NY Sports Dog: June 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Good Morning Mets Fans!

The Mets licked their wounds on Monday after back to back losses and came out firing on all cylinders.

Led by the top of the order, specifically Angel Pagan, the Mets erupted for 14 runs and beat one of the American league's top pitchers.

Angel Pagan is playing at a very high level and now has his average up to .304 on the year after stroking 4 hits in 6 at-bats in last night's contest.  He scored three times and drove in 4 as well.
"Angel's playing extremely well," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He's been big."
Pagan is thoroughly enjoying his baseball renaissance, but he also knows that some of his playing time is likely to diminish when Carlos Beltran returns.  I personally envision a 4-man rotation in the outfield with Bay, Beltran and Pagan playing about 80% of the time, and Francoeur playing 60%.
"What's in my mind is to help the team as much as I can and to protect Carlos' spot; that's a big responsibility," said Pagan.
David Wright reached base 5 times on two singles, an RBI double, a sacrifice fly and two walks.  He is looking more and more relaxed at the plate, staying far steadier in the box, and his bat looks quick.

Jose Reyes continues his penchant for multiple hit games.  In fact, he has had a multiple hit game in 9 of the Mets last 13 games.

Big Ike Davis and Jason Bay also got into the act--Ike had 3 hits and 3 RBIs, and Bay had 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 RBIs.

When the game began it looked liked Jonathan Niese had absolutely terrific stuff.  After not allowing a hit over the first three frames, a 90 minute rain delay, plus another near 30 minute "delay" of the Mets batting around, cost him his rhythm and control.  I was actually surprised Jerry Manuel let him go back out there after the long delay, but the skipper thought he could coax Niese through 5 to get him the win.
"We had a very, very long inning. It probably cost him," said Manuel.
After exiting in the 5th just one out away from a win, Niese looked more embarrassed then anything else.  Fortunately Fernando Nieve came on and pitched extremely well for 2 1/3 and picked up the win.  Bobby Parnell came on and pitched a scoreless 8th with 2 Ks, lighting up the gun at 97 and 98 mph.  Ryota Igarashi pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win.

All in all a great win for the Mets, who come back tonight with RA Dickey on the hill.

Enjoy your coffee!

Detroit (38-31)000240000680
N.Y. Mets (40-30) «20810300x14160
Player of the Game
New York
A. Pagan AB 6
R 3
H 4
HR 0

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2009 vs 2010 Mets

Let's compare some basic stats between the 2009 and 2010 Mets.

Fielding %:
2009:  19th
2010: 7th

2009: 20th
2010: 6th

2009: 25th
2010: 20th

Starter ERA:
2009: 25th
2010: 6th


2009:  20th
2010: 9th

2009: 30th
2010: 19th

Stolen Bases:
2009: 6th
2010: 2nd

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Friday, June 18, 2010

National League Position Player Rookie Crop Impresses

The NL has one of the better rookie crops in recent years.

Besides Jason Heyward, there are a dozen offensive players making their marks, many of them on potential playoff teams.

Ike Davis, the Mets cleanup hitting first baseman, continues to drive in runs and hit HRs in big spots. 

In perhaps his biggest contribution, Ike has settled down the Mets infield defense with his steady play, big glove, and imposing target.

Here are the top 10 NL rookies sorted by at-bats.

Rookie Batting
1Jason HeywardATL22938611231144443961.266.383.489.872
2Gaby SanchezFLA2273264141728202640.282.359.445.804
3Alcides EscobarMIL218265465218411529.248.299.349.648
4Ian DesmondWAS2132457123433411040.268.304.408.712
5David FreeseSTL2112767121433111948.318.380.441.821
6Ike DavisNYM1923351130825102451.266.349.458.807
7Tommy ManzellaHOU175123750116011051.
8Starlin CastroCHC133123631216111118.271.322.353.675
9Roger BernadinaWAS128143562419521128.273.343.445.788
10Tyler ColvinCHC104193291717101034.308.362.615.977

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Good Morning Mets Fans!

How sweet it is!  The Mets are playing inspired baseball, they have won 10 of their last 11 games and they are a remarkable 17-5 since the 21st of May.

Yesterday Jon Niese kept the streak alive with 7 solid innings and the offense took care of the rest as the Mets beat the Indians 8-4.

Niese won his third start in a row in his hometown (or close to it) and has proven to everyone that he has the stuff to be a solid middle of the rotation starter.  In the month of June, Niese is Niese is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA
"This is what we anticipated," manager Jerry Manuel said after the Mets tied a season high with seven doubles, two by Ike Davis. "We're built on pitching and defense. If we stay hot with the bats, we'll be a really, really good team."
The offense was solid throughout, and each starter had at least one hit.  The only down news was Jason Bay leaving the game with a thigh bruise that he received after another hustle hit.  The hustle hits have been a staple of Bay's game all year long, but this one is likely to cost him at least one game.
"It knotted up on me," Bay said. "My left leg hit his butt. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."
David Wright hit a key double to plate two.  He now leads the National League in RBIs with 52.

David Wright
1. David Wright, NYM52
2. Troy Glaus, ATL51
3. Albert Pujols, STL49
4. Jonny Gomes, CIN48
5. Corey Hart, MIL47

Angel Pagan finished the game with 3 hits and 3 RBIs--he looks like he's out of the mini-slump.  When Pagan and Reyes are both hitting at the top of the order the Mets score runs in bunches--yesterday they did just that.

And finally, another tip of the cap to Elmer Dessens for pitching two innings to close out the win.

This is Mets baseball, this is your team, and this is why we endure...it's a magical run.

Enjoy your coffee!

N.Y. Mets (37-28) «0050030008140
Cleveland (25-39)000210010490
Player of the Game
New York
A. Pagan AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

VIDEO: Fernando Martinez Walkoff Grand Slam

What a blast!

Mets are 17-8 Since Wilpon Flew to Atlanta

Coincidence, or little did Jeff get his message across?

2nd Spot in the Order Still a Puzzle

I applauded Jerry Manuel's move of Angel Pagan to the 2 hole, but thus far, the results have been less than stellar.

With the small sample size for Pagan (39 at bats), it's likely that he was moved just as he went into his first slump of the season, and I'm still hopeful that he retains his place there as that is where his skills are most useful.

On the season, the Mets have received astonishingly poor production from what is a key position in the order.  This isn't surprising given that Luis Castillo and Alex Cora have manned it for the majority of the season.

With the Mets surging, it's tantalizing to think just how good this lineup can be with a hot Jose Reyes and Pagan as the table setters.

I have a very strong feeling that we're going to see this offense take off when the two of them get hot at the same time, which will hopefully begin tonight in Cleveland.

Below are the Mets totals for the season by lineup position:

Batting 1st 296 271 37 76 11 7 5 31 13 3 18 32 .280 .330 .428 .758 4 .301 113
Batting 2nd 287 241 22 54 8 3 0 28 10 2 34 20 .224 .318 .282 .600 8 .240 67
Batting 3rd 282 245 37 63 15 2 7 30 16 2 34 55 .257 .352 .420 .773 7 .306 94
Batting 4th 275 245 35 59 14 2 4 28 5 0 25 70 .241 .316 .363 .680 4 .318 68
Batting 5th 269 235 41 67 17 2 11 40 6 3 28 61 .285 .353 .515 .868 8 .331 114
Batting 6th 259 223 33 59 13 1 7 25 4 1 31 53 .265 .359 .426 .785 3 .315 109
Batting 7th 252 235 29 59 10 0 11 40 5 0 8 43 .251 .280 .434 .714 4 .259 96
Batting 8th 248 220 32 63 13 0 9 32 3 2 18 39 .286 .347 .468 .815 4 .305 133
Batting 9th 241 211 17 42 6 0 1 15 2 0 12 61 .199 .242 .242 .484 1 .275 70
Bat1-2,non-P 583 512 59 130 19 10 5 59 23 5 52 52 .254 .324 .359 .683 12 .271 90
Bat3-6,non-P 1085 948 146 248 59 7 29 123 31 6 118 239 .262 .345 .430 .775 22 .317 96
Bat7-9,non-P 605 551 72 144 26 0 21 81 10 2 32 107 .261 .307 .423 .730 9 .285 108
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/15/2010.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Jerry Manuel has a Doppelganger

Jerry Manuel has a Doppelganger, though he likely would not be flattered by the comparison.  

From Wiki:  Dr. Hassan 'Abd Allah al-Turabi (الدكتور حسن عبد الله الترابي al-Duktūr Ḥassan 'Abd Allah at-Turābī in Arabic), commonly called Hassan al-Turabi (sometimes transliterated Hassan al-Tourabi) (حسن الترابي) (born c.1932), is a religious and Islamist political leader in Sudan, who may have been instrumental in institutionalizing sharia in the northern part of the country. He has been called a "longtime hard-line ideological leader."

The two men could swap places and it might benefit both organizations.

Jerry could bring his calm personality to a fiery situation, and Al-Turabi could bring his ideology to the Mets, where it would be summarily ignored so these guys could keep playing baseball.

If nothing else we would never see a sacrifice bunt again.

Strange and Wonderful Days at Citi Field

Yesterday was both a strange and wonderful day at Citi Field.

The Mets split a doubleheader with the Padres--in game 1 the Ace, Johan santana struggled.  In game 2, Jonathan Niese was one swing away from a perfect game.

There was also a triple play, a finger by some cretin named Lady Gaga, 4 strikeouts by David Wright, 4 hits on his birthday from Jose Reyes, a Henry Blanco homerun, and a whipped cream pie to the face of Niese from Angel Pagan.

Niese (3-2) struck out six and walked none. He was sheer brilliance and only needed 108 pitches for the complete game, 1-hit, shutout.
"Ever since I came off the DL, I haven't felt anything," said Niese. "Before that, I felt some lingering soreness. When I went on the DL, I got some rest and it's paid off."
Ollie who?

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Simple Fix for Jason Bay?

Like many of you, I'vebeen watching Jason Bay very closely this season, and there seems to be one very obvious thing wrong with his approach:

He is standing too far off the plate.

His timing is off, and he is positively lunging for balls that are only a few inches outside.  His plate coverage is terrible.

Here are two photos of him from his time with the Red Sox. 

I ask you this--does he look closer to the plate in these photos than he does now?  I would say yes.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Angel Pagan is a Star

With all of the uncertainty surrounding the Mets early this year, its been unheralded Angel Pagan that has provided the spark, the hits, the range in centerfield, the intelligent baserunning and the consistency that has kept the team in the hunt as they attempt to chase down a spot in first place.

How good has Pagan been?

Since May 1st, he's hit .315 with a .371 OBP and slugged at a .477 clip.  He has gotten a hit in 26 of the 33 games played over that span.  Since May 1st he has 41 hits, 8 doubles, 9 stolen bases and has scored 21 runs. 

That equates to over 200 hits, 100 runs scored, 44 stolen bases and 40 doubles over a full season.

That, my friends, is a star.

If we combine his 2009 and 2010 seasons you get an idea of how valuable he's been over a full slate of games:

Angel Pagan Batting Stats for Years 2009 to 2010


2009-2010 NYM 144 603 547 86 165 31 15 10 57 25 10 45 87 .302 .352 .468 .820 118

The best part of it is that Pagan continues to get better.

His eye at the plate is better, he is hitting to the gaps, playing smart defense, and running the bases with intelligence and hustle to maximize his speed.

He may not be very well known outside of New York, but what we know is that Angel Pagan has morphed into one of the most important players on the Mets, and he has become a complete player.

Here are his 2010 numbers and his projections:

2010 Season Stats
Last 7 days5212621022320.286.348.476.824
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VIDEO: The Majesty of Ike Davis' Walkoff Bomb

Yes Ike, you can say bomb on an airplane.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

The New Mets: Young and Hungry

Baseball is a young man's game.

Sure, you can win with an older team, but it doesn't last, and study after study has shown that the peak years for a ballplayer are between ages 25-31.

The Mets have a young core that could carry this team to big success for the next 5 years, and I would love to see them continue with this model vice previous attempts at finding lightning in a bottle with aging vets.

The current starting team is as follows:
  • C-Rod Barajas, age 34
  • 1B-Ike Davis, age 23
  • 2B-Ruben Tejada, age 20
  • 3B-David Wright, age 27
  • SS-Jose Reyes, age 26
  • LF-Jason Bay, age 31
  • CF-Angel Pagan, age 28
  • RF-Jeff Francoeur, age 26
That is an average age of 26.9.

When we look at the pitching the story gets even better.

Pelfrey  is 26, Niese is 23, Mejia is 20, Johan is only 31, and Frankie Rodriguez is 28.

While the Mets may not make the playoffs this year, their is a fantastic young core of players to work with.  We're seeing the results in the field, and the youthful energy is something that will carry this team through the dog days of summer.

Baseball, a young man's game, is on display in Queens, and it sure is fun to watch.
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Good Morning Mets Fans!

How sweep it is!

After taking the first two games in relatively easy fashion, the Mets used the hot bat of Jeff Francoeur, and the positive energy of skipper Jerry Manuel, to come back from a 5-0 deficit and complete the sweep of their Florida rivals.

The Mets fell behind on another sub-par outing by Takahashi, who gave up two long balls yesterday and  did not look sharp, especially after the first time through the order.  Not willing to quit, the Mets chipped away and benefited by Fredi Gonzales strange deicion to pull Ricky Nolasco after only 82 pitches.

That move ignited the Mets.

Jeff Francoeur is hot---boiling hot--at the plate, and he proved his mettle again yesterday with a tying, three-run homer in the seventh inning.  It was the big blow that keyed two rallies that put the Mets on top and upped their home winning streak to 8 games.
"I know this is a big yard but I knew I got that one," said Francoeur, who is batting .500 (18 for 36) during his 10-game hitting streak. "I was sure nothing was going to stop it."
Prior to the Francoeur bomb, Angel Pagan demonstrated why he has become one of the most valuable men in the lineup.  Pagan smoked a two-run single in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run when Ike Davis grounded into a double play in the eighth.
"Right now our offense is a lot better than three or four weeks ago," Pagan said. "We can do more things and I think this comeback helps us. ... We just kept fighting."
David Wright chipped in with 3 hits and continues to mash.  His strikeouts are down, and he is driving the ball with authority.

The Mets are now 18-4 in their last 22 games at Citi Field. They have the best home record in baseball, including 22 home wins.
"This was one of those games that tests your character," catcher Rod Barajas said. "That tells you what you're all about. That was an awesome win being down 5-0 early."
The Mets also received a big boost from their skipper.  I've been tough on Jerry all year, but he definitely out-managed his counterpart yesterday. Manuel kept the team positive, and he also put Angel Pagan in motion on a key full-count pitch to Bay, with great results as Bay stroked a single that sent Pagan to third, where he ultimately scored the key run.
"We've been taking chances and our baserunners are making good reads," Manuel said. "We felt like if it's a breaking ball we might get a stolen base. The only thing you worry about is hitting a line drive at somebody, but with people moving around it's a lot harder to hit a line drive at someone. If you do, you just tip your cap."
The bullpen, for the most part, did their job.  Igarashi had a rough time of it, but Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez were all up for the task.

Feliciano got the win, to go 2-2 on the year, and Frankie picked up his 12th save of the year.

The Mets are off today and face the Padres at home tomorrow.  We all get a chance to breathe and enjoy our coffee!

Florida (28-30)0001041006100
N.Y. Mets (30-27) «00000331x7122
Player of the Game
New York
J. Francoeur AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
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