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

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Reading Between the Lines

During the end of Spring Training, Willie Randolph was questioned about Felix Heredia. He was basically asked if he trusted Heredia. Randolph replied that if he did not trust Heredia, he would have no place on this team. Enter Kaz Ishii. Ishii has been wildly inconsistent and has posted either really bad starts, or really good starts. Unfortunately, more of the starts have been bad starts, but Willie's handling of him in his last two games tells me he has no confidence in him in any form.

When Ishii got banged up for five runs in his last start against the Phillies, he sat there in the fourth inning with one out and the bases empty after giving up a three run homer to Chase Utley. Coming to bat was a Mike Lieberthal, who was batting .228 coming into the day, followed by Corey Lidle. With the Mets four game set with the Nationals looming and the Mets in the midst of thirteen consecutive days of baseball, Randolph would have normally let Ishii go out and see if he can get through a few more innings with relatively small damage. He was only at 68 pitches at the time, but Willie did not hesitate to ever yank him before he could face Lieberthal, who hits like a pitcher, and a pitcher.

Yesterday, Ishii had a short leash yet again. After pitching a solid game, he had one out in the sixth inning and the Nationals just scored a run on Jose Guillen's double. With an un-aweinspiring group of hitters in Catilla, Byrd, and Baerga coming up with a combined six homers on the year in 476 at bats, Willie yanked him. The pitcher spot was due up the next inning and Willie knew he was basically going to burn a pitcher on two outs, but Willie has no confidence in his pitcher to get the job done. Worrying about a big inning starting with the Mets only down two runs, he turned to Heath Bell to close the door in what could have been the most important decision of the game. I'll knock Willie on the bad moves, but he played this card well and made the right move.

Ishii is on a short least and will be while he remains a starter. The Mets were able to steal the opener in what is the most important series of the year with three pitchers slated to go in the remainder of the series who can all win their games. It was a coup of sorts for the Mets to essentially steal a win in the Kaz Ishii vs. John Patterson match up with Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and Kris Benson slated to take on a banged up, and seemingly punchless Nationals offense. Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how long the Mets keep running a guy out there who Willie has little confidence in and will get the hook at the first sign of trouble.

* * *

  • Minor update:
    • The Tides lost to Syracuse 2-1. Angel Pagan went 3 for 4 with a double and Mike DiFelice went deep for the Tides only run. Jae Seo pitched brilliantly in the loss again and went eight innings, giving up only three hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out five. In his last twelve starts, he is 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 7.16 H/9, 8.57 K/9, and a 3.59 K/BB in 83 innings.
    • New Hampshire beat Binghamton 10-9. Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a walk and Brett Harper went 3 for 6 with two runs scored, two doubles, a homer, and two RBIs. Jeff Duncan went deep twice in a 3 for 4 night with three RBIs, a walk, and three runs scored.
    • Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 6-4. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Andy Wilson went 2 for 5, and Shawn Bowman hit his fifteenth homer of the year. Phil Humber had a rough start and went five innings while giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four. His record dropped to 2-6 and his ERA is 4.99.
    • Delmarva beat Hagerstown 6-5. Jesus Flores went 3 for 3 with a run scored, a walk, and an RBI while Grang Psomas went 0 for 2, but walked three times.
    • The Brooklyn Cyclones beat New Jersey 1-0. Caleb Stewart scored the only run and went 2 for 2 with walk and a double. Robert Parnell started the game and went four innings of one hit ball. He has now pitched 10.2 scoreless innings so far this season and only given up three hits, but has walked seven as well.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 11-10. Nick Evans had a ridiculous six RBIs in a 5 for 5 game in which he scored three runs, hit three doubles and hit his sixth homer on the year in just thirteen games. He is batting .357/.400/.804 on the year with twenty-two RBIs. Joan Martinez had a big game also by going 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs. In fourteen games, Kingsport has hit double digits in run five times already.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 10-5. Junior Contreras went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a homer, and two RBIs.
  • The Astros and Reds appear to working on a deal that gets the Astros Adam Dunn in return for Ezequiel Astacio, Taylor Buchholz and Fernando Nieve according to a report that Astros GM Tim Purpura said was a "media fabrication".

  • According to the NY Post, the Mets have no intentions of giving Brett Boone a look.

  • Willie shook up the lineup a bit and I have to like the fact that he tried. He still had one piece glaringly wrong, but Reyes was moved to the bottom of the order and responded in a big way. He did not get down on himself and went 2 for 4 in what was a great game at the plate for him.

    I'm still in the lineup," he said. "No big deal."

    I hope Willie gives the new look at least a few weeks to see how it gels together. Ideally though, if he wants to keep Beltran in the second hole, Floyd bats fourth, Piazza bats fifth, and his buddy Marlon sixth with Wright in the three hole. That way, he still gets his balanced lineup and Wright bats in a spot where he can create more runs.

  • The title of the day goes to Lee Jenkins.

    The Mets' Batting Order Is Stirred, Not Shaken

    Corny? Yes, but it cracked me up.

  • Roberto is good.

    Hernandez (4-2) hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 appearances, dropping his ERA from 2.82 to 1.78. He has pitched 13 innings in that span, allowing eight hits, with five walks and 12 strikeouts.

    Hernandez also hasn't allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 innings on the road this season.

  • Chris Woodward joins the wounded on the Mets squad and is listed as day to day.

  • In the "I shit you not" category, these are two trade proposals I heard on WFAN yesterday with Steve Sommers.

    Yankee fan proposed trade:
    A-Rod and Cano for Ishii and Beltran

    Met fan proposed this trade:
    Pudge and Bonderman for Piazza and Valent

    Main Entry: speech•less
    Pronunciation: 'spEch-l&s
    Function: adjective
    1 : unable to speak : DUMB
    2 : not speaking : SILENT
    3 : not capable of being expressed in words

  • Justin Verlander threw 86 innings in A-ball and only 15 innings in AA-ball before he making his Major League debut. In the first inning, he ran into some problems and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks. In the next 4.1 innings, he gave up one more run, three hits, one walk, and struck out three. He routinely hit 97 to 99 mph on the gun and I would have to say his first start in the Majors was a success. He seemed to get over a bad first inning to recover very nicely.

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well to start...Willie moved Reyes to the 7 spot. He moved everybody else up a spot. I dont think Piazza should be hitting clean up, maybe 4 years ago but not now. Mike's contract goes up at the end of this season. Who knows if the mets will sign him again.
    The mets are in need of a second baseman, with Cairo hurt and Anderson making errors and Matsui just plain terrible. Seconsd base will be a problem.
    Also the mets need Mientkiewicz back, while Woodward is having problems with his leg. I think Mientkiewicz is the best 1st baseman in the majors. If he can get his bat going he will be an "All-Star".
    I was surprised at Mike Cameron during yesterday's game when he went to second on a ground ball he hit into the outfield. Cameron saw that Nats CF Brad Wilkerson wasn't watching him so he went for second. The mets took advantage of the opposing team's weakness, just as all other teams had to the mets for the past few years.
    One thing I am not happy about is the all star game. Compare the numbers of Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran. Cliff Floyd has the better numbers and yet Beltran starts the all star game.
    When your talking about relief pitching Heilman and Hernandez are the only 2 that can pitch without giving fans a scare, unlike Looper.

    9:01 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I meant to say that Mientkiewicz is the best defensive 1st baseman in the majors

    9:04 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Piazza batting 4th is too bad. It hurts to watch him strikeout way to much and flail at pitches. I doubt the Mets bring him back, they are going to be looking at defense first.

    2nd base is a big problem, but there are bigger ones. Keppinger and possibly Anderson Hernandez are options for next year, but this year Cairo will due. For some reason, Willie loves Marlon though, and he is entrenched.

    I like the pen actually. I think they are doing and OK job.

    8:10 AM


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