Preview: Mets at Dodgers July 4, 2011

New York Mets (42-42) at Los Angeles Dodgers (37-48) 9:10pm

Chris Capuano (7-7 4.27) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (4-7 3.77)

TV: SNY             Radio: WFAN

What to watch: The Mets start a four game series in LA tonight against the last place Dodgers who have lost three straight series’. Capuano has won four of his last five starts despite not pitching that well in Detroit in his last start. He gave up 5 runs in 5 innings but benefited from the Mets scoring 16 runs behind him.

De La Rosa is a rookie right-hander who only has five career starts this season with the Dodgers. He’s lost his last three starts although he pitched well in Minnesota going 7 innings and allowing 1 run in his last start. He ended up losing a 1-0 game to the Twins and Scott Baker.

Mets 14 – Rangers 5 – Turning Point of the Year?

NEW YORK - MAY 12:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New Y...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Here’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Rocky Balboa: “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Yes. I just quoted a fictitious character but it’s so relevant and true.

You saw the Mets take a beating at the hands of the Rangers on Friday night losing ugly by a lopsided score of 8-1. They then come right back to clobber the Rangers in game 2 of this series by a score of 14-5 and they never let up. This team has been pushed just under .500 for the last few weeks but they keep finding ways to take the hits and keep moving forward and within reach of .500.

This game may have been the turning point of the year. This team is now starting to show some serious character. I can now see this team staying in the wild card hunt and holding onto all their players (except maybe Carlos Beltran) for a potential playoff run. It’s not hard to see how, if the kids stay this productive and give the superstars a reason to come back, this could be a successful season.

Even Jose Reyes may want to stick around if the team manages to become a winner this year. We can only hope. But this I saw, this team can come back from a bad loss. They know it. The league knows it and now, thanks to this being a nationally televised game on FOX, most of the country knows it too.

Previously Met teams would have choked under similar circumstances. This one isn’t. Let’s just hope they can continue to take the hits for the rest of the season, because that’s how winning is done.

Mets 4 – Dodgers 2 May 7, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  Dil...
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The Mets won their third straight game, won the series against the Dodgers, and have a chance for a sweep tomorrow. The big story in this game was that Chris Young had trouble getting loose in the bullpen before the game and was scratched. Dillon Gee got the last minute call to start. He seemed to be in trouble in every inning but went 5.1 innings and allowed only 2 runs.

The Mets offense had 9 hits and 5 walks. Jose Reyes was 2 for 5 but fell asleep off first base and got picked off by Dioneer Navarro in an embarrassing play. Then he broke from second to third on a ball hit to the shortstop. He definitely didn’t have his head in the game on the bases tonight.

The big hit came in the bottom of the eighth from Justin Turner. The bases were loaded and he hit a long ball to center that went over Matt Kemp’s head for a long single scoring 2 runs.

Box score

What Most Fans are Really Paying Attention to this Weekend

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14:  Los Angeles Dodge...
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Amidst heavy financial burdens, trade rumors, the aftermath of a messy divorce, and an impressive, yet flawed hit streak, there is actually baseball being played in Queens this weekend between the Mets and the Dodgers.

Much like the Mets, the Dodgers are an under-achieving team in flux at the moment. They have a new manager, are struggling to play .500 baseball, and are faced with the possibility of MLB seizing control of the organization at the end of May when owner Frank McCourt fails to submit the payroll. Although the Mets’ financial situation may not be as desperate as the Dodgers’ at the moment, these two franchises seem to be mirroring each other from the left to right coast.

Despite the off-field issues of each franchise, the attention of both teams fan bases, baseball wise, lie in two individual stories. For Met fans, the electrifying play of Jose Reyes is one of the few highlights of the young season thus far. However, his play has been overshadowed by his looming trade prospects. For Dodger fans, Andre Ethier’s 30 game hit streak has enamored despite the team’s lackluster play as of late. In the eyes of many fans outside of L.A., Ethier’s feat up to this point may not seem as arduous considering he took a day off on Thursday, something Joe DiMaggio never did during his 56 game hit streak. Continue reading “What Most Fans are Really Paying Attention to this Weekend”

Review: New York Mets The Complete Illustrated History

If you’re a Mets fan, and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this, “New York Mets The Complete Illustrated History” by Matthew Silverman is a must-have coffee table book. It’s a large book filled with huge pictures of the Mets from 1962 through the 2010 season. If you’ve read any of Silverman’s other books, you know that he’s one of the foremost authors of Mets books. You can see the complete list of books he’s written on his website.

Of course, there’s extra attention paid to the teams from ’62, ’69, ’73, ’86, and 2000 as there should be. There are so many images that I’ve never seen before. Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan together with Gil Hodges was a great picture. I always think of what could have been when I see pictures of Ryan.

Some of the images that really jumped out at me were:

  • Tug McGraw
  • Willie Mays celebrating in the locker room after clinching the NL East in ’73
  • Seaver when he got the news he was traded to the Reds in ’77
  • Doc Gooden in ’84
  • Lenny Dykstra’s walk off homer against the Astros in game 3 of the ’86 NLCS

The thing I like about books like this is that you can pick it up and read through Silverman’s rich description of a season or two. Or you can even go through a decade in an afternoon and get a great feel for the era. The late ’70’s and early ’80’s will be depressing though.

The World Series teams are the most exciting to read about. I particularly love to read about the build up from the abyss of the early ’80’s to the Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter trades, and Doc and Straw coming up to the team. The build up to something great was so clear and palpable.

Overall, it’s a great book to add to your collection if you’re a Mets fan. If you know someone that’s a Mets fan, this is a guaranteed hit as a gift. You can purchase the book at Amazon. It’s listed at $19.80 as of the writing of this post.

I did receive a promotional copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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The Amazing Mets! What Fundy’s! Baseball at it’s Finest

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08:  Manager Terry Collin...
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Hey Mets Fans! This is baseball at it’s finest! A 5-13 start! Worst record in baseball! But hey, the Mets do have a manager who spent all spring pushing fundamentals and all that hard work is paying off.

But let’s go back on the field and watch Carlos Beltran hit one homer after another in his quest for riches from his next team. He’s not selfish! Wink, wink… Watch as David Wright flips his helmet in amazingly accurate fashion towards the ground as he watches another homer die at the warning track or racks up another strikeout. All this while he’s thinking, “F@%$, I could be hitting 50 F’in homers in Philly!” Watch as Ike Davis attempts to show up a few more umpires after arguing balls and strikes. Watch the uncoachable Jose Reyes play the game the same way he’s played it for the last 5 years, never improving but never getting any worse either. Watch the 2nd baseman of the day screw up another double play. Check out the left-fielder of the day from double or triple AAA as they drop a ball in left field. Watch as the Mets pinch hitters bunt into double plays. Watch as Dish Network drops SNY and nobody cares.

Watch Terry Collins do more running than any current Mets player as he makes run after run to the pitching mound. No wonder Sandy Alderson needed a manager with so much energy! Check out the new Mets who, when they smell a win once a week, play it like the 7th game of a World Series. It’s April and it’s “ALL HANDS ON DECK!” Continue reading “The Amazing Mets! What Fundy’s! Baseball at it’s Finest”

Knicks and Mets – Opposite Ends of the Same Stick

New York Mets
Image via Wikipedia

The Knicks and Mets have one major thing in common; what the Knicks just went through the Mets are just starting. I think former Arizona Cardinals head coach, Dennis Green, sums it up best “They are who we thought they were”. The Mets organization as a whole is a mess. The number one ace has more walks than strikeouts, a higher WHIP than the top 13 NATIONAL LEAGUE pitchers have ERA, has almost triple the ERA of the league average and hasn’t gone 6 innings yet. And this is supposed to be the best pitcher on the staff?

Yes, we got teased more than Charlie Brown thinking he was going to kick the football after that first road series. I heard it on the radio, on blogs, websites, TV, everything. Why not us? Why can’t we get lucky and have everything break right? Why can’t Chris Capuano and Chris Young regain their past form, or Jose Reyes become a run anytime he gets on 1st, Carlos Beltran find new knees…..why not? If the Mets can have a monumental, ground-breaking, epic collapse why can’t they have the opposite happen….Stranger things have happened right?

Wrong. Continue reading “Knicks and Mets – Opposite Ends of the Same Stick”