The Mets needed an eighth inning rally to come back from down 4-0 to beat the last place Astros. The Astros have the worst record in the National League but Bud Norris held the Mets scoreless until Jason Bay hit a solo shot to deep left field in the seventh inning. Bay’s homer was a long shot to the top of the big wall in left near the train tracks.
In the eighth inning, Fernando Martinez hit another long home run off Norris into deep right field as a pinch hitter. David Wright followed with a line drive home run into the short left field seats scoring 2 runs and giving the Mets the lead.
Dillon Gee’s line wasn’t very good pitching 5 innings and giving up 4 runs. But Ryota Igarashi relieved him in the sixth and allowed 2 inherited runners to score. Igarashi threw gas on the fire and that didn’t help Gee’s ERA. But Gee was having trouble throwing his curveball for strikes.
It was a good comeback win on the road but the Astros are a terrible team, only the Twins have a worse record in MLB.
I was reading through some posts about the Mets top prospects and thinking about who might make an impact at the Major League level in 2011. Baseball America compiled a solid list of the top ten in the organization back in mid-December:
Jenrry Mejia, rhp
Wilmer Flores, ss
Cesar Puello, of
Matt Harvey, rhp
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, of
Reese Havens, 2b
Lucas Duda, of/1b
Fernando Martinez, of
Aderlin Rodriguez, 3b
Brad Holt, rhp
For Mets fans, these are mostly familiar names. We’ve already seen plenty of Mejia, Duda, and F-Mart with the Mets. Bryan Smith of FanGraphs lists Flores and Harvey as the two “must follow” prospects in the Mets system. Smith doesn’t go as deep as the Baseball America post but he does go into more detail about Flores and the lofty comparisons that have been made to Miguel Cabrera.
As far as impact in the majors this year, I think we’ll see Mejia at some point during the season again. The Mets rotation looks very questionable with Chris Young and Chris Capuano working as reclamation projects. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if one or both went down with an injury for the season. F-Mart could get another shot with the Mets too if he can stay healthy and Carlos Beltran is injured or traded during the season.
The 2008 draft saw the Mets with two first round picks. Omar Minaya went after seasoned college bats who could make an impact in the immediate future. He took a first baseman with doubles power in Ike Davis. The Mets believed those doubles would soon develop into home runs. They also took a gritty shortstop with a left-handed stroke that made him a target for Theo Epstein in Boston. Reese Havens was drafted and, upon his move to second, it was said he would become the top second baseman in the system.
The 2011 Mets field a team that is set at every position with only one exception: second base. The farm system does not have a second baseman ready to seize the position. Ruben Tejada can field the position but his bat needs tuning at Triple-A. Daniel Murphy has been experimenting for a second time at second base. Murphy has proven he can handle big league pitching, but his fielding leaves much to be desired. Up the middle defense is crucial to a baseball team and especially a sinker baller like Mike Pelfrey. Eventually, Murphy’s experience at different positions could make him a nice utility player but as a regular he would be exposed. The Mets also have Justin Turner who came to the team last year but didn’t set himself apart. Continue reading →
Saturday night’s game had about as much intrigue as watching coffee brew. However, I continued to watch because of an ensuing conversation between Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen. The story started with an anecdote about Gregg Jefferies and the ’88 club. The newcomer to the big leagues had an impressive short stint in the majors in ’87. Apparently, he was already acting like a perennial All-Star, much to the dismay of the actual All-Stars. Jefferies did not want his bats grouped together with the rest of the team’s bats. Instead of scoffing at this request by the young player, the Mets happily indulged him. Jefferies gave a veteran request from a rookie mouth and was obliged. Keith told of the “team justice” which occurred after a loss. A teammate noticed the equipment manager packing the separated bats and he took the bag and hurled the bats onto the floor. Hernandez laughed but then continued on about his old Cardinal club. The team he broke in with had arguably the most intense and intimidating pitcher in history: Bob Gibson. He insisted the consequences of Gregg Jefferies’ diva request would have been swift or that Jefferies would not have had the nerve to request that in St. Louis at all. This lack of accountability is a recurring theme for the Mets. Let’s look at some of the 2010 examples. Continue reading →
It’s not that I mind the Mets going young by bringing up Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada. I’m cautiously optimistic that both players have some kind of future in the Major Leagues, whether it’s with the Mets or another team. Since the 2010 season has tanked, there’s no reason for the Mets not to go young for a couple of months to see what they have. Maybe they can even showcase some young players to prepare for offseason trades.
It also makes a lot of sense to bench Luis Castillo for Tejada. The Mets already know exactly what they have in Castillo, and it isn’t good. The guy has always been a slap hitter with limited range in the field since he came to the Mets. Hitting .245 this season in 61 games doesn’t exactly make him irreplaceable.
Although Tejada is only hitting .196 and is pretty much an automatic out, he’s only 20 years old and has some serious skills in the field. If he can gain some experience this year, in a meaningless season, it could pay dividends in the future. Continue reading →
New York Mets (55-55) at Philadelphia Phillies (61-49) 1:35 pm
R.A. Dickey (7-4 2.36) vs Roy Halladay (13-8 2.17)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets and Phillies play the rubber game of the series today in what should be a good pitching match up. Dickey has been excellent and consistent since his first start on May 19. I keep waiting for him to lost it, but it hasn’t happened. Expect Fernando Martinez to get the start in right field today. It won’t be easy for the Mets against Halladay. He’s had three straight great starts and wins only giving up 2 runs in his last 24 innings over that period.
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Here’s some video from ESPN with Fernando Martinez being called up to the Mets to replace Jesus Feliciano on the Major League roster. He talks about getting scratched from the Triple-A Buffalo lineup on Friday but not being told what was happening. He didn’t know if he was being traded or called up to the Mets.
The Mets got a big game out of Johan Santana and they really needed it. Santana didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning and ended up throwing 7.1 shutout innings. It was a nice comeback from two below-par starts. Cole Hamels was almost as good, only giving up 1 run in 7 innings. It was a classic pitchers duel.
The Mets offense was still sleeping with only 7 hits and 2 walks in the game. The Mets only run was on a solo shot by Jeff Francoeur in the seventh inning.
Ruben Tejada took over second base and made several outstanding plays in the field. Fernando Martinez also got into the game in right field late in the game.
The Mets and Phillies will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon.