Mets Beast

Mets news, crazy ideas, and gut feelings

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Fifth Sense = #1

The Mets have won five in a row, and they look great. Sporting the best record in the MLB right now, I think it is extremely important for the Mets to get off to a torrid start. At 6-1, Pedro threw a great game to win for the second time this season. Pedro went seven strong, giving up only a solo home run to Jose Vidro. Everyone was expecting there would be a brawl in this game, or somewhere in that category. In Guillen's first at-bat, Pedro threw everything outside, but Guillen hit a monster shot to center, one which Beltran made a catch on. Pedro has started out 2-0, and he looks great. In the sixth inning, Pedro was muscling the fastball up to 91 MPH, his fastest on the year. If Pedro blows guys away with 85 MPH fastballs, and 91 MPH fastballs, imagine what he could do if he could rear back once in a while and blow someone away with a 95-96 MPH fastball. Those days are long over, but Pedro's fastball has nasty movement on it, making it seem that an 85 MPH fastball is coming in the low-mid 90's. Last year, Pedro posted a 15-8 record with a 2.82 ERA. This year, if Pedro pitches how he did yesterday, I think he will do better than last year, considering last year his toe was bothering him towards the end of the season. Now, with a specially designed Nike cleat on his right foot, he can still be one of the best in the NL and the MLB.

Throughout the first three innings, Pedro and Armas Jr. were locked in a pitchers duel. In the fourth, David Wright tripled on a huge fly ball to center field over Brandon Watson's head. Cliff Floyd would follow with an infield single, one on which Jose Vidro couldn't field cleanly, and was ruled a hit for Cornelius. In the bottom of the inning, Vidro would get the first hit and run for the Nats with a homer to right field. Jose Guillen hit a sharp grounder right back where it came from, but Pedro got him at first. In the top of the fifth, Carlos Beltran hit a two-out single to center. Carlos Delgado followed with a scorching double down the right field line to score Carlos Beltran all the way from first base. In the bottom of the sixth, things got a little scary for the Mets. Brian Schneider led off with a single to right. Pedro walked pinch hitter Marlon Anderson to put runners on first and second with none out. Brandon Watson, quite possibly a worse hitter than Anderson Hernandez from what I've seen, got a bunt single which Pedro didn't know which base to throw to. With bases loaded and none out, Jose Vidro stepped to the plate. This is when Pedro muscled up for some extra velocity. Jose Vidro struck out on a 91 MPH fastball, and it was one out. Jose Guillen, the one who hates Pedro Martinez, came to the plate. On a 2-1 count, Guillen grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, one in which Anderson Hernandez was the most vital part of. A-Hern stayed in there, taking to the air as Brandon Watson came in for the break-up slide. It was 2-1, and the Nationals would never score again. In the top of the seventh, Jose Reyes led off with a double off of Nationals suspended reliever Felix Rodriguez, who is appealing his 3 game suspension. Lo Duca followed with a sac bunt, a day where Paul Lo Duca turned 34-years old. Carlos Beltran came back with a sac fly, scoring Jose Reyes. It was 3-1 at that point, and would be all for the scoring. In the ninth, Billy Wagner hit 99 MPH on the gun with a high fastball, a pitch Alfonso Soriano whiffed on. Wagner gave up a hit to Jose Guillen, but that was all. Wagner picked up his second save of the year.

With Pedro Martinez mostly back to full health, as I believe he is, he can be one of the best pitchers in the National League, along with Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt. Once again this year, when Pedro is on the mound, the Mets must expect to win the game, and there will be a special feeling at Shea Stadium, and everyone will know it. Pedro is still the best starter on the Mets roster, and I think the whole major leagues will know it.

W- Pedro Martinez (2-0) 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.46 ERA.

L- Tony Armas Jr. (0-2) 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3.27 ERA.

S- Billy Wagner (2) 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1.80 ERA.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Wright Stuff... Again

David Wright, the cornerstone player of the New York Mets franchise once again proved to be the juggernaut against the dwindling Florida Marlins franchise. As the Mets edged the Fish 3-2, David had all 3 RBIs and Tommy Glavine pitched a great game against a bunch of below-average players. David Wright is quite possibly the best hitter on the roster, and, if not, second only to veteran slugger Carlos Delgado. Not only is Wright batting .474/.478/.895, but he has a K/BB ratio of 0/2. I know it's only the fifth game of the year, but Wright already has 9 RBIs, 2 HRs and 9 hits in 19 at-bats. A very small sample, but David should keep producing like this all year. He's obviously not going to hit .474/.478/.895 all year, as it is virtually impossible. but .315/.405/.540 shouldn't be out of the question. Wright hit .306/.388/.523 last year, and that's pretty good for a 2nd year player. The Mets haven't had a player of David's caliber out of the system since Darryl Strawberry, and we all know the problems Strawberry encountered down the road. Wright will definitely not encounter these blemishes on his career, and he should blossom into the best third basemen the Mets have ever had, and will be a great hitter for at least the next 15 years. I have no doubt that he can be the first Met ever to win the MVP, as he should get some serious consideration this year.

On Sunday's 3-2 win over the Marlins, hits were hard to come off of the always unhittable Dontrelle Willis when he faces the Mets. 8-1 career against the Mets, I figured when the Fish scored two off Glavine, the final was going to be 2-0 Marlins. Throughout the first five innings, nothing interesting happened. In the sixth, Hanley Ramirez doubled to left to lead off the inning. Jeremy Hermida, the next hitter, dropped down a sac bunt, bringing Ramirez to third. What figures to be a huge trend this year, Tom Glavine walked Miguel Cabrera intentionally, putting runners at the corners with one out. This would prove to be a decision which worked against the Mets, but I'd rather face Josh Willingham any day of the year rather than Miguel Cabrera. Willingham took a high Glavine change-up and hit a long fly ball to right center which would score Ramirez from third easily, and Miguel Cabrera from first with some slow running. Cabrera, the 22-year old third baseman is pretty slow, but nonetheless, got home safely. At that point, the Marlins led 2-0, but unfortunately for them, that's all they would score. Mike Jacobs would follow with a strikeout. Dan Ugly... umm... Uggla would be hit by Glavine's 1-2 offering, not even making an attempt to get out of the way. Olivo would fly out to center, and the Marlins were done. In the bottom of the seventh, Paul Lo Duca worked a 3-2 count and singled against Willis. Carlos Beltran would follow that with another single to left. On a ground ball which should have been a double play, Dan Uggla couldn't come up with it cleanly. Carlos Delgado hit it to second, and Uggla bobbled it, looked to second, but got Delgado at first. With second and third and one out, David Wright stepped up to the plate. On a 1-2 offering by Willis, Wright smacked one to right, one which Hermida tried to make a sliding catch on, but missed, and the ball would travel all the way to the wall, with Wright cruising into third with a two-run triple. 2-2, tying it
off of Willis. In the top of the ninth, the Mets gave us some heartburn. Enter Sandman, came in a tied ballgame. Wagner got the first two outs, Miguel Olivo and Reggie Abercrombie. Chris Aguila would bat for Willis, and work a walk against Mr. Wagner. Aguila would then steal second with Hanley Ramirez at the plate. Ramirez would hit a grounder to Reyes, and Jose would commit his second error of the contest, this one a throwing error, throwing to far up the line. Runners on the corners with two out, Jeremy Hermida had a chance to redeem himself after his bonehead play in right field. Hermida hit a grounder to Anderson Hernandez, which Hernandez would knock down after not coming up with it cleanly. Hermida would dive head first into first base but to no extent, was still thrown out, as the score remained tied at 2. In the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Beltran led off with a walk, and Delgado followed with a single of his own. With runners on the corners and no out, David Wright stepped to the plate again. On the first pitch he seen from Marlins pitcher Carlos Martinez, who I doubt anyone has ever heard of, gave up a first pitch, game-winning sacrifice fly off the bat of David Wright, scoring Carlos Beltran. A good game all around.

As the Mets have won 3 in a row, and have started out their exciting 2006 campaign with a 4-1 mark on the season and at home, we should be in for a real treat this year. With the young hitting of David Wright, the quickness of Jose Reyes, the slick fielding of Anderson Hernandez, and the crazy starts for Pedro Martinez, this is going to be a season to remember.

W- Billy Wagner (1-0) 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3.00 ERA.

L- Carlos Martinez (0-1) 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3.86 ERA.

The Mets and Nats are going to be warned, even before the first pitch is thrown.
"Umpire supervisor Steve Palermo is expected to alert the crew working this week's Mets-Nationals series of the strained relationship that exists between the two National League teams because of a series of hit batsmen last week when the Nationals played at Shea Stadium."

Interesting, and I guess the first pitcher who they believe throws at the other player intentionally will face serious consequences. I think they should just make them play, but don't let it get out of hand.

Cliff believes if Pedro nails Guillen, there will be a fight.
It will be interesting if anyone gets hit now.

David Lennon just about sums it up about Wright.
Great read. He's got the "Wright Attitude."

Was Willie the key to Cliff's success last year?
Marty Noble talks about Willie's career changing attitude to Cliff.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Core Of The Apple

In Friday night's 9-3 win over the Marlins, David Wright and Jose Reyes shone on both sides of the ball, flashing their offensive abilities, both hitting homers, and making slick defensive plays on hard hit balls to their respective positions. David Wright, the third baseman who is only 23 years old, is expected to make a run at the MVP award, along with first baseman Carlos Delgado. So far this year, David Wright is batting .500 with 8 hits in 16 at-bats, along with 2 home runs and 6 RBI. In the win, David went 2 for 3 with a huge solo shot over the Picnic Area, an RBI single, and a sac fly on which Eric Reed, the Marlins young centerfielder, made a spectacular diving catch on. With 3 RBI last night, Wright should be among the best hitters in the game for many years to come.

Jose Reyes, the slightly younger shortstop is another vital part of the Mets for years to come. Reyes has outstanding speed, an outstanding arm, and a very good glove. Reyes, he of 27 bases on balls last year in 696 at-bats is something that he must improve on. If he does, he'd be one of the best leadoff men in the league. Reyes smacked 190 hits last year to go along with 24 doubles, 17 triples, and 60 stolen bases. If he can keep that up for years to come, David Wright and Jose Reyes could be one of the best ever left side of the infield combo that will go down in history. The Mets certainly struck gold in two kids of Wright's and Reyes' potential and attitude towards baseball and fans.

In the bottom of the first, Jose Reyes led off with the first pitch swinging double to left center off of left-hander Jason Vargas. Lo Duca sacrificed Reyes to third, and Beltran followed with an RBI single. Carlos Delgado was next and was hit on the hip with a Vargas pitch. He was OK. Carlos Beltran would steal third, and David Wright would later hit a sac fly on which Reed made the diving stab on. After the first, the Mets were up 2-0. It was the third game in a row they have scored in the first inning. In the top of the fourth, Mike Jacobs, the kid we traded to Florida for Carlos Delgado hit a mammoth shot off Steve Tracshel, which went to the back of the Mets bullpen and I believe out of the stadium. I envision Jacobs as a future Met killer, showing them why they shouldn't have traded him, but we did get Carlos Delgado out of it. Jacobs' raw power is a thing to watch in the future. In the bottom of the inning, Steve Trachsel, a pretty good hitting pitcher, lined an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Xavier Nady. Jose Reyes followed with an RBI single, scoring Trachsel. It was 4-1 Mets. In the bottom of the fifth, David Wright would whale a solo shot out of the Picnic Area beyond left field. 5-1 Mets. In the bottom of the sixth, Todd Wellemeyer hot Paul Lo Duca, threw a wild pitch, and gave up an RBI double to Carlos Delgado. David Wright followed with a weak RBI single to center, scoring Delgado. 7-1 Mets. In the bottom of the seventh, Endy Chavez would bat for Chad Bradford. A player who was signed by the Mets in 1996, going through the farm system, made his Major League debut in 2001 with the Kansas City Royals. The first pitch he seen last night was hit for a double into left center field, showing why he will be a good player off the bench this year. Jose Reyes would follow with a laser beam two-run homer, making the score 9-1. In the top of the ninth, Armando Benitez... uhh excuse me... Jorge Julio, would take over the pitching duties. George July, who lost the game on Wednesday, would give up another two runs, with all the RBIs coming off the bat of Mike Jacobs. Jacobs hit a two out, two-run single, but the Marlins could've added more except Jeremy Hermida was thrown out at third on a great throw by Xavier Nady to get the third out at third base. Darren Oliver would pitch a perfect ninth for his first work of the year.

David Wright and Jose Reyes both homers, Wright's being a solo shot and Reyes with a two-runner. They both had 3 RBI, with Wright going 2 for 3 and Reyes going 3 for 5. I have never been anymore excited about these two kids on our team, and they aren't even in their primes yet. Oh boy. Do we have a treat in the future.
W- Steve Trachsel (1-0) 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1.50 ERA.

L- Jason Vargas (0-1) 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 9.00 ERA.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Pedro in the BeanFestâ„¢

Pedro Martinez was part of the craziest Mets game so far this year, and it was only Game #3. Right from the first inning, I knew this was one of those crazy games. In the first, Pedro got the Nats sort of 1-2-3, with Guillen grounding into the inning-ending 3-6-3 double play. The Mets got two home in the first, and Beltran got his first RBI of the year. In the top of the second, Pedro started slow. The Nats scratched out two runs on a throwing error by Pedro Martinez. Ramon Ortiz, the pitcher, came up with the bases loaded and hit the worst ever dribbler. Pedro ran over, picked and threw, but went over Delgado's head, scoring two. The scoring was an RBI single and a throwing error, giving Ortiz his first ever RBI. In the fourth, Pedro came up with the bases loaded this time. And Pedro too, hit an RBI single. This plated Wright. Reyes followed with a 2-run single to right, and the Mets were up 5-2. In the top of the fifth, the Nats answered right back. After a Vidro walk, Pedro struck Guillen for the second time of the game, this time in the arm. More on that later... Nick Johnson followed, and, for the second straight game, he whaled a three-run homer, for, his second hit of the season. Now it was 5-5.

The Mets would answer right back, with Carlos Delgado hitting a line shot to right for his second in as many days. The Nats wouldn't get any closer. Up 6-5, Pedro would go six, throwing with absolutely no command in his first start in a regular season game with his new cleat. In the seventh, Lo Duca walked to lead it off. Carlos Beltran followed from the right side of the plate, getting his first hit of the year, being a homer. It was a two-run shot off the serial killer Joey Eischen. When Beltran got back to the dugout, the fans, who have booed him unmercifully for the first two games of the year, wanted a curtain call. Walking through the dugout, Beltran sat down, refusing to take the curtain call. Julio Franco, the mediator of the Mets, basically, talked to Carlos about the situation and whatever he said, he got him to take the curtain call. You can't boo the guy for the rest of the year now. Wright walks, Floyd doubles, and that put the Mets up 9-5. In the bottom of the eighth, Beltran hit a sac fly, scoring Jose Reyes to end the Mets scoring and put the score at 10-5.

Getting to the BeanFestâ„¢, it started in the second when Pedro hit Nick Johnson to lead off the inning. Pedro, who walked five in the contest, was very wild in the game. In the third, Pedro would hit Guillen for the first of second times in the game. The first was probably intentional, since Guillen hit the game winner in Wednesday's loss in extras. Guillen looked clearly pissed, and took his base without argue. In the bottom of the fourth, Ortiz threw two way inside to my favorite player, David Wright, and everyone knew why. Wright singled in the at-bat, making Ortiz look like a fool. In the top of the fifth, Pedro walked Vidro to lead off the inning. Then came Jose Guillen. Guillen was hit once again, and this time, he clearly wasn't happy. He kept the bat in his hand, pointing it straight at Pedro. Home plate umpire Ted Barrett, who is a pretty big guy, and Paul Lo Duca held Guillen back, restraining him from reaching Pedro Martinez. Pedro just stood there, as everything unfolded, playing it cool, Warnings were issued, but no one was ejected. Julio Franco, playing mediator for the first time, went over to Guillen, calming the situation, and keeping Guillen cool. When baseball came back to playing, the first pitch Pedro threw to Johnson was up and in, right under Johnson's right elbow. Johnson made Pedro pay for everything, hitting his second three-run shot in as many days. In the top of the seventh, Duaner Sanchez relieved Pedro Martinez of his duties, and did a good job. But Sanchez hit Johnson for the second time of the game. Sanchez was not ejected, which was OK by me, but why didn't Frank Robinson come out and argue the call? In the bottom of the eighth, Paul Lo Duca was hit, the first time a New York Met was hit the whole year. Felix Rodriguez, who bars a striking resemblance to Ezequiel Astascio of the Houston Astros, with his weird hair, was ejected by Rick Reed, the home plate umpire, who relieved Ted Barrett of his duties, for an injury in which he suffered from the ball that hit Jose Guillen the second time of the game. Weird. Robinson was ejected also, because a manager is ejected whenever a warning like this one was issued. I feel if Robinson argued Sanchez's plunk on Johnson, he could've had a beef.

W- Pedro Martinez (1-0) 6.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 6.00 ERA.

L- Ramon Ortiz (0-1) 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10.80 ERA.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Enter Sandman, Exit Loss

Well the magic from game one was good while it lasted. Brian Bannister was great in 6 innings, pitching a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings. Bannister was wild at times too. Bannister walked 4, hit 2, almost hit another 2 or 3, but for a first MLB career start, he did pretty good. He gave up 2 hits in the sixth inning, but it proved to be fatal. A single by Jose Vidro got rid of the no-no, just as Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez got finished talking about it. With two men on, and Nick Johnson up, he smacked a Bannister fastball the other way for a 3-run shot, putting Washington right back in the game.

To start the game, Jose Reyes worked a great 10-pitch at-bat, and then hits a single to left field. Reyes even drew a walk, and stole a base last night. I also seen him taking a little off his throws when he doesn't need full velocity on them. Looking good Jose. Following Reyes, Lo Duca drew a walk, but went 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Beltran struck out next, but went 0 for 2 with 2 runs scored, 3 walks, but still, no hits. Delgado struck out, but he went 2 for 4 with a 2 run shot which he hit in the third. He drew a walk also. David Wright came up with an RBI single, scoring Reyes. That was his only hit, going 0 for 4 the rest of the way. Cornelius went 1 for 4 with a K and a walk, and is batting .143 to begin the season. He didn't hit the home run he promised he would on TRL on Tuesday. Way to go Cliffy. X went 1 for 5 with a solo shot in the second, pushing his season average to .556. Anderson Hernandez still only has 1 hit in his career, going o for 4 with the sombrero, 3 strikeouts. He did have a fanta-cular catch in the 8th inning in which he got the wind knocked out of him when he hit the ground. Bannister, who was a 2nd baseman walk-on with USC, went 0 for 2 and 2 strikeouts.

John Patterson gave up 2 runs and threw over 60 pitches in the first two innings, but he only struck out the side in both those innings. Interesting. Jon Rauch, the tallest baseball player in MLB history at 6'11", relieved Patterson of his duties. Talk about one of the most ugliest and fattest teams in the MLB. John Patterson and Jon Rauch had full beards. Matt LeCroy, Nick Johnson, and Mike Stanton are just some of the fatty's on the Nats.

In the ninth, the Mets were up 4-3. When Ryan Zimmerman worked a 3-2 count against Billy Wagner, Billy tried to get a heater up and in, but got it up. Zimmerman took it, and deposited it in the left field stands. I was heartbroken. So 4-4 going into the bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded and 2 outs for Lo Duca, but nothing special. In the 10th, Julio blew it apart. He gave up four hits, five runs, and two earned in 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck out two, but that doesn't really matter. The fact is that he did terrible, and it was gut wrenching to watch it.

W- Chad Cordero (1-0) 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA.

L- Jorge Julio (0-1) 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 27.00 ERA.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The X-Man, Glavine, Wags, LoDuca, and The Wright Stuff

On a gloomy Monday afternoon, these were the players who combined for all the hits and runs (excluding Billy Wagner.) Xavier Nady went 4 for 4 with two doubles, and an RBI. Tom Glavine wasn't particularly sharp, but he did pitch six strong innings, giving up six hits and one earned, walking three and striking out five. He even went 2 for 2. Wagner pitched the ninth for his first save. I'll get more in-depth later... LoDuca went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a double. David Wright went 2 for 4 with a solo shot in the sixth.

For most of the game up until the bottom of the 7th, I had to get updates on my cell phone. After I got off the bus, I walked as fast as possible to get home, only to see Carlos Beltran strike out looking. The next batter, Carlos Delgado hit a foul home run, then drew a 3-2 walk. David Wright hit a homer in the sixth to right center, Mike Piazza style. That was a great flashback. I seen the shot as David came up in the 7th, and hit a broken bat single over Jose Vidro's head. Frank Robinson then went to the lefty, serial killer-looking Joey Eischen, who Floyd doesn't have a bright past against. Floyd grounded out weakly to Ryan Zimmerman at third, and took it himself for the force and third out. It was 3-2.

Heilman was back in there after a 7th inning in which he wasn't to good in. He gave up 3 hits and a run, but got out of trouble when Jose Guillen grounded into a double play. In the 8th, Heilman gave us some more heartburn. Alfonso Soriano led it off with a skying single over David Wright's glove, with David jumping as high as possible. Then, Ryan Zimmerman, a future Met killer, drove one down the line for a double. But instead of stopping at third for 2nd and 3rd with none out, Soriano decided to test Cliff Floyd and Jose Reyes. Floyd threw it in to Reyes, and Jose fired as quickly as he could to Paul LoDuca. When it was live, Soriano clearly looked out. On the replay, it went on to show that the ball fell out of LoDuca's hand, and Soriano was actually safe. LoDuca did a great job of covering it up, making Rick Reed, the home plate umpire (not the ex-Mets pitcher), call Soriano. I jumped off my couch and went crazy when Soriano was called out at home.

The fact that Aaron Heilman had a bad game is beyond me. I'm pretty sure he had butterflies in his stomach, pitching in a role that he hasn't pitched a regular season game in since last season. A lot of his pitches were high in the strike zone, but his change-up looked devastating when Brian Schneider struck out to end the inning, with the bat flying out of his hands. The Mets threatened in the bottom of the 8th, but Majewski pitched out of it.

In the ninth, "Enter Sandman". Billy got Brandon Watson on a sharp grounder to Wright, which he fielded cleanly. Then Matt LeCroy was blown away by Wagner on a fastball. Jose Vidro, the Nats last hope, smacked a Wagner offering to left-center. Beltran fielded, threw in to second where Vidro was trying to stretch a single into a double, and was tagged out by Anderson Hernandez, to end a spectacular game. Gary Cohen, a true Mets announcer, was going crazy. It couldn't have been better.

W- Tom Glavine (1-0) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1.50 ERA.

L- Livan Hernandez (0-1) 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4.50 ERA.

S- Billy Wagner (1) 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA.