On Deck: Wednesday May 14, 2008 Mets-Nats

Washington Nationals (16-24) at New York Mets (20-17)  7:10pm

Tim Redding (4-3) vs. Claudio Vargas (0-0)

TV: SNY   Radio: WFAN

What to watch: Vargas makes his first start for the Mets after getting cut by the Brewers in spring training. His numbers weren’t very good last season in Milwaukee, so I’m leary about what kind of performance we’ll see tonight. It couldn’t be much worse than Nelson Figueroa’s last few starts though. I hope…

Maine Wins Again As Mets Drop Nats 6-3

John Maine had another great game tonight going six strong innings and giving up two runs on two hits. One of those hits was a home run by Ryan Zimmerman. The other highlight for the Nats was an outstanding catch by Lastings Milledge on a deep fly to center by Carlos Delgado. Milledge made a running catch on the warning track and hit the wall but managed to hang onto the ball.

I know that this sounds like a broken record but Ryan Church had another big game offensively. He was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI’s and his eighth home run. This guy is making a contribution every night.

Maine hit Felipe Lopez with the first pitch of the game sending a clear message about last nights game. Apparently Maine didn’t like the Nationals dugout antics last night. I’m surprised that there wasn’t any retaliation from Nationals pitcher John Lannan. He may have to answer to his teammates for that.

Box score

Video Highlights

On Deck: Tuesday May 13, 2008 Mets-Nats

Washington Nationals (16-23) at New York Mets (19-17)  7:10pm

John Lannan (3-3) vs. John Maine (4-2)

TV: SNY      Radio: WFAN

What to watch:  After losing last night to the Nationals, the Mets need to win the next three games in a row to have a successful home stand against the Nats. It’s not a good position for the Mets to be in. John Maine should look to build on the success of his last start in Los Angeles. The Nationals John Lannan is from Long Beach, NY and pitched a great game at Shea on April 17th.

Nats Hammer Mets 10-4

Nelson Figueroa didn’t solidify his position on the team tonight at all. He was wild giving up five walks and made a costly throwing error with the bases loaded. Figueroa gave up six runs, four were earned after his own error and a sloppy fielding error by Carlos Delgado.

Jorge Sosa came into the game in the sixth inning and threw some gas on the fire. He was just as awful as he’s been all season long, giving up four runs in the inning. Joe Smith struck out the side in the eighth making it more difficult to send him to the minors when Matt Wise comes back. The SNY team reported that Wise was sent back to Florida even though he’s healthy and ready to pitch.

The Washington Nationals were hitting everything from Figueroa and Sosa. When they weren’t hitting, they were taking walks. It was an ugly game for the Mets to lose to the lowly Nats. Odalis Perez, the pitcher, went 3 for 3. That’s how bad the Mets pitchers were tonight. Need I say more?

I have to comment on Elijah Dukes chanting in the dugout when the Nats were batting. I haven’t seen anything like that since Little League. I was hoping Billy Wagner would put one in his rib cage when he pinch hit in the ninth inning. That was completely Bush League.

Box score

Overachiever Ryan Church Carrying Mets

I have to admit that when the New York Mets traded top prospect Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider I was unhappy. I thought this was another one of Omar Minaya’s misguided trades like Heath Bell to the Padres for nothing, or Brian Bannister to the Royals for Ambiorix Burgos. Wow… Have I been wrong!

Ryan Church, and to a lesser degree Brian Schneider, has been much more than the nondescript outfielder that I was expecting. Schneider has been hitting pretty well but without any semblance of power, and he does seem to provide some sense of comfort to the pitching staff. However, the catcher’s influence on a pitching staff is vastly overrated in my opinion.

Church has been a revelation, both in the field and at the plate, for the Mets. He’s currently hitting 34 points above his highest season average in 2005. His OBP is 18 points higher than his career high in 2006. His OPS is 13 points higher than his career high in 2006 as well. Without a doubt, he’s been the most consistent offensive performer for the Mets this season. He’s hit well in every spot in the order that Willie Randolph has put him in. He’s seemingly unaffected by changes that Randolph makes to the lineup. Continue reading “Overachiever Ryan Church Carrying Mets”