes against Astros today.

The Mets’ starting pitching was projected to be a concern this season and that has been the case, ranking 14th of 16 with a 4.74 ERA and 11-17 record.

Much of the problem has been with what was supposed to be two of the more consistent pitchers, R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey.

Chris Capuano, a low-risk gamble signing like Chris Young, is 2-4, but has worked into the seventh inning in three of his last four starts.

With a victory this afternoon, the Mets would be 19-21, before returning home for two-game series against Florida and Washington at Citi Field, before interleague play begins Friday at Yankee Stadium.

If you’d like to weigh in during today’s game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

May 14

Will Martinez ever make it?

Fernando Martinez is 22, still young enough in the sport where he’s graded most on potential. However, the past few years have been rough on his body and he’s lost more gams due to injury than anybody his age should have the right to.

MARTINEZ: A glimpse into what was supposed to be.

At one time Martinez was part of a group of three Mets outfielders who were going to race their way to stardom. Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez and Martinez were three raw talents blessed with speed, quickness and the potential – there’s that word again – for power.

They represented a bright future for the Mets, young, athletic and talented. They would be something to see, and teams were always rebuffed when they called. Reportedly, the Mets said no to Manny Ramirez for the cost of Milledge.

However, the opportunities given Milledge and Gomez – especially the former – didn’t pan the the Mets relented and Milledge was sent to Washington for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church, and Gomez was part of the package that brought in Johan Santana.

With Santana’s injury, there’s nothing left to show for the trade. Once one of the top prospects in the majors, Martinez isn’t even one of the top five Mets’ prospects. Times have changed.

Martinez, called up Friday night as a patch in the Mets’ outfield, hit a two-run, pinch homer to remind us once again what all the fuss was about. But, did he show us a glimpse into the future or into what was supposed to be?