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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Philly Making Power Moves?

There have been many, many acts of futilty throughout history born out of desperation. It is inevitable. You can either go down quietly or you can try and do something....anything. To me, it is sort of admirable the way the Phillies decided to 'go after it'.

I know this all sounds petty and irrational being the Phillies run differential is 39 runs better than the Mets, but I am a believer again. The Mets are a juggernaut and have finally started clicking and the Phillies could not just stand idly by and let the Mets blow past them. They had to take action immediately.

Joe Blanton may be an innings eater and hat has value for sure, but his 77 ERA+ and the overall negative trend of his career leaves me not all that concerned. He peaked in 2005 and has been either slightly above or slightly below average since with a his worst season yet in 2008.

The beauty of it all is that Brett Myers and Adam Eaton have basically just been as bad as he has so he basically gives them no discernable upgrade unless of course he turns it around and becomes league average again....dare to dream Philly fans...dare to dream. I mean, sure this helps and they dealt from a position of depth, but you will excuse me if I yawn this one off.

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  • Pedro gets pushed back and I really do not expect much from him the rest of the way. He has become extremely fragile since joining the Mets, but Tony Armas can probably hold the five spot good enough for the Mets needs.

    Overall, Pedro has been really bad so it is not like there is that much to replace.

  • Strangest quote...

    Manager Jerry Manuel characterized Church's situation as "kinda ticklish," referring to the effects of the concussion Church sustained on May 20.

    Kind of ticklish?

  • The man speaks the truth.

    Before he became aware of Hernandez's premature departure, Manuel reiterated that El Duque would be hard-pressed to displace of the regular starters.

    "I wouldn't take any of those guys out," Manuel said. "It's gonna be tough for El Duque."

  • Fun facts from Buster....

    Batters with highest percentage of working into hitters' counts (min. 200 PA):
    Albert Pujols, 33.3
    Ken Griffey Jr., 32.6
    Pat Burrell, 28.8
    Adam Dunn, 28.5
    Ray Durham, 28.0
    Jayson Werth, 27.9
    Chipper Jones, 27.7
    Nick Swisher, 27.4
    Jim Thome, 27.3
    Jason Giambi, 26.9

    Batters with lowest percentage of working into hitters' counts (min. 200 PA):
    Alexei Ramirez, 8.2
    Ivan Rodriguez, 8.5
    Miguel Olivo, 9.2
    Joey Gathright, 10.3
    Clint Barmes, 11.1
    Erick Aybar, 11.3
    Carlos Gomez, 11.3
    Corey Patterson, 11.3
    Jason Bartlett, 11.7
    Hunter Pence, 11.8

    Pitchers with highest percentage of working into hitters' counts (min. 300 PA):
    Oliver Perez, 27.6
    Phil Dumatrait, 26.5
    Daisuke Matsuzaka, 25.6
    Miguel Batista, 25.2
    Tom Gorzelanny, 24.7
    Dana Eveland, 24.5
    Andrew Miller, 24.5
    Doug Davis, 24.4
    Seth McClung, 24.0
    Barry Zito, 23.8

    Pitchers with lowest percentage of working into hitters' counts (min. 300 PA):
    John Lackey, 9.2
    Ervin Santana, 10.2
    Kevin Slowey, 11.8
    Greg Maddux, 12.0
    Joel Pineiro, 12.0
    Dan Haren, 12.3
    Andy Sonnanstine, 12.3
    Justin Duchscherer, 12.5
    Carlos Silva, 12.6
    Paul Byrd, 13.1

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  • 2nd Half Swelliciousness

    The Mets have now won nine straight games, which is their longest such streak since 2000 and I think ever. It is ALL Jerry Manuel and no one else.

    Obviously I am kidding, but this team is in much better shape than they were with Willie.

    One thing I love is the fact that Manuel is a man who is not afraid to let kids contribute. Why not? You have the players...why not let them help you regardless of how old they are?

    Willie would never have batted Nick Evans in the two spot on Sunday. Now, that is not why they won, but it is encouraging that Jerry is comfortable with himself enough to throw the 'ole vote of confidence behind the young kid and he went out and had a day for himself. Willie had some sort of inferiority complex which made him belittle rookies and keep young players down until they grew a moustache and started playing second base.

    Also, Jerry is not afraid to stack lefties. Willie was allergic to stacking lefties for fear at some point during the game the opposing manager might bring a lefty in and then be able to mow down his lefties in a big spot.

    However, managing for a situation in the game that may never happen is poor form and Manuel has been concentrating on putting the best product on the field and in the best order regardless of some silly little propensity to live and manage by some playbook that makes sense only to one person.

    Compounding mistakes? Not really Manuel's thing.

    "We haven't really discussed that at length," Manuel said. "I think we're all a little worried about dealing with that. I think when the time comes, we'll make a decision and see how it fits and go forward from there. But right now, we're really playing well at that position. I mean, very well. That's going to be a tough one.

    Omar paid the slappy hitting second basemen too much for too many years? So what? A good manager is not afraid to bench a guy with a four year contract in favor of a guy who is here on a one year contract and is supposed to be on the bench if the bench player is playing better. Easley is not a highly regarded fielder, but he made some sparkling plays Sunday night and certainly has not hurt the Mets defensively.

    Managers may not be solely responsible for his team's performance, but he can certainly help contribute in meaningful ways and put his team in the best position to win. That is what managers are supposed to do and that is what Willie failed to do from day #1. If something is not working, fix it. Manuel seems to operate that way and is always looking to fix the team and get the best players in there.

    Willie was a firm believer in staying the course and when this team was at their worst, he actually said that he does not need to say anything to his players and they know the deal and what is at stake. That is absolutely egregious and I believe Manuel will never assume his player's know the deal. He seems like the type of guy that will remind his team what exactly is going on in case they lose sight of things.

    Raise your hand if you still care about how Willie was treated by the Mets....no one? Good. I'm glad we are all in sync.

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  • Mike Pelfrey looks like an absolute stud. It was a frustrating ride at times getting here, but the guy had 19 starts heading into this season. Why it is assumed that any pitcher should be amazing from day #1 is beyond me.

    Since June 1st, he has tossed 109, 112, 112, 113, 98, 98, 109, 113, and 119 pitches and has been a horse. His ERA+ of 112 is extremely impressive when you think about the fact he was almost dropped from the rotation with a sub 80 ERA+ not too long ago. The fact of life is that if you want to develop young talent, you need to let them take their lumps.

    Evan Longoria, Edison Volquez, and David Wright do not come along often. Jose Reyes, Carlos Quentin, and Mike Pelfrey are more of the norm where there will be ups and downs, but confidence and patience will pay off handsomely and being at the stadium on Sunday while the fans are going absolutely nuts for Pelfrey was amazing. It felt like 2006 again when the fans were excited and there was a playoff atmosphere at Shea. The Mets may regress a bit and fall behind the Phillies again most likely, but they will catch up again if that happens.

  • Fuentes prefers Yankees!

    "I've never played in Yankee Stadium," he told The Post. "I have no preference, but putting on the New York Yankees would be something special by itself."

    No preference...NONE. Does this article have a point?

  • Ye of little faith... Aaron was simply too good and simply did not look all that off when he was getting beat like a rented mule. His K/9 is over 9 and his H/9 is under 9. Heilman is still pretty good and just had a terrible run.

  • Delgado thinks the break may be bad and when you are playing this good, it is hard to see anyone wanting to take a break.

    "It's nice to get the break, but by the same token, you wonder if we continue to play are we going to play good?" Delgado said after the Mets' 7-0 victory over Colorado, which pushed their win streak to nine games. "It boils down to executing. We're playing good, but eventually you're not going to win, so we have to find a way to get back to where we are right now - executing, pitching well, catching the ball and coming up with some good at-bats."

  • F-Mart gets some praise.

    "When you look at the field, there are guys that stand out, guys that you notice," an NL scout who was at yesterday's Futures Game said. "He's one of those guys. He has one of the best swings of anyone out there."

  • Mr. Billy Wagner is good.

  • I may be impartial here, but Sunday night should be in the top five.

  • Some athletes just don't get it. Instead of criticizing the Mets, he should be praising them for being right! Zito would have been a bust at $75 million.

  • I am excited to start heading down the road of obesity.

    The team said today that the new Queens stadium, Citi Field, will include a Blue Smoke restaurant and a Shake Shack stand when it opens next spring.

    Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group's other offerings will include a taqueria (tah-kuh-REE-uh) and Belgian-style fries with dipping sauces.

    The award-winning restaurateur also will open the Sterling Club, which will provide premium seating and views of home plate; a bar and lounge, and a cafe serving comfort foods.

  • Sugar Pants to the rescue.

    "I spoke to David Wright," NL manager Clint Hurdle said after the game. "I told David, 'You were the last pick. I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star Game?'

    "I said, 'You wanted to be in this thing. That's all I've read, all I've heard for the last three days. You won't believe how much you might be in it here real quick.'

    "He said, 'Let's go.' He's good to go."

  • Adam Rubin was feeling quite generous when handing out his mid-season grades.

  • Callis, Law, and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, oh my!

    Joe (Troy, NY): What do you think of Wilmer Flores? I know he is only 16 but does BA think he is legit prospect or just a flash in the pan? Please give a diehard Mets fan something to look forward to.....

    Jim Callis: He's very legit. He's one of the best prospects in the Mets system, though he may move to third base down the road.

    Hmmmm...While I like any positive endorsement of Met prospects, saying he is one of the best prospects of a shitty system really tells us nothing. That being said, it is still nice to see.

    Mark (Villanova): Any chance Flores moves to 2nd with Wright and Reyes already on one side of the infield?

    Jim Callis: He might be better suited for third base, but yes, with Wright around, Flores could wind up at second base.

    Going to second would certainly bolster his value.

    Joe: (NYC): Is Jon Niese a decent prospect or is Omar just trying to build him up in the media for a trade?

    Jim Callis: No, he's a solid prospect. Mid-rotation lefthander.


    John(s. fla): How good is Fernando Martinez?

    Keith Law: I still think he's a superstar. He's going to hit, hit for power, and play a good RF.


    RJ (Pittsburgh): Pelfrey's last 9: 59.7ip, 41k, 19bb, 0(!)hr, 2.26era. Still not an ace but a) has he turned a corner? b) should we expect him to continue to improve? Thanks Keith.

    Keith Law: Yes, yes.

    The experts are still cautiously optimistic, but he is a beast.

    Morgan answered like six questions and none added any value. Way to earn your keep Joe.
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