A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ollie Time!™

It is hard to be upset about any loss after the Mets won seven games in a row and eleven straight at home, but yesterday's game did teach me more about Brian Bannister. While some people can say they were shown how he has the ability to recover from a rocky start and put together a decent start as he finished six innings, I saw another par for the course start from Bannister with a lot of baserunners. I saw 84 mph fastballs. Yes, 84 mph. While he may have value on a Major League roster, with the arms the Mets have on the horizon and the likelihood of Omar chasing a big time free agent next year, I can only envision him as a sixth starter/long relief type guy. His stuff just looks average overall and none of his secondary pitches stand out and they really need to without a commanding fastball.

Enough of Bannister and talking about average stuff, today is Ollie day. I have not been this excited to see a pitcher start a game for the Mets since the first day Pedro pitched for the Mets. Not Pelfrey, not Bannister, not Owens, not anyone. It is hard not to fall in love with his upside and his potentially lethal slider. Oliver Perez fits perfectly into a rotation that is too soft tossing and provides a drastically different look than any pitcher the Mets throw out there. Though I know they are set this year in the rotation barring any injury, hopefully we get a taste of the future and see Oliver Perez get a bit of his confidence back so he can get back on track in dominating batters.

* * *

  • Howard for MVP? It is impossible to keep him out of the discussions and he is certainly up there with Pujols, Beltran, and Reyes.

  • GAME ON!

    Carlos Lee's agent will remain Adam Katz and will not represented by Scott Boras.

    Standing next to his once and future agent, Adam Katz, Rangers free-agent-to-be Carlos Lee said Friday afternoon that any flirtation with switching to Scott Boras' group was nothing more than "confusion" on his part.

    "I just realized I've got to do what is right," Lee said in confirming that he would continue to be represented by Katz. "I got confused about a couple of things, but things settled down. I just want to concentrate on playing baseball right now. This has been a very difficult part of the game, going through this process."

    Lee turned down a four year, $48 million deal before being traded to the Rangers and really, that was a pretty good offer for his services.

  • Zito took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and won his 100th game and is now 100-61 in his young career.

    Zito carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, and the A's beat the Rangers 9-3. It was Zito's 100th career victory against 61 defeats, and it was the first leg of what Zito hopes is a 300-win career.

    "I wasn't thinking about 100 wins, but after six innings of no-hit ball, you start to think about (a no-hitter)," Zito said. "It's the worst thing you could do. You start to protect it."

    I want him really bad for next season in this Met rotation. Anyone sour on him is not looking at this stats. Ever since he has been a starter, he has topped 210 innings (on pace for 211 this year) and gotten within 1.2 innings of 230 or over 230 three times and won fourteen games in every year but one (he has 13 so far this year). He is very consistent and moving to the NL could result in a few years of a sub 3.00 ERA.

  • Scott Kazmir's season could be over.

    The Rays placed Kazmir on the disabled list after Friday's game for what they said were precautionary reasons and don't know when he will next pitch.

    Kazmir, their prized 22-year-old lefthander, was on the DL from July 24 through Aug. 11 due to shoulder inflammation. He has made three starts since and, while getting decent results (0-1, 2.25 ERA, 24 strikeouts in 16 innings), has not looked as smooth mechanically as the Rays would like.

    Anyone that derives any pleasure from seeing this has problems. This hardly means the Mets were right, it just means a young pitcher has an issue now like most do. Even if he never pitches again, the trade was horrific. In case anyone hasn't noticed the guy we got was out for the season long before Kazmir.

  • You sitting down? Carl Pavano is close to actually pitching for the Yankees on the big league stage.

    Carl Pavano, on the disabled list for more than a year, declared himself ready to pitch for the Yankees after his latest rehab start Friday night. "Yes, I'm ready," he told The Columbus Dispatch. "I felt good."

    Pavano, pitching for Triple-A Columbus in an 8-2 win over Indianapolis, allowed two runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings, throwing 89 pitches. His fastball was said to consistently hit 90 to 91 mph on the radar gun, significantly better than last season, when it fluctuated in the mid-80s. "The pitch count was a little high, but I definitely felt better than my last start," he said.

    I already checked outside. No pigs are flying.

  • Ruben Gotay continues to hit well and went 2 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs in Norfolk's 7-3 win over Richmond last night.

    Phil Humber looked good in 5.1 innings of work in Erie's 3-2 win over Binghamton. Humber gave up four hits, one run on one homerun, and two walks while striking out five. Carlos Gomez went 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI.

    In game two, Binghamton won 5-0 over Erie. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 2 with his seventh homerun of the year and three RBIs. Michael Devaney threw a seven inning shut-out for his fourth win.

    In game one of a doubleheader, Fernando Martinez went 1 for 4 with a run scored in St. Lucie's 4-2 win over Daytona.

    In game two, Mike Carp went 2 for 2 with his fifteen homerun of the year and two RBIs. Deolis Guerra didn't last long in his first start in high-A and went 2.1 innings and gave up four hits, one homerun, four earned runs, and four walks while striking out three.

    Eric Brown won his fifth game of the year with a seven inning, two hit performance and struck out seven along the way in Brooklyn's 6-0 win over Aberdeen.

  • Willie backs Jose Reyes for Jose Reyes as an MVP candidate.

    "When you talk about doubles and triples and runs scored, stolen bases, that to me is what a real MVP is," Randolph said before the 4-3 loss to Philly. "You talk about [St. Louis' Albert] Pujols and you're talking about Beltran; it's not all about power numbers for me.

    "Most Valuable Player, you're valuable - you're crazy valuable - if you can do all those things, plus play defense. That's valuable, that's every aspect of the game.

    "So I don't care if it's singles or if it's not dramatic. If I'm the manager, I want a guy who can do all those things. So that to me is most valuable."
  • Friday, August 25, 2006

    Midas Touch

    Baseball Prospectus has the top five NL playoff contenders as the stat of the day.
    Team                Average Wins     Postseason Odds
    New York Mets 97.7 99.9%
    St. Louis Cardinals 85.0 70.7%
    Los Angeles Dodgers 85.2 70.0%
    Cincinnati Reds 83.5 49.6%
    San Diego Padres 83.5 47.8%
    With last night's win, the Mets climbed to thirty games over .500 with a 78-48 record. In 2005, only one Major League team had 78 wins or more at this point and the Mets were only seven games over .500. In 2004, the Mets were seven games under .500 at this time. In 2003, the Mets were fifteen games under .500 at the same point in the season. To put it all into perspective, during their last trip to the World Series in 2000 they were twenty-two games over .500 after 126 games. Are they the most dominating Met team ever? No, but they are probably the second. In 1986, they were an astounding forty games over .500 after August 24th and still remain the best Met team ever in my eyes.

    This year just seems to be one of those years when a lot of things seem to go wrong, but things just turn out alright to anyway and the Mets keep on trucking. The Mets lost one of their opening day starters for the season, another is just making it back to the bigs after injuring himself on April 26th, and the Mets have had their ace down for a considerable amount of time and have started twelve different pitchers throughout the year. What they have done this season in just dominating the National League in lieu of all the bumps in the road is really amazing. They have had unexpected guys step up like Endy Chavez, Jose Valentin, John Maine, Darren Oliver, and Pedro Feliciano and I think Guillermo Mota will be another one.

    Whenever I've seen him pitch against the Mets, he was extremely impressive. He has a 2.04 ERA against the Mets since 2003 with a .148 BAA. He has the ability to look dominating at times with a lively mid to high 90's fastball and a silly changeup with great movement. If the Mets can get his electric arm on track in short order, the Mets can change any playoff game into a six inning game again. So far, it seems to be just one of those years when every decision the manager or the GM makes turns to gold. Every call during the game seems to be the right call. Every move off the field seems to be the right move and after watching Mota last night, I have a feeling that move will end up being a very important one.

    * * *

  • Kevin Mulvey had a decent start for his first exposure to professional baseball. He gave up two runs in three innings, but he only gave up two hits and struck out four.

    Fernando Martinez picked up two hits in St. Lucie's loss to Daytona and went 2 for 4 with a strikeout and one unsuccessful stolen base attempt.

  • This is pretty nuts...

    Across America this month, millions of teenagers were preparing for their final year of high school, brushing up on their calculus and narrowing their list of colleges to attend a year from now.

    Robert Stock is a year ahead of them.

    The 16-year-old catcher/righthander from Westlake Village, Calif., enrolled Wednesday at Southern California, opting to skip his senior year at Agoura High. Instead, Stock attended his first college class--Writing 140--Thursday morning and will be eligible to play baseball for the Trojans when their season begins January 30 against Cal Poly at Dedeaux Field.

    "I have a grasp on it," Robert Stock said Wednesday night, "but I'm sure within the next week or so, it's really going to hit me that, 'Wow, I'm in college right now.'

  • BA has it's Best Tool slide show and gets quotes from some of today's best players.

    "Stealing bases. You can really change the momentum of a game when you steal a base. I have a lot of good guys hitting behind me, and they're in better position if I can get on base, and then get in scoring position. It's important to work counts and get on base any way you can, then put pressure on other team."
    -- Carlos Beltran, of, New York Mets

    Senior Perfecion....most on point nickname ever?

    "Jose Reyes' speed. He's amazing. Him and Willy Taveras from Houston, they don't drive me crazy, but I'm pretty sure they drive our pitchers crazy."
    -- Albert Pujols, 1b, St. Louis Cardinals

    Some interesting stuff about Pujols' secret man-crush on Reyes.

    Five pitchers said they wanted something from Johan Santana. Three said his changeup, one his delivery, and one his fastball command. When there is a consensus from the best of the best on who they would like to take skills from, that is really impressive. Is there any team that wants to face a team in the playoffs that throws Liriano, Santana, and a warm body out there every three days?

  • Orlando Hernandez is getting pushed back and the Mets and The Duque maintain it is only precautionary and just to get the 60 year old some rest.

    "This is the first time in the last three years [I've thrown] consecutively for 25 starts," said Hernandez, who is 7-5 with a 4.85 ERA in 15 starts since being traded to the Mets on May 24. "I'm feeling good but a little tired. I don't have pain. I think maybe I'll miss one start."

    Look, with a huge lead, now is the time to get the Mets older starting pitchers some rest and the overworked bullpen some rest. You have to like the move as the Mets have nothing else to do but get ready for October.

  • Diaz is most likely done as a Met.

    The precipitous fall of Victor Diaz came to a crashing thud on Tuesday when the Mets designated the 24-year-old outfielder for assignment. Needing room on the 40-man roster for Shawn Green, the front office chose to remove Diaz, who showed up in spring training as a candidate for the starting rightfielder's job.

    It was downhill from there, and the free-swinging Diaz, despite some pop, hacked his way out of favor. At the time he was designated, Diaz was batting only .224 (85-for-379) with 99 strikeouts and only eight home runs in 103 games for Triple-A Norfolk.

    "He didn't produce and he didn't improve," one team official said.

    I really cannot see a team not picking up him and taking a chance on him. I still think he can hit at this level.

  • Mr. Billy Wagner likes Slim Jims.

    Wagner usually is the first one dressed, even though he is the last player to enter a game, and his routine never wavers. On Wednesday, Wagner grabbed two Slim Jims from the cafeteria, poured himself a cold drink and plopped down on the couch with a newspaper.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of Slim Jims. They recently added the Sweet and Spicy stick to the long line of delectable products, but one thing that has always cracked me up about them is the ingredient list.

    Ingredients: beef, mechanically separated chicken, water, salt, corn syrup, dextrose, flavorings, spice, paprika, hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy and wheat gluten, proteins, sodium nitrite, lactic acid starter culture. Contains soy and wheat

    Mechanically separated chicken? Sweet Jesus, that has to be the single best ingredient item ever. If a machine separating chicken can make something taste so good, shouldn't everything should be mechanically separated?

  • Lastings Milledge has been sent down to Norfolk for now. The argument now boils down to whether or not he should be included on the post season roster, and I do think he should be. I think he can provide a spark for the Mets and I still like him DHing over anyone else in the World Series should the Mets actually get there.

  • Brian Bannister is back on the mound and hopefully armed with the command he showed throughout his minor league career. I like the idea of getting another look at Bannister as you never know who is going to end up contributing down the line even though the pitching picture appears to be full.

    As for Saturday, I'm pulling for Oliver Pérez. Make it happen. He is not a teenager that needs to be coddled and you never know. Maybe starting a game with 50,000 people going crazy for him might energize him.
  • Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Most Annoying Pitcher Ever?

    Let us recap. Steve Trachsel has a 10-2 lead and lets it evaporate down 10-6 game by the time all is said and done making Willie use five relievers to finish out the game. His general sucktitude almost eluded me as I must have had too many endorphins coursing through my body due to the Mets stellar play of late. I started telling myself maybe it wouldn't be that bad if he was one of the Mets four starters in the playoffs. I ignored his 67/63 K/BB ratio, his 1.57 WHIP, his .286 BAA, and his sorry 94.9 P/GS and almost wavered on my season long vendetta against Steve Trachsel.

    Sure, he is tied for the NL lead in wins, but his 6.80 in run support is the most in the National League and would rank fifth in the offensively charged American League. There are nineteen pitchers in the Majors with more than six runs of run support per start and Trachsel is one of three in the National League. The closest person is Josh Fogg and he is .62 runs off his lead. His success this year is more of a byproduct of the bats showing up when he starts rather than him finding a way to win. Out of all the current starters, he has the most wins , the lowest IP/GS, highest ERA, the lowest K/9 by far, worst WHIP by far, worst BAA, and the most stupid look on his face.

    * * *

  • The contest ended up being tougher than I thought as only two people nailed more than one category. It came down to the first tie breaker and Brian B edged out the competition by one run. Congrats Brian, you have won the next best thing to a free ticket to the donkey show in Tijuana. You have now won the Mets 1986 World Series Collector's Edition.

    If you are feeling left out and have DVD envy, pick up your own set from the nice people who put up the DVD set for the contest. Thanks to everyone who participated, hopefully we'll have another giveaway for this year's Mets 2006 World Series Collector's edition.

  • Rob Neyer speaks the truth.

    Jon (Connecticut): We know the Mets can beat anyone in the NL. Now, the question is, would they have a shot in the World Series?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Sure. With that middle-of-the-order and Martinez and Glavine, the Mets could beat anybody they'll face, up to and including the Tigers or Yankees.

    Good stuff.

    Don't mess with the Buzzmaster.

    Nate (Chicago): Buzz, Joe is a multiple MVP and World Series winner. What are your credentials to be talking to us about baseball?

    SportsNation Buzzmaster: I watch baseball. I was second on my Little League in batting my last year when I hit .538 or something. Led the league in doubles. That count?

    You have to love this question:

    Smorf (The Dub): What team has the stupider fan base: the Yanks or the Sox?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: I don't need more angry emails.

    Callis deals a low blow to us Met fans.

    Bob (NY, NY): Pelfrey and F-Mart or Hughes and Tabata?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Hughes and Tabata.

    I'm sure no one would be crying over either duo though.

  • Dayn Perry lays out his ten predictions for the stretch.

    8. Carlos Beltran will set the all-time record for extra-base hits by a center fielder

    This one will take some work, but Beltran has a puncher's chance. Right now, Beltran has 35 homers, 32 doubles and a triple, and that puts him on pace for 91 extra-base hits this season.

    If that pace holds, he'd rank sixth on the all-time list, just ahead of Willie Mays' 90 knocks in 1962. However, we're going to challenge the percentages and say that Beltran fattens up against a glut of weak pitching staffs on the schedule and ups up the pace. In fact, we're betting he eclipses Hack Wilson's all-time mark of 97 set back in 1930. It'll take some work, but Beltran's remarkable consistency (he's slugged better than .600 in each month of the season) is in his favor.


  • Um, yeah.

    East Greenland polar bears suffer from reduced size of genitalia due to chemical (xenoendocrine) pollutants.

    New scientific results show that there probably is a link between the size of East Greenland polar bear genitalia and levels of some endocrine disrupting xeno-pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethanes (DDT), dieldrin, chlordanes, hexacyclohexanes, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). High levels of pollution hence show a reduced size of genitalia (testis length and baculum length and weight, ovary length and weight and uterine horn length).

    It is hard to get people on board with cleaning up mother earth, but something tells me if that was happening to males of the human race things would start to clean up very quickly.

  • This fact never ceases to amaze me.

    Tom Glavine, cleared to resume activity after doctors treated blood clots in his finger, said he hopes to throw a side session Saturday, which would have been his next start. The 18-year veteran is hopeful of avoiding the DL, where he has never been placed.

    "If I do go on, for sure I can't pitch until [Sept. 1], and physically I feel I can get back out there before that," Glavine said.

    NEVER ON THE DL. Of course, there are times he could of been placed on it, but was kept active. Still an impressive feat.

  • Castro....done.

    Backup catcher Ramon Castro had surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee, though manager Willie Randolph remained hopeful of his return this season. "That's why we want to get it done now," Randolph said. Castro injured the knee while stretching before a rehab assignment in Brooklyn. He was already on the DL with a rib cage injury.

  • It looks like it is Brian Bannister for Tom Glavine.

    Rookie Brian Bannister was at Shea to throw his side session and pronounced himself 100 percent in his return from a strained hamstring. Bannister could be activated to take Glavine's start Saturday.

  • All is right in the universe now. It would have been a slap in the face otherwise.

    Guillermo Mota has been moved. No, not off the roster; just in the clubhouse. Initially assigned to the corner stall formerly used by Mike Piazza, Mota arrived at Shea Stadium on Wednesday to find that his locker had been relocated to an adjacent wall. "I guess they didn't want me in Piazza's locker," Mota said. The two players are notoriously linked by beanings and fights, leading the Mets to avoid the irony and switch Mota with teammate Aaron Heilman. "I just go where I'm told," Heilman said.

  • I love this guy.

    "I'm not a home-run hitter," Reyes said. "I swing hard and they just happen."

    He knows what he is and that is a very good thing. There was speculation among Cohen and Hernandez that Reyes tended to get homer happy after popping one out, but I don't think that is/was the case.

  • Kevin Mulvey did not dominate mediocre talent while at Villanova so we will see if he can step it up against AA competition tonight.

    "After I got drafted in June, I had about a two-month layoff," Mulvey said by phone on Wednesday, before the B-Mets' lost 6-0 to the Portland Sea Dogs. "So going from just running and keeping in shape and throwing on the side to jumping right into a playoff race, it's pretty cool. I'm having a lot of fun right now."

    Mulvey was a second-team All-Big East selection this past spring at Villanova. He went just 3-8 but had a team-best 3.61 ERA in 14 starts. He threw five complete games and had 88 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings.

    In three seasons at Villanova, Mulvey went 14-16 with 222 strikeouts, the most in school history over three years.

    "Kevin will come at you," said Joe Godri, his coach at Villanova. "He's real durable. He can go nine innings like he was drinking a cup of coffee. If he settles in early, he's a pretty tough hombre."

    Mulvey throws three pitches -- a fastball that Godri says can reach 92-93 miles per hour, a slider and a change-up. He made one appearance with the Rookie Gulf Coast League Mets, throwing two scoreless innings on Saturday.

    No one doubts his stuff as he can throw three above average pitches, but he has not really made the most of this talents just yet. However, as Rick Peterson says, you cannot teach velocity and Mulvey has all the tools to succeed.

  • Shawn Green makes his Met debut tonight and explains why he has had a dip in power.

    "There's nothing physically wrong," Green said about his decline in power yesterday during a conference call.

    "I was really struggling earlier this year and made a conscious effort to stop chasing home runs. I shortened my swing and started hitting line drives.

    "I've been swinging the bat well. My goal is to build off that, and the homers will come."

    The Mets do not need power, just a consistent bat.

  • Thanks to Emad for pointing this out:

    Meyers relieved newly acquired starter Brandon Wilson, who joined the Suns when Deolis Guerra was promoted to St. Lucie earlier in the day.

    Nuts. He was the youngest player in Low-A earlier in the year and now he is in High-A.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Something Special

    The Mets are a very good team playing in a very bad division and a mediocre league. Only two National League teams crack the top twelve according to Baseball Prospectus' hit list and the Mets are the only one in the top seven. I do not care if anyone thinks the Mets success this season is because they play in a weaker division, this team is can hold it's own with any team. I thought the Mets were one pitcher away from truly hanging with the beasts of the AL, but with the emergence of John Maine, this team has that one pitcher they were missing and can hang.

    The Mets capitalize on the errors of other teams and that is a mark of a top tier team. In the fifth inning of yesterday's game, Jose Reyes made it to first on a Chris Duncan fielding error. Then later with the bases loaded, Carlos Beltran grounded into what could have been a double play, but Weaver did not come hard to home and Yadier Molina decided to not go for the double play to nab Beltran at first. You had to know what was coming with the bases loaded as Delgado has owned Weaver over the years. Predictably Willie had called the grand slam play and Delgado knocked a grand slam to bring the game to Pujols 7 - Delgado 5.

    The Mets go for the jugular and have the tremendous players to do so. Carlos Beltran has been so big for this team this year and his two run walk off homer last night was one of the most exciting things I've ever heard. When the Mets were down 7-1, I thought they were still in it with Weaver on the mound. They closed the gap to make it a one run game and LoDuca got on with one out in the ninth and with Carlos y Carlos coming up, it was hard to not feel confident. It never made it to the second Carlos and Beltran hit a bomb to win it and Howie Rose's call was a memorable one.

    The Mets may not play a flawless game every time out, but they are as sound of any team I have seen this year. They are defensively tight, their bullpen has been coming up big all year, their offense has been clutch to say the least and their lineup just got deeper with the addition of Shawn Green, and their rotation, though they have had their ups and downs, will hopefully come into their own with a healthy stable of arms in September. After watching this team play all year and their ability to capitalize off other teams mistakes as well as their ability to come from behind, it is hard not envisioning them doing great things in the playoffs.

    * * *

  • Shawn Green and $6.3 million for Evan MacLane? Omar you magnificent bastard, you have done it again.

    "I'm definitely excited for the opportunity," said Green, who waived his no-trade clause and - according to Omar Minaya - expressed a genuine interest in coming here. "I really like the Mets' chances to go to the postseason and have a chance at the World Series."

    A lineup of Reyes-LoDuca-Beltran-Delgado-Wright-Floyd-Green-Valentin is a right handed pitcher's nightmare. You talk about a lineup of all tough outs and that is one right there. It also is a boon for the Mets as they are deeper on the bench with Milledge and possibly Green when a lefty does start. They can also throw nine very good hitters into the lineup come DH time. I love the move and Omar has proved this year and he can get the small deals done that win championships. Fucking swell indeed.

  • Eric Gagne is willing to take less to stay with the Dodgers next season.

    SAN DIEGO - Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, who is out for the season with a back injury and clearly headed for free agency in the fall, said Tuesday he wants to remain with the club.

    He also is willing to take less money than he might get from another team in order to do so.

    "I'm a Dodger," Gagne said. "I want to be here. I think we have a really good relationship. But that's out of my control. I have to get healthy, and then I will go wherever someone wants me. But I think they want me here, so I don't think it will be a problem."

    Will he take a lesser role? The Dodgers have a few guys capable of closing very well and at bargain prices. However, it is big of him to want to make good on lot of wasted money over the last two years and it is refreshing to see that.

  • First Zito and now Carlos Lee?

    Rangers outfielder Carlos Lee owns a 100-acre ranch outside of Houston, but his expected change of agents from Adam Katz to Scott Boras, confirmed by a source with knowledge of his situation, could hinder his chances of signing with the Astros as a free agent.

    Not good news for teams that plan to look at Lee as a big off season acquisition. Expect a lot of holding out and jerking teams around while asking for silly dollar amounts while shoving large books filled with a lot of Carlos Lee facts in teams faces.

  • You cannot make this stuff up.

    Apparently, the National League's best team isn't exciting enough to keep a former president awake.

    One inning before Carlos Beltran's walk off homer in last night's 8-7 win, Bill Clinton was caught by television cameras napping in the front row behind home plate, with the Mets staging a rally no less.

  • Alay Soler picked up the loss for Brooklyn and threw 4.1 innings and gave up two hits, three earned runs, one homer, and two walks while striking out nine.

  • Thanks to everyone who joined the contest. There were a lot of similar line scores so it should be interesting and I'll be shooting emails out this afternoon with everyone's picks. Sorry about the confusion yesterday too, but I'm sure no one cared much since Maine got jacked up.
  • Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Contest Alert

    Always Amazin' did a contest in which he gave away the 1986 World Series DVD Collection and I was feeling a bit left out. So here I am with my own contest for the DVD collection and here is how it is going to work. I'm going to put it out there to guess the line for Steve Trachsel's start on Wednesday against Mark Mulder and the Cardinals. You will get one point for IP (if he goes 5.2 innings, you have to guess 5.2 to get credit), H, ER, BB, SO, and HR allowed. The person with the highest total wins. The tie breaker will be the total runs scored in the game and the tie breaker for the tie breaker will be the pitch count. If there is a tie, the DVDs will go to the person with the closest guess to the actual total runs (you can be under or over it doesn't matter, just be the closest) and include your guess for the pitch count in case there is the unlikely tie for the tie. If there is somehow a tie on the tie breaker for the tie breaker, you can guess how many holes there are in the pair of underwear I'm wearing for that current day.

    Good luck. All guesses have to be in by tonight at midnight and send them via email to metropolitans at optonline dot net. Just shoot me an email with IP, H, ER, BB, SO, HR allowed, total runs scored between the Mets and the Cardinals, and pitch count with spaces in between each number. You don't have to indicate which is which, just make sure you have a number for each category even if it is zero and put them in order of the above format. If you are missing one? You lose. Got it?

    * * *

    Game on! Glavine is back in the game.

    A source told The Post last night that the Mets' All-Star left-hander - feared done for the season, maybe even for his career with a possible blood clot in his pitching shoulder - underwent an angiogram yesterday and will not require surgery.

    Hopefully the Mets run into October with Pedro, Glavine, Maine, and The Duque, but I think Maine will really be left out. The Duque had some success last year out of the bullpen and might be a viable option, but I ultimately the Mets will side with his playoff experience and put him in the rotation. Either way, it is good to know Tom will most likely be back.

  • The Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet is out and Guerra is still in the top ten.

    9. Deolis Guerra, rhp, low Class A Hagerstown (Mets)
    Hope Mets fans enjoyed the show, because Guerra's cheese smelled so good last week: no hits in five innings, though he walked six and struck out six. This 17-year-old has a 1.15 ERA in August and is 6-7, 2.20 overall with just 59 hits allowed in 82 innings.

    59 hits in 82 innings? Siiiiiiick.

    Fernando makes his first appearance on the Not-so-Hot sheet and you have to give him a pass really.

    Fernando Martinez, of, high Class A St. Lucie (Mets)
    Understand, we come not to bury Martinez . . . he's 17 and playing in the Florida State League. That's incredible, really. But he went 5-for-32 last week and is hitting .200 in the FSL so far (14-for-70). Just don't pencil him into the 2007 lineup in New York as Cliff Floyd's replacement, that's all we're saying.

  • The Mets keep moving close to acquiring Shawn Green.

    "It's moving, but I can't tell you whether it's going to happen or not," one source said. "It's closer than it was last week."

  • Omar is such a comedian.

    As for Perez's turnaround, GM Omar Minaya said: "I think it was a combination of mechanical and just clearing his head. We knew when we got him it was just going to take some time. Two years ago people talked about him the way they talked about Dontrelle (Willis), the way they talked about the guy in Tampa Bay. What's his name? (Scott) Kazmir. We felt we got a guy who potentially had some upside. We didn't know if we could get him back, but I'm pleased by the progress."

  • Fernando Martinez went 1 for 6 with a triple and two RBIs in St. Lucie's win over Palm Beach. He is now batting .197 for St. Lucie. Also in the game, Mike Carp went 1 for 4 with his fourteenth homer of the year, drove in three runs, and walked twice.

    Jon Niese continues to struggle of late and took the loss in Hagerstowns game against West Virginia. Niese went four innings and gave up eleven hits, five earned runs, and one homer while striking out four.

  • Phil Humber started in St. Lucie as did Mike Pelfrey. Kevin Mulvey? Binghamton. Good luck bro.

    Kevin Mulvey, the Mets' second-round pick in this year's draft (and their initial selection), will pitch Thursday for Double-A Binghamton for the first time. Mulvey is a right-hander from Villanova who pitched in the Gulf Coast League for two innings this past Saturday.
  • Monday, August 21, 2006

    The Shit Has Hit The Fan

    ...and splattered all over your walls, hit your dog in the eye, you slipped in it and subsequently rolled around in it, and it landed in your pot of chili and ruined it.

    An ultrasound taken Friday identified an artery near Glavine's left shoulder as the source of the trouble with his ring finger, which remained colder than his other digits yesterday. Glavine spoke as if a clot is the likely culprit, but it's also conceivable that the artery has a "knot," which likely would require season-ending surgery. Glavine said doctors have assured him his situation isn't life-threatening, though it wouldn't be prudent to pitch with the condition and possibly jar loose a clot. An angiogram planned for early this week should offer a concrete diagnosis.

    Make no mistake. This is bad. Glavine was starting to pitch better and was starting to look more like the pitcher from earlier this season. However, it is far from over for the Mets and their World Series aspirations. The lynchpin to the entire playoff pitching picture is Pedro Martinez. If he can get healthy enough for the playoffs, he will be the clear go to guy. Though the Mets lose playoff experience, it is arguable that their rotation for the playoffs might be better now.

    It was clear that Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and Orlando Hernandez were going to make the playoff rotation because of their current status in the rotation and their playoff experience. Steve Trachsel does not have any playoff experience, but has been pitching better of late and is second in the league in wins. Also, Trachsel does not translate well into the bullpen since he takes a long time to get ready. I really do not think they were going to include John Maine into the playoff rotation despite the fact he has been the best pitcher in the rotation since June 1st by miles.

    I'd be lying if I said this was not a big deal. Pitching depth is crucial to the playoffs. However, heading in there with Pedro Martinez, John Maine, and Orlando Hernandez is not too shabby provided John Maine and The Duque keep pitching like they did in their last starts and Pedro is in fact healthy for the playoffs. As for who replaces Tom Glavine in the rotation and then gets shifted into the bullpen come playoff time will most likely be Brian Bannister or Oliver Perez. However, Omar Minaya also had mentioned Alay Soler and Phil Humber. The intriguing guy here is obviously Humber because of his stuff. Come playoff time, he could be a pretty devastating in one inning appearances.

    * * *

  • Yesterday's game was nothing short of amazing. The Duque pitched a gem and showed why a lot of people were excited to nab him for the post season. He showed poise and cojones the size of casaba melons. Though not the most dominating series of three batters I have seen by a Met pitcher this year, it was certainly my favorite. In the top of the fifth, The Duque had runners on second and third in a one out game. He struck out Clint Barmes looking, Jason Jennings looking, and Jamie Carroll swinging. It was a spectacular series of batters and obviously huge being that it came when the Mets were up 1-0 at that point.

    "He's a guy that bounces back," Willie Randolph said. "He knows what he needs to do. Sometimes you're going to have a stinker."

    "Pitching behind in the count, bearing down with men on third and second, he's a master at it," Randolph said.

    I've been getting the Mets Sunday package since 2002 and I have never been to so many good games and entertaining games. Watching this Met team play has been a fucking swell treat and there are a lot of positives to be taken from this team lately. Carlos Delgado seems to have woken up and the Mets desperately need his bat. Lastings Milledge is looking better. People have been unjustly down on him, but he has been swinging the bat better of late and actually used two hands on a fly ball yesterday. Aaron Heilman has also looked like he has been pitching with his ass on fire. In August, he has had eleven appearances and has given up runs in only one of them while striking out more than a batter per inning with fifteen in 12.2 innings of work with only five hits allowed. This team seems to be running on all cylinders now and gelling at the right time.

  • Fantastic.

    A Klein High School baseball star drafted this year by the New York Mets was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly assaulting his father, a former Major League All-Star and Astros coach, during an argument at their Spring home, sheriff's deputies said.

    Jeremy Barfield, 18, was arrested shortly after 8 a.m., when family members reported to authorities that he had pushed his father, Jesse Barfield, 46, down a flight of stairs.

  • The Mets picked up Guillermo Mota for a player to be named later from the Cleveland Indains in an effort to bolster their bullpen.

    "Up until last year he was one of the better setup men in baseball," Minaya said. "Our staff, especially (bullpen coach) Guy Conti and (pitching coach) Rick Peterson, I think they did a great job with Jorge Julio, who had a bad year last year and right now is doing a very good job for the Diamondbacks. We feel very comfortable with our coaches and our staff being able to turn Guillermo Mota around. It's a move that has some potential upside and really is not going to cost us much."

    You know I like prospects too much, so I'll hold off as to whether or not it is a good thing. He's been struggling for a while now and one has to wonder if his electric stuff can be harnessed in a month and a few weeks to be a factor for the Mets in the playoffs.

  • Zorro and Ramon Castro could be back tomorrow.

    Randolph said it's possible that second baseman Jose Valentin (hamstring) and backup catcher Ramon Castro (ribs) could return to action Tuesday against St. Louis.

  • Omar is making some progress on the Shawn Green front.

    While Omar Minaya added another power bullpen arm, yesterday, trading for the Indians' Guillermo Mota, the Mets' GM has also made progress in importing Shawn Green from Arizona to play right field, The Post has learned.

  • Cliffy is back to baseball after his injury and spending the last week in Chicago mourning the death of his 21-year old sister.

    Floyd's parents adopted Shanta when she was 6. Floyd had a health scare of his own in spring training when tests indicated he was suffering from a kidney ailment - his father had a kidney transplant 18 years ago - but further tests cleared him.

    Floyd went on the DL on Aug. 9. He is expected to report today to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to rehab his Achilles.

  • From TheJournalNews.com:

    This was the Mets' eighth sweep, and this was their eighth straight home win, their longest streak since 2000.

  • The Giants are opening up their wallets for a big international signing.

    Until this weekend, when the Giants forked over a reported $2.1 million for third baseman Angel Villalona (whose name had been incorrectly reported earlier by Baseball America). Ragazzo said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Villalona has the highest ceiling of any player the Giants have signed out of Latin America since Liriano. The deal is the largest for any international signing since Joel Guzman signed with the Dodgers for $2.25 million in 2001.

  • Oliver Perez has put up two very encouraging starts back to back for the Tides. From BA:

    Mets lefthander Oliver Perez has found the strike zone in his last two starts for Triple-A Norfolk. And the inconsistent lefty even flirted with a no-hitter Saturday, taking his bid into the seventh inning, at which point Charlotte shortstop Jorge Velandia led off the inning with a single. Perez threw seven innings, and allowed no runs and just one hit in the Tides’ 1-0 win. Perhaps more telling, he threw nearly two-thirds of his pitches (59 of his 94) for strikes.

    Perez, 25, has struck out 18 and walked three over his last two starts, contrasted with eight strikeouts and nine walks in his two starts before that, which were his first two for Norfolk since coming to the Mets at the trade deadline.

    Brian Bannister threw up another solid outing after his eight inning gem last week. The Tides won 4-1 behind Bannsiter's six inning performance. He allowed one a homer, one walk, and six hits while striking out five.

    Fernando Martinez went 1 for 2 with a double, two walks, and an RBI in the second game of a double header on Saturday after going hitless in the first game. The Mets split the doubleheader with the Brevard County Manatees.