Monday, April 25, 2011

Food for Thought

As Mark Simon of ESPN New York pointed out yesterday:

In those seven starts, Gee has a 2.22 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He’s allowed three home runs in 44 2/3 innings. The one thing that would classify as shaky is his strikeout-to-walk rate -- 26 to 18. But in two starts this season, he’s walked only three in 11 2/3 innings.

In his seven starts, Gee’s xFIP is 3.99. His Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) is .234, abnormal for a pitcher, but partly explainable by Gee’s ability to avoid batters hitting line drives against him. (His rate is 10 to 12 percent, depending on which source you use, which would rank very high if maintained for a full season.) That figures to increase as big league hitters figure him out.

Obviously, I'm a fan of Gee. Around this time last year, I featured Gee in my "Don't Forget About" series on underrated players.

Gee might never have the ceiling of an ace or #2 starter, but if he keeps pitching like this, he is going to get himself on the radar really fast. According to Toby Hyde, Gee "tops out around 91 with strong control and mixes in his breaking ball for strikes."

With the great performance yesterday indicating that his injury woes are behind him, Gee has a tremendous opportunity to continue developing. If you can throw 91 and strike out two or three times as many guys as you walk, you can have a great career in the major leagues.

Now, here is your food for thought.

Regardless of what you think Gee's ceiling is -- is he better than Mike Pelfrey is right now? If you had a one game playoff to determine the winner of the NL East or Wildcard, who would you rather have starting for you: Mike Pelfrey, or Dillon Gee?

With Gee on the cusp of being bumped for the rotation for Chris Young, I can't escape the thought that if one of the Mets starters needs to get skipped, it should be Pelfrey. I'm a huge fan of Niese and Dickey, and Young and Capuano have both pitched well enough to deserve additional starts.

Just a thought.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It Wasn't Pretty But More Importantly The Mets WON!

Game 2: Mets 8 Nats 4
Capuano's Metsies debut vs Gorzelanny

First night game at Citi field aka the battle of the Hairston bros at Citi Field! Both brothers shamed their family name because they just can't hit but Scott's team is victorious! Btw any "Mad Men" fans out there, does Terry Collins at all remind you of Roger Sterling?!

Ok enough of my celebrity doppelganger theories, let's get to the recap!

Bottom of the 1st, Reyes singled to lead off this ballgame (and now he has a 6 game hitting streak)! Pagan then popped up. Wright was then up with 1 out and Reyes stole 2nd! But ugh David Wright struck out and it was up to Beltran to bring Jose home with 2 outs and he homered! This was the first Citi Field homer this season and the Mets took a 2-0 lead over the Nats. But sadly Scott Hairston took the early I will shame my baseball family name lead by flying out to Jerry! Ugh why couldn't he at least fly out to an outfielder who doesn't share his surname!

3 run homer by Espinosa in top of 2nd, 3-2 boo, the Nats take the lead.

Bottom of the 4th Wright struck out and seriously that was his 10th K in 30 at bats, wtf. I thought this was a different David!? But hooray for Beltran who homered again and the game was tied at 3-3 and who doesn't love the Bel-ly 2 homer games! 28th career multiple homer game for Carlos, wahooo!

But ugh how soon the lead again disappeared in the top of the 5th! 4-3 after Desmond's lead off solo home. But then Capuano struck out Werth! 7th K of the game for Chris! Then Zimmerman singled to give the Nats their 6th hit of the game, boo. But phew, Morse then flew out and there were two outs, Zimm was on 1st for Wilson Ramos who doubled and thanks to a great play by Pagan in the outfield Zimm had to stay at 3rd and then Ankiel grounded out and the inning was over. Further danger averted!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Fernando Martinez will be starting for the Mets in June

You heard it here first.

And not because we're desperate. But because we won't be able to deny him.

4-for-5 with a double tonight against Syracuse. He hit .364 with more walks than strikeouts in limited time this spring. Sure, it's a gut call, but it's one I'm comfortable making.

He's 22 this year. I think this is his year.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

So far so good...

Game 3: Mets 9 Marlins 2
Dickey vs Vazquez

I'm not gonna give a recap of this game but let's instead take a look at what we've learned about Terry Collins' 2011 Mets before they head on over for some Philly Cheesesteaks:

K-Rod may be going to anger management but he's still rocking the goggles and he's still having an extreme difficult time saving games. Okay it was just one game so far but he looked awful against Florida. But again it was one game, and even that Mariano Rivera messes up from time to time so I'm not turning on Frankie just yet.

Isaac Benjamin Davis got off to a rocky start with a few hiccups at first base which was and is shocking since he was the man last year that would make incredible plays diving into the stands. But since that first not so hot game he appears to have his hitting and defensive prowess back. He definitely has the potential to hit 20 homers (perhaps 30), bat .300 and rack up 100 ribeye steaks.

RA Dickey probably is our ace with Johan on the DL. No matter how many times he gets into trouble, he's the one Metsies pitcher I can watch without half covering my eyes when the bases are loaded. He has no trouble keeping his cool and he gets out of jams. Plus his post game locker room interviews are always worth watching. This man is brilliant and it's always just nice to hear his take on a game.

Beltran is hitting. That is what counts. Plus he's Duda's Yoda. According to Burkhardt, Carlos keeps an eye on Lucas and gives him advice to improve his hitting. They also have had dinner dates!

Eamus or Murphy at second?! The biggest fear with Daniel Murphy at second is the fact that he won't be able to turn double plays. He really didn't get a chance to do that yet during his one start but he looked absolutely fine at second. Eamus got his first hit in game 2 and he's looked pretty great defensively. It's a tough call.

Reyes and Pagan are still fast as can be and defensive badasses.

David Wright is looking like pre-getting hit in the head Davey. He's hitting, okay his defense hasn't been perfect but his swing is looking marvelous. I am thinking this could be a season where Wright doesn't strike out in consecutive games, gasp.

Willie Harris is proving to be a great pickup. So far he's pinch hit successfully, he's homered, he's played great defense and he's proven he can actually help the Mets and not just rob them of victories like he did as a National.

Jonathan Niese has had the tendency in the past to pitch great but to start out a little rusty. He does give up first inning runs but he also can then bounce back and give the Mets 6 scoreless innings.

Big Pelf looks like he is just picking up where he left off last season and that's no good. If he can get himself centered and back into his early 2010 form we really could have a pretty good pitching staff that could give a lot of teams trouble.

The Mets as a team have proven so far that just like last year they can fight back. They don't give up and that's great to see. Even when K-Rod blew the save game 2 they bounced right back in that top of the 10th and regained the lead. Does that mean we might see another 20 inning game, perhaps?!

Run support has been an issue with the Metsies. So many games last year we saw great pitching outings but the squad couldn't hit. Dickey for some reason was the one pitcher who seemed to always get run support and that has continued thus far.

In general Florida just kicks the Mets asses. Last year it was no picnic playing the fish so taking a series on the road from them is a great start.

On the road the Mets just couldn't win and they already have one road series under their belts so that's pretty neat and promising.

SNY still is all about the Geico and Fiberama commercials....

Keith hasn't fallen asleep or made that many funny comments yet but he has said "Cheese" so I think there's no reason to fear he's lost his unpredictable/very entertaining booth mojo. Just for now he seems very professional and that's great but we need some random tangents about authors or musicians or Sag Harbor just in case this season gets really ugly.

I know we don't have big expectations for the Metsies but you know what maybe they'll surprise us. A 2-1 start is not that shabby at all and I guess the real test is coming up. Philadelphia and that ridiculous pitching staff will be quite hard to defeat but you know what anything is possible in the world of sports. So for now let's just take it game by game and hope Collins' Metsies surprise us this year!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Same old drama mama K-Rod...but the Mets are still triumphant!

Game 2: Mets6 Marlins4 (10 innings)
Niese vs Nolasco

Gary had a major hard on for the Florida sunset during this game..."Nice to see Niese settling in" was a phrase uttered by the booth quite often and K-Rod proved once again some things sadly never change. But let's not dwell on Frankie, let's get to the recap of the Metsies first victorino of the season!

Here we go! 123 top of the first for Nolasco. Sheesh who does Nolasco think he is, Josh Johnson? He needs to save this impersonation for the Phillies and the Braves. Yep.

To the bottom of the 1st, Niese right from the start was in trouble and bam before we could see 3434343 Fiberama commercials (because oh SNY is relentless with those buggers) 2 were in scoring position with 1 out for Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez was walked and the bases were loaded for Morrison, he singled and Infante and Ramirez scored. Yet again the Marlins got out to an early lead, 2-0 fish. Now the new Mets killer John Buck was up with men on 1st and 2nd and still just 1 out and this time he was human! Buck hit a fly ball to right way in foul territory and Beltran grabbed it! Wahoo! Then Donnie Murphy made the final out, phew.

Beltran led off the top of the 2nd by striking out. Terrible. Next up was Isaac Benjamin Davis! And Ike got an opposite field double, his first hit in 2011! Wahoo! Duda then flew out to left, gosh it's always zipadeeDUDA with Lucas. Now it was up to Eamus to get Ike home and put a run on the board and he struck out and stranded that awesomely bearded Davis on 2nd.

123 bottom of the 2nd for Niese! I love these Niese of cake innings!

Josh Thole singled to lead off the top of the 3rd! That was Joshy's first hit of the season, woot woot! Then Burkhardt does a segment on MLB-ers who cook and it turns out Johan Santana has very impressive skills with a knife and Davey Wright loves apple pie. I know the things Kevin teaches us sometimes are vital for our sports loving existence. Talk about hard hitting news! Oh and during this "Diamond Dishes" segment Niese sac bunted to move Josh on over to 2nd so maybe Reyes could like get an RBI. And Reyes hit a beauty to center but Coghlan was able to make the catch, bollocks. Now Thole was at 3rd with two outs for Crazy Horse Pagan. I really want to get to say it's back back back it's Pa-GONE a lot this season but sadly this was not one of those times for me to get to do that. It was a long fly ball but not long enough. Fly outs to right suck! Inning over.

123 bottom of the 3rd for Niese and that also meant he had retired 8 in a row!

In the top of the 4th Wright led off with a bombarino! Ron remarked "That was some serious pop Keith" and oh it was and now it was just a one run ballgame. 2-1! Then it looked like Beltran was homering too but nope it was a fakeout. And then that Coghlan made a great play in center to take a base hit away from Ike. So now it was 2 outs and nobody on for Mr. Duda and he duh is not winning and struck out.

After a slew of Geico commercials we were back for the bottom of the 4th and it was another 123 inning for Niese!

Eamus led off the top of the 5th with his first big league hit, wahoo! Other than that this was a pointless half of an inning.

Niese picked up his first K of the night in the bottom of the 5th or as Keith referred to it "He just ate up Coghlan." With 2 outs and a man on 2nd Infante grounded a ball hard to Davey, Wright bobbled it and he had no play to make (first error of the Metsies season) and men were now on first and third for Ramirez ugh. But phew danger averted and Hanley grounded out to Eamus!

In the top of the 6th Beltran got a 2 out single and it was time for some Ike magic! And Ike tied the game with a double! 2-2! Davis' bat and beard are real and spectacular but blah blah then Duda go figures did the whole grounding out to end the inning thang. He really likes to leave Ike stranded on 2nd. Not cool Duda.

"He's throwing inside aggressively, I love it" said the Hernandez. Niese struck out John Buck who is now all of a sudden pretending he can't hit to end the inning and that meant a 123 bottom of the 6th for Niese!

In the top of the 7th Thole hit a 1 out single but Bonifacio made a Frenchy type play and he caught Thole off the bag and Josh was out, that hit was wasted and then Niese struck out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th the go ahead run was on 2nd with 1 out for Helms and Jon struck him out! Then it was time for Coghlan with the pinch runner Cousins (Donnie Murphy left the game) still at 2nd and he grounded out and the inning was over! Only 86 pitches thrown!

In the top of the 8th Reyes grounded out and he's now 0-8 this season. Then Bonifacio had to go and show off the glove again (now at 3rd) to make a great defensive play that took an infield hit away from Crazy Horse Angel Pagan. So with 2 outs and nobody on it was Wright's turn to maybe homer again but nah he just singled and that was mighty fine. But ugh Beltran grounded out and the inning was over.

Bottom of the 8th Bobby P time! 123 inning for Parnell including two K's!

Could the hero be Josh Thole?! Thole rbi singled in the top of the 9th to give the Metsies a 3-2 lead!

And then it was K-Rod time, his first pitch of the year was a strike! He even struck out Logan Morrison for out numero uno but of course the shit hit the fan and K-Rod was up to his old I like to blow saves tricks. This part was very upsetting for me so I'm just gonna say the Marlins tied the ballgame 3-3 and somehow K-Rod didn't give up any more runs and we were headed to extra innings.

In the top of the 10th Reyes and Pagan both got on base with back to back singles (Pagan successful bunt single). Then David Wright did it again and he singled, Reyes scored and the Mets regained the lead 4-3 and phew they weren't done! Fast forward to 1st and 3rd 2 outs for Willie Harris and oh Harris is making us fans very happy (and oh we deserve that after all the Mets killing he did last season) and he doubled and the Mets had a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the 10th!

K-Rod was back to pitch again, I'm just playing, it was Blaine Boyer and he wasn't perfect at all but the Mets won so that's what counts! The Mets are 1-1 and the one and only RA Dickey takes the mound tomorrow! I can't wait. Last year I just looked forward to those Dickey starts.

So to tomorrow and some knuckleball fun!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Forget that Josh Johnson who the eff is this John Buck?

Marlins 6 Mets 2
Josh Johnson vs Big Pelf

Why hello there my fellow Metsie obsessed fans. It's good to have our baseball back! I've missed the boys. Sure the Jets supplied me with a lot of fun and well heartbreaking times and then the Nets have attempted to play basketball but nothing rocks my world quite like Mets baseball. For some reason even though I know the Mets will always disappoint me I enter each season excited as can be. Yep I just love being a masochist and really the Mets supply the best opportunity for me to get my masochistic ways on.

Honestly this game was an enjoyable pitcher's duel. The operative word being "WAS." It felt like Pedro was pitching against Josh Johnson like last year's season opener but nope Big Pelf had to go and ruin any hopes of a possible 1-0 start to this season.

Let's get to how it all unfolded in such a no good very bad fashion. To the bottom of the 4th! This inning started out so innocently and then bam it was first and third (Stanton on 3rd, Sanchez on 1st) for Logan Morrison with one out. Morrison was walked and ugh the bases were loaded for John Buck (I think no relation to Joe Buck or Uncle Buck). He battled like no other with Pelfrey and he was victorious. On the 8th pitch Buck hit a grand slam in his national league debut. Come on doesn't he know it's overrated to have a great debut as a Marlin! Damn him. 4-0 fish and it didn't look good for the Amazins and Pelf looks like he is not gonna replicate his awesome start one year ago. "That was an impressive at bat" says the Hernandez. Damn right it was and ugh ugh ugh Pelf got out of the inning but at this point Johnson was on fire and pitching a no-hitter. 9 in a row had been retired by Johnson after 5. Blech I wanted to vomit.

And the misery continued in the bottom of the 5th, Sanchez singled and Ramirez who was on 2nd scored and the fish's lead was now 5-0. But phew Morrison popped up to end the inning.

In the top of the 6th the no hitter continued on. Thole grounded out for out numero one. Duda then got his pinch hit on and duh he did nothing and he flew out to left. And then the 12th man to be retired in a row by Johnson was Reyes who also flew out to Coghlan.

And then wtf John Buck did it again in the bottom of the 6th. Who is this dude? Beato making his debut for the Metsies "battling the butterflies" according to Gary gave up an off the wall double to John Buck. Okay day one and the new Mets killer is John Buck. I guess it's always good to figure out who our nemeses are as early as possible. What is it about these Marlins that always makes the Mets match up against them in the worst fashion ever? But phew after Buck, Beato retired the next three marlins in a row!

Willie Harris led off the 7th inning and he got the first hit of the night! A double for the former Met killer who is now a Met! Then with one out and Harris on third Beltran doubled and the Mets cut the lead back to 4. 5-1! Then Pagan infield singled and Isaac Benjamin Davis was up with men on 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Ike grounded to Infante and Omar couldn't make the play to get Beltran out at home so he instead made the play at 1st, Ike was out but Carlos scored and the lead was just 5-2. Then with the bases loaded and 2 outs Collins had Scott Hairston pinch hit for Josh Thole against the Marlins reliever Mike Dunn. This was the big debut for Hairston and he struck out and shamed his Hairston MLB family name.

Beato didn't give up any runs in the bottom of the 7th and we were off to the top of the 8th with this game actually in reach for the Mets. Maybe Pelf could get a no decision after all and forget that grand slam ever happened. Or maybe the Mets would do nothing! Yep they did nothing and for some reason I still watch games with some optimism and assumed maybe they could make a comeback. Will I ever smarten up and learn?!

Yep optimism is for suckers. Then Morrison homered to lead off the bottom of the 8th and now the lead was 6-2 but phew that was all the damage that was done.

To the top of the 9th and the last hope for the Mets! 6-2 ball game. Beltran led off the 9th against the Marlins closer Leo Nunez and he flew out to Coghlan for out numero uno. Now it was time for Angel "Crazy Horse" Pagan and he popped up to third. And now the fate of a Metsies comeback fell into the lap of my fave Metsie Mr. Ike Davis. Sadly Davis struck out and Terry Collins is now 0-1 as the manager of the Amazins.

Tomorrow Niese takes the mound and ugh it has got to be better than this right??!!

And Keith needs to be funnier tomorrow. If I'm gonna survive this season he has to deliver me gems and for some reason he was super focused and professional sounding. Granted there was a lot of "cheese" talk but still I want some random tangent about Jack Kerouac or David Bowie from Keith. Yep I do...