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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Playing Down To The Competition

I did not see much of the game on Friday night, but Oliver Perez turned in another solid performance after a first inning mistake. Better yet, he walked no batters for the third time out of four starts. With the exception of his seven walk performance in Philly, he has been a solid citizen and it is hard to really get upset about last night's loss with that positive to take away.

That being said, I did catch the end of the game and having a guy on second with no outs and not getting him home is not acceptable. You have to be able to have the execution to get the guy to third at the very at least with one out and you have to be able to at least get the guy home via a sacrifice fly. A patented LoDuca type at-bat would have been ideal for Shawn Green to get Alou over to third and Valentin is quite proficient at hitting deep fly balls.

Whatever...it's minor and more of an execution thing than anything and that will happen plenty this year. However, it has happened too many times this season when the Mets had a great scoring chance with no outs and failed to capitalize. Good teams should be able to succeed more than they don't in those types of situations and that is one thing they have had trouble with. I'm not sure what the fix is, but they have to start rising to the occasion. We are now 20+ games into the season and it's clear the Braves are going to hang in there. Letting this team hang around until September could be disastrous.

As for yesterday's game, the Mets simply are mentally slumping here. LoDuca bunting Reyes over to 2nd with no outs before giving him a chance steal is a great example of that. Of course they didn't get the run home as he got caught trying to steal third and you have think everyone just had a mental lapse. And yes, I realize that was not Willie's call and it was one that Gary Cohen called out right away, but with a rookie catcher that has not played a day above A ball prior to this season, you have to make him throw Reyes out in that spot at 2nd and not 3rd base. Just a peculiar play and though the Mets won anyway, they certainly played down to the Nationals level rather than the other way around. Hopefully they go out today and smoke them in the final and play like a first place team. They could have easily been down 0-2 to the Nationals right now.

* * *

  • The Yankees own the 2nd worst record in the American League, they are one of only two AL teams with less than ten wins and one of only four big league teams with less than ten wins. Their run differential still indicates that they are better than their record and 5.5 games in April is not the end of the world, but they should be concerned. The Red Sox pitching has been stellar and will only get better. They need to wake up and do it soon before they have to hit the panic button.

    Buster muses that Torre's job could in fact be in trouble though I just do not envision him getting fired during the season. The biggest problem has been their starting pitching and the lack of innings they are putting forth. However, Torre is just compounding the problem with his blatant over use of same players in the bullpen.

    Last year, there were a grand total of three relievers among the 30 major league teams to amass more than 84 appearances. Right now, the Yankees have five relievers working on a pace to throw in 85 or more games, and three who have pitched in 14 of the team's first 21 games. At that pace, all three -- Scott Proctor, Luis Vizcaino and Mike Myers -- would surpass Mike Marshall's all-time record for appearances, of 106.

    Wow.

    Torre is managing every game, it seems, as if it's October and it's must-win. While the competitiveness is admirable, in practice this is doing serious early damage to that part of the pitching staff -- the bullpen -- which really must be the backbone of the Yankees' fight to contend this year. We're not even into May and already there are signs of fatigue in the Yankees' relievers.

    He always had issues handling the bullpen and even if the Yankees recover, it is hard to see their relievers having anything to give come September.

  • An ex-Met employee supplied a bounty of steroids to big league players.

  • It looks like Mike Pelfrey might be turning into an enigma of sorts.

    And based on his bullpen sessions alone, observers say he can look like the best pitcher on the staff.

    But as soon as he takes the mound for real, the 23-year-old Pelfrey somehow loses that edge, and it's the bubbling over of adrenaline and emotion that has led to his 7.90 ERA in four starts.


    If it truly is something mental and deals with his approach to the game, Peterson can fix it. If he needs more time getting some consistency and some confidence, then he'll be back to AAA within a few starts.

  • If you were starting a team from scratch today, who would you rather have, Jose Reyes or A-Rod?

    Newsday posed the question to the experts - executives and scouts around the industry, although not from the Mets or Yankees - who were asked to keep in mind not only the players' talents, but also their ages and contracts.

    Of the 16 officials from 16 clubs that responded, on the condition of anonymity, Reyes won in a blowout, 11 to 5.


    Of course given the age and the contract, it was sort of an unfair question. Reyes + another top tier player is more valuable than just A-Rod. Overall it was a pretty in depth and a really fun article to read with some great responses by the baseball personnel.

  • Yikes...Carlos Zambrano may be on the block later this year? First off, if the Cubbies do sign him, they will have a nightmare of a team for the duration of Soriano, Ramirez, Lee, and Zambrano's contract. They simply will not have the resources to keep bringing in the players they need if they are unable to produce them on the farm. Second, it is scary to think what type of bidding there would be on a guy like Big Z. It should be noted that Zambrano fired Scott Boras back in '06 and is now represented by Scott Shapiro and Barry Praver.

  • So far so good. Gil Meche has pitched like the guy no one but Drayton Moore thought he was. Conversely, Jeff Weaver has pitched like everyone thought he would and watched his ERA climb to 18.26 yesterday. He has 30+ hits in 11+ innings. Yeah, you read that right. He has a 3.09 WHIP and .492 BAA. Those numbers are just astounding and he has averaged less than three innings per start. Why this guy would have left the NL is beyond me. I'll maintain that Boras has no interest in doing what is best for his clients and some guys are making a huge mistake by being misrepresented by him. As with Weaver, he is a fiery competitor and all this getting beat up is killing him. I would not be surprised to see a Kevin Appier type of situation with a pitcher committed to big dollars is cut during a multi-year contract.

  • Give this guy the metal of honor. Pitching with a broken leg even if it was just for one pitch sounds just anti-swellicious.

  • Josh Hamilton just keeps on going....and going....and going. There are a lot of guys who might kill for that .288/.391/.661 line that Hamilton owns right now with six bombs and they have actually been playing over the last four years. To put it in perspective, he is tied for third in the league on homers and doesn't even have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. I just cannot wrap my head around how much skill this kid has.
  • Labels:

    30 Comments:

    Blogger Coop said...

    I thought Oh Pea was very encouraging on Friday night. Of course, this is all for selfish reasons because I thought a.) he would fall apart after the 1st when he gave that HR to kierns and 2.) the abuse I would endure because he had a solid outing vs the Braves and then a blah one against the Nats? Well I was happy with his performance and how he kept his cool after that one mistake. Now if he can make that 100% more decent, we can have some victory parties around here!!

    I'm surprised you didn't mention Willie's f-bombs last night. I didn't catch it, but apparently, one could CLEARLY lip read the exact words he was saying to the ump. It was like mf this, and mf that. Gotta say i like that Willie didn't take it sitting down. Or standing up, if you know what I mean, with or without the vaseline.

    12:23 PM

     
    Anonymous rick m said...

    First, on Willie, you knew he was coming out to get tossed. A classic 'fire up the team' move, especially one that was bumping along with a Nationals team that they should be destroying. PIX had a good closeup of Willie as he walked away, yelling "and you're a f'ing asshole." Good stuff.

    While it's sometimes frustrating to see the Mets fail to dominate a lesser team (SUCK ME Matt Chico), it has been fun to watch them win two of the last four in such dramatic fashion.

    The Reyes vs A-Rod story was a good read, but it seemed most of the execs were more concerned with contracts than performance. The Boras angle is a curious one. While you can see A-Rod opting out because he's unhappy in the Bronx, I can't see the dollar-conscious Boras finding A-Rod more than the $27 million he's got coming to him in his current contract. There's just no team out there with that kind of free cash and I suspect even A-Rod would be loathe to place himself in another situation where he's that much of a burden on his team's payroll (we saw this when he was willing to take a cut to go to the BoSox).

    12:54 PM

     
    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    I'm still solidly in the Pelf's camp, if only because he does not collect wine and his starts do not clock in at 3 hrs.

    and, really, where's the love for the only blogger to break the mo vaughn pudding chin scandal? I feel very lonely.

    1:30 PM

     
    Anonymous Da Grumbler said...

    Without causing a world's worth of anti-Willie mania and landing Mike in his undeserved spot in the doghouse, my biggest question on Friday, more than not pinchhitting for Perez, was why Willie didn't do what he did last night, which was to put Endy in to pinch run. Both Greeen & Valentin flew out to relatively deep outfield (Green to Church/Valentin to Kearns). Those were likely SF's with Endy there.

    Interestingly, the newspapers picked up on the tactical questions several days after many of us had the questions in another loss. We so smart!

    Pelfrey insists on leaning on his fastball, so most hitters lay off of everything else. I think the Mets ought to let LoDuca make the pitch calls for him for one start, just so he can see what he's supposed to be doing. Ideally he would know what to do already.

    If the Cubs trade Zambrano after spending all of htat money, they have totally failed. I wouldn't mind seeing Zambrano pitch for the Mets wouldn't be that bad (not bad at all), but would the Mets go seven or eight years for Zambrano?

    I'd love to see the Spankees fire Torre mid-season and still suck it up!

    1:55 PM

     
    Anonymous benny from france said...

    Yankee failure is making me very happy.

    Although Torre isnt the problem right now, he's been the problem the previous years. He should have been gone a while ago

    Its a stupid to ask whether you'd pick arod or reyes. Reyes is what? 8 years younger? The question is dumb already. Reyes obviously.

    Condolences to the Hancock family.

    And umm, I hate French keyboards with an incredibly strong passion.

    4:21 PM

     
    Anonymous D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DG said...

    You must be using one of those Altoids keyboards, Benny! Nah, French keyboards make no sense whatsoever to the English speaker.

    Good move by Willie to bring in Schoenweiss to face Church in the bottom of the 8th with two runners on. Heilman has not been as solid against lefties so far this year.

    4:50 PM

     
    Anonymous benny from france said...

    It's horrible, the Z is where the W should be. The A and the Q flip flop for some unknown reason, and the M is moved up on row. UGH!!!
    It took me about 10 minutes to write this sentence

    6:48 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Willie getting all jacked up was nice. As Gary pointed out, he shouldn’t have been thrown out or wasn’t going to at least until the ump bumped him and got in his face. Willie was actually walking away. Dude should be fined and sat for a week or so. Really ridiculous.

    Rick m….good games and dramatic wins, but they definitely played some bad ball. Color me a bit concerned at this point with their play of late. They don’t look too dominating on a consistent basis. They should feel really happy to be where they are with the sub-par play they have been laying out there. They are simply too good to be turning in these types of performances.

    I don’t think he’ll get $27 million though Boras will probably ask for $30 million a year for 10 years. But $20 million and nice extension should happen. They are really gambling though because he could quite possibly command about $10 million less per year. Boras cannot make a mistake judging the market if he opts out as the list of suitors will be short.

    I'm still solidly in the Pelf's camp, if only because he does not collect wine and his starts do not clock in at 3 hrs.

    Classic…

    I’m not against pinch running. Although, you want Alou’s bat in the lineup but it’s not like Endy cannot hit. In retrospect it should have been done, but I was on the fence at the time because you would figure they should have been able to move him along. Alou is slow, but he’s not Castro slow.

    The papers picked up on the tactical errors? Maybe I’m not so dumb afterall!

    Good move by Willie to bring in Schoenweiss to face Church in the bottom of the 8th with two runners on. Heilman has not been as solid against lefties so far this year.

    See? We can give praise too!

    The Cubbies would have failed. Utterly ridiculous the way it has shook out so far.

    I second Benny in condolences to the Hancock family. Horrible….horrible story. Sucks big time.

    The French did it to screw with English speaking people. Believe me, it was all intentional.

    11:49 AM

     
    Anonymous d-D-D-D-D-D-D-DG said...

    Intentional? Well, just for you & Benny; otherwise it's just a function of the frequency of the letters. Weird though . . . the first time I looked at one I was struck by the fact that I was not stoned, but the keys seemed to be. Over here, you've got to order your computer special order, or in England though the smart money is on buying in the U.S. and bringing back here.

    Alou is not Castro slow means what? He's quicker than constipation but slower than molasses? The whole reason you have Endy is for those situations. Willie seems to prefer to sit Green in the late innings - not a bad idea - over Alou, but if he's an intuitive, situational sort of guys as he likes to note, there was the situation.

    You know what? We get spoiled by those blowouts so much that when the Mets have to grind them out, we all get worried. Getting three hits and winning worries me more than ten hits and losing. But good teams grind em out, and that's what these guys tend to do for the most part. That hides the slumping a bit which after all said and done is somewhat there.

    Any news on El Duque?

    12:16 PM

     
    Anonymous Oops DG said...

    Wait a minute. 3 hits and winning worries me LESS than...

    12:18 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Point taken. I agree good teams grind out some ugly wins, but it's the mental things that concern me more than anything. They just are not clean games and this team excelled at well played games and tight baseball.

    For whatever reason, that appears to be a little less evident this season.

    1:00 PM

     
    Anonymous Chan Ho DeeGee said...

    I totally understand your point, Mike, although perhaps it's too early yet to get to that conclusion.

    Anyway, we will assume that the Mets promised Chan Ho he'd be the first called up to get him to accept the minor league demotion. Oh and someone's going to the 60 man (probably Pedro).

    From Adam Rubin

    The Mets have made it official. Bring on Chan Ho Park for tonight's start.

    Ruben Gotay is headed to New York with Park, confirming this morning's Daily News report that Jose Valentin is also headed to the DL, though the Mets have yet to announce that transaction.

    Here's the official announcement on Park:

    The Mets placed righthanded pitcher Orlando Hernandez on the 15-Day DL, retroactive to April 25th, with bursitis in his right shoulder. Righthanded pitcher Chan Ho Park has been recalled from New Orleans (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League and will start tonight for New York.

    1:41 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    It could certainly be too early, but last year this team was tight from the get go and they really weren't making mental mistakes so it is hard for me to point to it being early. Only time will tell though.

    RE: Park...it was just his time. Rather than tinker around and mess up other people, it made sense to use park since he was slated to pitch today anyway. Sosa seems like the logical long term choice, but Chan Ho and his 7.00+ ERA is fine for two starts or so.

    2:29 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    chan ho park had a verbal agreement w/minaya that he would be the first pitcher called up to start if he went to new orleans to start the season.

    2:52 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Mike, if he pitches terribly, would you title tomorrow's post: Chan Ow!

    3:22 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ha...That would be the title if I was a hacky beat writer.

    AE, verbal agreement aside, it does make sense for him to be called up on so everyone else is on regular rest. He might be useless, but we'll see.

    When is Sosa's turn in the rotation anyway?

    3:42 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    sosa pitched yesterday for the zephyrs. from zephyrsbaseball.com:

    Jorge Sosa picked up the league best fourth win and pitched six shutout innings.


    i agree that it makes best sense using chan ho park anyway. a young line up like the marlins will be looking for heat. chan ho park's offspeed stuff might be more effective than sosa's would have been anyway. we'll see tonight.

    5:40 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, it all makes sense. Humber just got tagged a bit and wouldn't get called up anyway and Sosa obviously couldn't go.

    Good call on the off-speed stuff. Park is The Duque-like in that respect. Hopefully he gives us five solid innings!

    5:46 PM

     
    Anonymous Chan Ow! said...

    Just to help out the beat writers:

    Chan Hell!
    Chan Horrible!
    Chan Ow! (which I had suggested earlier as I was preparing for this)
    Chan Hole!
    Chan Homer!

    Oh, I give up! Going to bed!

    8:25 PM

     
    Anonymous DonewithWRIGHT said...

    Is it time to worry about D Wright? This is a 4 month power outage now. At least last year he was still hitting with runners in scoring position, this year hes just awful. What is going on?

    9:49 PM

     
    Anonymous two-by-four said...

    What scares me the most about older players is if they don’t take Roids it takes them much longer to heal than younger players. I was worried about Stache and El Dugue and Glavine for this reason. I wasn’t worried as much about Alou because we had a quality outfielder to replace him for a spell. Thus I was hoping Omar would sign someone like Belliard or Grudzielanek for the infield. I was also hoping they could sign a Jeff Suppan who is reliable, gives you innings and performed well in the post season. I realize that they would have had to overpay for Suppan but if the Brewers could afford him I thought that Wilpon could. I don’t want to appear greedy and drive the poor Wilpons into bankruptcy but it would have been nice to anticipate these things in a long season and not be pushed into the position of having to trade some of our blue chip prospects for players that could have been obtained in the off-season for money. But that’s just my opinion and what the hell do I know.

    4:11 AM

     
    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    I think that the least of the Poor Wilpons worries is bankruptcy! On the other hand, I don't want them to turn in to the Steinbrenners!

    Chan Blow!

    12:28 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Let’s objectively look at what Steinbrenner has done. Let’s take it from a business point of view. When he acquired the Yankees the franchise was in disarray. He has built it into the Microsoft of baseball. The revenue sources and value of the team is greater than the GNP of some nations. He’s done a marvelous job with this franchise.

    From a baseball viewpoint playing within the allowable rules he has built a team that has won the Division year after year.

    If you integrate both the baseball and business end you end up with a model that all franchises should ascribe to.

    I didn’t mean for the Wilpons to spend a fortune. Adding someone like Grudz instead of Easley or Franco wouldn’t have raised the payroll that much but would have provided insurance incase of long term injury. Some people don’t like Belliard because of his attitude. But he does proved some offensive threat off the bench and he didn’t look all that bad with the Nats last week. Of course we all know that Belliard’s horrible attitude cost the Cardinals a chance to win the WS last year. Oh wait…….

    The only reason I wanted Suppan was because he’s a dependable pitcher that’s a lot better than Park or Sele and would give us the luxury of not force feeding the kids or making a panic trade. One other thing to remember is in the playoffs Suppan raised his game and that’s important for a team that expects to be a perennial playoff participant for years to come.

    6:33 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    10 K's for Ollie, and David Wright looking like David Wright again. That's not bad at all. But, 37 pitches for Joe Smith strikes me as almost insane. I mean, yeah, we all agree that he's good, indeed, very good; let's not wear him out, however.

    6:15 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Let's hope the era lowers a bit. Haha

    Will

    from mlb.com

    The Mets purchased him from Cancun of the Mexican League two years ago. In his lone big-league appearance, for the Tigers against the Royals in September of 2004, Urdaneta faced six batters and retired none. His career ERA is infinity.

    7:59 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    this fucking suckme shit still exists

    ossy

    11:08 PM

     
    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    MIke - where are you?

    I...need...my...fix.

    12:26 PM

     
    Anonymous andrew said...

    Are you dead or something? I need my fix too. GIVE ME MY FIX. I'LL FUCKING KILL-okay, okay, I'm calm.

    4:52 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Alors, Monsieur Oliver, où es-tu?

    8:04 AM

     
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