Mets 3 – Braves 2 August 3, 2010

July 22, 2010 Los Angeles, CA..New York Mets Jeff Francoeur  in the fifth inning in action during the Major League Baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium July 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California..The Dodgers defeat the Mets 2-0.Louis Lopez/CSM. Mets got another solid start from R.A. Dickey going 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs. It’s amazing how consistent he’s been. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but it hasn’t happened. Manny Acosta had a really good relief appearance back in Atlanta going 1.2 scoreless innings.

On offense, the Mets had 9 hits and 2 walks. Luis Castillo was the only player with 2 hits in the game including a double. Chris Carter had a big pinch hit RBI single in the seventh inning to tie it up. Then Jeff Francoeur hit a solo homer to right off Billy Wagner to win it in the top of the ninth. He’s been awful lately, so it’s nice to see him do something positive back home in Atlanta.

The Mets and Braves will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow night.

Box score

Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez- How Does He Stack Up?

A picture of Francisco Rodriguez I took Openin...
Image via Wikipedia

K-Rod blew his fifth save of the season on Sunday in San Francisco.

Quite frankly, he’s lucky to have only five of those.

In his year and a half in New York, the Mets’ closer has earned a reputation of never making anything easy, and rightfully so. He’s always had a knack for putting runners on base, especially early in the inning, and making things difficult for himself by struggling to throw strikes while those runners are on base.

Most recently, he fell in love with his changeup, of which manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen said he was throwing much too often. In response, Rodriguez would make his next appearance (Sunday) and throw far too many fastballs, many of which the Giants put in play for base-hits.

I thought it would be interesting to compare K-Rod to the four closers that are currently closing out games for teams in a playoff spot in the National League. Those teams currently in playoff spots are the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds. Continue reading “Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez- How Does He Stack Up?”

Billy Wagner May Keep The Mets From The Playoffs

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Billy Wagner (R) is congratulated by catcher Brian McCann after Wagner's 400th save of his career at their MLB inter-league baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Atlanta, Georgia, June 25, 2010. McCann also hit hit the game winning home run.  REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL), this is going to hurt. My theory is as follows:

Billy Wagner, who is currently having a great year, could be in a position to kill the Mets chances at the playoffs.  Here are Wagner’s stats… His ERA is ridiculously low at 1.27, he’s 5-0, 55K’s, 19 saves and 3 blown saves. He’s obviously still throwing heat!

How is our closer doing? K-Rod has a 2.57 ERA, 2-2, 52K’s, 20 saves and 4 blown saves. Not too bad. Most teams would love those numbers from their closer.

Pitching wins championships and Atlanta is proof of that. If you don’t remember those dominate Atlanta pitchers of the 90’s, let me refresh your memory:

A Braves pitcher won the Cy Young Award almost every year during the 90’s:

1991 – Tom Glavine
1993 – Greg Maddox
1994 – Greg Maddox
1995 – Greg Maddox
1996 – John Smoltz
1998 – Tom Glavine

But this time around we don’t have to worry about facing three Cy Young’s in the same rotation. I believe the combination of Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey could match Atlanta’s top two of Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe. The bottom three pitchers of each rotation are also doing very well and these two pitching staffs are pretty evenly matched. Continue reading “Billy Wagner May Keep The Mets From The Playoffs”

Mets and Phillies – Moves Impacting The NL East

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1st inning of game three of the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia on on October 18, 2009. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom 2009, the Mets and Phillies made two decisions which have been debated with fervor throughout baseball. The moves have helped to shape the current state and, quite possibly, the future of the NL East. As the NL East race continues to remain tight, these transactions find themselves subject to dissection.

Move #1: Phillies decline to pair Cliff Lee with Roy Halladay

In December of 2009, frightening reports were coming in all over the baseball world. The rival Phillies were putting together the right package to acquire the the dominant  Halladay from Toronto. One of the most feared offenses in baseball would now have a rotation which would feature Doc Halladay and Lee. Lee was just off a run which included blanking the Yankees in Game 1 of the fall classic. Just as Mets fans were reaching for double shot of something strong, the final details of the deal came through. The deal was a three-way move which had the Phillies flipping Lee to Seattle to bring in their top pitching prospect in an attempt to replenish their farm system.

The deal had many Mets fans breathing a sigh of relief and likewise scratching their heads. There is no doubt that having Halladay in our division was a nightmare, but the idea that Ruben Amaro resisted the temptation to make the ’08 champs the outright favorite to grab another ring was startling. If the Phillies did not intend to sign Lee to an extension, they still had the ability to retain him through the season. They would also receive picks in the offseason for his signing elsewhere. The Phillies signed Doc to an extension and declined to keep Lee for the 2010 season. Amaro explained his reasoning for the three-way deal as not only preparing his team for 2010, but the future as well. Continue reading “Mets and Phillies – Moves Impacting The NL East”

Ron Darling Tax Problems And Billy Wagner Retiring

Ron Darling

Image by PilotGirl via Flickr

I haven’t been posting too much daily stuff about the Mets recently but two stories caught my eye today. Ron Darling and Billy Wagner are both making big news.

First, SNY’s Darling owes $544,197 in back state and federal taxes according to the Detroit News. That’s a big number even for a guy that likely makes a nice living from SNY and TBS. He also made $17.9 million during his playing days.

Second, Billy Wagner says that he’s retiring at 385 saves instead of going for 400 next season. He’s a free agent and I’m sure somebody would pick him up on a one year deal to close. I think he’s just down after giving up 2 runs in .2 innings against the Angels in the ALDS.

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Audio: Minaya Addresses Wagner, Santana, Putz, Perez

FLUSHING, NY - FEBRUARY 06: (L to R) New York ...
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Here’s the conference call with reporters to address the surgery that Johan Santana will have. Omar Minaya also gets into the Billy Wagner trade to the Red Sox, J.J. Putz‘ next rehab appearance being delayed, and Oliver Perez coming back to New York to have his knee examined.

As usual, Minaya stumbles and bumbles his way through the call. It’s bizarre that he doesn’t even remember that Santana had elbow problems during spring training that almost caused him to miss opening day. It’s also odd that Minaya hasn’t spoken to Santana yet about the injury and impending surgery.