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

Friday, October 06, 2006


I thought this was supposed to hard? I thought the Mets were going to struggle to even get out of the first round. They really have been marginally challenged at this point and barely looked like they even broke a sweat so far. Of course, here is where it was supposed to get dicey as the Mets travel into dangerous territory with Steve Trachsel and Oliver Perez (Maine might actually start here too since he only threw 80 pitches in game #1) as their next two starters, but I'm confident the Mets will seal the deal in LA.

Last night, the Mets dominated from start to finish. They played some great baseball and a brand of baseball that most of Met fans love to see. Don't get me wrong, I know we all like to watch huge homers, but watching a team manufacture runs with bunts, sacrifice bunts, productive outs and sacrifice flies is great too. This team can beat you so many ways and having a guy like Endy Chavez able to step into the starting lineup and just add so much to the team is just huge. He can do so many things and I think last night solidified Shawn Green's place on the bench for the remainder of the playoffs. Endy hits better, plays better defense, and can run faster. It should be a no brainer really.

As for the Mets vs. lefties, you can throw that out the window. There were games this year they struggled. More than when they did not struggle, but they also have had some good games against some good lefties. Last night, the Mets got a lot of good at-bats off of Kuo and wore him down a bit and there really is no pitcher this team cannot beat. Are they the more proficient team in the playoffs in regards to hitting lefties? Of course, but they are the second best offensive team in the playoffs who should not be afraid of anyone.

So far, the Mets are 4-0 in October when you include the regular season and I do not see anyone in the National League posing much of problem for the Mets. I don't want to jinx the team and make ridiculous claims, but that is the way it looks right now. The possibility of facing Chris Carpenter three times in a seven game series if they really want to break his back is a bit concerning, but the Cardinals, though they have played a solid series so far against the Padres, are very unimpressive. They will need more than a stellar series by Chris Carpenter to beat the Mets and life is great in Met-land as they are poised to move right along to the National League Championship Series.

* * *

  • I was pursuing some other blogs and some guy had posted this picture on a piece about pitchers in the 80's. Who knew that Greg Maddux was a porn star?

  • Figure on the Mets looking into Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt heavily in the off-season.

    General manager Omar Minaya said before the game that the Mets "will explore the free agent market" for potential starters for 2007. He indicated that the Mets intend for Aaron Heilman to remain a reliever, even though Heilman has made it clear he would prefer to be a starter.

    "Aaron Heilman has been great in doing what's in the best interests of the team," Minaya said.

    Not quite what Aaron wants to hear, but there is no shame in being a tremendous reliever as he just does not fit into the framework of the rotation anymore. I wanted him to get a shot this year, but with Glavine most likely being back in '07, the emergence of John Maine, Oliver Perez, Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, Pedro in mid-2007, and the need for an ace via trade or free agency, there is just a big numbers crunch.

  • Julio Lugo is certainly interested in becoming a Met, but he seems like a guy who might go for more than he is worth.

    "Well, it's nice to know that people want you out there," said Lugo, who will be a free agent at season's end. "I mean, I'm grateful for them to be interested because I was raised here in New York. I was a Met fan for a while."

    The Dodgers gave up a lot in Joel Guzman and Sergio Pedroza so it is hard for me to believe they will just roll over and give him up, but for the right price, I would absolutely want Lugo playing second base for the Mets in 2007.

  • Pedro Martinez's surgery went well and the Mets could get a Cy Young award winning pitcher added to their team at the All-Star break next season.

    "Everything went well," general manager Omar Minaya said. "What the MRI revealed, that's what it was. There was no additional work done."

    Sometimes additional damage is discovered in these types of procedures, which can lead to a more extensive operation, but that wasn't the case with Martinez.

    Pedro just might come back from this pitching better than he had in 2004 through 2006. The silver lining here is that Omar will be forced to try and bring in an ace to lead this team in 2007 and in the second half, the Mets could possibly be featuring a rotation of Barry Zito, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, and Oliver Perez/Phil Humber/Mike Pelfrey. Is there anyone that would not like to go to battle with a rotation like that? Throw in a nasty bullpen and the same solid offensive and defensive team and you just took the best team in the NL and made them significantly better.

  • Nomah might be done for the rest of the series.

  • We might not have the real Pedro, but this one is pretty good too.

    "When I walked [Julio] Lugo, I thought, 'Are they going to bring [Chad] Bradford in?' " Feliciano said. "But I turned around and they left me in. I said, 'OK, I'm going to do it. I'm going to finish it.' "

  • Mr. Billy Wagner.

  • Goodwill abound. Mets fans = good people.

  • Adam? You might be a swell guy and all, but you are a jackass.

    Why did Willie Randolph start Endy Chavez over Shawn Green in right field for Game 2? Green's numbers against the Dodgers this year have been phenomenal.
    -- Adam, Queensbury, N.Y.

    Green's numbers against the Dodgers are outstanding all right, but in the bigger picture, Chavez hit left-handed pitchers better than Green. Chavez was 26-for-78 (.333) against lefties during the regular season, while Green was 44-for-165 (.267). Chavez also gives the Mets more speed on the bases, stealing 12 bases compared to four by Green. Therefore, with the Dodgers starting lefty Hong-Chih Kuo, Randolph decided that Chavez, who batted .306 overall this season, was the right guy for right field. Chavez proved that it was a good move as he went 2-for-4 and scored the first run of the game.

    In case you have not noticed, Green sucks while Endy is good. In fact, Green shouldn't be start at all until the Mets need him to be a DH. For the record, I still like the Shawn Green deal and it had to be done. Having him come off the bench is still a big boon for this team.

  • This is why people will never let up on A-Rod.

    OPPORTUNITY knocked, louder even than Alex Rodriguez gets knocked. With the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning of yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALDS, he swung and missed at Justin Verlander's 98 mph fastball for strike one, then swung again at a 101 mph 0-1 pitch and fouled it back.

    "I had a pretty good swing," said Rodriguez about the second pitch, the one that set him up for failure. That is, unless Jason Giambi, the preceding batter, had not actually done that by taking ball four.

    Verlander came back with an 0-2 breaking pitch to Rodriguez. And another A-Rod moment, frozen in time, ended with the bat frozen to his shoulder.

    Strike three.

    "When he's throwing close to 100, I'm not going to look for a breaking ball," said Rodriguez. "A pretty good pitch by him, you can't really get too upset."

    They guy has zero perspective. Zero accountability. Zero common sense.

    "It's hard to put the hammer on them in the first inning, but a hit there would have been big," said Rodriguez. "Give them credit, they made their pitches."

    First thing a friend of mine who is a Yankee fan IM'd me was that A-Rod will be moved this winter . If the Yankees exit the playoffs early, you have to believe that is exactly what the Yankees will look to do as he has become such a huge distraction for this team.
  • Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Remember the Maine / Fuck Yeah

    John Maine did not look that sharp and Derek Lowe was looking dominant in the early goings. Things were not looking great for the Mets, but with a little help from Dodger stupidity, Maine was able to hold it together and give what was needed to help win the game and threw 4.1 innings of one run ball.

    Words cannot express how ridiculous it was to watch JD Drew try to score after Jeff Kent was dead to rights at home. Yeah, Drew was hauling it and was not far behind, but he should have stopped and turned back after the ball hit home plate about a half hour before he got there.

    It is impossible to not be ecstatic about last night's victory as Glavine did not have to pitch on short rest compromising their entire series and Maine was stoic as I predicted.

    If nerves and the pressure were weighing on Maine, no one could tell.

    “He was chill,” Floyd said. “I was like, wow, what the heck, let’s go.”

    Stupid or confident...who cares. In his next start he should be much better after getting his first start out of the way. You have to give Willie credit for keeping the short leash on Maine and getting him out of there in the fifth and handing the game over to the best bullpen in the league. Randolph could have tried to squeak out five innings from Maine, but there was really no point.

    On one shoulder I've got a little man saying, 'Hey, there's only two more outs to go [for Maine to get the win],' '' Randolph said. "On the other shoulder I've got the little knucklehead saying, 'Go with what you see and what you feel.' "

    He pressed the right buttons last night and that includes leaving Mota in. Yeah, the Dodgers tied the game up in the seventh, but it was a bad break for Mota. Overall, the Mets kiddies showed up to play as did everyone else really.

    “I mean, 4-4, seventh inning, you know, they just tied the game, give an opportunity to take the lead, I was excited,” Delgado said. “You’re facing a guy throwing 98 miles an hour, you come up with a big R.B.I., so I was pretty fired up.”

    On the next pitch, David Wright blooped a double over first baseman Garciaparra that drove in Beltrán with what would be the winning run.

    “For every time they scored, we answered right back or went out and shut them right down,” Wright said. “It was a game of momentum tonight, and just seemed like the momentum was going our way the majority of the night.”

    Wright with three RBIs? Delgado almost setting a record? Floyd going deeeeeeep? Amazing. Last night's victory just proves why the Mets should be the favorite. Starting pitching wins championships and the Mets may not have the best rotation, but this team exemplifies what a team is supposed to be. They have had guys consistently picking each other up and unlikely stars rising to the occastion time after time.

    * * *

  • The FSL's top 20 prospects are out and Mike Carp is a stud.

    8. Mike Carp, 1b, St. Lucie (Mets)
    B-T: L-R Ht: 6-2 Wt: 205 Age: 20 Drafted: Mets '04 (9)
    Nobody on this top 10 boosted his stock in 2006 as much as Carp did. Unheralded after batting .256 in his first two pro seasons, he emerged as the most dangerous hitter on the league champion St. Lucie squad.

    Carp showed an advanced approach for a young hitter, with excellent pitch recognition and the ability to work counts. Once he got ahead in the count, he showed the ability to drive the ball. Unlike most young power hitters, Carp looked first to use the opposite field rather than try to pull everything.

    Carp was average defensively at first base, though he had a flair for making highlight plays. A former third baseman, Carp has more than enough arm for first base but sometimes has problems with accuracy. He's a below-average runner but not a baseclogger.

    Carp is legit. Anytime you hear a trade rumor, you will most likely be hearing his name as one of the players the other team is seeking out.

    Gaby also made the list.

    13. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Jupiter (Marlins)
    B-T: R-R Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210 Age: 20 Drafted: Mets '04 (3)
    Just like they have scattered throughout their system, the Marlins had some nice arms in Jupiter, with Scott Nestor, Jose Garcia and Harvey Garcia all earning mentions from FSL managers. None impressed more than Gaby Hernandez, who continued to show a strong feel for pitching, a prototypical pitchers' frame and impressive stuff after the Mets included him in the Carlos Delgado trade last offseason.

    The biggest difference for Hernandez, who struggled in a 10-game stint in the FSL last year, was his improved slow curveball, which now grades out as average. He also has a 92-93 mph fastball with good movement and an average changeup that has a chance to be a plus pitch.

    Hernandez threw all three of his pitches at any point in the count and he could get all three over for strikes. But while he has good control, his command is still a work in progress, as he struggles to hit his spots.

  • Peter Zielinski is a dick. Really, is there a need to wear a Yankee shirt to Mets playoff game? Congrats, you are a Yankee fan and an asshole. Respect the Mets and wear another fucking shirt to the game or give the ticket to someone who actually wants to see the team play.

    "No, not at all," Zielinski said. "This is a New York team. I'm here to make sure the Mets win so we have a Subway Series."

    Thanks for showing up to 'make sure' the Mets won.

  • Everyone was pumped yesterday and it's great to see.

    As Cliff Floyd crossed the plate on his solo home run in the fourth inning, he thumped his chest. It was a reaction, he said, to his father. Cliff Floyd Sr. was sitting in the stands behind home plate.

    "He was jumping up and down," Floyd said with a smile, and he then spoke of how the two had driven to the stadium earlier in the day.

    When they parked, Floyd turned and said to his father, "I don't even know how we just got here."

    Floyd shook his head after the game and said, "You're just so consumed by everything," adding that there were "a lot of out-of-body experiences" Wednesday.

  • Mr. Billy Wagner knew Maine would be alright.

    Tom Glavine takes the mound tonight and 15-game winner Steve Trachsel probably will go in Game 3. Maine's one-run, five-strikeout outing was the arm news on this night, though, as pitching coach Rick Peterson called it "tremendous," catcher Paul Lo Duca "huge" and Virginian Billy Wagner "expected."

    "He's from Virginia," the closer said with a straight face.

    He wasn't joking either.

  • Fuck Steinbrenner.

    Steinbrenner was asked if he was happy the Mets won their game yesterday afternoon to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS over the Dodgers and responded, "Sure."

    When a reporter followed up by asking if he was "scared" of the NL East champs, he fired back, "Not with the way they played today, I'm not," before climbing into his awaiting town car.

    Not impressed with the Mets game #1 starter going down and throwing in a rookie to start while coming out on top? Fuck that. Fuck you. The Yankees can say all they want that they do not care what the Mets do, but they do care.

    As if I didn't hate the Yankees enough, they seemingly pulled some funny business with Justin Verlander.

    “I heard 10:00 start,” Verlander said. “I found it kind of suspicious Mussina wasn’t out there at all when I went out to start warming up.”

    Hmm...trying to burn Verlander out a bit?

  • It will be Oliver Perez in game four if the series makes it that far.

    Dave Williams could have been a better option. The lefty started five games for the Mets and had a good start in four of them.

    "[Perez is] throwing the ball pretty well," Randolph said. "He's been up and down at times like a lot of the guys have; that's pitching. But Oliver Perez is the kind of kid who has electric stuff. At any given time, he can spin up a gem. That's what you're looking for in a situation like this.

    "So, yeah, he's the best of what we have right now. That's good enough."

  • Pedro Martinez will be having surgery today on his arm.

  • Bob Raissman is not happy about ESPN's performance last night. Not happy at all. I was watching at a bar and didn't hear the audio, but it sounds like EPSN shit the bed.

  • Wagner was shaky, but got the job done.

    "The best couple of pitches I made today were against Nomar, I was able to make him swing and miss ... and I appreciate him swinging," said Wagner, who converted his final 18save opportunities to finish his first Mets season with 40 saves in 45chances. "I think for all of us it was a huge boost that we were able to make big pitches when we had to.

  • The Duque is most likley done for good in 2006. That is not so swell. Do the Mets have enough pitching? I'm not sure. Sometimes I think yes because they are the most well rounded team in the playoffs, but then I just think of Oliver Perez and Steve Trachsel in the rotation and think no.

  • Fun with comments....from last night.

    Benny said...
    Lets fucking go Mets!
    The team is now rested on the shoulder of Oliver Perez, lol. Jeeze louise, I don't trust him.

    Guys I'm having a big wardrobe problem.
    Pinstripe Beltran jersey or Black Reyes jersey for tomorrow?

    Also, for whoever DOESNT have an HDTV GET ONE NOW! It kicks ass. It has been one of the best investments I've ever made.
    Two problem however. The closeups on Randy Johnson's neck? Ugh god. Fucking gross. It's been one of the nastiest things I've ever seen.
    Another complaint? The detail of the TV is soo good, I was actually able to see and be disgusted by Carlos Guillen's incredibly hairy chest and saw tons of hair coming out of his back and into the back of his neck.

    Tough call in the shirts Benny, but I'd go with the black Reyes jersey.

    As far as the HDTV, consider yourself luckly you didn't have to see Matt Laughlin in HD. He's been known to make small children cry.

    As far as Guillen, hairiest guy ever....

    sidd finch said...
    Only seen that once before, it was a Red Sox Game.

    sidd finch said...
    Only seen that once before, it was a Red Sox Game.

    sidd finch said...
    Only seen that once before, it was a Red Sox Game.

    sidd finch said...
    sorry about the triple post, my machine hung up, and I kept clicking enter!

    brian b said...
    sidd, thats fine, that DESERVED a triple post.

    Indeed it deserved the triple post.

    DG said...
    Anyone want to explain going with Mota for two innings?

    benny said...
    Mota was kept in for 2 innings so they could purposely lose the lead and have Wright show Jeter who the real Playoff Clutch man, really is!

    Fucking awesome game.

    DG man, it was plain to see. It's all designed to make Wright look like the real king of NY.

    jake said...

    That sums it up right there.

  • Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Don't Cry For Us

    "You can't feel sorry about yourselves. You can't feel sorry about anybody," David Wright said. "It's crunch time. We have to dig deep and see what's left."

    No one has pity on New York teams when things go bad. In fact, they probably rather enjoy it. However, there really is no reason for anyone to pity the Mets because they have been doing it all year with rotation being held together by spit and duct tape. One of my bigger issues with this post season was the role the unproven Maine was set to play. It could certainly be argued that John Maine was the Mets best pitcher in the second half, but he was most likely going to skipped when possible in favor of proven veterans.

    "Whenever they need me, I'll be available," Maine said. "It's tough. [Hernandez] is a great pitcher, especially in the postseason and he'll be missed. [But] we've got [other] pitchers here who are capable of doing it too, so we'll go out there and pitch our games."

    Maine clearly has the best arm of the current staff. He can easily beat the likes of the Dodgers, Padres, or Cardinals. Maine going in game one may seem like the end of the road for the Mets to people that are not Met fans, but anyone who has watched this kid pitch would probably disagree. When he pitches, he keeps this stoic look on face that is either sheer stupidity or utter confidence. I'm not sure which one it is, but either one bodes well because he either does not know enough to be nervous or he just believes in himself a lot. Tonight, he'll have a full house shaking the stadium backing him up.

    As of now, The Duque is off the post season roster. If Maine can go out there on regular rest and do his thing with Glavine going out tomorrow and doing his thing, the Mets should be able to buy some time to figure this all out. With a good game, Maine could insert himself as large part to this team's run in the post season which might not have happened prior to The Duque's issue. For insurance, the Mets have chosen to carry Oliver Perez as the probable game four starter if needed. Is The Duque getting injured scary? Shit yeah. Are there positives to be taken out of this? As long as he can return this post season, there are a few positives.

    Throughout 2006 the Mets three best pitchers were Tom Glavine, John Maine, and Orlando Hernandez. They won 97 games behind those three, a warm body in Steve Trachsel, and a bunch of retreads. As long as the Mets core starters are able to go in the World Series and the rest of the team plays like they did up to September, this team can still take the entire thing and call me crazy, but I think they have a better chance with John Maine leading the charge.

    * * *

  • Frank Thomas is a beast. Physically, he's just a beast.

    Zito dealing against Santana who was also dealing with Thomas' two bombs.... a great way to start the playoffs. I could not be more excited right now.

  • Girardi out, Freddi Gonzalez in.

    "They came in and said, 'We're going to make a change,'" Girardi said. He said no reason was given, and he didn't ask for one.

    Nuts. What Girardi did in 2006 was undeniable. He obviously did not deserve what he got and I'm glad he is gone for my own selfish reasons.

  • With Braden Looper, Mike Cameron, Mike Piazza, Jay Payton, Marco Scutaro and Vance Wilson all in the playoffs, there are ex-Mets dabbling rosters all over the postseason.

  • Dan Graziano is hitting the panic button.

    Conceivably, the Mets' starting rotation for the Division Series could be John Maine, Glavine, Trachsel and Dave Williams.

    Think the Dodgers are shaking yet?

    So yes, it looks bleak, and there is real reason to doubt whether the Mets can even get to the NLCS, let alone the World Series.

    There is, however, a way through all of this.

    "Whoever's pitching, we're just going to try to put runs on the board and hand the ball to the bullpen," right fielder Shawn Green said. "It's worked before."

    Offense and bullpen performance will certainly help, but the Mets have done it all year with like this and last I checked, they are still playing the same NL teams they beat up all year. As long as the Mets have The Duque for the World Series, that is all that matters at this point to me.

  • Newbies? No problem.

    "I think it's prepared us playing in New York all season," Wright said. "We've been under a microscope."

  • Mr. Ocotober Part II? Beltran could certainly start building a legacy if he goes off again in 2006.

    Beltran also set a major league record with 21 runs scored and had an extra-base hit in seven consecutive games. Overall, he batted .435 with 14 RBIs, a huge reason the Mets signed him to a six-year, $119 million contract the following off-season.

    "It seemed like every time up he got a clutch hit or a home run," Tom Glavine said. "It was pretty amazing."

    Did someone say, "Mr. October?"

  • Payback? You better believe it.

    Then as now, the Dodgers are significant underdogs, facing a New York Mets team that established its status as the best team in the NL over the length of the regular season. Adding an exclamation mark to that perceived mismatch in 1988, the East Division champion Mets had beaten the West Division champion Dodgers 10 of 11 times they met in the regular season, outscoring them, 49-18.

    But the Dodgers beat the Mets in seven games in the 1988 NLCS and more implausibly beat the Oakland A's in the World Series.

  • I'm so fucking excited for today's game there is a chance I might puke all over myself. This is what Met fans have been waiting for all season and since 2001's horrible season. The Mets are no longer a laughing stock or whipping boys, but they are the favorites.
  • Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Hardware by the Metropolitans

    The end of year means time to hand out the goods. Did any Mets do enough to deserve some praise? Maybe...maybe not. Riveting, I know.

    National League MVP: Ryan Howard
    This one was oh so hard for me. For the majority of the year, I was throwing my weight behind Carlos Beltran and was vehemently against Ryan Howard getting it. Top five showing for Howard? You bet. Then came September. With the Phillies in the Wild Card race he put up a .387/.561/.763 line with nine homers and was walked 35 times. That came after a .348/.464/.750 line with fourteen homers and a crazy 41 RBIs in August. In short, the guy is a beast. He finished 2nd in OPS with 1.084, 8th in batting average with .313, 1st in RBI with 149, 4th in OBP, 1st in homeruns with 58, 3rd in walks, and 2nd in SLG. Could he field? No. Could he steal bases? No. If Beltran kept it up in September and did not succumb to injury, I would have been all for him. Beltran was limited to only 140 games this season and had huge numbers despite that. If he was healthy, he would have broken three Met records this year instead of breaking one and tying another.

    Pujols would have worked here two, but I went with Howard.

    AL MVP: Johan Santana
    The last pitcher to win the MVP award was Dennis Eckersely in 1992 and Santana should win it this year. In a baseball age when offense if king, Santana was 1st in the AL in wins (19), strikeouts (245), WHIP (1.00), BAA (.216), IP, and ERA (2.77). The closest person in strikeouts in the AL was Jeremy Bonderman with 202. The closest person in WHIP was 10% higher. The closest pitchers in BAA were Ervin Santana and Mike Mussina with .241. No qualifying pitching finished with an ERA lower than 3.19. Filthy. Just filthy. The Twins starters had a 4.50 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with Santana in the mix. Without Johan, the Twins starters had a 1.43 WHIP and a 5.07 ERA. The Twins were 27-7 in his starts and Santana threw seven innings or more in twenty four of them and never pitched less than five complete innings. Throw on top of that the fact that Santana allowed three or less runs in 27 of his starts and you have a special year by a special pitcher.

    Derek Jeter was good this year, but not MVP good. He is in the conversation, but I'm going to roll with Johan Santana as he pitched the Twins into the playoffs.

    AL Cy Young: Johan Santana
    See above:

    NL Cy Young: Mr. Billy Wagner
    This was one of those years in which no starter stood out that much more than the others. The ERA leader Roy Oswalt is not much in the discussion and the three main candidates in Chris Carpenter, Carlos Zambrano, and Brandon Webb led the league in a combined three categories and one of those categories was walks by Carlos Zambrano. They were good. Sparkling at times, but not great. ESPN's Cy Young Predictor went with Billy Wagner over Trevor Hoffman and so am I. His 11.70 k/9, 1.77 g/f ratio, .219/.285/.315 opponents batting line, and 2.24 ERA are flat out nasty and while Hoffman was sick this year, Billy was devastating and simply more dominant.

    NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman
    The guy is a gold glove third baseman and hit .287/.351/.471 in his first full year with a 47 doubles, twenty homers, and 110 RBIs while playing in all but five games for the Nationals. He also gets the nod over anyone else because he is my only pre-season pick that actually panned out for the award which helped him along to a decisive victory. Watching him and Wright play for many, many years is going to be a treat for fans in the NL East. Both of them play the game right and are exemplary ball players.

    AL Rookie of the Year: Jon Papelbon
    This would have gone to Francisco Liriano if he started from opening day before getting injured or just never got injured and kept dealing until the end of the season. In fact, Liriano would have been in Cy Young discussions if he had lasted the entire season despite pitching significantly fewer innings and Jon Papelbon would have been in those Cy Young discussions as well if he had stayed healthy. Jon came out of nowhere to just flat out dominate for the Red Sox as their closer and had a 0.78 WHIP, .167/.211/.254 opponents batting line, 0.92 ERA, 9.88 K/9, and 5.77 K/bb. It is just nuts to see a pitcher put up those numbers much less a rookie. In my life, I have never seen a rookie just dominate on the mound like Liriano and Papelbon did in 2006, but Papelbon edges out Liriano in this one.

    I am skipping manager of the year because I just do not care enough.

    * * *

  • Trains...trains...and more trains. I'd only advise driving if you plan to tailgate for a few hours. If you think you'll leave two hours before the game and get there and sit in your seat an hour early you have another thing coming.

  • Kevin Kernan thinks the Mets bats and speed will tip the scales against in the Dodgers series and one scout prefers Endy in right over Shawn Green.

    The Mets could pick up that lost speed from Endy Chavez. "Endy is the most underrated Met," offers one scout. "I'd start him in right field ahead of Shawn Green. Green has really gone backwards the last two years."

    Chavez and Beltran would cover some serious ground out there and it certainly deserves a look if Green continues to struggle.

    Mike Vaccaro thinks Cliff Floyd should be the one to sit, but I'd prefer to ride his bat out.

  • Mark Hale thinks Michael Tucker is in as the Mets fifth outfielder officially setting what I can only imagine is a record for left-handed outfielders on one playoff roster. Way to try and alleviate a weakness.

  • John Delcos has the ten keys to a Subway Series and I for one would prefer there is not one. Give me the Tigers so I do not have to deal with any Yankee scum while I watch my favorite team take it all.

  • You still stink.

  • David Wright doesn't see any problems with the Mets against lefties.

    "Everybody knows about the little slump this team went in against left-handed pitching," the Mets third baseman said during a news conference at LaGuardia Airport. "But the last time I checked, we're facing Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux and Brad Penny, so unless those guys turn around and throw left-handed…. The left-handed thing is overrated."

  • Baseball Prospectus goes over the Mets health...

    New York Mets

    Pedro Martinez is out. That alone affects the Mets more than any single injury to a playoff team. The question now is can the Mets overcome this, pushing Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Orlando Hernandez and John Maine into more important roles.

    The more pressing concern is the still-strained quad of Carlos Beltran. Once a solid MVP candidate, Beltran was rested down the stretch after the thigh injury but even the rest didn’t get him back to 100%. It's hard to get a straight answer on just how close to full-go Beltran is, but the Dodgers are going to try and find out.

    The only other major concern for the team is Cliff Floyd, who's longstanding Achilles problems were called out by manager Willie Randolph as the month started. As expected, Floyd is on the postseason roster and his availability will be the difference between a very good lineup and a great one. There's enough offense here to overcome the loss of Martinez, but they'll only go as far as their pitching, making the bullpen the difference maker--and they're ready to go.

  • John Re, bend over and take it like everyone else. I don't like the system, but thems are the breaks.

  • Johan Santana vs. Barry Zito? A fucking swell way to start the playoffs.
  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    High Note

    "If we play the way we are capable of playing and take care of our own business, we'll be all right. It's all about the World Series now.

    "It would be disappointing if we didn't win it. After the year we've had, there's nothing else that would satisfy us."

    The Mets have 97 wins and are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the bigs. Pretty fucking swell. As of now, the Mets are saying the right things and they look hungry and determined to not have a 'happy to be here' attitude. After I was getting a bit nervous with the Mets mediocre of late, someone asked me if I would feel better if the Mets swept the lowly Nationals. My answer? Unequivocally it was a yes. Seeing Glavine have a solid outing in preparation for the playoffs and the Mets bats awakening a bit is a good way to end the season and hit the playoffs with a bit of a steak. The Mets looked like they started to shake out of their funk a bit and at the right time.

    Keith Law thinks the Mets will win in five and the Mets seem indifferent about playing the Dodgers, but the only concern now is do the Mets have enough starting pitching? The answer is yes. If Glavine and El Duque keep doing what they are doing and John Maine is given a shot, the Mets should dispatch the Dodgers, who are 39-42 on the road, and move right along to the NLCS. If they can take Penny out in the opener, I have the utmost confidence in Glavine beating Maddux in game two. The 0-2 hole for the Dodgers is just going to be too much to overcome and I'm predicting the Mets roll over the Dodgers and begin to prepare to face off against their eventual NLCS opponent Mike Piazza and his Padres. I'm going to assume all of you will leave your Piazza love affair at home at that point, right?

    * * *

  • The Frank Robinson bore fest yesterday was enough to make me want to rip my eyes out. Great, he was let go. I just wanted to watch baseball. What's worse is how a lot of media outlets are pretending it was some great thing. It wasn't. It was boring. All tributes and good byes are unless they actually have something to do with your team and even then it is likely to be boring. You want to air it? Start it twenty minutes before the game is supposed to start.

  • This is certainly disturbing, but hopefully he grows. At least Willie tried to diffuse the situation, but I'm not sure that is going to help. One big thing that this current team has/had going for them is chemistry. It really appears to be that Lastings Milledge just does not get it. What is more disturbing at this point is that all of this might affect his trade value.

    It might seem like a case that they need to part ways because a lot of guys on this current team are going to be around for a bit and may always just not like the kid. While I still think he can be a good player, it just seems like an issue that will snowball into something worse. It is really a shame too because it seemed like Milledge was turning it around. Maybe he is and this is all being blown out of proportion, but I'm not sure that is the case. He seems to be making more enemies than friends.

  • Guerra & F-Mar in...Niese, out. The top 20 prospects from the SAL League are in and the Mets 17 year old duo made the list with Fernando landing at #3 and Deolis landing at #11.

    On Fernando:

    f the next decade shapes up like the 2006 SAL season, Martinez and Tabata will spark debate New York arguments reminiscent of Mays vs. Mantle in the 1950s. As with Tabata, the only thing that slowed Martinez were injuries, as a bone bruise in his hand and a sprained knee limited him to 189 at-bats.

    On Deolis:

    The SAL's youngest player, Guerra never allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 17 outings. The Mets did keep him on tight pitch counts, but his 2.20 ERA still would have ranked third in the league if he had enough innings to qualify. He excelled at age 17 mainly on the strength of his changeup, showing an advanced feel for the pitch.

    "He has plus arm action on it, which is rare for a guy that young," a NL scout said. "It was fairly straight, but had a little late fade and parachuted at the end."

    They also have a piece on the quartet of impressive 17 year olds in the SAL League and had a lot more positives to say about Martinez and Guerra.

    One other aspect that impressed Cacciatore was the efforts Guerra and Martinez made in trying to assimilate with the team. Neither player was anywhere close to fluent in English at the start of the season, but both worked hard to understand the language and made significant strides in adapting to a new culture.

    "I believe the key for both of our guys was their maturity," Cacciatore said. "Their composure was impressive . . . off the charts for guys their age. They're going to hit a wall at some point, but I would expect both of them to get to where they want to be pretty quick. As far as our organization is concerned, these two guys are pretty special."

  • Ten more to go for Glavine. Will he be a Met when he wins them? With Pedro's status and the fact that Glavine might not even win ten if he is with the Braves next year, I would assume yes.

  • Even if Pedro never pitches again for the Mets, he was a good pickup.

    If you're the Mets, if you're Omar Minaya, who pushed for this signing, if you're Fred Wilpon, who approved it, you have to come to the following conclusion:

    It wasn't only worth the gamble, it remains a no-brainer of a decision.

    If Pedro never pitches another inning for the Mets - and Minaya last night insisted Martinez wasn't pondering retirement - the signing remains a watershed moment in franchise history, the launching pad for whatever the team may accomplish across the next few weeks.

    By himself, Martinez established instant credibility where before him there was little but ruins and dust. Perhaps he's been given too much credit for helping along all the deals Minaya put together after that, but the fact is his presence hardly hurt. And when Martinez has been healthy, all too infrequently, he's taken New York City's breath away.

    If they had to do it again, the Mets would do it again. And in a few months, they may have to do it again. If there is a positive to be gleaned from such negative news, it is this: The Mets have little choice but to be pitching-aggressive in the off-season. The odds of Jason Schmidt winding up in Flushing next year just went through the ceiling, as did the Mets' certain willingness do whatever's necessary to bring Dontrelle Willis here.

    Good stuff by Mike Vaccaro.

  • The schedule is out and the Yankees do not have to play during the day so far. God fucking forbid the Yankess play a day game. I know it is all about ratings, but it is just ridiculous.

  • Mark Simon goes over the playoff teams to see who is hot, who is not, and their outlook.

    Who's hot: David Wright hit .371 since Sept. 1 and closed the year with a 12-game hitting streak. Orlando Hernandez closed strong with a 2.01 ERA in his last five starts. Though he was a little bit shaky in September, Billy Wagner has converted his last 18 save opportunities.

    Who's not: Carlos Beltran, who says he's playing at about 80 percent due to injury, is hitting .190 since Sept. 1 with two home runs and four RBI in 63 at-bats.

    Outlook: The Mets have a history of postseason magic with each of their six previous appearances in the playoffs producing multiple memorable moments. Their best shot at winning the World Series is to get one of those kinds of wins and ride it all the way through October. Players to watch include Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca, both of whom have had lengthy careers without any postseason experience.

    He thinks the Yankees are the team to beat.

  • It looks like it will be Greg Maddux for game #2. That Glavine and Maddux match-up should certainly be interesting.

  • Roger Clemens possibly did steroids? You don't say. Is it really that much of a stretch? I'm still a bit leary of him sitting out 52 games before returning this season and I wonder if he served a secret suspension that MLB did not want to deal with after this Bonds debacle. Imagine two living legends ending their careers with steroid scandals?

    From Ossy:

    1987 Rocket
    1989 Rocket
    1993 Rocket
    2003 Rocket
    2005 Rocket

  • Tom Singer does a position by position analyis for the Mets and Dodgers and strangely omits the rotation. Good job Tom.