Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I took the survey, and it truly does take less than 5 minutes...they are trying to gauge interest in Citi Tours and what would be a reasonable amount to charge.
For the record, I put $10.
Dear Mets Fan:
As a loyal Mets fan, you are our most important customer. For that reason, you have been selected for this brief, five minute online survey regarding your interest in Citi Field tours.
Thank you for your continued support!
And a message from Gary, Keith and Ron....they have some great deals for a great cause!
A Big Happy Birthday to our own Gary Cohen!
52 years ago today, a baby boy was born in Flushing, Queens. And he never left.
Gary wants to celebrate by showing his appreciation for the GKR supporters he's gotten to know and love these past few seasons. On his day, he wants to give a gift to you!
We've still got tickets available for the final two GKR events of the season, the Pepsi Porch fest on July 29th and our extra special year-end event in the Big Apple area on October 2nd. With every order placed for GKR event tickets, you will receive a FREE GKR travel mug or a GKR recipe book - a value of over $20.00.
Don't wait - This one-time birthday offer is good only through May 13th. (Limit one gift per order.)
We expect to have a sell-out crowd at both events, so come spend an awesome day with your GKR friends. All net proceeds go toward the Nourishing Kitchen's resources for feeding New York's hungry.
Thank you, GKR-ers, for helping to knock hunger outta here!!!
Last year the Mets had month after bad month, and the schedule was certainly not their friend.
In June and early July there were two stretches when the Mets played 20 games in a row, and August it got worse, with the Mets playing 29 games with one day off.
I chronicled the scheduling issues quite a bit last year, including this piece on 20 games in 20 days.
In 2009 the Mets got off to a sluggish start in April, only to turn on the jets in May and take what was their only division lead for the year. In June the wheels fell off as the injuries mounted, and we were all left to think what could have been as one frustration piled on top of another all the way to the merciful end.
Still, with all of the challenges of 2009, the team was far better at home than on the road:
|2009 Month by Month|
This year's schedule is quite a bit more balanced:
- April: 16 home games, 7 away games, 3 off days, 16 games in a row
- May: 12 home games, 17 away games, 2 off days, 17 games in a row
- June: 12 home games, 14 away games, 4 off days, 9 games in a row
- July: 11 home games, 15 away games, 5 off days, 11 games in a row
- August: 13 home games, 15 away games, 3 off days, 13 games in a row
- September: 14 home games, 13 away games, 3 off days, 10 games in a row
- October: 3 home games, 0 away games
Yes, they certainly have taken great advantage of the abundance of April home games, but make no mistake--those games were against some of the best clubs in the National League, even if some of those clubs aren't playing that way at the moment.
April Opponents and 2009 Winning Percentage:
3 vs Dodgers (.586--won division)
1 vs Philly (.574--won division)
3 vs Colorado (.568--wild card)
3 vs St Louis (.562--won division)
3 vs Florida (.537)
3 vs Atlanta (.531)
4 vs Chicago (.516)
3 vs Nationals (.364)
So the Mets had two opposing forces to begin the year--a plethora of home games, yet those games were against the best teams the senior circuit has to offer.
Bottom line is the Mets did what they had to do--they used the scheduling advantage in their favor. With one more April game remaining, the team is 4 games over .500 and sits atop the NL East.
Looking ahead to May we can see that it will be a challenging month from a schedule perspective.
- 17 road games against 12 home games.
- 5 games against the Phillies
- 3 games against the Yankees
- 3 games against the tough SF Giants
- 4 games against the Marlins
No easy task, but as long as the Mets continue to play well as a true team, they will continue to do well.
One thing is for certain--the first hump was met and the team kicked it right on its ass.
It also helps push a team up in the standings, and in the case of our beloved Mets, it pushed them all the way from last to first.
The Mets, at 13-9, are a half game up in the NL East, and they now own the 3rd best record in the National League and the 6th best record in baseball.
There are many reasons for the team's success, including fantastic starting pitching, a dominant bullpen, an awakening offense, and a shot in the arm from the newest Met.
Ike Davis has impressed his teammates as much as he's impressed the fans.
“He’s given us a shot in the arm,” David Wright said. “He solidifies a pretty good lineup.”
“He’s been a good major league player,” Jason Bay said. “You wouldn’t know he’s been here a week.”
Luis Castillo remains the most consistent Met. He has reached base safely in each of his starts, and his OBP continues to climb.
Jason Bay and David Wright have found their strokes, and each man found the gap at Citi Field with consistency over the past few games. David Wright's OBP sits at .438, and Jason Bay is at .387.
But more than anything its been the pitching.
For all the crap Omar Minaya takes, I will once again state that the man put together a world-class bullpen anchored by one of the best closers in the game.
Toss in the mastery of Pedro Feliciano and a deep bunch of setup men for Jerry to leverage, and it's easy to see why a one run lead is often enough. These guys are getting the job done and then some.
So we all take a breather today...read, rest, re-energize, and then head to Philly tomorrow to keep the mojo going.
It sure feels good to be a Mets fan right now--enjoy your coffee!
|NY Mets||13||9||.591||-||11-5||2-4||96||72||+24||Won 7||9-1|
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
He's already surpassed Jack Clark and the Muppet in popularity, and before too long Bruce Springsteen will be referred to as the guy that looks like Ike Davis.
I have to keep this short as my real job takes precedence this morning, but I'll catch up with you later.
Six wins in a row?
David Wright maybe coming out of his funk?
A Jason Bay HR?
More great pitching?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!
|NY Mets||12||9||.571||-||10-5||2-4||89||69||+20||Won 6||8-2|
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tom Seaver is easily the best Met ever, but is he really our Mr Baseball? As a youngster, Seaver was my favorite player, but when I see him now he doesn't even seem like a Met. Keith Hernandez is much more identifiable with the team, though with every Cards story he tells we realize, to our disappointment, that there will always be a dividing line with Keith.
The real question might be, have the Mets ever had a "Mr Baseball?" I mean the TRUE one that is associated with the team in the same way Ernie is associated with the Cubs or Stan Musial is associated with the Cards...I don't believe so.
We all want and hope that David Wright will be that guy, but truly he's still a "not yet" answer, though it gets closer each year...speaking of DW, please stop booing him you knuckleheads!
Regardless, it's a great day to play two, and I'm sure Ernie would agree.
In a continuing theme, I'll once again look at homeruns as one indicator of offensive ability.
In March of last year, before the season began, I wrote a piece called "Jerry Has It Wrong on Power." I wrote it because I was alarmed at the stance Jerry took on the offense during spring training in terms of how the Mets would generate enough runs to compete in the NL East.
In 2007 the team hit 177 homeruns and finished with an 88-74 record. In 2008 the Mets hit 172 homeruns--124 homeruns in wins against only 48 homeruns in losses. They finished second that year, with an 89-73 record.
The 2008 homerun totals equate to 1.39 HR in each win against only .66 HR in a loss.
In 2009 the downward trend appeared, and the Mets had an awful season, finishing 70-92. The Mets hit 95 homeruns total last year, 57 in their 70 wins against only 38 in their 92 losses.
This equates to .81 HR in each win against only .41 HR in a loss.
And that brings us to 2010 and my worry of a repeat of an inability to have a sustained offense during the inevitable downturn in pitching.
The Mets are currently 24th in MLB in Hrs with only 13 on the season.
In their 10 wins they have 8 HRs. In the 9 losses they have only 5.
This equated to .80 HR in each win against .55 HR in each loss.
Let's look at the last three seasons and see if there is a trend:
2008: 1.39 per W/.66 per L
2009: .81 per W/.41 per L
2010: .80 per W/.55 per L
It's a very simple level of analysis, but I believe it's worth paying attention to as the season progresses.
Bottom line is the sluggers need to slug, and they need to do so with some level of consistency.
The Mets starting pitching and bullpen have been very good thus far, but for the team to truly get to the next level, they need to channel their inner Kingman.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Great piece from long time contributor Andy the Lawyer:
A few weeks back, I posted that Pelfrey wasn't really a sinkerball pitcher. That if he was going to be effective, it wasn't going to be because he "pitched to contact" but because he got better at striking guys out more, through improved command and/or a "out" pitch. Well, in his 4-0, 0.69 ERA start, Pelfrey is actually averaging FEWER groundballs to flyballs than in prior years.
2010: GB/FB Ratio: 0.92 GO/AO Ratio: 1.19
Career: GB/FB Ratio: 1.00 GO/AO Ratio: 1.41
Pelfrey hasn't been better because he's turning into Webb-lite, it becaue he is striking out more batters and giving up fewer "fat" pitches (the kind that lead to HR's and extra base hits).
2010: HR% 0.0 SO% 18.3 XBH% 4.8
Career: HR% 1.7 SO% 13.2 XBH% 7.1
One other stat of note: Pelfrey is actually popping guys up quite a bit this year - another sign that he isn't making his living on sinkers. His IF/FB ratio (percentage of Flyballs that stay in the infield) is 17% this year, as opposed to 12% for his career.
I'm not a scout, but to my eyes the big differences in Pelfrey this year have been (a) avoiding the mental meltdowns that cost him big innings in prior years, and (b) learning how to set up batters and get them out. Yesterday's 9-pitch at bat with Heyward in the first inning was a great example.
Pelfrey sailed to 2 outs, then gave up 2 walks sandwiched around a double to have the bases loaded with a dangerous hitter at the plate - recipe for a classic breakdown for the old Pelf. Now add in the Heyward is hard to strike out. But Pelf not only stayed cool, but he got out of the jam unharmed. He threw almost exclusively fastballs once the count was full, but he kept moving it around. Some were fastballs on the outside of the plate, while others had some "cut" on the inside portion of the plate. But he didn't uncork one that Heyward could take for ball 4, and he didn't offer up a gopher ball. He eventually induced a weak pop up to the left side.
That's the "new" Pelf, not a guy who lives on grounders.
Credit to HotFootBlog for the pic!
Winner of the caption contest gets a free Mets book...let's see what ya got!
"This Jason Heyward Stew is Delicious!"
Luis Castillo is off to a very consistent season.
Consider this: He has been on base in every one of his starts this year. Yes, a perfect 14 for 14. Moreover, he is 1 for 2 as a pinch hitter, so he's been on base in 15 of the 16 games in which he's appeared.
While the overall numbers aren't great, he's batting .273 with a .354 OBP and pitiful .327 OPS, he has been effective.
You could also argue that if the players hitting behind him had been hitting, David Wright and Jason Bay in particular, Luis could easily have a dozen runs scored to this point vice the 6 he has now.
Castillo has 15 hits and 8 walks against only 3 Ks. He's also chipped in 3 stolen bases, including 2 last night, and played solid defense at second.
Think he hasn't helped during this winning streak? In the last week, Luis is hitting an even .300 with a .391 OBP and an OPS of .791. Very good numbers indeed.
Luis is a bit of a punching bag amongst Mets fans and bloggers, but I see him as a consistent piece of the puzzle that gets on base and does enough.
I certainly appreciate the consistency even if no one else does.
|Games through April 25, 2010||Year to Date|
|Apr 5||FLA||W 7-1||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||.200||.000||.200||.000|
|Apr 7||FLA||L 7-6||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||.222||.000||.222||.000|
|Apr 8||FLA||L 3-1||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231||.100||.331||.100|
|Apr 9||WAS||W 8-2||Did not play|
|Apr 10||WAS||L 4-3||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286||.182||.468||.182|
|Apr 11||WAS||L 5-2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.267||.167||.434||.167|
|Apr 13||@COL||L 11-3||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.263||.188||.451||.188|
|Apr 14||@COL||L 6-5||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||.292||.211||.503||.211|
|Apr 15||@COL||W 5-0||5||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.310||.292||.602||.250|
|Apr 16||@STL||L 4-3||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.324||.286||.610||.250|
|Apr 17||@STL||W 2-1||7||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||.333||.286||.619||.257|
|Apr 18||@STL||L 5-3||Did not play|
|Apr 19||CHC||W 6-1||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||.326||.282||.608||.256|
|Apr 20||CHC||W 4-0||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.353||.302||.655||.279|
|Apr 21||CHC||L 9-3||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.345||.340||.685||.277|
|Apr 22||CHC||W 5-2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.345||.327||.672||.265|
|Apr 23||ATL||W 5-2||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.339||.308||.647||.250|
|Apr 24||ATL||W 3-1||Did not play|
|Apr 25||ATL||W 1-0||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||.354||.327||.681||.273|
It was scant offensive production, but on this rainy night at Citi Field, it was enough because Mike Pelfrey simply refuses to give up runs.
Mike Pelfrey is now 4-0 with a "near complete game" 5-inning laborious effort that was oftentimes frustrating to watch, but Houdini like in his ability to get out of inning after inning unscathed. Raul Valdes threw exactly one pitch in the top of the 6th, denying Pelf the complete game--it's a strange rule, but the pitch counts.
Finally the baseball Gods had seen enough, and after 5 innings (and one pitch), the skies opened up, and it was the end of the night for everyone and the Mets 4th win in a row.
The Mets are now 1.5 games back of the Phillies, tied for second place with the Marlins and Nationals.
Big Pelf's scoreless streak is now 24 innings, he is 4-0 on the year, and his ERA is a miniscule 0.69 (insert your own joke here). Additionally his WHIP is 1.19 and he is holding the opposition to a .200 batting average against.
Jose Reyes was responsible for the lone run of the contest...he blooped a hit, stole second, then came around to score after Jason Bay hit a sharp single to Chipper Jones. Instead of putting the ball in his back pocket, Larry tried to throw out Bay at first, and the ball bounced away from Braves first baseman of the day Troy Glaus. Reyes easily scored on the error.
The Mets have are now over the .500 mark for the first time since opening day. Of note, the win gave them their first sweep of the year and put that look we love on Bobby Cox face...he is in agony.
Pelfrey leads the major leagues in ERA...he is pitching like a terrific #2 starter, if not an ace, and battling like we've never seen him battle before. Mike Pelfrey is a stud, and he is exuding confidence.
"I can't say I was pleased with my outing," Pelfrey said. "My command wasn't great and they did a good job laying off my pitches and made me work."Tonight the Dodgers come into town for three with Ollie Perez on the hill. The Mets are eager to keep the winning baseball going at home, as after these three, it's on to Philly for what will surely be an early season measuring stick series.
According to the Daily News, John Maine will make his next scheduled start.
Metstradamus approves of this sweep.
Andy Martino tips us to the class of the Mets organization--even though the fans technically saw a complete baseball game last night, they can redeem those tickets for tickets against the Padres or Tigers.
Amazin Avenue has a recap...and a nice poem by my friend Howard Megdal.
Enjoy your Monday morning coffee!
|N.Y. Mets (10-9) «||1||0||0||0||0||x||1||5||0|
Player of the Game
Saturday, April 24, 2010
For those that haven't seen it yet, the video of the majestic blast can be seen here.
Jason Heyward can watch it this morning as he ponders his three Ks over a juice box and some Fruit Loops.
Ike is the money man.
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- Open Thread: Mets vs Braves, 4/23/2010 (amazinavenue.com)
Friday, April 23, 2010
The lineup should be:
The Mets are the "8th oldest" team in baseball, with an average age of 29.8, but that compares favorably to year's past when the team was easily the oldest in baseball at around 32 years of age on average.
The current oldest team is the Phillies, at 31.7 on average. Of course having Jamie Moyer on the team skews that stat a bit.
The oldest Met is Henry Blanco at 38, and the youngest, of course, is Jenrry Mejia at age 20.
Most importantly, the core of David Wright, Jose Reyes, Mike Pelfrey, Frankie Rodriguez is young, as are Jonathan Niese, Jeff Francoeur, Ike Davis, and other key players.
FUN FACT: The Mets are the lightest team in all of MLB with an average weight of 202 lbs. The heaviest are the Chicago White sox at a whopping 216.
|MLB Roster Analysis|
Let's take a peek at where the Mets stand against the rest of baseball.
Thus far in 2010, the Mets:
- Have allowed the fewest Stolen Bases in baseball, 3 steals against 3 caught. Contrast this with the Red Sox who have allowed 34 steals and only 1 caught stealing.
- 9th in Team ERA at a solid 3.47.
- Struck Out the second most batters--testament to some very strong pitching early in the year.
- 12th in Batting Average Against--just .247.
- 22nd in Homeruns with just 12 on the season. After a spring in which balls were flying out of the park, we are once again seeing a shortage of power.
- 25th in Team Batting Average at a paltry .229. The Dodgers lead all of baseball at .311.
- 27th in OPS...ugh.
- 27th in Extra-Base Hits with only 35. Toronto has 67 to lead MLB.
- Struck Out 5th most--a maddening 120 Ks already on the young season. Medic!
Stay off the mound and stop being a douchebag.
This is the guy that runs to first and tries to slap a ball away...tool.
This is the guy that screams at an opposing fielder "I got it"...tool.
This is a guy that takes steroids...tool.
This is a guy that runs across a pitcher's mound...tool.
This is a guy that stares into every camera while in the dugout as soon as he sees the red light turn on...tool.
This is the guy that takes it from behind from Madonna...tool.
Many of us were up in arms when we let Billy Wagner go for a song, knowing the Mets would have received first round compensation and another high sandwich pick had he signed elsewhere after the season.
This is exactly what happened with the Red Sox after Wagner declined their offer in 2009. Wagner is now a Brave.
Think that doesn't matter? Do you like Ike Davis?
The reason the Mets have Ike Davis in the first place is because the Braves signed Tom Glavine back. Yup, the pick awarded to the Mets was the 18th in the 2008 draft, which the Mets used to take Ike.
The Mets also received Bradley Holt, the 2009 94th ranked prospect by Baseball America.
Thank you Atlanta Braves.
Last night Ike stroked his first major league double en route to a 3 for 4 night with 2 runs scored.
Tonight Ike will arm wrestle Braves sensation Jason Heyward before the game for rookie bragging rights.
After the game Ike will drink a beer, while the 20-year old Heyward will have a juice box and pout in the corner about missing his mama.
Hundred dollar bills ya'll.
People say he's changing his swing, but truthfully it's his stance that changes and the difference in swing is the result.
Out of spring training I thought he had gotten over the habits of making major changes, but it's back. I don't mind small adjustments, hitters mess with their swings all the time, but they usually don't change their stance so much. David Wright makes major tweaks and tinkers too often with his, and he goes too far. Ted Williams he aint.
Long a frustration of mine, here is a blow by blow:
April 5th, 2009 I wrote:
Have you noticed that David Wright has opened his stance up about half a foot?
I'm very curious as to why he would do this right before the season opens. His stance this weekend was more open than I've ever seen it, and it's changed even since the WBC.
Could this lead to a bad start by our superstar third baseman?
Anyway, no alarm bells here, just something I'll be keeping a close eye on this week and as the season progresses.
On April 30th, 2009, I followed up with:
Well we are now one month into the season, and my worst fears have been realized. That is not a typo...he is on pace for 208 Ks and 62 RBIs.Finally, on May 30th:
DW has actually closed his stance back up to last year's position, but his early struggles have obviously gotten into his head and the loop is there. This has thrown his timing off, and the results have been disastrous.
Thankfully DW is extremely hard working, and he is battling to groove his swing back to keep the bat on the correct plane and recognize pitches early.
This leaves the question of when is he going to break out of this slump? For all Mets fans, the hope is that the work he has been doing with HoJo will pay off this weekend.
It's been getting better and better and better, and he broke out of his slump a while ago. The next step was for him to get fully on plane and drive the ball--that's been coming too, and last night, it all clicked. DW had finally closed his stance back to the proper position, and it looked like he was taking batting practice against the Giant's pitchers.There were more references throughout the year, but you get the idea.
Keith Hernandez noticed it in the booth and commented on what a "strong hitting position" Wright was working from now that "he closed his stance". Gary Cohen paid scant attention to that comment, but we heard it loud and clear.
Line drives are popping off his bat, the outside pitch doesn't look 2 miles away to him, and right field is his friend.
What happened to David Wright? Why does he continue to mess with the stance with the resulting changes to his swing and swing plane?
Coming out of spring training I wrote about how stable his base looked, which shortened his swing and kept his head steady.
He is now back to looping the swing and pulling back as he begins his arm "drop", which causes his head to bob and slows his bat while negating any possibility of him hitting the outside pitch..
That, and he has also abandoned the little timing mechanism that seemed to be working for him.
I love David Wright, truly we all do, but for him to regain some consistency he needs to abandon the major stance changes and swing adjustments he makes.
I would tell him to look at Albert Pujols. The man has the same stance time after time after time, and he adjusts to the pitch with his hands. Pujols also has a stroke with little wasted motion, a stable base, and no head movement.
Please DW, get your base stable and shorten that swing. Close the stance back up and focus on driving through the ball and staying closed.