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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just Another Game

The Mets/Yankees series is a big deal in these parts. I do not particularly like it as I'm forced to deal directly with Yankee fans, but I somehow manage to make it through year after year. As for the teams, year after year they will claim that it's just another series and it has no extra meaning. Anyone buying that? Look no further than the Mets game against the Cubs today. Beltran? Resting. Wright? Resting. Reyes? Resting. Yes, Reyes and Beltran are a little banged up and needed a day off, but sitting everyone the day before the big series speaks volumes about needing your core to be rested and ready to go.

Throw on top of that the Mets using Vargas for seven and Burgos for two so they have a rested bullpen as well and you have yourself a pretty comfortable position in a series that does not mean much. The Mets also have Glavine, Perez, and Maine slated to pitch during the series and the Yankees are coming off of a demoralizing series in which they were just over matched by the Chicago White Sox. Does it all sound to good to be true? Actually, it does.

Yankee fans continue to be in denial and have broke out everything from your staff is unproven to you haven't won anything since '86 to Beltran looking at strike three last year to twelve straight playoff trips for the Yankees.... I don't care. I look at this team and I see a team struggling to do anything right. Offense, relief pitching, starting pitching...nothing is working. With the Yankees down, Randolph is smelling blood and wanted to ensure that his team was ready. Was he prepared to just throw away today's game to accomplish that? Possibly. It sure looks like that could be case. We know what bragging rights in this town means and we know Willie would like to show up his old team give more credence to the growing belief that the Mets are the best team in New York right now by taking out the Yankees this weekend.

Just another series? I don't buy it. Both sides want to beat their cross town rival badly.

* * *

  • Us Met fans tend to get excited about players when they do good whether we know it's for real or we know it's an aberration. It's part of our DNA. There have been many times we overreacted and fooled ourselves into believing in guys like Jason Phillips, Tyler Yates, Brian Bannister (he never fooled me), Benny Agbayani, etc. and had irrational expectations thrust upon these players. Enter Jorge Sosa.... Now, I'd rather a scout say this stuff, but I'll take it from a fantasy expert that looks like a weenie.

    You think this is a fluke, don't you? I think fantasy owners get way too caught up in what a guy did the previous season, for good and bad. Sosa nearly won an ERA title in 2005, and while his WHIP certainly didn't match his ERA in value, we could see this guy was hard to hit. Then in 2006, this guy was bad, very bad, allowing an unheard-of rate of home runs per innings. Now he's good again, but nobody believes it. Well, believe it! Sosa is in precisely the right spot to thrive, as is, apparently, Oliver Perez. Still think Leo Mazzone is the king of pitching coaches? Watch Daniel Cabrera in his next inconsistent outing. Rick Peterson has fixed Sosa and Perez. Just so you know I always practice what I preached, I grabbed Sosa in multiple leagues before he even got called up, and now he's 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and nine hits allowed in 20 innings. He's not filling in for Orlando Hernandez anymore, he's this team's No. 2 or 3 playoff starter, depending on how John Maine holds up. I think Sosa can win 12 or 13 games and keep his ERA in the 3.00 range, which is pretty good.

    Yikes. Those are some pretty bold statements being inked in the above paragraph. I think the biggest surprise of the year, though maybe not to us Met fans, is how effective this rotation is. I truly thought Mike Pelfrey would turn into the ace of the team this year, but after what was a horrible stint with the Mets, doubts are creeping into people's minds as to whether or not he will even achieve front end status in this league. However, Omar Minaya being the shrewd and ever diligent GM that he is had plenty of fall back options in place and Sosa certainly has risen to the occasion.

    While most of the New Orleans staff has been getting knocked around in the band-box that is the PCL, Sosa was outperforming everyone by a lot and has not looked back. Of course I'm not too sure what to make of it. I've watched him pitch and he certainly looks good and pitching in Shea certainly helps. But you if you look at what he's done since 2003, his track record certainly does not bode well.
          WHIP  ERA  BAA  HR/9  K/9
    2003 1.53 4.62 .278 0.98 5.04
    2004 1.55 5.53 .259 1.54 8.52
    2005 1.40 2.55 .241 0.81 5.71
    2006 1.51 5.42 .292 2.29 5.72
    So there you have it. Numbers to confound the mind. It is entirely possible he is a good big league pitcher. However, with a WHIP in the 1.50 area, he is hard pressed to attain ace status outside of an anomaly season. That being said, he has also been a guy that has had a good arm and never seemed to really find a good fit. What is really crazy is just how strikingly similar Perez and Sosa are. Not necessarily in age, but sheer performance.

    Normally I would have to wait until midway through '08 to decide if he if for real, but if Perez and Sosa keep this up, I might just make up my mind a lot sooner. I certainly trust my eyes enough to see that they look like big league pitchers and I certainly believe that Rick Peterson is one of the best in the biz at straightening out guys with good arms and bad game plans. If I had to put money on it, I would bet that Perez and Sosa end the season a lot like they started it.

  • Also from the above link:

    Jose Reyes: Speaking of running fast, Reyes is on pace for 96 stolen bases, which would be the highest total this decade. The last guy to swipe 100 bases in a season was Vince Coleman, and that was 20 years ago. Reyes is a far better player in every way, taking walks, hitting for power, scoring bushels of runs. I predict he'll steal 81 bases. The question isn't how good Reyes is, but is he the best player in fantasy? Fellow ESPN writer Pete Becker believes Reyes is the best, and certainly the slow start by Pujols adds credence to it. Reyes is currently third on the Player Rater behind only Alex Rodriguez and Jake Peavy. I predict he'll end up second to A-Rod.

    Reyes is still getting as much love now as he was at the end of last season and it doesn't seem to stop. One of the hottest topics of this young season is who is best short stop in the NL? Us Mets fans have been crying it is Reyes while others have said Ramirez is better and now Hardy has joined in the discussion with his A-Rod-esque numbers. Stark had a quick and dirty way to go about it and of course, Reyes ran away with it. The competition is stiff, but Reyes is the best all around shortstop in the National League and possibly the best overall player to boot.

  • Lastings speaks out...or at least someone speaks out for him.

    "Lastings wants to apologize to the Mets organization, to his teammates and to anyone that was hurt by his lyrics," said Arroyo. "It wasn't his intention to hurt anyone....He's going to make sure he uses better judgment in the future."

    The sexually explicit song, "Bend Ya Knees," has been removed from the Web site souljaboirecords.com, and Arroyo said it was "just a demo" never meant for the public.

    Milledge raps about "rich (N word)," "wealthy (N word)," a "top-notch ho" and having "a different bitch for every night" on the song with Manny D, a childhood friend who is signed to Milledge's label.

    I hope that ends it.

  • F-Mart!

  • I was watching the end of the Yankee/White Sox game and Mike MacDougal was flat out nasty. I know he's had some issues this year, but how the guy ever gets touched is beyond me.
  • Labels:


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Did the Chubbies forget to put the shift on for Delgado? If they did there was a possible 4-6-3 DP and there would have been a different story tonight. Bases loaded? A 'modified' shift was appropriate. Sweet Lou let his emotions get the best of him and he forget to coach his team.

    --Jon from JCNJ

    12:47 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The tying run was at 3rd with one out.

    They couldn't pull the shift because of 3B had to hold that runner. Otherwise the tying run could just walk home with Delgado laying down a bunt.


    1:18 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Off the bat, my heart sank... I thought Delgado had hit into a DP.

    Then, oh... the ELATION. I immediately thought back to that game against the Phillies, where we were down 4-0 in the ninth against that punk Schilling and Olerud drove in the winning runs.

    Olerud to Delgado. How utterly appropriate.


    2:36 AM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    The only time its fun to eal directly with Yankee fans is when the Mets play them and the Yankers are losing. The look on thier face is worth the price of the ticket. the Mets are going to dominate this series, a sweep wouldn't surprise me. These are the big bad scary Yankees anymore.
    Thier offense is dead and not clicking on any level.
    Thier starters have been having injury problems all season long, they're depending on rookies, and on a really tired and over worked bullpen that has Mariano Rivera struggeling.
    The 90's are over.

    Anyone who was fooled by Jason Phillips or Brian Bannister is a dumbass. Goggle's just wasn't any good, ever. Bannister sucked, and hey, Tyler Yates had potential if the Mets knew how to use him the right way. Tyler Yates was a guy with shoulder problems who never started before. The Mets' solution!? MAKE HIM A STARTER!!!
    ...that's the old Mets.

    WIth Jorge Sosa, it was said that Ricky P told him to change the angle he throws his pitches at. I'm sure it conceals the ball a little longer which was his problem. I don't expect to keep up his current pace but I do expect a guy to be confident in to have a very nice outing.

    If Milledge has to apologize for his extra curricular activities then I think Billy Wagner should apologize for his disgusting Alpaca farm. I mean its soo gross breeding and forcing animals to have sex with each other, yuck.

    The Mets almost got MacDougal last season didn't they? I forgot for who? Wasn't it Affedlt and MacDougal for Benson?

    7:38 AM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    I always liked Mike MacDougal. His stuff is great, I think something happened with the Royals, they put him out as a closer before he was ready to handle it. He may close again some day.

    It was great to listen through the static to the end of that game yesterday on the way to Boston. Once this team gets momentum, you can just FEEL that they would pull it out! There was one of those games they had no right to win, but somehow did it. That's the difference between winners and losers.

    9:43 AM

    Anonymous joe said...

    Any ideas for a clever sign tonight? I'm sitting front row field level in right field next to the dreamseats. I may break out the olive K signs for perez tonight, but i don't want to jinx anything.

    11:13 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jon, this is not the team for sweet lou to coach. With Aramis and Soriano, there is plenty to get frustrated about. I think the players he has is going to make this a rocky tenure in Chicago.

    Also, who was on third? If he had any speed, there is not way they could have don it. If they have had some speed they might have been able to play a quasi-shift. Either way, it’s not necessary to do much of anything against Delgado right now. He looks loooooost.

    Speaking of Lost, Kate is hot.

    Benny, you hit the nail on the head. Nothing better than a dejected Yankee fan at Shea rehasing highlights of yesteryear. But when the Mets are losing, oh man. They are relentlessly annoying.

    Wagner has an Alpaca farm? Swellicious.

    The MacDougal deal was MacDougal and Affeldt for basically nothing. I was pumped when this almost went through, but it was not to be. Not that MacDougal is lights out this year, but that arm in Ricky P’s hands could be lethal.

    There was one of those games they had no right to win, but somehow did it. That's the difference between winners and losers.

    They seemed to do that a lot last year, but I feel like they are lucky in a way to have the record they do. I feel like they have to wake up and if they do, it’s going to be a blow out. They are far and away better than anyone in the NL and that includes anyone in the NL West and the Braves.

    11:18 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    No ideas for signs. Just go and revel in the Yankees ineffectiveness and don't forget to eat some BB's Steak Sandwiches in the right field corner of the field level.

    11:21 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    You should do something like "Now pitching for the Yankees, Chan Ho Park." Or "If Abreu leads off, how bad are you?" How bout themetropolitans.blogspot.com?

    F-Mart rules. And Lastings should not have to grovel. My biggest regret is I was too late to get the, ahem, "demo." Malicious media and not the best move in Lasto's corner, let's face it.

    My elation having been previously posted yesterday, I must note that I hope we kill the Yanks. I hope Perez is psyched; when he is motivated, he's always good.

    Surprised to read that fantasy spin on Sosa, who I still haven't seen pitch, but fuck yeah!, I'm with it.

    12:01 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i see our boy lastings going down the same route as heath bell.

    hes gonna produce somewhere i just doubt he'll do it here

    1:06 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Benny: On Metsblog, LoDuca talked about Sosa's slider having 3 diferent breaks/speeds and he throws it for strikes at will. mix in his good FB and he has all the pieces.

    There is rumblings that Delgado still has elbow issues. Could Mike Carp get a call up?

    If not lugo/Maine, Benson was supposed to go for McDougal/Affeldt.

    Park gave up 2 hits yesterday. There is talk about a market for him. Bears watching as it may not an xtra prospect or bullpen arm.

    1:07 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    How about F-Mart rules and Tabata drools? Or A-Rod’s mom is a snowblower?

    Carp would be a stetch..In fact, GREEN GOES TO FIRST WITH GOMEZ OR LASTINGS UP PERMENTLY TO PLATOON WITH ENDY. I’ve talked about the depth of this team repeatedly, and this team is pretty set.

    Good stuff on Sosa, but that doesn’t explain why this year would be any different in regards to him getting hit? Are these three sliders due to something Peterson did? Why is this year going to be any different?

    I can’t see Park having much of a market. I have faith in him being a decent back end guy, but that won’t hold much value.

    YIKES!!! I’ll take Maine/Julio over MacDougal/Affeldt.

    1:27 PM

    Anonymous dg said...

    Trades now Maine/El Duque anyway. Right?

    1:47 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yup...Seriously good trade! We get two starters better than the one we traded away!

    1:52 PM

    Anonymous dg said...

    BTW: I give Giambi credit for fessing up in his own way, but I'll never give him credit for shaving. That dude is uglay!

    Yeah, I think Omar scores points on that one, Mike!

    2:36 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Giambi took the roids and that is bad, but I've always at least given him credit for not saying he thought he was taking vitamins or he didn't know what it was.

    He said the messed up and is sorry. Sincere or not, it's better than what Bonds and Sheff said. People can make mistakes and screw up, but I hate when they don't own up to it.

    2:57 PM

    Anonymous gbaked said...

    F-Marts real name is jesus?

    3:33 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    You would be correct. Jebus is his name and Fernando is his middle name.

    3:40 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good Point on Green at first! Given yesterday line up I think Willie missed an oppurtunity to try Green at first. With Easley at 2nd, Newhan at 3rd.

    6:49 PM

    Anonymous Gehoff said...

    How long til Lastings and Ben Johnson come off the DL? If Delgado is hurting why not give him some time off and play Green at 1b while he is hot.

    1:18 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    From the Daily News:

    Smith's teammates increasingly tease him about the media attention he's getting. So afterward, as Smith answered questions about his latest feat, Tom Glavine said facetiously: "Joe's officially in the big leagues now. He's pitched against the Yankees."
    "Just think about all the press you're going to get when you're closing next year," Wagner joked.

    Great team attitude all around. These guys seem so attuned to each other.

    And I feel compelled to watch everytime OPerez pitches. Kids gonna star here for ten years or more!

    9:25 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    let the Willie bashing begin

    7:53 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    suckme again wtf

    2:10 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hell. Ya cant win'em all.

    I think I'm more pissed that the Mets didnt pick up a game on the Braves than the Mets sweeping the other NY team.

    Mike, if you're not busy can you find out which pitchers have made their major league debuts against the Mets and see the results. Then go to their second start and compare the two.

    It ALWAYS seems whenever the Mets get stopped by a guy making his MLB debut, the pitcher shut them down, but their next start they stink to high hell.

    Typical Yanks fans are already building up to 'Clippard's awesome!!' stuff....I think they need to settle down and see a)it's one start and b) the Mets do horrible against pitchers making their debut.


    - Nokes

    9:21 AM

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