Game Preview: Mets @ Angels

For the second straight night, the Mets and Angles went into extra innings, except this time the Mets won in the 13th and set up a rubber game against the Angels today. Last night the Mets took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth where Valverde got two batters out, then let two on, allowed a three run homer to Ibanez, and then got the final out. The overworked Mets bullpen were able to keep it together through the 13th where Recker, who had a big hit earlier, smacked a homer for the lead. Today Bartolo Colon gets his third start of the year as he faces off against C.J. Wilson.

Bartolo Colon is 1-1 over two starts with a 2.08 ERA pitching 13.0 innings, allowing 3 ER. His first start was average but his last start was spectacular against the Braves. Last year he faced the Angels in two games. He went 2-0 over 15.0 innings allowing 2 ER including a complete game shutout. The Angels have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Ibanez 18-69, 3 2B, HR (Colon and Ibanez are old. How old? 75 PA’s, 15 BB)
  • Aybar 6-24, 2B
  • Kendrick 1-19
  • Pujols 5-19, HR
  • Trout 7-14, 2 HR
  • McDonald 2-7
  • Schuck 2-7

The Mets bats will face off against C. J. Wilson who has been pitching since 2005 in the American League. On the season he is 1-1 over 2 games and 13.2 innings with a 4.61 ERA allowing 7 earned runs. Last year he was 17-7 in 33 games with a 3.39 ERA over 212.1 innings. In his career he has pitched one inning against the Mets allowing 3 hits and 2 earned runs. Four Mets have faced Wilson:

  • Granderson 5-20, 3B
  • Recker 0-5
  • Wright 0-0, BB
  • Young 1-1

Lets Go Mets!

One of the Most Infamous 3 AM Moments In Mets History: A Personal Reflection

The Mets this weekend have returned to Anaheim, the site of the infamous 3 AM, eastern time firing of Willie Randolph, for the first time since Randolph was let go.

The event was so incredibly “Mets” in what ever sense you want that to mean.

The Mets were in their hotel after winning a game against the Angels when Randolph and long time pitching coach Ricky Peterson were let go. That kick started the Jerry years which have led us to where we are now.

 

But you already know about this. The rest of this post is a self-serving, as I recount where I was during that time. It’s pretty selfish but it occurred at an interesting time in my life. The summer of 2008 was the first my first of two summers working at a sleep-away Jewish camp in Maryland (and I’ll keep it at that for now), one of the best experiences I’ve had. For those who haven’t worked at an 8+ week sleepaway camp, and are still young enough (must be done during college), go do it. It is more like any brotherhood experience you can get at a fraternity, and you get to help children make positive memories that they will hold onto forever (but as a teacher, my value on that is biased).

Anyway, I’m also shy and this camp, as welcoming as it can be a little rough to break in at first. Counselors from overseas clique up and counselors that completed the camp’s training program clique up. (This passes after a week or so). I was in a small group of counselors that didn’t do either.

However day two of camp, there was a lot to talk about because I was wearing a Mets shirt, and the only person who had contact with the outside world was the camp director. (Side note: phone use at this time was uncommon, and this was on the cusp of smart phone use being really popular, so information trickled to camp via newspaper. This no longer is true for camp, which is sad). The camp director passed me in the registration line and just let off a passing, “by the way, your front office fired your manager at 3 AM this morning.”

Fast forward a year, and in my second year at this camp, I was known for being a Mets fan (shocking, I know). The same camp director made a bet with me at the start of the summer that if the Orioles beat the Mets in the 2009 series, I would have to sing “Don’t cry for me Argentina” in front of the camp. If the Mets won, he would wear Mets stuff in front of the camp.

The Mets would end up losing the series thanks to walking in the winning runs, I ended up singing (but actually rapping in an act of defiance) “Don’t cry for me Argentina” and now the internet knows for all of time how the Mets are laced within some of my favorite summer memories.

Game Preview: Mets @ Angels

The Mets continue their series tonight with the Angels as they try to bounce back from their close, 5-4 loss in the series opener. Gee was a little flat at points last night and the team just couldn’t get enough done on the base paths to propel to victory. Tonight, Jon Niese will get his second start of the season as he squares off against Jered Weaver.

Jon Niese had a successful start to the season even though he picked up the loss as he pitched 5.2 innings allowing 2 ER and 6 hits while walking one and striking out 4. His one start against the Angels was forgettable as he allowed 4 ER, 5 total over 4.0 innings with 8 hits. However, the wealth of players who have moved to the Angels in recent years has resulted in some history between the Angels and Niese:

  • Ibanez 4-16, HR
  • Freese 0-9
  • Iannetta 2-6
  • Pujols 2-7, 2B, HR
  • Aybar 1-3, 3B
  • Stewart 1-3
  • Kendrick 0-2

Jered Weaver is 0-2 over his first two starts this season allowing 9 runs, 8 earned over 12 innings. In that time he has allowed 11 hits, walked three batters and struck out 12. Last season he went 11-8 with a 3.27 ERA over 24 games and 154.1 innings of work while striking out 117. The season before that he won a league leading 20 games in 30 starts over 188.2 innings. He has made one start against the Mets where he allowed 6 ER over 6.1 innings with 8 hits. The Mets have the following numbers against Weaver:

  • Granderson 10-27, 5 HR
  • Wright 0-3
  • And that’s it. Thanks to a young, national league roster vs an American League team.

Lets Go Mets!

Game Preview: Mets @ Angels

The Mets return to Anaheim tonight to start an interleague series against the Angels. The last time the Mets were playing against the Angels, the Mets ended up firing their manager 3 AM local time in an event that can just be described as, “very modern/current day Mets”. Anyway, the Mets look to pull themselves up to .500 for the first time this season, thanks to series victories against the Reds and the Braves. Dillon Gee will get the start tonight as he squares off with Tyler Skaggs.

Dillon Gee has pitched in two games this year with a 1-0 record over 14.0 innings where he has allowed 7 ER, 3 BB and 9 K’s. Dillon Gee has never faced the Angels before, however a few players on their roster have faced Gee with their former teams:

  • Freese 3-11
  • Ibanez 1-7
  • Pujols 0-3

Tyler Skaggs, who is coming over from the Dodgers, is 1-0 this year in one start where he pitched 8.0 innings allowing 4 hits, one run, none earned while walking 5 and striking out 5. Last year he went 2-3 over 7 games and 38.2 innings with a 5.12 ERA while striking out 36. With his limited time as a Diamondback, Skaggs never faced the Mets and has never faced any one on the Mets roster, so for the second day in a row, the Mets hitters will be flying blind against their opposing starting pitcher.

Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

The Mets are looking to take the series tonight against the Braves. In the series opener, the Mets won 4-0 thanks to a great outing from Colon. Last night, Wheeler was great for four innings, and then one inning that was a struggle. Ervin Santana on the other hand had a great Mets debut although the Mets were able to make it interesting against the Braves bullpen. Tonight, Mejia gets his second start of the season against David Hale, who also had a successful season debut.

Mejia is 1-0 after pitching 6 innings of four hit ball allowing one earned run and 5 walks while striking out 8 in his first start. He didn’t face the Braves in 2013 but in 2012 he pitched in two games, one start, where he allowed 5 ER over 7 innings while striking out 4. The Braves have the following numbers against Mejia:

  • Freeman 1-4, 2B
  • Heyward 1-4, 2B
  • Uggla 1-4, HR, 2 K
  • Simmons 1-2

David Hale is coming off of a strong start where he shutout his opponent over 5.0 innings allowing 5 hits and 4 strikeouts. Last year he started two games working 11.0 innings allowing only one earned run. None of his three starts were against the Mets or anyone on the Mets current roster, so the Mets do not have any current batting statistics against Hale. During Spring Training he allowed 13 ER over 17.2 innings of work while striking out 13 batters.

Lets Go Mets!

Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

The Mets look to take the series in Atlanta tonight as they play game two against the Braves. In the home opener for the Braves last night, the Mets won 4-0 thanks to great pitching from Colon and some timely hitting…from Tejada. (Shocking, I know, but I’m very happy to eat my words). Anyway last night was also the first night in a while (that I can remember at least) that 0 pitchers from the Mets farm system were used. Anyway, Wheeler gets start number 2 tonight as he matches up with Ervin Santana.

Zack Wheeler is coming off a quality start loss where he allowed 3 ER and 7 hits over 6.0 innings with 2 BB and 6 K. Last year Wheeler stepped up to the Braves three times and went 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA over 18.2 innings allowing 14 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned, 10 BB and 17 K’s. The Braves have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Freeman 4-6, HR, 3 BB (.778 OBP)
  • C Johnson 1-8, 2 K
  • Simmons 1-6, 3 BB
  • Heyward 0-6
  • Gattis 0-6
  • Uggla 2-5, 2B, HR
  • Brave roster 10-53, 2B, 2 HR, .189 BA, .306 OBP, .321 SLG

The Mets get their first look at the new Braves pitcher, Ervin Santana, who has spent his career in the American League. However, we can make the statement more general, in that everyone gets to see the first look tonight at Ervin Santana as he makes his Braves debut and National League debut tonight. In spring training he pitched in two games totaling 5.0 innings and 3 ER. Last year for the Royals, his only season not with the Angels, he went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA over 32 starts and 211.0 innings with 161 K’s. In one career start with the Mets he allowed 1 ER over 5 hits in 6.0 innings of work, picking up the win. The Mets have the following numbers on Santana:

  • Granderson 11-40, 2 2B, 5 HR
  • E Young 3-4
  • Davis 0-2
  • Lagares 0-3
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Mets Batters 17-59, 2 2B, 5 HR, .288 BA, .364 OBP, .576 SLG (Mostly Curtis)

Lets Go Mets!

Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

The Mets start their first road trip of the season and its a long one that has the Mets playing 9 games away from home including the Braves home opener tonight in Atlanta. The Mets rebounded from dropping the first three games of the season by taking two of three from the Reds including a close loss yesterday that saw the pitching on the strong side but an absence of bats. Tonight Colon makes his second start of the season as he faces off with Aaron Harang.

Colon is 0-1 after his first start of the year where he allowed 3 ER over 6 innings with 9 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. Homers were his weakness as he allowed two jacks. In his career he is 3-0 against the Braves over three starts and 23.0 innings with a 1.57 ERA. Although the Braves really don’t have a lot of experience against Colon so that stat line might not mean much:

  • BJ Upton 7-23, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 K
  • Laird 0-7
  • Doumit 0-1

The Mets bats will see Aaron Harang who spent part of last year in the Mets locker room. Overall last year he was 5-12 over 26 starts and 143.1 innings with a 5.40 ERA. For the Mets he was 0-1 over 4 starts and 23.0 innings with a 3.52 ERA. In his first start of the season, he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and one walk while striking out 3. In 2012 he made two starts against the Mets going 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA over 10.2 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against their old teammate:

  • Wright 11-21, 4 2B, HR
  • Duda 2-9, HR
  • Tejada 6-11, 2 2B
  • Murphy 6-11, 4 2B, HR
  • E Young 4-6, 2B
  • Davis 0-4
  • Granderson 1-4, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

A Radical Concept the Mets Should Try with the Lineup.

If there is one thing this first week taught us about the current Mets lineup, they tend to strikeout a lot. Granted in the first six games of the season they faced some tough pitching, but there was not a lot of contact out there.

Now I’m not a coach, so I’m not really sure how you teach guys to not strikeout. Therefore I can’t address that.

I am starting to wonder though if the Mets should experiment with the idea of not following a traditional batting lineup with a fast leadoff hitter and move towards the idea that the best hitters go early in the lineup. For the Mets this would mean starting the lineup with Murphy and moving everybody up:

  1. Murphy
  2. Wright
  3. Granderson
  4. Davis/Duda
  5. Lagares
  6. E Young / C Young
  7. d’Arnaud / Recker
  8. Tejada
  9. Pitcher

The only time you are guaranteed to have your lead off hitter start off the inning is in the first. After that you hope it doesn’t come around again in the 4th because that means you did squat on offense. Moving Murphy and Wright up increases the amount of AB’s they will see throughout the season (marginally). The draw back is this means less players are on base for Wright when he gets up to base. In this case you could shift everyone down again if the Mets could find someone this season with a relatively high OBP, otherwise let our best hitters get more AB’s.

I’ll admit this isn’t as much of a problem this year compared to last year when TC kept trying to make Turner early in the batting order happen.

Game Preview: Reds vs Mets

The Mets go for the series sweep of the Reds today as they play game three in their three game set. After dropping the first three games of the season, the Mets were able to win Friday night and yesterday in walk-off fashion thanks to a pinch-hit grand slam by Ike Davis who was demoted earlier as back up first basemen for the time being. Today Jon Niese will make his season debut as he faces off against Alfredo Simon.

Jon Niese, originally the opening day starter, will be on a shorter leash of around 95 pitches today as he make first start of the season. Last year he was 8-8 over 24 games and 143.0 innings with a 3.71 ERA and 105 K’s. Last year he made two starts against the Reds pitching 13.0 innings allowing 13 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned (1.38 ERA) while striking out 13. The Reds have the following numbers against Niese:

  • Phillips 7-18, 2B, 2 HR
  • Votto 2-15, HR
  • Bruce 2-13, HR
  • Cozart 3019, 2B
  • Ludwick 4-9
  • Frazier 4-9, 2 2B
  • Bernadina 1-8

The Mets bats will get a look at Alfredo Simon today and he is also making his 2014 debut. In spring training he made 6 starts pitching 23.1 innings with a 4.63 ERA and 14 strikeouts. Last year he pitched in 63 games, no starts but 20 finishes and one save with a 6-4 record and a 2.87 ERA while striking out 63. Last year he had limited exposure to the Mets out of the pen pitching in two games, 2.2 innings allowing no hits, no runs and no hits while picking up the win. The Mets have the following numbers against Simon:

  • Granderson 0-6
  • E Yount 0-4
  • Davis 0-1
  • d’Arnaud 0-1
  • Duda 0-1
  • Satin 0-1
  • Wright 0-1

Lets Go Mets! Sweep!

Game Preview: Reds vs Mets

Fresh off of their first win of the season, the Mets look for #2 today against the Reds as they also look for their first series win of the season. Not only did Mejia have a great game with a career high in strikeouts, Duda, the newly minted starting first basemen crushed a 2-run homer. Today Dillon Gee will make his second start of the season as he faces off against Johnny Cueto.

Dillon Gee on the record allowed 4 ER over 6.2 innings in his season debut, but one of those runs was allowed by the bullpen. He had a great start to the game and hopefully he will be able to channel that again today. He didn’t face the Reds at all last year but the year below he was 0-1 over 6 innings allowing 5 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned. The Reds have the following numbers against Gee:

  • Bernadina 4-15, 2 2B, HR
  • Bruce 1-3, HR
  • Cozart 0-3
  • Frazier 1-2
  • Phillips 1-3, HR
  • Santiago 2-3

Johnny Cueto gets the nod for the Reds as he makes start #2. He is 0-1 on the season allowing 1 ER over 7 innings and 3 hits. last season he was 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA over 11 starts and 60.2 innings. Last year he made two starts against the Mets with a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA over 12.0 innings of work, 6 hits, 5 runs and 4 earned runs. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Wright %-20, HR
  • Murphy 2-13
  • Duda 3-8, HR
  • E Young 3-8
  • Davis 2-8
  • Granderson 1-5
  • Lagares 0-3

Lets Go Mets! Take the Series!