With Murph hitting and Feliciano over .400, tell me again why GMJ is still on this team?
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
He is striking out in over 44% of his May at-bats, and his timing is still not close to what it once was.
Though many explanations have been offered for his spiral into the K abyss, I'm still of the belief that the beaning is at least partially to blame.
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- Photo: David Wright Looks Different at the Plate (metsblog.com)
Sadly, Mets manager Jerry Manuel saw to it that the team was put in the worst position to fail, and they did.
Top of the third, 2 outs, bases loaded, pitcher's spot up, Manny Parra on the mound, Mets down 5-2.
On the bench are three pinch-hitting options: Chris Carter, Fernando Tatis, and Gary Matthews, Jr
Parra is a lefty, so Chris Carter is not the best option.
Fernando Tatis is a switch hitter. He is 1 for 2 lifetime against Parra with a double and an RBI.
Gary Matthews Jr is a switch hitter and has no history against Parra.
Narrowing It Down:
On the season Fernando Tatis is 6 for 13 with 2 walks as a pinch hitter--.462 BA, .533 OBP, .769 Slg %, 1.303 OPS
On the season GMJ is 3 for 18 with 0 walks and 10 Ks as a pinch-hitter--.167 BA, .167 OBP, .167 Slg %, .333 OPS
Despite all the evidence clearly pointing to Tatis, Jerry Manuel goes with GMJ, who struck out.
It was another unfathomable decision in a season full of them.
There were other poor decisions in the game, but that was clearly the one, above all others, that Jerry could have correctly made with ease.
A titanic head-scratcher of epic proportions.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
AAA Buffalo WON 6-1
- Jesus Feliciano - 4 for 5, R, 2 RBI, K
- Justin Turner - 1 for 4, BB
- Daniel Murphy - 2 for 5, R, 2B, RBI, K
- Mike Hessman - 1 for 5, 2 K
- Mike Jacobs - 2 for 4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
- Josh Thole - 0 for 1, 2 R, 2 BB
- Ruben Tejada - 1 for 3, R, BB
- Dillon Gee - 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
- Bobby Parnell - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, SAVE
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis - 0 for 3, RBI, K
- Nick Evans - 1 for 4
- Eric Campbell - 2 for 4, R
- Reese Havens - 1 for 3, R, 2B
- Brad Holt - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
- Scott Shaw - 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- Roy Merritt - 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- Joey August - 2 for 5, R, SB
- Stefan Welch - 0 for 3, RBI, 2 BB, K
- Brahiam Maldonado - 1 for 5, R, 2B, RBI, 2 K
- Sean Ratliff - 1 for 3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K, 2 SB
- Josh Satin - 2 for 5, 2B, RBI
- Richard Lucas - 0 for 3, RBI, BB, K
- Juan Centeno - 1 for 4, BB
- Scott Moviel - 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (why does he have a starting rotation spot when there are at least 3 SP's from Savannah who could do better and have more upside?)
- Jimmy Johnson - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- Juan Lagares - 0 for 4, 2 K
- Wilmer Flores - 1 for 3
- Jefry Marte - 1 for 4
- Rafael Fernandez - 1 for 4, K
- Kai Gronauer - 0 for 4
- Nick Santomauro - 1 for 4
- Alonzo Harris - 0 for 3, K, E
- Brandon Moore - 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
- Brandon Sage - 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Jerry Manuel is absolutely clueless on the true value of a #2 hitter. We see this each day as he trots out Luis Castillo or Alex Cora in one of the most valuable spots in the lineup. There is no question that Luis Castillo and Alex Cora are hurting the team from the #2 hole.
Last night it was Alex Cora's turn. Yes, the same Alex Cora that has a .615 OPS:
|2010 Season Stats|
A #2 hitter in the lineup will get key at-bats and must be able to contribute in a plethora of way, from getting on base, to hitting with power, to working counts and moving runners along as the key cog between leadoff and the big power behind them. Jerry sees Alex Cora and Luis Castillo in that role for their ability to bunt, which is another way of giving up the most precious asset an offense has--outs.
I would ask Jerry simply this--is the value of a potential bunt worth more than the value of a player that can get on base, hit extra base hits, and drive in runs?
Every bit of mathematical analysis says that you bat your second best hitter second if you want to maximize your lineup.
From the wonderful article on optimizing your lineup from Beyond the Boxscore:
Lead-OffThe old-school book says to put a speedy guy up top. Power isn't important, and OBP is nice, but comes second to speed.
The Book says OBP is king. The lead-off hitter comes to bat only 36% of the time with a runner on base, versus 44% of the time for the next lowest spot in the lineup, so why waste homeruns? The lead-off hitter also comes to the plate the most times per game, so why give away outs? As for speed, stealing bases is most valuable in front of singles hitters, and since the top of the order is going to be full of power hitters, they're not as important. The lead-off hitter is one of the best three hitters on the team, the guy without homerun power. Speed is nice, as this batter will have plenty of chances to run the bases with good hitters behind him.
The Two HoleThe old-school book says to put a bat-control guy here. Not a great hitter, but someone who can move the lead-off hitter over for one of the next two hitters to drive in.
The Books says the #2 hitter comes to bat in situations about as important as the #3 hitter, but more often. That means the #2 hitter should be better than the #3 guy, and one of the best three hitters overall. And since he bats with the bases empty more often than the hitters behind him, he should be a high-OBP player. Doesn't sound like someone who should be sacrificing, does it?
The Third SpotThe old-school book says to put your best high-average hitter here. The lead-off hitter should already be in scoring position and a hit drives him in. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
The Book says the #3 hitter comes to the plate with, on average, fewer runners on base than the #4 or #5 hitters. So why focus on putting a guy who can knock in runs in the #3 spot, when the two spots after him can benefit from it more? Surprisingly, because he comes to bat so often with two outs and no runners on base, the #3 hitter isn't nearly as important as we think. This is a spot to fill after more important spots are taken care of.
Are Luis Castillo and Alex Cora the Mets second best hitters? Clearly they are not, but we see Castillo and Cora in the 2 hole every day--like clockwork. Hey, they can bunt.
Big fucking deal.
|2-Hole At-Bats (minimum 70 at-bats)|
Friday, May 28, 2010
Here are the leaders in Wins among MLB starters:
AAA Buffalo WON 8-7 (10)
- Jesus Feliciano - 2 for 5, R, 2B, 2 RBI
- Daniel Murphy - 0 for 5, K
- Mike Hessman - 3 for 5, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR (16), 2 RBI (51)
- Mike Jacobs - 1 for 4, R, 2B, RBI, K
- Josh Thole - 0 for 3, BB, E
- Ruben Tejada - 0 for 4
- John Lujan - 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Manny Acosta - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- Nick Evans - 1 for 4, R, HR, RBI
- Eric Campbell - 2 for 4, R, HR (1), 2 RBI (batting .375 at AA)
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis - 0 for 1 (don't worry, he was a PH)
- Chris Schwinden - 4 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Roy Merritt - 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Manuel Alvarez - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (still 0 ER allowed for the season)
- Wilfredo Tovar - 1 for 3, R, K
- Joey August - 1 for 5, R, HR (1), RBI, 2 K
- Stefan Welch - 2 for 4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
- Brahiam Maldonado - 2 for 5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K
- Sean Ratliff - 2 for 3, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, K
- Josh Satin - 2 for 4, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI
- Richard Lucas - 2 for 3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
- Juan Centeno - 0 for 4, K
- Robert Carson - 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
- Rafael Fernandez - 0 for 4, 3 K, E
- Wilmer Flores - 1 for 4
- Juan Lagares - 0 for 4, K
- Jefry Marte - 1 for 2, R, 2 BB
- Cesar Puello - 1 for 2
- Alonzo Harris - 1 for 2, RBI, BB, PO, E
- Mark Cohoon - 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
- Erik Turgeon - 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, BS/LOSS (this raised his ERA to 1.40)
- John Church - 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (but his was lowered to 0.95)
Three games, three wins, zero runs allowed...an amazing feat for the Amazins.
Mike Pelfrey took his turn on the hill to try and close out the sweep, and he did so in grand fashion, holding the Phillies to zero runs on three hits over seven shutout innings. The most impressive part was that Pelf didn't have his best stuff, but he worked out of trouble with double play after double play and enough movement on his pitches to fool the Phillies all night. When they did hit the ball, the Mets defense was more than up to the challenge.
How good was this three game, three shutout sweep? The last time the Mets accomplished it was in September 1969, also against the Phillies, and yes, that team did something pretty spectacular that season.
Pelfrey, in his typical humble manner, said, "Luckily, we were able to keep it going." He added, "I think your job is to put up zeros, I thought I was OK."
Big Pelf is now 7-1 on the season and has become an ace before our very eyes. He has a sparkling 2.54 ERA on the year and has won his last three starts.
The Phils were held to just four hits, all singles, and could not get anything going against the big righty, though they did manage to draw five walks, helped by an ump with an oddly shaped strike zone that floated from batter to batter. Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez ensured the shutout with a scoreless inning each, and Frankie notched his 9th save of the season.
It's no coincidence that the Mets had their best series of the year at a time when Jose Reyes is at his hottest. Reyes has 6 multi-hit games in his last seven, and, you guessed it, the Mets have won each of those 6.
Angel Pagan had two hits and made a beautiful diving catch in CF. Pagan, who at one time was on the journeyman path, has made himself into a very good player. The baserunning mistakes are gone, he is more patient at the plate, and he is hitting the ball to all fields. While he isn't a star, Pagan has served notice that he is a player that can change a game with his glove, his bat, or his feet.
All in all just a terrific showing by the Mets, who now stand only 2 games out of first place.
It was a 3 round knockout punch to the Phils. And while these games didn't move the Phils out of first place, they certainly served notice that the 2010 NL East is going to be one hell of a wild ride.
Enjoy your coffee!
|N.Y. Mets (25-23) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||x||3||9||0|
|Players of the Game|
- Mets 3 - Phillies 0 May 27, 2010 (metsreport.com)
- Mets blank Phillies in third consecutive game (cbssports.com)
- Pelfrey, Mets complete shutout sweep of Phillies (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Mets shut out Phillies for third straight game (nbcsports.msnbc.com)
- Mets 3, Phillies 0: The Goose-Egg Sweep (amazinavenue.com)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The current crop is as good as any the club has had in recent memory.
- Hisanori Takahashi--4-1, 2.13 ERA, now in the starting rotation
- Ike Davis--.866 OPS, anchor at 1B, batting cleanup
- Jennry Mejia--3.43 ERA, key setup man
- Jonathan Niese--4.79 ERA, lefthanded starter
- Raul Valdes--2.86 ERA, long man +
- Ryota Igarashi--1.38 WHIP, setup man with "8th inning guy" potential and 95 mph fastball
- Chris Carter--.313 Batting Average, primary lefthanded pinch hitter
The pitchers have made the biggest contributions and now comprise 40% of the starting rotation.
Takahashi has been nothing short of spectacular, and Jonathan Niese comes back from injury looking to re-fire what was an excellent start to his season.
The rookies have made the biggest contribution in the bullpen.
Jennry Mejia, the youngest player in the game, is learning on the fly, and he has met the challenge both in pressure and non-pressure situations.
The "older rookies", Ryota Igarashi and Raul Valdes, are big contributors, and both have the experience and the stuff to get hitters out late in the game.
Chris Carter brings fire, passion, and a strong lefthanded bat. He has come through in key RBI situations and is limited only by his weak defense and the fact that there just aren't that many at-bats for him--yet--in this lineup.
All in all a terrific rookie class that contributes on a nightly basis.
While the Mets didn't make many big splashes in the off-season, the little splashes are doing just fine.
His control, the speeds, and the K and BB numbers are enough to make any manager smile.
Couple this with his poise and belief in himself, and you can see why the Mets have done so well with him on the mound.
Summary - Pitch Result
His primary pitch is actually the fastball, which he works off of to great effect. He is getting 72.7% strikes on the four-seamer.
How good is that? Santana gets 71.1%. A guy like Ollie Perez sits in the low 60s.
The amazing display of control we've seen from Tak has resulted in an extremely high K rate. The hitters know that he will work the zone, or just off it, and you can see the confusion on their face with each pitch. Hitters aren't up there waiting for a walk, they're up there and defensive, often falling behind in the count early.
He is only walk 6.33% of hitters. How good? Tim Lincecum walks 12.59% of hitters he faces.
His overall at bat result numbers:
Summary - At-bat Result
|Grounded Into DP||1.27%|
|Strikeout - DP||0.63%|
Finally there is the location itself. He throws strikes, he is on the corners, and he keeps his pitches down. I don't have the time to post a bunch of comparison pics, but here are Taks and Lincecums. What you see from Tak below is as good as it gets. I challenge you to find a tighter overall dispersion than Tak is putting up this year.
Here is Lincecum's:
The Mets have really found themselves a gem.
The Mets are hot, and they have both their pitching and hitting to thank. Let's start with the pitching.
Hisanori Takahashi is a big league starter...there is no question that he does what every manager wants his pitcher to do--throw strikes and keep hitters off balance.
In his second big league start Taktor K threw six innings of shutout ball and led the Mets to a shutout victory over the Phillies for the second straight game.
"He's a great pitcher with great instincts," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He had great command of his pitches."Manuel went on to add that Takahashi is now firmly entrenched in the rotation.
"It'd be tough to get him out.... I think his command is among the top pitchers in the league," said Manuel, who compared him to the White Sox's Mark Buehrle. "That means at any time in the count he can throw any pitch, and that's a huge advantage for a pitcher."Takahashi is now 4-1 on the season with a sparkling 2.13 ERA and an astounding 44 Ks in only 38 innings. Last night he gave up five hits without walking a batter and struck out six.
"I can do it," Takahashi said through a translator. "As a reliever or starter, I don't change much. I'm happy to be in the starting rotation here."
"To have a performance such as that especially against two very good teams, elite teams, it lengthens the opportunity for him," Manuel said about Takahashi's continuing presence in the rotation.Takahashi may have been facing a struggling Philly club, but he certainly added to their misery with his array of pitches and pinpoint control. He and Barajs were in perfect synch, and it was really fun to watch them work the hitters all night like a chess match. I actually thought his fastball, which sat at 89-90 mph, was his best pitch of the night. He relied on it early, and when the big spots came up later in the game he had the hitters set-up perfectly for his changeup and slider. He struck out Ryan Howard in a huge spot with men on base.
"I know he's one of the biggest hitters in the game, and [Rod] Barajas had a good plan to get him out," Takashi said of Howard. "I stuck to the plan."The offense was working as well. Jose Reyes is now officially in super hot mode, with 5 multi-hit games in his last 6. He hit his first homerun of the season, and it really lifted the entire club.
The New and Improved Rod Barajas "Now with even more A-Ha's!" had a two-run double and a sac fly in a three RBI effort and Jose Reyes had his fourth straight multihit game, with his first homer of the season for New York. Luis Castillo chipped in with two walks and two stolen bases, and Angel Pagan had two hits.
The "Strawberry Effect"???
Maybe the Strawberry talk had its desired effect after all? It's been reported that some players didn't care for his comments, and it may be pure coincidence that the team has gelled, but it is interesting timing. Whatever the spark is, the Mets are playing very, very good baseball. They are a hustling team, a very good defensive team, and they have removed some of the trouble spots from playing time.
Think about it--first base is now stabilized, centerfield is now stabilized, and with the addition of Takahashi to the rotation, it certainly appears more stable that it had been previously. They have found something in Dickey as a wonderful rubber armed change of pace guy as well.
There are still issues--that is a given--but when you have professionals doing their jobs in key roles, the stars will help lift you the rest of the way.
Enjoy your coffee!
|N.Y. Mets (24-23) «||0||1||1||0||0||3||0||0||x||5||7||0|
Players of the Game
- Link: Takahashi Embracing New Challenge as Starter (nj.com)
- Mets deal Phillies second consecutive shutout (cbssports.com)
- Mets-Phillies:Tak Terrific Leads New York Past Philadelphia (bleacherreport.com)
- Takahashi, Mets Shut out Phillies Again (abcnews.go.com)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
AAA Buffalo Lost 6-3
- Jesus Feliciano - 0 for 4
- Mike Jacobs - 1 for 4, R, 2B, SB
- Mike Hessman - 1 for 4, R, 2B
- Ruben Tejada - 1 for 3, 2B, SB
- Dylan Owen - 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- Bobby Parnell - 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis - 0 for 5, 2 K
- Nick Evans - 1 for 4, 2B, K
- Eric Campbell - 1 for 4, K
- Brahiam Maldonado - 0 for 1, K
- Mike Antonini - 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (finally a good start!)
- Josh Stinson - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- Wilfredo Tovar - 1 for 3, BB
- Stefan Welch - 2 for 3, RBI, BB
- Sean Ratliff - 0 for 4, K
- Richard Lucas - 1 for 4, 2 K
- Joey August - 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI
- Kyle Allen - 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (Excellent!)
- Alonzo Harris - 1 for 5, R
- Wilmer Flores - 0 for 4, R, BB, K
- Jefrey Marte - 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI, K
- Rafael Fernandez - 0 for 4, BB, K, E
- Kai Gronauer - 1 for 5, K
- Nick Santomauro - 1 for 5
- Cesar Puello - 1 for 5, 2B, 2 K, E
- Jim Fuller - 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (when will he get a promotion?!?)
- Mike Powers - 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
The first-place Phillies come into town for a 3 game series that gives the Mets a chance to take off a good chunk of the Phils 5 game lead.
Tonight's game will feature a pitching battle between two of the more unique, and slower, pitchers in the game--Jamie Moyer and RA Dickey.
The Mets have faced Moyer once this year, and despite hitting around Moyer for 5 runs in 6 innings, the team lost as Johan Santana gave up 9 runs in the 4th inning of the worst start of his career.
RA Dickey goes for the second time in 2010. He pitched well last week against the Nationals in a Mets loss. Tonight's test will be far tougher.
The Mets offense is at a turning point--Jason Bay is hot--very hot. Jose Reyes is showing signs of life, and David Wright has been driving in runs of late despite showing no signs of slowing down in the K department.
The Mets bullpen continues to be overworked by the desperate Jerry Manuel, and there are reports that Frankie Rodriguez and bullpen coach Randy Niemann had an altercation during Sunday night's win over the Yankees.
I personally like a bit of turmoil on a team, though it's much more preferable to battle the opposition than the coaches.
So in the words of the great Mills Lane, "Let's get it on!" This week promises to be nothing if not interesting.
Jamie Moyer vs Current Mets Roster