NY Sports Dog: May 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Hips! Jose Reyes Cracks Me Up!

Batting Stats
2003NYM6927447845321336133 .334 .434 .307
2004NYM532203356214531192 .271 .373 .255
2005NYM1616969919075827786015 .300 .386 .273
2006NYM153647122194198153816417 .354 .487 .300
2007NYM160681119191125777787821 .354 .421 .280
2008NYM5222034627252333175 .346 .477 .282
Total 64827384547775226719833725163 .332 .430 .284

Should the Mets Make a Trade?

One name being bandied about is Kevin Millar.

That intrigues me.

He is a great clubhouse guy, and he can hit.

What would it take to get him? Maybe Nick Evans is up for a reason? Do they pair him with Delgado and eat Delgado's salary, or make the move and release Carlos? Would the Orioles be willing to deal with the Mets? What about Mike Carp for Millar straight up?

Have a look at Kevin Millar's stats....he seems like the perfect fit.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The NY Mets Present, "the Jay Horwitz Collection" Available at JC Penneys

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Three in a row, and there is a new energy at Shea.

Up and down the lineup everyone is contributing, and the "Super-Subs" have kicked it into a new gear.

Couple that with some stellar relief pitching and solid defense, and you have a team that is suddenly looking like the formidable powerhouse we thought they'd be coming into the season.

Are there still question marks? Of course. But there are also signs pointing to greatness.

We have seen the hump, and it appears to be in the rear view mirror.

L.A. Dodgers000031000472
N.Y. Mets «00240020x8130
W: C. Vargas (2-2) L: B. Penny (5-6)
HR: LA - J. Kent (5), B. Dewitt (5) NYM - D. Wright (10), D. Wright (11)

Oh where to start? Hmmmm, did I hear David Wright? OK, will do.

David Wright hit two more home runs off Brad Penny....he owns him, I mean really owns him. If David wright yells "Bitch" in a restaurant in Alberta Canada, Brad Penny comes running with a wetnap.

DW and his adoring fans enjoyed the all-star's first multihomer game of the season. Brad Penny's master is now 11-for-19 (.579) with four home runs and five walks against the wetnap dispenser.

But DW was just one story on a night when the Mets looked terrific in all facets of the game.

The 1-5 batters, Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, combined for 11 hits and 3 walks. With that kind of production at the top the Mets produced 8 runs and were consistently putting men on base in each inning.

How nice was it to see Carlos Delgado go 2 for 4?

For those that watched the game, how about that bizarre 4th inning? At this point in the game the Mets had a 2-0 lead and Penny seemed to have settled down after giving up DW's 2-run bomb earlier in the game. The Mets had two outs and none on in the fourth when pitcher Claudio Vargas grounded out--OK, routine groundout, they threw him out at first, and SNY cut to commercial.

Just before they cut away I was wondering why Vargas didn't really run to first. Suddenly SNY comes back on, Vargas is at first, and Jose Reyes is at the plate!

Russell Martin was called for catcher's interference and Vargas was given first base. Jose Reyes promptly stroked a single, Luis Castillo hit an RBI double and Wright connected for his 11th homer and a 6-0 lead.

Wacky times come to Shea!

The Dodgers then came back with two home runs and it was 6-3 Mets. Jeff Kent hit one of the dingers, and it was an absolute blast....it cleared the stadium in left field....truly a monster shot.

Willie turned it over to the bullpen and we again saw good old fashioned mound domination.

Scott Schoeneweis, who is having a magical season, pitched 1.2 innings of perfect relief and lowered his season ERA to a sparkling 1.25. The Shea faithful rewarded his performance with a standing ovation that he richly deserved.

Joe Smith then came on for the final 4 outs, closing out the game in fine fashion with an on the black and down fastball that drew an emphatic "strike three" call from the ump.

A few shout outs:

Endy Chavez has the mojo right now. In the top of the first he made a sparkling catch and throw to nail Juan Pierre trying to score from third. Moreover, he also had an RBI hit and drew a patient walk. He looks fearless out there and really locked in right now. 6 for his last 13.

Endy is a ballplayer.

Brian Schneider is one old school son of a bitch. Does anyone block the plate the way he does anymore? He calls a great game, communicates with his pitchers during and between innings, has a cannon for an arm, and can hit a little too.

As a baseball fan for a few decades it warms my heart to see a throwback like Schneider playing the game the right way.

Jose Reyes looks loose and determined. He has now gotten on base in 29 consecutive games and has superb numbers for the month of May--numbers that I expect him to carry through for the remainder of the year.

The Reyes of 2006 is back....and better.

NY Daily News runs down last night's events.

Mets.com talks about the big win.

Ryan Church nears his return.

Delgado opposes a platoon....well, it may not be your choice.

OK my people, enjoy your coffee!

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Well that was exciting! I mean, in the holy crap I cannot believe we just saw that game and the Mets actually came back and won it, kind of way.

It was a game of heroes.

"Hopefully, this is the one that really kick-starts us," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "I'm real proud of the guys the way they fought back."

The Mets won it in the bottom of the 12th on a Fernando Tatis double that plated David Wright and Carlos Beltran. The best part was the team reaction to the win, but we'll talk about that here in a bit.

Final 12th123456789101112RHE
N.Y. Mets «2001100010027120
W: D. Sanchez (1-0) L: J. Miller (1-2)
HR: FLA - M. Rabelo (2), C. Ross (8), C. Ross (9), A. Amezaga (1) NYM - L. Castillo (2), J. Reyes (7), E. Chavez (1)

The game began with a dominant Ollie Perez cutting through the Marlins lineup with a live fastball and a sharp breaking curve. His one early mistake was letting a fastball get up that the Marlins Mike Rabelo hit for his second homerun of the year. But after 4 innings, it was the only hit Perez allowed.

The Mets started off in fine fashion. Jose Reyes led the game off with a double just inside the leftfield line, and Luis Castillo, yes Luis Castillo, hit his second home run of the year.

Barry Bonds: 762 HRs
Luis Castillo: 26 HRs

At Castillo current HR pace, he will need 165,364 at bats to catch Bonds.

From there it was a back and forth affair, Jose Reyes added a home run, putting the Mets up 4-2, but the Mets fell behind because Cody Ross hit two home runs, including a massive 3-run blast that put the Marlins up 5-4.

It stayed that way until the 9th, and the tension was palpable. Mets fans gnawed on their fingers; Mets players were on the top step; Willie Randolph played chess, masterfully changing pitchers and position players to set up his team for this moment.

Endy Chavez was at the plate--the same Endy who had driven in a run after replacing rookie Nick Evans earlier in the game--the pitch came inside to Endy and he turned, he turned quickly, and rocketed the ball over the rightfield fence to tie the game and energize everyone in the ballpark and millions of TV viewers.

Endy, Endy, Endy...the man of the moment, the 9th inning hero, the guy that could...and did.

"A fast ball middle in," Chavez said. "I was just trying to be on every pitch, to recognize what's coming and put the ball in play."

And the teams fought on. The Mets relief pitching was brilliant, and I say that without a touch of hyperbole. How brilliant? Let's let the numbers speak for themselves:

New York Mets
Oliver Perez 6455473 4.83
Scott Schoeneweis 1000010 1.35
Aaron Heilman 2000040 5.40
Billy Wagner 1000020 0.41
Duaner Sanchez (W,1-0) 2111021 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 100-59, Scott Schoeneweis 12-10, Aaron Heilman 27-18, Billy Wagner 11-8, Duaner Sanchez 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 2-9, Scott Schoeneweis 2-0, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Duaner Sanchez 1-3
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 26, Scott Schoeneweis 3, Aaron Heilman 6, Billy Wagner 3, Duaner Sanchez 7

Up and down the line they were brilliant. Scott Schoeneweis threw 10 strikes in 12 pitches...he is my vote for Comeback Player of the Year.

Aaron Heilman, who has struggled mightily this year, was dominant. 4 Ks in two innings and absolutely untouchable.

Billy Wagner simply set them down.

And Duaner "Goggles" Sanchez had his best fastball of the year. He allowed a homerun to Alfredo Amezega in the top of the 12th to give the Marlins the lead, but sometimes you just tip your cap to the hitter. Goggles is back ladies and gentlemen.

Mets pitchers had 16 Ks in all against only 4 walks--all from Perez. The final line on the bullpen was 5 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 run, 9 Ks, and 0 walks. That is brilliance. They were heroes.

So we go to the bottom of the 12th; the fateful half inning that we will look back on as the turning point, the real turning point, of the season.

At this point the Mets bench was empty and Johan Santana had on batting gloves. All three Mets catchers had been used, as had Carlos Delgado (who had a nice AB). John Maine had even been used to pinch run.

David Wright started things off with a walk. OK, tying run on, DW didn't try to do too much, and he got on base. Carlos Beltran locked in to the pitcher and worked the count back to even and delivered a line drive single.

First and third, no outs, Mets down 6-5, bottom of the 12th.

Exciting times.

Easley up, and everybody, including yours truly, was convinced he would hit the sac fly to tie the game, but he struck out instead on a nasty slider off the plate.

First and third, one out, Mets down 6-5, bottom of the 12th.

The Mets were holding out for a hero and he came to the plate with a singular purpose: get the tying run home.

As Tatis strode to the plate all the scenarios were running through our heads...walk, strike out, hit into a DP, short fly and play at the plate, pop up, etc....it is those 5 seconds of tension and thought that make baseball the greatest of all thinking man's sports.

So which would it be? Hero? Goat? I was voting hero and was not disappointed.

Fernando Tatis has 5 RBIs in his last two games, and last night's were the biggest of all. With the game, and maybe the season on the line, he calmly roped a double to left field that scored DW and Beltran all the way from first.

As Tatis crossed second he thrust his arms in the air and was mobbed by his teammates. He said afterward, "they crushed me."

A fitting comeback to a brilliant game. A great win all around. Newsday has a nice writeup on the big win.

You can read more about Tatis and his impact at the Mets site.

In other Mets news Pedro Martinez continues his march back to the Mets....you can read about it here. And also here for more Pedro!

Here's something from the NY Post on Delgado and his future this season. My take is that he will have reduced at bats, but still have plenty.

"Willie came to me (Tuesday), told me what his plans were, what he wanted to do and how I felt. I said OK. You understand I like to play but I'll take a day, see how it goes," Delgado said. "I went to the cage, worked, forgot about hitting for a day."

Ryan Church continues to stay home....we'll get you a report on him later today.

OK Mets fans...enjoy your coffee!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Yes it was just a win, but let's face it folks, it was also more than just a win. After weeks of speculation and frustration the Mets needed a shot in the arm and a distraction from all of the distractions.

They needed a win; the fans needed a win; the owners needed a win; the GM needed a win; and most of all, the manager needed a win.

Thankfully the Mets have an ace, a real throw him out there every 5 days and have a great chance to win ace. He didn't disappoint.

N.Y. Mets «30001010x591
W: J. Santana (6-3) L: A. Miller (4-4)
S: B. Wagner (10)
HR: FLA - C. Ross (7) NYM - None

Johan Santana pitched 7 strong innings to lead the Mets past the first-place Florida Marlins. He walked 2, gave up 8 hits and 3 runs, surrendered yet another homerun, but also struck out 7 and pitched his heart out.

Santana is tough because he doesn't give in to the hitters. He battles every pitch with a singular focus that reminds me of Tom Seaver and Greg Maddux, and truth be told he is something of a combination of the two, albeit from the other side of the pitching rubber.

Johan is now 6-3 and poised, at just shy of the 1/3 mark on the year, to win 18-20 games. In other words he has been everything the Mets needed when they signed him to be their stopper.

"That's what Johan does," Wright said. "He's a tremendous stopper. We're facing a little bit of adversity. It's good to get a win under your belt so you can take a deep breath, relax a little bit. Just get back to what the goal is and get away from some of these distractions. We needed some positive energy going through the clubhouse and Johan gave that to us tonight."

"Santana, he's a guy that we look for to stop the bleeding, and he did that tonight," Randolph said. "He's been pitching relatively well for us. I think he'll get better as the season goes on. That's what he's paid to do: come in and just get us a win so we can get going in the right direction."

"Every pitch I throw with a purpose to get people out," Santana said. "I was able to throw the right pitch at the right time. When you struggle, it's how you battle yourself out of the struggle."

There are a lot of great Sanatana articles this morning:

LoHud writes about his stopping powers.

The Daily News says Santana aces his gut check.

Is it me, or are you starting to feel like Jose Reyes is about to really start dominating games? Yes he is in a bit of a fielding funk, but he's also making some incredible plays out there and saving runs.

At the plate, Jose has been pretty sensational in May, with a .303 batting average, .360 OBP, and a stellar .525 slugging percentage.

Reyes looks like the 18 HR, 81 RBI guy of 2006 right now, and he has gotten on base in 27 straight games.

Billy Wagner had a dominant 9th...he is having a remarkable season. Wags on Wags can be found here.

How about the bench last night?

Fernando Tatis continues to provide a nice little shot in the arm (that was me doing Willie-speak), and had two hits last night, including a big two-out single to rightfield. Tatis is now batting .429 and looks positively rejuvenated. He is a solid guy to have on your bench and a professional hitter.

Ramon Castro can hit....the guy can flat out hit. I love Brian Schneider and want to see him out there 70% of the time. That said, when Castro is in, I always have good feelings when he is at the dish.

"The bench guys did an outstanding job," Randolph said. "Tatis got a couple of big hits, Castro a big two-out hit, which is huge when you're scuffling to score. It gives you momentum. Easley with a big sac fly. We need to pick each other up like that."

Damian Easley also had an RBI. Easley has looked awful at the plate this year, but coming back from injury, with his age, you figured him for a cold start and a hot finish. I thought he did a nice job at first base and looks like he can handle the spot start duties that will come with increased rest for Carlos Delgado.

Speaking of which...is it a coincidence that Delgado sat last night so soon after the Mets big meeting of the minds? I'm of the opinion that one of the outcomes of the meeting was to put Delgado on 2/3rds time. Let's hope it helps on many levels.

Here's the NY Post on the super-subs.

Some quick hits:
  • Santana doubled in the fourth. Four of his five hits this year are doubles, the most doubles by a Mets pitcher in one season since Rick Reed hit five in 1997.
  • Randolph rested slumping 1B Carlos Delgado, hoping to help clear his head, and said he might do so again Wednesday night against LHP Scott Olsen.
  • Reyes extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He has reached base safely in 27 straight games.
  • Beltran has reached safely in 30 consecutive starts.
  • Church missed his seventh straight start with a concussion. After being examined by a neurologist and undergoing an MRI exam earlier in the day, he was sent home to rest and told to avoid bright lights.
  • New York RHP Pedro Martinez (hamstring) is likely to rejoin the rotation early next week in San Francisco. He's slated to make a rehab start Wednesday night for Class-A St. Lucie.
Matt Wise is on the 15-day DL and it may be worse than that, and don't expect Marlon Anderson to be back anytime soon. "Paging Mr Pornstache, Paging Mr Pornstache!"

Let's see if the momentum we've all wanted is coming, or if this was just another tease in a season on the brink.

Enjoy your coffee!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gary Carter Aplogizes to Keith Hernandez....Sort of.

Well, here's Gary Carter commenting on what Keith Hernandez had to say about Gary being "unconscious" on the Mike and Mike show.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ex-Met Geremi Gonzalez Killed by Lightning

The AP is reporting we lost an ex-Met under shocking circumstances.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A government official in Venezuela says former major league pitcher Geremi Gonzalez is dead after being hit by lightning in the South American country.

Emergency management official Herman Bracho says the 33-year-old pitcher was at the beach in western Venezuela and was on a pier when lightning struck him on Sunday night.

Gonzalez started in the major leagues for the Chicago Cubs in 1997 and later played with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers.

He last played in the major leagues in 2006 with the Toronto Blue Jays and also pitched last year for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan

David Wright Continues to Struggle vs Righty's

David Wright's left/righty splits are, for lack of a better term, horrible. DW has been getting a pass this year with some decent overall statistics, but if you are searching for the "stats within the stats", then look no further than this for one of the reasons the Mets offense has struggled in 2008.

Splt AB
vs. Left48 1022 7 1 3 12 9
6 5 2 .458.552.8331.385

vs. Right14019307 062421

Willie Randolph's Day of Reckoning

Today is the day when Willie Randolph might get fired, or he could get a mini-lease on his managing life.

Willie is a good guy and, despite the protestations of many, a good manager. But he doesn't appear to be the right manager for these Mets, and that has been obvious since the season began.

Call it lack of faith, call it lack of chemistry, call it lack of motivation, call it fear of failure. The 2008 Mets are struggling to keep their collective heads above water, and like adding a catalyst to a chemical mixture, a change at the helm will cause a reaction.

Remember when Buddy Harrelson took over for Davey Johnson? The Mets went on a tear and nearly made the playoffs. That's what the Wilpon's want...someone who can come in and salvage this season.

Which Players will benefit? Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and the bench.

Which players will this hurt? Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado.

So who will it be? Jerry Manuel? Gary Carter? (we kid) Ken Oberkfell? Wally Backman? Lee Mazilli?

If I were king for a day it would be Backman....yes the Wally Backman with the personal baggage.

You know what? The guy is exactly what this club needs right now--a kick in the pants. A fiery attitude that stands in polar opposition to Willie Randolph's even keel demeanor.

Could it happen? Sure. Will it? Doubtful. Looks like Jerry Manuel is going to be the guy, and that might not change much of anything.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

And a great morning it is for the embattled Mets, who had lost their previous 5 games in a row.

Nick Evans and Claudio Vargas were the two big surprises of the day, each with a compelling story that lifted the spirits of a team admittedly in trouble.

In addition, Carlos Delgado and David Wright hit homeruns, and Carlos Beltran had 3 RBIs.

N.Y. Mets (23-24) «5100000219120
Colorado (19-30)101000000241
W: C. Vargas (1-2) L: J. Francis (1-5)
HR: NYM - D. Wright (9), C. Delgado (8) COL - M. Holliday (8)

Let's start with Nick Evans, who helped the Mets in two ways. First, he stroked 3 doubles in 4 at bats, scoring once and driving in 2. That, my friends, is one hell of a debut. But more than that, he gave the team some joy, a reason to laugh, a different focus from the mental drag of individual and team slumps.

And Willie agreed, "Good way to have a debut. That's what you need. Young kid comes up, steps up and give us a little energy. He did a great, great, great job of coming in and picking us up, along with Vargas, who was outstanding, too. Get us off the schneid for a little while."

The Mets veterans also enjoyed the performance.

"First pitch he ever saw, and he hit a double," marveled veteran Carlos Delgado. "It's not that easy, I'll tell you that much."

The Mets seemed inspired from their initial outburst and piled on runs throughout the game. David Wright hit a solo shot in the 2nd inning and Carlos Delgado hit one in the 9th.

And on a day when the Mets needed Claudio Vargas to be very good, he was simply great.

Vargas went 7 innings and allowed only 2 earned runs....and did we mention that he did it on 3 days rest?

"I just tried to go deep in the ballgame," Vargas said, "I felt good. I know we've got a good team. I know we're going to win some ballgames. I think we're starting to see a lot of laughs on the faces in the dugouts."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nick Evans Called Up to the Mets

Young blood!

Nick Evans was promoted to the Mets from AA Binghamton to replace Marlon Anderson, who pulled a hamstring running to first base in last night's loss to the Rockies.

Evans is a 22 year old power hitting first baseman who is especially effective against left-handed pitching.


2007 A 103 378 108 25 1 15 54 65 53 64 .286 .374

2008 AA 45 171 50 8 5 8 31 30 17 32 .292 .356

More on the Evans called up can be found here on New York Future Stars.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Omar Meeting with Willie Today

Mets manager Willie Randolph before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.Image via WikipediaAs we said this morning, tonight could be the end of Willie Randolph's time at the helm of the Mets.

Omar Minaya is in Colorado rather "unexpectantly."

It's tough to get anyone to say anything on record or off, but we're trying.

Will Willie Randolph be fired? The tea leaves say yes.

Momentum Swept Away: Willie Randolph May be Fired Today

In a series where everything was right in front of the Mets for the taking, they did the opposite and gave away the momentum and post team meeting energy they built over the weekend.

Pitchers didn't pitch; hitters were in consistent; fielding miscues abounded; baserunning errors cost them runs.

And now what? Have the Mets hit rock bottom in 2008, or is the worst yet to come?

At sub-.500, on the road, with health concerns still tearing away at the fabric of the team, we all sit and wonder what the future holds?

One thing is certain: the Mets need to make a change at the top, and whether that is the right or wrong move isn't really the subject for debate any longer, it is simply reality.

Willie Randolph could be fired as quickly as today--in fact I expect it to happen.

My gut says Jerry Manuel is named interim manager this afternoon, and then the team can go about and try to pick up the pieces for 2008.

It should never have come to this.

National League
East W L Pct GB Home Road East Cent West Streak L10
Florida Marlins 27 19 .587 -- 16-11 11-8 12-5 9-8 5-4 Won 3 5-5
Atlanta Braves 26 21 .553 1.5 20-5 6-16 13-12 5-5 6-3 Won 5 7-3
Philadelphia Phillies 27 22 .551 1.5 13-11 14-11 7-8 10-6 9-6 Won 3 6-4
New York Mets 22 23 .489 4.5 12-9 10-14 13-14 4-6 3-3 Lost 4 3-7
Washington Nationals 20 28 .417 8.0 11-13 9-15 13-19 6-7 0-0 Lost 2 5-5
Central W L Pct GB Home Road East Cent West Streak L10
Chicago Cubs 28 19 .596 -- 19-8 9-11 4-4 17-13 7-2 Lost 2 6-4
St. Louis Cardinals 28 21 .571 1.0 17-10 11-11 3-0 14-12 9-8 Won 1 5-5
Houston Astros 27 22 .551 2.0 13-8 14-14 5-5 10-7 11-8 Lost 1 5-5
Pittsburgh Pirates 22 25 .468 6.0 13-10 9-15 10-11 8-12 4-2 Won 1 4-6
Milwaukee Brewers 22 25 .468 6.0 11-9 11-16 4-7 14-13 4-2 Lost 1 4-6
Cincinnati Reds 21 27 .438 7.5 14-9 7-18 6-7 7-13 5-7 Lost 4 6-4
West W L Pct GB Home Road East Cent West Streak L10
Arizona Diamondbacks 28 19 .596 -- 19-8 9-11 3-7 3-6 20-5 Lost 3 5-5
Los Angeles Dodgers 25 21 .543 2.5 14-9 11-12 5-4 8-6 11-9 Won 3 6-4
San Francisco Giants 19 29 .396 9.5 11-15 8-14 3-3 6-14 10-9 Won 2 3-7
Colorado Rockies 18 29 .383 10.0 10-13 8-16 3-2 6-6 7-20 Lost 2 3-7
San Diego Padres 18 31 .367 11.0 10-12 8-19 2-7 6-8 9-14 Won 1 4-6

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Mets Crystal Ball of Momentum

I love momentum and really feel like the Mets have "it" right now. So what does the crystal ball of momentum show us?

Current Mets record: 22-19 (OK, thanks Yanks)
Road Trip prognosis: 5-2 (good!)
Post Road Trip record: 27-21 (pretty good!)

We get Pedro back after the road trip. (awesome!)

Mets play .600 ball the rest of the season. (damn good!)

Result: 95.4 wins (so 95 or 96 wins)

Good enough to win the division and go make some noise.

Or the Mets could get swept by the Braves....

Then again I also predicted Butch Huskey would be a perennial all-star, so what do I know?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Another beautiful game last night, with the Mets playing perhaps their most complete game in a month....they hit, they hit with power, they ran, they played defense, and they pitched masterfully.

It seems as if the clubhouse meeting had the desired effect of relaxing the players and getting them working as a unified team instead of a group of individuals.

And with the quality of the players, and I mean in terms of personality and ego, I'm not surprised. This is a very solid group of guys--selfless, winners, and all around good people. Brian Schneider, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Johan Santana and on and on and on.

Other than Billy Wagner have you ever heard anyone say a bad word about any of these guys?

N.Y. Mets «0004010601190
N.Y. Yankees000200000231
W: O. Perez (4-3) L: C. Wang (6-2)
HR: NYM - R. Church (9), J. Reyes (4) NYY - H. Matsui (6)

National League East
Florida2419.558-13-1111-812-59-82-45-5L 1
N.Y. Mets2219.537112-910-1013-104-63-36-4W 2
Philadelphia2421.533113-1111-105-79-69-64-6L 2
Atlanta2221.512216-56-169-125-56-34-6W 1
Washington1926.422610-119-1512-176-70-04-6W 1

With the two game sweep of the Yankees, the Mets now stand one game back heading into Atlanta with a little momentum on their side. Things are looking up.

In last night's game the Mets looked like a very patient team at the plate. Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang looked good early, but you could see the Mets were on his pitches despite doing next to nothing the first three innings of the game. And then came the fourth inning and the fireworks.

The Mets loaded the bases and Ryan Church, who seems to be in the middle of everything good the offense does this year, hit an RBI grounder. Church also had a long homerun to deep centerfield in the game. He is quickly becoming the talk of the town and is vindicating Omar Minaya's trade of Lastings Milledge, or "Lastings Who?".

Moises Alou had an excuse me hit into rightfield to plate two more, and then Delgado hit a 3-run homerun to leftfield. The only problem was that the Umps decided to make a horrible, horrible call and reversed the ruling of the Ump who was closest to the play and had correctly signaled a fair ball and homerun.

Home plate umpire Bob Davidson on his call:

"I [messed] up," Davidson said after the Mets' 11-2 win. "I'm the one who thought it was a foul ball. No one feels worse about it than I do. I thought it looked like it hit the fan left of the foul line. I could have sworn it hit that fan or something to the left of the line, but looking at the replay, that wasn't the case."

"I didn't see it," said Delgado, who later asked Davidson about the play. "But if I can't have three [RBIs], I'll take one."

Delgado did wind up with an RBI single in what was another strong at bat for the rebounding slugger. He is taking a lot more pitches of late and his timing looks night and day from the confused wild swinger we saw a few weeks ago.

In an outstanding piece from the New York Sun, Alex Britell postulates on Delgado's vision with a nice analysis of his day/night splits.

In another outstanding sign, Jose Reyes continues to look sharp and hit with authority. Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson has been working with Reyes on keeping his head steady to increase his focus. Reyes homered for the second straight game with a mighty 3-run blast.

"I feel very good right now at home plate from the left side," said Reyes, who collected all four hits against the Yankees batting lefty. "I just have to continue like that in Atlanta."

Hojo on Reyes: "We're a good enough ballclub, and I think he understands it, that when he's going well, we're really clicking on all cylinders," Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson said. "But I think we have the kind of offense where if one or two guys aren't quite doing their thing, we could still survive. We have to be able to do that."

But the real star of the game was Ollie Perez.

Ollie lasted 7 2/3rds strong innings and baffled the surprisingly left-hand heavy lineup that Yankees Skipper Joe Girardi put out there.

Think about this Mets fans: Lefty's are hitting .093 against Ollie on the year. If you were a manager, how many lefty's would you start against him?

Thank you Joe Girardi!

Ollie's only "mistake" was allowing a 2-run homerun to Hideki Matsui, and on that pitch I give Godzilla credit for turning on a pitch that was designed to bust him inside.

It was Perez' third straight quality start and a terrific sign of things to come.

As for the Mets, they should all enjoy their coffee this morning....the tenor of the club and the momentum they carry into Atlanta should make for an exciting few weeks of baseball.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Stat of the Day: David Wright's Righty Struggles

DW is really scuffling against righthander's this year:

vs. Left43720
vs. Right1111523606

It's something to keep an eye on as the season continues, especially since he bat .311 against righty's last year and .361 against lefty's.

For his complete splits click here.

Good Morning Mets Fans!

And a very tasty morning it is...the smell of delicious coffee is all around as Mets fans enjoy a terrific victory yesterday.

Before the game even started there was controversy. Willie fought back against the criticism. Billy Wagner defended himself against the criticism he induced with his Thursday locker room comments and finger pointing. Carlos Delgado fought back against the perception that he hasn't been accountable enough for the Mets up and down start. The players themselves held a team meeting to work through the issues that are keeping them from being the dominant team they know they can be.

N.Y. Mets (21-19) «0003003017130
N.Y. Yankees (20-23)200000110490
W: J. Santana (5-2) L: A. Pettitte (3-5)
S: B. Wagner (9)
HR: NYM - J. Reyes (3), D. Wright (8) NYY - D. Jeter (2), J. Giambi (8), B. Abreu (5)

And on to the Bronx and a great pitching matchup. Andy Pettitte vs Johan Santana. Who would best the other?

Early on it was Pettitte, who went through the Mets lineup like a hot knife through butter. Heading into the 4th inning he had yet to surrender a run and had struck out 6. He also had a 2-0 lead thanks to a Derek Jeter home run off of the Mets ace, one of 3 HRs Santana would surrender to the day.

And the Mets fought back. A bloop hit, a swinging bunt, a Carlos Beltran hit and good, long at bats. They forced Pettitte into a 40 pitch inning, took the lead and kept fighting until the end.

David Wright and Jose Reyes hit homeruns, Carlos Beltran tripled, and beleaguered Carlos Delgado had a masterful at bat against Joba Chamberlain to plate the Mets 7th run of the game in the 9th inning.

And still Johan pitched on, into the 8th, giving it everything he had. Finally, after Bobby Abreu homered, Willie made the move and brought in Wags for a 4 out save.

The situation was simple: 2 outs, Derek Jeter on second, Mets up 6-4.

Wags came through. 4 outs, Mets win, put it in the books. Controversy over for at least a few hours.

"It's no secret why we won today," Randolph said. "We just tightened up . . . refocused. Sometimes you need to get some things off your chest, and hopefully, this will start something nice."

"I think we showed today how to play as a team," Santana said.

"I think that sometimes as players, [when] we get off to the mediocre start that we did, we forget that we've got a lot of talent in here," Wright said. "In a game like this, it reminds you a little bit. Hopefully, it pitches you, gets you going and jump-starts a nice little streak. That's what we need. We need to go on a little roll, get hot for a little while to prove to ourselves that we can be one of the elite teams in the National League."

Newsday talks about Reyes Big Day.

How about that Mets Defense!

Wagner enjoying an amazing season.

N.Y. Mets (21-19) «0003003017130
N.Y. Yankees (20-23)200000110490
Players of the Game
New York

D. Wright
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

New York

D. Jeter
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5121013 .263
Ryan Church, RF4210122 .309
David Wright, 3B5232000 .279
Carlos Beltran, CF5231011 .259
Moises Alou, LF3010111 .342
Endy Chavez, LF0000000 .178
Carlos Delgado, 1B5021026 .228
Damion Easley, DH4000035 .222
a- Marlon Anderson, PH-DH1000011 .237
Brian Schneider, C3001100 .307
Luis Castillo, 2B3011100 .261
a-struck out for Easley in the 9th
3B - Carlos Beltran (3, Chamberlain)
HR - Jose Reyes (3, Farnsworth), David Wright (8, Farnsworth)
RBI - Jose Reyes (15), David Wright 2 (34), Carlos Beltran (24), Carlos Delgado (18), Brian Schneider (13), Luis Castillo (9)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Delgado (7), Brian Schneider (4), Luis Castillo (5)
SB - David Wright (6, 2nd base off Pettitte/Moeller), Carlos Beltran (5, 3rd base off Pettitte/Moeller)
CS - Moises Alou (1, 2nd base by Pettitte/Moeller), Luis Castillo (1, 3rd base by Ramirez/Moeller)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Carlos Beltran 1, Ryan Church 1
New York Mets
Johan Santana (W,5-2) 7.2744253 3.30
Billy Wagner (S,9) 1.1200010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 100-67, Billy Wagner 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 9-7, Billy Wagner 1-2
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 30, Billy Wagner 6
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF3110110 .257
Bobby Abreu, RF4121011 .288
Derek Jeter, SS4132001 .314
Hideki Matsui, DH4000012 .306
Jason Giambi, 1B4121000 .193
Robinson Cano, 2B4010010 .208
Melky Cabrera, CF3000102 .262
Alberto Gonzalez, 3B3000000 .257
a- Shelley Duncan, PH1000002 .194
Chad Moeller, C3000011 .243
b- Morgan Ensberg, PH1000012 .214
a-fouled out for Gonzalez in the 9th
b-struck out for Moeller in the 9th
2B - Bobby Abreu (9, Santana), Derek Jeter (6, Santana)
HR - Bobby Abreu (5, Santana), Derek Jeter (2, Santana), Jason Giambi (8, Santana)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (25), Derek Jeter 2 (21), Jason Giambi (21)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (13)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Moeller-Gonzalez
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (L,3-5) 6733270 4.42
Kyle Farnsworth 1333112 4.05
Edwar Ramirez 1100110 0.00
Joba Chamberlain 1211020 2.95
HBP - Alou (by Andy Pettitte)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 116-73, Kyle Farnsworth 29-17, Edwar Ramirez 13-8, Joba Chamberlain 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 3-7, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Joba Chamberlain 1-0
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 27, Kyle Farnsworth 7, Edwar Ramirez 4, Joba Chamberlain 5
Game Information
Attendance - 55093
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Andy Fletcher

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