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Nelson Cruz Is Not The Answer For The MetsEven after last week’s signing of Chris Young, the Met outfield is still in dire circumstances.…View Post

Nelson Cruz Is Not The Answer For The Mets

Even after last week’s signing of Chris Young, the Met outfield is still in dire circumstances.…

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Mets Get Bargain With Chris YoungThe Mets got a low-risk, high reward outfielder in Chris Young.
The Mets surprised the baseball…View Post

Mets Get Bargain With Chris Young

The Mets got a low-risk, high reward outfielder in Chris Young.

The Mets surprised the baseball…

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Aug 2

Game 106: Mets Rough Up Zito, Win 9-1

Final Score: Mets 9, Giants 1

Player Of The Game: Ronny Cedeno-  3-for-5, 5 RBI, 2 triples

Goat Of The GameNormally, if there’s no clear goat, I would just pick Jason Bay, but even he drove in two runs…

Notes:

  • Chris Young was dominant. Young tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits. He also didn’t walk a single batter.
  • Daniel Murphy was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
  • The Mets got to Zito early, (as you can see on the wonderful chart above) scoring four runs in the first inning. In total, Zito lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up seven runs on six hits.He also walked three batters.
  • For once, a Mets game wasn’t stressful!
  • The Mets finish off their west coast swing with a series in San Diego, which starts tomorrow night at 10:05. R.A. Dickey (14-2, 2.83 ERA) will go up against Clayton Richard(7-11, 4.14 ERA).

Series Preview: Mets Begin West Coast Trip With Four In Arizona

Tonight at 9:40, the Mets begin the first game of an eleven-game west coast road trip against the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

The Mets are coming out of their last homestand desperate for wins. They really need a big run to turn this season around and they need it fast. They are on the brink of being irrelevant. If they don’t roll of a bunch of victories fast, they will be out of the playoff race entirely.

Not only will this series be important in the actual standings, but it will also be very revealing of how resilient this year’s Mets team really is. Terry Collins really ripped into them in his last press conference after yesterda’ys game. After having 36 hours to sit on that, it should be very interesting to see how the Mets respond.

The Diamondbacks are a team led mostly by their offense. They have gotten great performances out of some recent acquisitions: Jason Kubel and Aaron Hill. Hill, who the D-Backs got from Toronto last August, has been a big run producer and is second on the team in home runs. Kubel, who signed a two-year deal with Arizona in December, is having a career-best season. He is hitting around .300 and has over 20 home runs on the season. He is also up there among league RBI leaders with more than 70. Those two have been keys to the Diamondbacks being a .500 team.

The Mets need to step up and win some games if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, and that all starts tonight. Lose three of four and the Mets could find themselves nine or ten games back. This series will make or break this season.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 9:40

Matt Harvey (0-0, -.— ERA) vs. Wade Miley (11-5, 3.02 ERA)

Game 2- Friday 9:40

Jonathon Niese (7-4, 3.59 ERA) vs. Josh Collmenter (2-2, 3.82 ERA)

Game 3- Saturday 8:10

Chris Young (2-4, 3.91 ERA Ian Kennedy (8-8, 4.20 ERA)

Game 4- Sunday 4:10

R.A. Dickey (13-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (5-6, 3.51 ERA)

Notes:

  • Justin Upton has not been himself this season. Upton hit over 30 home runs last year with a slugging percentage of .529. He is on pace to hit fewer than 15 home runs this year and his slugging percentage has dropped more than 100 points from last season.
  • Friday’s starter for the Diamondbacks, Josh Collmenter, has a 1.53 ERA over his last 15 games, which include four starts.
  • David Wright has been in a bit of a slump lately. Well, by his standards. Wright is hitting .301 this month, but also has six homers and 17 RBI.
  • Matt Harvey will make his long-awaited debut tonight. In his last start in Buffalo, he allowed six runs on seven hits in just five innings.
  • Jon Niese bounced back from a rough outing against Chicago on July 8 with two great starts. Niese has allowed more than four runs in just three of his 19 starts this season. He has really only had two really bad starts- against the Cubs on July 8, and also in Toronto in mid-May.
  • Since throwing his second consecutive one-hitter on June 18, R.A. Dickey has struggled. In seven games (six starts) he has an ERA of 5.36, compared to 2.00 over his first 14 outings.
  • Let’s go Mets!

Game 96: Extra Innings, Extra Painful…

[iframe src=”http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2012-07-23&team=Mets&dh=0” width=”450” height=”450”]

Final Score: Nationals 8, Mets 2

Player Of The Game: Chris Young- 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 106 pitches (64 strikes)

Goat Of The Game: Pedro Beato- 0.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, BB

Notes:

  • Chris Young pitched really, really well. Young allowed two runs in seven innings, allowing three hits in the first inning and then settling down after that.
  • Ike Davis and David Wright both hit their 15th home runs of the year.
  • For the second straight night, the Mets bullpen collapsed in extra innings. Last night it was Ramon Ramirez. Tonight it was Pedro  Beato. Beato was charged with five runs on four hits in just a third of an inning.
  • The Mets have now lost ten of their last 11 games…

Series Preview: Mets Get Another Shot At Nationals

Tonight at 7:10, the Mets take on the Nationals in the first game of a three-game series at Citi Field.

This may be the last chance for the Mets. If they can’t take this series, it will be very, very hard for them to get out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves.

The last time the Mets played the Nationals just last week, they lost two of three. The two losses were both of the one-run variety. They lost the first game 4-3 after a comeback attempt in the ninth inning fell just short. Then the next night, they lost it in the tenth on a wild pitch by Pedro Beato with the bases loaded. Luckily, R.A. Dickey and David Wright were there to save the day in the getaway game. Wright hit two home runs and Dickey allowed four runs in 7.1 innings en route to a 9-5 win.

Despite the promising sign at the end of the last Nationals series, they have continued to falter. They were swept by the Dodgers at Citi Field to fall below .500 for the first time all season. That makes this series so critical for the Mets.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Monday 7:10

Chris Young (2-4, 4.11 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (7-6, 2.35 ERA)

Game 2- Tuesday 7:10

R.A. Dickey (13-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32 ERA)

Game 3 Wednesday 12:10

Jeremy Hefner (1-3, 5.85 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-4, 2.85 ERA)

Notes:

  • Ian Desmond is heading to the DL with an oblique injury. Desmond has been the the biggest offensive threat for the Nationals this season, hitting 17 home runs and driving in 53. He was batting .286 with a .825 OPS. He also has 15 stolen bases. He could be out for well over a month.
  • The Mets don’t get any breaks with the pitching matchups in this series. They are forced to face Washington’s three best pitchers. This is going to be a very tough series…
  • Daniel Murphy is on fire. He has his average up above .300 once again after going 4-for-5 last night. Since June 26, Murphy is hitting .440.
  • The Mets have a 6.36 ERA since the All-Star break.

Series Preview: Mets Take On Washington In Critical Series

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Nationals, one that has major playoff implications for New York, tonight at 7:05 in Washington.

The Mets, currently coming off a horrendous three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, desperately need a series win here. Not only do they need wins mentally, but this series is very important for the Mets playoff chances. If they blow it here in Washington and are swept, they may fall too far behind to ever catch up in the division. Plus, with the way some of the Wild Card contenders are playing right now, the Mets could find themselves in a hole there as well.

The Nationals come into this series 18-13since last meeting the Mets before the long stretch of interleague play began. Their lineup has been suspect this season, but have caught fire recently, in part thanks to Ian Desmond. Desmond, 26, is having the best power season of his career. Over his past 31 games, Desmond has nine home runs and 26 RBI. He is also second on the Nationals in stolen bases with 13 on the season. Desmond has been an overall threat that the Mets will have to look out for.

On the pitching side, the Nationals have continued to dominate. They are still tops in the majors in ERA, WHIP, batting average against, and quality starts, among others. Luckily for the Mets, they won’t have to face Stephen Strasburgh, who will go against Atlanta on Friday. However, they will still have to face some tough opposing pitchers for the Nats and it will certainly be a tough series for the Mets to take.

Game 1- Tonight 7:05

Jonathon Niese (7-4, 3.73 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.43 ERA)

Game 2- Wednesday 7:05

Chris Young (2-3, 4.28 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (6-6, 2.48 ERA)

Game 3- Thursday 12:35

R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.66 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 2.93 ERA)

Notes:

  • Jason Bay will return to the Mets today after suffering a concussion on June 15 against the Reds. Bay has only played in 22 games this season.
  • While it’s the Washington rotation that gets the attention, the bullpen isn;t too shabby either. They  have a top ten bullpen, led by Tyler Clippard, who has 14 saves this year and a 1.83 ERA.
  • Gio Gonzalez pitched very well to start the season, but has only been decent lately. The lefty has a 4.11 ERA over his past eight starts, compared to a 2.04 mark the rest of the season.
  • Bryce Harper has struggled of late. Over his last 25 games, Harper is hitting just .229 with one home run and six RBI.
  • Ian Desmond suffered an oblique injury in this weekend’s series against the Marlins, but will probably be ready to go for this series.
Jul 2

Series Preview: Mets Head Home To Try To Bury Phillies

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”646”] Winless[/caption]

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow night at 7:10 at Citi Field.

The Phillies come into this series having lost 9 of 19 games in June. They are now 11 games back of the Nationals for first place in the NL East.

This year, with Chase Utley just coming back and Ryan Howard still injured, the Phillies have relied on a few players to carry them, especially on offense. Luckily for them, Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz are having the best seasons of their careers. Pence has 16 home runs and 46 RBI while Ruiz is leading the league in hitting. Past those two, however, the offense has been scarce for the Phillies.

The starting pitching staff, once revered as the greatest one ever assembled, has not been what it used to be this season. The Phillies have been without Roy Halladay since May 27 and likely won’t have him back until after the All-Star break. Cole Hamels, who was looking like a Cy Young Award candidate early in the season, hit a bump in the road recently and hasn’t been nearly as dominant. Cliff Lee is still winless and has a 4.13 ERA through 13 starts. The Phillies needed the pitching staff to step up to carry them with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out, but that hasn’t happened.

Pitching matchups:

Game 1- Tuesday 7:10

Jonathon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92 ERA)

Game 2- Wednesday 1:10

Chris Young (2-1, 3.30 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13 ERA)

Game 3- Thursday 7:10

R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08 ERA)

Notes:

  • Chase Utley returned this week after missing the first 76 game of the season with a knee injury. He has five hits in 13 at-bats since returning.
  • The Phillies also have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Their 4.57 bullpen ERA is 28th in baseball, just two spots in front of the Mets.
  • The Phillies are one of the most impatient team in baseball. Their 204 walks are 27th in baseball.
  • Brush up on your Cole Hamels knowledge with Ted Berg’s gallery, a must-see whenever Hamels is pitching. It’s hilarious.
  • I don’t mean to get too eager, but a sweep of the Phillies would be devastating for them. With the way the Nationals are playing right now, the Phillies would probably fall another two or three games back if swept. That’s a hole I don’t know they can get out of. If they find themselves 15 games back at the All-Star break, there’s going to be a fire sale in Philly and no one will be safe.

Series Preview: Mets Play Four In L.A.

The Mets begin a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at 10:10 EDT.

The Mets get the Dodgers at a very good time. Los Angeles is fading fast, losing 11 of 15 and eight of nine. The Dodgers started out fast, at one time having the best record in baseball and blowing away the rest of their division. They are now on the verge of losing the NL West lead to the Giants.

The Dodgers are a team similar to the Mets when it comes to offense. They can’t hit home runs and are 29th in baseball in that category. However, they are good at getting on base, much like the Mets. They are in the top ten in on-base percentage as well as walks.

While their offense may be sub-par, the Dodger pitching staff is terrific. They rank in the top five in ERA, quality starts, and batting average against, among others. They have a very good bullpen, led by up-and-coming closer Kenley Jansen.

Here are the pitching matchups for this series:

Game 1- Tonight 10:10

Chris Young (1-1, 3.42 ERA) vs. Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60 ERA)

Game 2- Friday 10:10

R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (5-4, 3.81 ERA)

Game 3- Saturday 7:15

Johan Santana (5-4, 3.00 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (0-4, 4.04 ERA)

Game 4- Sunday 8:10

Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 2.74 ERA)

Notes:

  • Andre Ethier left yesterday’s game with a left oblique injury. It’s unclear how long he will be out.
  • If you are unaware, Matt Kemp has been out for quite a while with a hamstring injury that has been repeatedly flaring up. If he was healthy, he would be a deadly force in that lineup. Another break for the Mets in this series…
  • How about that Chris Capuano? The lefty, who wanted a two-year deal from the Mets, decided not to sign on for one year, and instead went to Los Angeles. He has been incredible. He has a 2.60 ERA, compared to his career mark of 4.23. He also has a 1.13 WHIP along with a .221 batting average against.

Morning News: Mets Edged By Yanks, Bay Is Getting Better, Byrdak’s Chicken

Every morning, we give you the top three stories from Mets-land. Here are this morning’s headlines.

Mets Drop Middle Game To Yankees

The Mets lost to the Yankees last night 4-3.

Chris Young started and pitched very well through six, but gave up a three-run home run to Raul Ibanez in the seventh to tie the game up at three. Jon Rauch came in and allowed another home run later in the inning, giving the Yankees a 4-3 advantage that they would hold.

The Mets send R.A. Dickey to the hill in what could be a pitching duel for the ages as he faces off against C.C. Sabathia in an ESPN game.

Jason Bay Feeling Better

Jason Bay is feeling much better after suffering a concussion last week. Jason has been showing up at the ballpark over the past few days, and is reportedly “symptom free.”

No timetable has been set for his return.

Byrdak Buys A Chicken?

Apparently after Frank Francisco made his chicken comments about the Yankees earlier this week, Tim Byrdak bought a live chicken. Byrdak sent someone to Chinatown, who got one for $8. It’s name is “Little Jerry Seinfeld.”

Little Jerry had a fun day at Citi Field, running around the clubhouse and being fed berries, bread and oatmeal by the team chef.

Byrdak is now trying to find a permanent home for the chicken.

The Chris Young signing could have meant the end for Pelfrey— if it had been done sooner

Yesterday afternoon, GM Sandy Alderson confirmed the Mets’ signing of veteran right-hander Chris Young to a minor league contract. He will provide added depth to a team that lacks it— especially in the starting rotation.

ESPN New York writer Adam Rubin brought up something that we were all thinking when this signing went down:

Alderson said Young is “unlikely” to be considered as anything but a starter. The Mets, like any team, figure to go through more than five pitchers in the rotation during the season. So Young, as well as prospects such as Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, would be candidates for a second-half role if ready. By then, Mike Pelfrey could be on the trading block if the Mets have faded, too.

Young is definitely a starter, but the last time I checked the rotation went— 1. Santana, 2. Dickey, 3. Niese, 4. Pelfrey, 5. Gee— so that means if Young were to step in, someone would have to go. That someone, without a doubt, would be Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey is the most inconsistent of the five starters, and one of the most overpaid. Plus, his contract is not guaranteed, which means that if the Mets were to cut him before the season, they would only be responsible for half of his $5.6 million salary this season.

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”240” caption=”(Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)”]Chris Young Signs Autographs[/caption]

Chris Young, a former All-Star, has definitely proven himself as an above-average starter over his eight-year major league career. From 2005 through 2007, Young went 32-20 with a 3.60 ERA and a stellar 1.161 WHIP— proving himself as one of the game’s best up-and-coming starting pitchers. Since then, however, he has fallen off the map due to constant injury. But when you take into account the production Young has provided throughout his career, despite the injuries, most baseball fans would take Young over Mike Pelfrey any day of the week.

We have established now that Young, when healthy is a better pitcher than Mike Pelfrey, but it looks unlikely that Young will actually grab Mike’s spot in the rotation and hold it and there are two main reasons why.

The first reason is Chris Young’s health. As I mentioned earlier, the likelihood of Young completing a 30-start season again may be unlikely. It’s possible, but it’s unlikely.

The second, and in my opinion, the most important one to the Mets, is the timing. Mike Pelfrey’s contract isn’t guaranteed. They could release him before Opening Day and save money. They would only do that, though, if they thought they had an able and ready starter to step in and pitch those 180-190 innings. Even if Chris Young could hold up through
September, the odds of him getting back to the mound, ready to pitch when his first turn comes around April 9 or 10 are very, very slim and the Mets know that. They aren’t going to release Mike Pelfrey because of this uncertainty.. The one thing Pelfrey does provide is innings and if the Mets don’t know for a fact that those are going to be filled, nobody’s going anywhere.

It’s a real shame that the Mets couldn’t get this deal done earlier with Chris Young. If they had, he may have been ready to pitch much, much earlier. Say what you will about the Mets training staff, but they would’ve prepared Young and gotten him out on the mound. This would have opened the door for releasing of Mike Pelfrey (which seems like the only way the Mets could get rid of Pelfrey because no one wants to trade for him). Sandy Alderson made a mistake in not signing Chris Young right out of the gate in Spring Training.

Even if the whole thing didn’t work out— at least there would have been a chance of removing Mike Pelfrey from his thrown., finally removing the pain in the side of most Mets fans, replacing it with possibly a more consistent, productive pitcher.

 This post was also published at The Real Dirty Mets Blog.

Mets bring veteran Young on board

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”154” caption=”(Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)”]Chris  Young 2[/caption]

Sandy Alderson confirmed today that the Mets have agreed to terms with veteran right hander Chris Young on a minor league deal.

Young, 32, had the same procedure done on Johan Santana back in May of last year, causing him to miss the rest of the year. According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Sandy had this to say about Young:

"Chris was a real positive for us in spring training last year. He pitched well early in the year. Unfortunately, he re-injured his shoulder. We’d like to see him get back to the point where he was with us early last year and go from there, because he’s been an All-Star and quality guy to have on the team."

Young went 1-0 in four starts with the Mets in 2011. It remains unclear when Young will be ready to pitch.