Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8th - Mets 4 Braves 0 - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

After taking two out of three from The Reds, the Mets traveled to the den of horror that is Turner Field, a place the Mets usually do not fare well in. The Braves have gotten off to a good start, despite some serious blows to their starting rotation in spiring training. The Mets sent Bartolo Colon up against Arron Harang.

BARTOLO COLON: An excellent start where he was borderline dominating, Colon kept the Mets' streak of quality starting pitching going. He threw 7 innings of shutout, no walk/5 strikeout ball and looked good doing it, keeping the Braves lineup off balance the whole night.

TRAVIS D'ARNAUD: FINALLY. d'Arnaud broke his hitless streak to start the season with TWO hits (including a double). He did look better overall at the plate, but I wouldn't say he's turned the corner just yet.

THE BULLPEN: Farnsworth to Valverde. Two innings, no runs. Valverde made it a little too interesting in the end by throwing a potential game ending double play ball into centerfield, but with the basesloaded and only one out, he got the job done and preserved the shutout.

RUBIN TEJADA: Two hits, two runs, two RBI (and even a walk). He played a part in all four runs tonight and looked very good at the plate. I have no real faith this is a trend that will continue though. I still want Stephen Drew. ah well.

THE BATS: Looking at the batting average of some of the regulars (Young Jr: .174, Murphy: .250, Wright: .192, Granderson: .154, Duda: .167, d'Arnaud: .105) it's very evident the Mets are not hitting well. Wright and Murphy will both come around, but some of the other need to step things up.

Since I already put the Bats in the "Bad" column, I think for one night, there's really no true "ugly". Hey, a shutout win of the Braves IN Turner Field? Hard to find something ugly with that.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

GAME FIVE: Mets 6 - Reds 3 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Looking to see if they could string together two wins in a row, The Mets sent Dillion Gee up against The Reds in the second game of this weekend series.

DILLON GEE: Except for one (admittedly big) mistake on Opening Day, Gee pitched quite well. Today he had a similar outing with pretty much the same type of mistake, but overall it was a good job, keeping the Mets one bright spot in 2014 so far to be it's starting pitching. He's not Harvey, and in the long run I think Wheeler and Syndergaard will both be better, but Gee is a very bright spot for what should prove to be a very strong rotation.

CURTIS GRANDERSON: Despite the rough first couple of games at the plate, I haven't wavered in my thought that I'm quite glad Granderson is here. I don't expect 40+ home runs (heck, I don't expect much more than 28-30 overall), but he will provide protection in the lineup for Wright and will be a presence in the lineup that opposing pitchers will respect. His two-run shot in the 6th was a nice start.

THE BULLPEN: Two pitchers, (Rice and Torres), 1.2 innings, 3 Ks and NO RUNS. It's a Christmas Miracle.

IKE DAVIS: Two days after he lost the first base job to Lucas Duda, Davis makes himself relevant again with his ninth-inning walkoff grand slam. I'm a Davis supporter, so I hope he can fight his way back into everyday play. We shall see.

THE BATS: The final score is a little misleading because six runs makes it look like a healthy offensive day, but the first half of the game the Mets bats were as anemic as a Karen Carpenter luncheon. For the second day in a row, all scoring came via the long ball. The Mets are going to have to improve their situational hitting.

LUCAS DUDA: One day after his two-homer/four RBI day, Duda went 0-4 with three strike-outs. I told you yesterday that you shouldn't count on many days like Friday night for him.

THE CATCHING POSITION: Anthony Recker didn't hit any better than d'Arnaud has, and The Mets' catchers haven't had a hit all season.

ERIC YOUNG JR.: Finally got a hit, but the Mets leadoff man is hitting a disturbing .063 for the season. That's not setting the table... that's not even in the kitchen

Teixeira Lands on DL: How It Affects the Yanks

Mark Texeira spent very little time on the DL over the first nine years or so of his career and for the first three years of his Yankees tenure he rarely missed time, missing only 16 games in that span, but the last year and a half hasn't been kind.

Just a few days after telling reporters he wasn't sure if his surgically repaired wrist (which cost him 147 games last season) would ever be the same, Teixeira pulled up lame during last night's win over the Toronto Blue Jays. While the severity of the hamstring injury is not yet known, it was evident in Teixeira's face and reaction that it wasn't good. He was visabily upset and slammed his glove when he came out (thankfully not injuring anything else in his fit of anger).

To me, this is a fairly decent blow to the Yanks. I have felt that they need Texeira to have a solid season in order to make it back to the playoffs. Now, a two week stint on the DL isn't going to break his or the Yankees season, but you have to hope that it's limited to a two or three week at the most stay. Out of the big editions the Yanks have made in the offseason, I think Tex returning was a big one. Ellsbury has to prove he's going to be able to stay on the field and even with the solid season he had last year, Beltran is getting up there in age. There's already some question marks in the lineup at second and third base, so adding first to that weakens the team both at the plate and defensively. If Teixeira isn't going to be out there for at least 140 games and give the Yanks the glove and bat he was for the first three years in pinstrips, there is going to be that much more pressure on the new guys to produce. To my thinking, the biggest bat in this lineup with a chance to carry the team on his shoulders may very well be Brian McCann, who if he stays healthy might ravage that short left-hand porch in Yankee Stadium to the tune of 35 to maybe even 40 home runs. That doesn't remove the need for Teixeira in that lineup though.

My gut? Teixeira is going to be hard pressed to be the player he was. While I'm not thinking he's going to miss most of the year again, I have a feeling this isn't going to be his one trip to DL Land, and Yankee fans might want to temper expectations for him going forward.

Daniel Murphy and the Paternity Problem

There's been a decent amount of talk on the whole Daniel Murphy paternity leave situation where he missed the first two games of the season due to the birth of his first son, who was born to a c-section. WFAN's Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiason both had rather hard feelings on the matter. Francesa remarked "You’re a Major League Baseball player, you can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help." Esiason was a little less pointed but still said "Quite frankly, I would have said C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day, I’m sorry."

Listen, both talk show hosts have a right to their opinion, but in the end, it really seems like they are chastising Murphy for not making The Mets and the first two games of the season a priority... which, frankly, is quite twisted.
Murphy is an important part of this team, and without his bat there is no doubt the lineup suffers. However, I find it hard to accept that grown men, both whom which have children, could really feel a baseball game, even a professional one, is more important than family. I highly doubt that either would have a problem with a garbage man, a cook, an auto mechanic or a business executive missing three days of work for the birth or their first born. Because Murphy's job is on a national stage he's expect to not want to be there for his family? C'mon. I'm curious to know if Francesa missed work when his kids were born.

The Mets need all the help they can get, and there is defintely a chance that Murphy's bat could have helped the Mets squeak out a win in one of those two losses to start the season, but I'm in support of his decision to be at home with his family for the days his union collectively barganed for. In a world where I constantly question people's priorities, I can honestly say Daniel Murphy's seem firmly in the right place.

Friday, April 4, 2014

GAME FOUR - Mets 4 Reds 3 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Well, they finally won one. After a opening series sweep by the likely NL East Champs, The Washington Nationals, the Mets managed to win the first of a three game series with the Cincinnati Reds. Let's take a quick look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the Mets first win of 2014.

Jenrry Mejia: Six fairly solid innings of 4 hit, 1 run, 8 Strikeout ball. The five walks are a bit of a blemish, as like Zach Wheeler is prone to do, Mejia put himself in some trouble, but overall he seemed in command of the Reds' lineup.

Lucas Duda: One day after being handed the first base job (a move I think is a mistake), Duda launches two homeruns and drives in all four runs. We'll see how well his accention to everyday player goes, but I fear we won't be seeing a hell of a lot of days like this.

Kyle Farnsworth: After three games of terrible bullpen, (four if you count John Lannan's poor outing tonight) it was nice to see a solid effort from someone... which leads to...

Jose Valverde: He had to walk someone, because it's written in the contract of every Mets closer that saves must come with some agita, but Valverde closed out the win and is 1 for 1 in save situations and I think is the only member of the bullpen to not give up a run yet this season.

Daniel Murphy's Defense: I love Murph, and I think his bat and grit are intricate to this team, but he's looked bad in the field in the two games he's played. If this team continues to fail to make double-plays, there are going to be a lot of hard luck losses in the future.

Rubin Tejada: Not really hitting and defense not looking that good either. Making no real contributions to this team. I just cannot see him lasting much longer.

John Lannan: Has pitched twice, hasn't gotten through a whole inning either time, and has given up 2 runs in each appearance. He has an ERA of 36.00. Nuff said.

Travis d'Arnaud's bat: I hate to say it, and I'm not giving up on the kid, but at some point he needs to use his bat for something other than to lean on.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Heard You Missed Us... We're Back!

So, basically I took most of the last year and a half off of the Baseball Blog thing. The reasons aren't important. What IS important is that I'm back and ready to share my innermost thoughts and desires with you. Wait... no... not like that. Don't be a pervert.

So Matt Harvey is on the shelf for 2014, but the Mets have actually spent some money so there's a somewhat slightly higher expectation with the team. Will they be relevant? Can they play at least .500 ball or even *gasp* dare to contend for a wild card?

We shall see... and i'm back to take that trip together with you.

And there will be no crying here people. Let's be adults.

Until we start screaming at the TV that is.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Harvey The Savior

The important thing about Matt Harvey isn't his ability to throw a baseball... I mean it IS, but it ISN'T. Confused? Ok, I'll explain.

The Mets really haven't been very relevant over the last number of years, thanks to ownership forgetting they are in charge of an actual Major League team in an actual huge market. The embarrassing Bernie Madoff scandal isn't something I need to rehash here, but it's effect have been long reaching and have neutered the team's ability to do much more than pretend to care about its fans while they rebuild.

The few bright spots since 2007's collapse out of the playoffs have come with younger players giving the fans some dim hope. Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis come to mind as some relief to the pain of watching the likes of Mike Jacobs, but even these brief respites haven't given way to wide-spread excitement like the young Mr. Harvey has.

Harvey is Dwight Gooden. He's Generation K. He's Jose Reyes and David Wright combined. Harvey is a view that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is';t signaling an oncoming freight train.

Fans can look at Harvey and his electric stuff on the mound and they can dare to dream again. Especially when they whisper, in a hashed like voice afraid that being too loud will wake them from a dream, names like Zach Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Add them to existing pitchers Dillon Gee and Jon Niese and suddenly you start thinking of comparisons to the holy five of Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Bobby Ojeda and Rick Aguilera.

And for Mets fans, who can remember the pain of Oliver Perez, those names are music. Sweet, sweet music.

So, yeah... Harvey's arm is the thing... but the dream of that arms is even bigger.