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Aug 5

Morning Recap: Hefner Pitches Well, Mets Beat Padres 6-2

[iframe src=”http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=350&w=475&date=2012-08-04&team=Padres&dh=0” width=”475” height=”350”]

Final Score: Mets 6, Padres 2

Player Of The Game: Daniel Murphy- 4-for-4, 2 R

Goat Of The Game: Andres Torres- 0-for-4, 3 K

Notes:

  • The Mets knocked out Padres starter Edinson Volquez very early. Volquez had awful command, walking four batters in just 1.2 innings.
  • Walks were a theme on the night for the Mets. They walked a total of ten times. Mike Baxter along walked 5 times.
  • Jeremy Hefner pitched very well, allowing just one run over six innings. He may not have been the most high-profile pickup this winter, but he has done a great job filling in while Johan Santana has been on the DL.
  • Frank Francisco entered the game with one out in the ninth and recorded his 19th save of the season.
  • The Mets play the Padres in the series finals today at 4:05. Matt Harvey (1-1, 1.59 ERA) will go up against Jason Marquis (4-6, 4.08 ERA).
Jul 6

Series Preview: Mets Get Rematch With Cubs

Tonight, the Mets begin a three-game series with the Cubs at Ciri Field. First pitch is at 7:10.

Since we last left the Cubbies, they have played… surprisingly better. They took three against the Astros (is that an accomplishment?) and also played well against Atlanta in a four-game set.

These are the same old Cubbies, however. They’re towards the bottom in baseball in every major offensive category, and their pitching isn’t much better.

Hopefully the Mets can get their revenge this weekend against the team  that took two of three from them last week and head into the All-Star break with momentum in their favor.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 7:10

Johan Santana (6-4, 2.76 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (3-3, 3.05 ERA)

Game 2- Saturday 4:10

Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.34 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (6-7, 4.77 ERA)

Game 3- Sunday 1:10

Jonathon Niese (7-3, 3.35 ERA) vs. Chris Volstad (0-7, 7.94 ERA)

Notes:

  • Andres Torres has a back problem and could miss some time in this series.
  • The Cubs through 81 games were on a pace to finish the season 62-100.
  • The Cubs’ starter for Sunday is currently Chris Volstad, but that could change. Ryan Dempster, the Cubs’ ace, is on the DL, but is begging his manager to start him on Sunday. Dempster, 35, has a 2.11 ERA  in 81 innings this season.
  • Volstad has been really, really bad. He hasn’t made it past the sixth inning all season and hasn’t allowed less than three runs in a start since his first outing of the season. In his last start against the Braves, Volstad lasted just 4.1 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits.
  • SNY will have the call the whole weekend. No FOX. No ESPN. :)

Series Preview: Mets Head Down to Houston (Along With Their Cowboy Boots)

Tonight, the Mets begin their three-game series in Houston against the Astros.

The Mets are coming into this series after taking two of three in Colorado. They were embarrassed in the first game when the Rockies scored 11 runs in the fifth inning alone and won by a score of 18-9. However, they bounced back, winning the next two games 7-5 and 6-5. Friday night’s bullpen blow-up is hopefully a one-time thing.

The Astros, 8-14, have only shown slight improvement from their dreadful season last year. However, one major bright spot has been Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy, 33, is 2-2 this season with a 1.72 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. The Mets will face him in game three.

Here are the pitching matchups…

Game 1- Tonight 8:05

R.A. Dickey- The 3-1 Dickey bounced back from an awful start aginst the Braves on April 18 with a stellar outing against the MArlins. He surrendered only three hits over seven innings, allowing one run and striking out seven.

Bud Norris- Norris hasn’t pitched very well in either of his last two starts. In the first start, in Washington, he allowed ten hits and four earned in six innings. It got worse in his last start, allowing seven runs in 5.2 against the Brewers.

Game 2- Tuesday 8:05

Jon Niese- Niese is still on a roll. In his last start, he allowed two runs over seven innings. He hasn’t failed to go at least six innings so far this season.

J.A. Happ- Happ is 1-1 on the season with a 4.70 ERA. In his last start against the Brewers, he allowed four earned on seven hits over five innings.

Game 3- Wednesday 2:05

Chris Schwinden- Schwinden was part of that awful 18-9 loss to the Rockies on Friday, getting the ball rolling in the fifth inning. He was only charged with six runs, but he couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning.

Wandy Rodriguez- As I mentioned earlier, Wandy is dominating. His worst start this season came on April 11, when he allowed three runs in five innings against the Braves. He is really pitching well.

More notes…

— The Mets flew down to Houston last night in cowboy outfits and there are pictures to prove it.

Andres Torres will lead off and play center field tonight, coming off the DL to play for the first time since Opening Day. Zach Lutz, who was 1 for 8 this season, was sent back down to the minors.

—According to Adam rubin, Terry Collins may still be thinking about keeping Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field, even though Torres will return.

Ruben Tejada had a nice weekend in Colorado. He went 10-17, raising his batting average 105 points.

Ike Davis had the game-winning RBI-single in yesterday’s 6-5, eleven inning win. Ike has shown flashes of breaking out and finally starting to hit, but it hasn’t quite happened yet.

—Lastly, I just wanted to point out this hilarious article on the Astros from The Onion.

Apr 5

Andres Torres Heading to the DL

Outfielder Andres Torres left the Mets-Braves game today with a strained calf. After the game, Andres told reporters that he will be heading to the disabled list and will head down to Port St. Lucie.

This was the same injury that caused Torres to miss two or so weeks during the spring. It is still unclear who will be called up (or signed) to replace Torres.

Andres was acquired this past offseason along with Ramon Ramirez in exchange for Angel Pagan. Torres had a .221/.312/.330 slash line last season with the Giants.

Andres  Torres.JPG

Report: Torres, Hairston Will Likely be Ready for Opening Day

Anthony DiComo reported today that outfielders Scott Hairston and Andres Torres will both be ready for Opening day in all likelihood.

Both will provide depth in the outfield that the Mets have been desperately searching for since Hairston and Torres went down with

Injured earlier this spring, Hairston will make his spring debut on Wednesday, after playing in a minor league game today in Port St. Lucie. Torres, on the other hand, has already played in nine Grapefruit League games this spring. He, according to DiComo, was able to play catch and hit in the batting cage. He is nursing a strained calf which has kept him out of action for eight days.

Having both Hairston and Torres on the roster will mean that Terry Collins will have more flexibility on his bench, because he doesn’t have to worry about carrying a natural center fielder on the Opening Day roster. This means that it will be even more likely that Mike Baxter, who is not a natural center fielder. will travel north with the team.

Torres will likely retake the role as leadoff hitter and starting center fielder if he is ready to return when the Mets open up their regular season on April 5. Hairston will also likely regain his role as the team’s fourth or fifth outfielder.

2012 Season Preview: Center Field

Center field may be up for grabs.. Recently acquired outfielder Andres Toress will likely start off the season playing the position every day, but after that, it will likely go to a younger player.

When the Mets traded for Andres Torres in December, they knew they were bringing in a weak bat. Personally, I think the bigger piece in the trade was Ramon Ramirez. Last season in San Francisco, Torres had a .221/.312/.330 slash line. He was highly touted for his speed, but again, he only stole 19 bases in 112 games, so it’s not like he was a major force on the basepaths. At 34, it seems his best years just might be behind him.

There are two real emerging candidates for player who will steal the job from Torres, assuming he plays the way many think he will. Those two players are Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt Den Dekker.

Nieuwenhuis, 24, had a great season between Buffalo and Binghamton in 2010, hitting 18 home runs and driving in 77. Last year, his season was cut short by injury, but he seemed to be on his way to a quality season, hitting .298 in just over 50 games. Nieuwenhuis is highly regarded as a top Mets prospect, coming in at eighth on my list, and fourth on many others. He is considered a five-tool player who can do just about anything. He is likely to make his big league debut halfway through the season, no matter how well Torres is playing.

Den Dekker, 24, is a little bit further away from the major league roster than Nieuwenhuis.

Last year, Den Dekker seemed to tear up minor league pitching, hitting 17 home runs in 539 at-bats between Single-A Port St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. However, his strikeouts were a major concern. Den Dekker struck out 156 times. This has been a concern for him since he was attending the University of Florida. The improvement he makes on this attribute may make or break his career.
Backups: I don’t really see anyone taking over the center field role other than these two guys. I think they are good options, but we will have to wait and see.
Overall Grade: D+
If it weren’t for the prospects in the backup role, this would be a “D.” Torres needs to bounce back at the plate in order for the Mets to do anything this year. A .330 slugging percentage isn’t going to cut it.

Andres Torres talks to reporters, what will his role be?

Andres Torres spoke to reporters down in Port St. Lucie today. Here’s what he had to say:

Andres Torres is a weak-hitting outfielder, who has talent with the glove, but I feel his weaknesses at the plate are going to be so prevalent, that he is going to be relegated to a late-game defensive role, and not much else. He had a horrifying .221/.312/.330 slash line last season.   Terry Collins is planning on plugging him in at the leadoff spot to make use of his speed, but that’s going to be the worst place for him. Leading off, a manager wants someone with not only speed, but a very high on-base percentage. Even before the horrible season Torres had last year, his career on-base percentage was just .320.

He will likely be replaced by Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt Den Dekker, two young center fielders who have impressed with their bats in the minors sometime later this summer, specially if Torres repeats last season’s production.