Mets Power Blasts Marlins 8-6

The Mets got home runs from Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Daniel Murphy’s first career long ball. David Wright and Beltran both had three hits in the game. The offense was on tonight big time. The Mets had 13 hits and a walk but only left four men on base.

Brian Stokes spot start was pretty successful. He went 5.2 innings giving up four runs. He’s got a mid-90’s fastball but it’s straight as an arrow. He also throws a lot balls high in the strike zone. It’ll be interesting to see if the Mets keep him around in the bullpen.

Joe Smith was ugly out of the bullpen in the eighth inning giving up two runs on three hits and only getting one out. But Aaron Heilman got his second save in as many days in another impressive inning.

The Phillies won tonight so the Mets hold even at one game back.

Box score

Perez Silences Marlins For Mets Win 3-0

Oliver Perez resumed his brilliant second half pitching against the Florida Marlins going seven shutout innings. He gave up only two hits, three walks, and had eight strikeouts. Aaron Heilman pitched the final two innings flawlessly for his first save of the season. He actually looked completely dominating.

Gary Cohen said during the TV broadcast that pitching coach Dan Warthen had been working with Heilman on standing more straight up. Hopefully, Heilman can replicate the type of performance he had last night.

The Mets runs were scored on a pair of home runs by David Wright and Carlos Delgado.

Box score

Tatis 2HR Leads Mets Over Padres 6-5

Mike Pelfrey did a nice job going 6.2 innings and giving up only two solo homers. And Fernando Tatis had a monster night with two home runs and 4 RBI’s which prompted a curtain call from the fans.

But the Mets struggled without Billy Wagner in the ninth.  Aaron Heilman gave up a hit, a walk, then a three run homer to bring the Pads within one run of tying the game. He was bailed out by Scott Schoenweiss but the ninth inning is going to be very tenuous for the next two weeks until Wagner gets back.

Box score

Time To Second Guess Mets Trade Deadline Inactivity?

The Mets had a rough road trip and the two main weaknesses of the team were exposed, the corner outfielders and the bullpen. The two positional weaknesses should be looked at independently.

Sure, the losses of Moises Alou and Angel Pagan for the season and Ryan Church for an unknown period of time have hurt the team. There’s no denying that. Church is being evaluated by doctors in New York this week and may begin rehab games within the next week. The Mets have to count on him coming back in their plan for the rest of the season.

IMG_0081 When Church gets back they can mix and match in left field between Fernando Tatis, Nick Evans, and Daniel Murphy. If things don’t work out as planned they may be apt to give Fernando Martinez a shot at the job too.

The bullpen is another story. Although Billy Wagner has gone through bad patches, the Mets are married to him as their closer. As long as he’s healthy he’ll be closing games. Duaner Sanchez and Aaron Heilman haven’t been living up to expectations though. I really think Heilman could use a change of scenery. He’d be great waiver deadline trade bait during August. Sanchez may need some time on the disabled list to refresh his arm. He won’t be successful throwing a fastball in the mid-80’s as he has been over the last week and a half.

The Mets may need to explore a trade for a relief pitcher like Brian Fuentes if the Rockies fall out of contention this month. Heilman for Fuentes would be a fair deal for both teams in my mind. The Mets may need to throw in another mid level prospect but not any of their top prospects. If Eddie Kunz looks good over the next couple of weeks it may not even come to that.

I’m not ready to hit the panic button because of this bad road trip. And I’m not second guessing the Mets lack of activity at the trade deadline. But if they don’t take five out of seven games on this home stand against San Diego, Florida, and Pittsburgh then I will think there’s a problem with this team… again.

Astros Grand Slam Does In Mets 7-3

There are several story lines in this game but the biggest is the grand slam by Mark Loretta in the eighth inning off Aaron Heilman. That broke the 3-3 tie and sunk the Mets. Heilman was victimized badly by home runs early in the season but seemed to have worked out his problems until tonight. I think they’re leaning too hard on Heilman to go multiple innings now. Manuel needs to do a better job of working more relievers into the game. There’s no true long man in the bullpen so Manuel needs to make an adjustment.

Another story line is that the Mets had ten hits in this game. They had several opportunities to score though, leaving seven runners on base. Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes both went 2 for 4 but the Mets couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities.

A side note is that Damion Easley made several stellar plays at second base. He made a great turn for a double play, and a great sliding stop and throw to first from his knees. The Mets haven’t missed Luis Castillo at all. Easley and Argenis Reyes have both played really well since Castillo’s been out.

Pedro Martinez was fair tonight, kind of like he has been for most of his starts. He went five innings giving up three runs. That’s a typical game for him now. Jerry Manuel was going to limit him to 80 pitches and he ended up going for 87 (49 strikes). The runs he gave up were on three solo homers, including one to the Astros pitcher Brandon Backe. Granted, Backe is a good hitter but that still shouldn’t happen. Kaz Matsui led off the game with a homer too.

The Phillies lost tonight too so the Mets won’t lose any ground in the NL East.

Box score

Video Highlights

Mets Need An Outfielder- Should Talk To The Rangers

Texas Rangers (baseball)Image via Wikipedia

I’ve written before here that I love what Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez have brought to the table this season. But with Moises Alou finished for the year (and his Mets career) and Ryan Church a major question mark going forward, the Mets need to get into the trade market for an outfielder. It doesn’t necessarily have to get done by the non-waiver deadline on July 31st. The Mets could see what they’ll be getting out of Church and make a waiver deal in August.

In the meantime, Omar Minaya should be talking to the Texas Rangers about Nelson Cruz of the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. The Mets don’t need the big splash trade like a Jason Bay, Manny Ramirez, or Matt Holliday. They don’t need to take on Raul Ibanez’ massive salary either.

Cruz is tearing it up at Oklahoma City. He just turned 28 years old this month. He’s a right-handed hitter. And apparently, he isn’t going to break into the Rangers major league roster right now.

Cruz has played 93 games for the RedHawks this season hitting .347/ .443/ .729 with 36 homers and 91 RBI’s and 22 SB’s. He’s ready for the big leagues.

Even if it cost an Aaron Heilman it would be worth it.

Zemanta Pixie

Pujols HR Drops Mets 10-8 in 14th Inning

Box score

Video Highlights

The game started ugly with Mets spot starter Brandon Knight giving up four runs in the first inning. He settled down to end up working five innings without giving up another run. More importantly, the Mets offense fought back to tie the game up several times. That’s a good sign for a team that sleep-walked through the first 2+ months of the season.

The comebacks weren’t enough to hold off Albert Pujols. He homered in the 14th inning off Aaron Heilman to win the game. But Heilman pitched three innings of relief on 58 pitches. The bullpen was spent and Heilman took the brunt of the workload in extras. You have to give him credit for that, even in a loss.

Several Mets had big offensive games. Jose Reyes went 4 for 8 with 2 2B and his 12th homer. Carlos Delgado went 2 for 6 with 2 HR’s. Fernando Tatis went 3 for 6 with a dramatic HR in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. It’s incredible how many big hits Tatis has had this season. He’s really got a penchant for getting hits in big spots.

The Phillies and Marlins both won so the Mets hold a one game lead in the NL East.