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Changes, Changes: My Offseason Plan For The New York MetsIf I were Sandy Alderson…
The Mets have a few glaring needs going into this offseason. Despite the…View Post

Changes, Changes: My Offseason Plan For The New York Mets

If I were Sandy Alderson…

The Mets have a few glaring needs going into this offseason. Despite the…

View Post

Series Preview: Mets End Homestand With Three Against Atlanta

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves tonight at 7:10.

The Braves come into this series red-hot and look like they are going to challenge the Nationals for the NL East crown. Atlanta has won seven of their last ten, and 12 of their last 15 games. They currently sit only four and a half back of Washington.

The Braves, as of late, have looked more like a team that could play well into October as opposed to a team that could barely get into the playoffs. They have gotten solid production from expected (and unexpected) places in their lineup that have really helped them stay alive.

Balance is one word that perfectly describes the Braves. Their offense and their pitching staff are both very solid. They rank in the middle of the pack in most major offensive categories and the same is true for the pitching staff as well. That, combined with new acquisitions and a dominant bullpen, make the Braves very dangerous, and very tough to beat.

How They Compare

Pitching Matchups

Game 1- Tonight 7:10

Matt Harvey (16.1 IP, 100 ERA+, 1.34 WHIP, 3.29 K/BB)

vs.

Paul Maholm (127.1 IP, 107 ERA+, 1.23 WHIP, 2.47 K/BB)

Game 2- Saturday 7:10

Johan Santana (110.2 IP, 95 ERA+, 1.26 WHIP, 2.76 K/BB)

vs.

Kris Medlen (64.2 IP, 171 ERA+, 1.09 WHIP, 2.81 K/BB)

Game 3- Sunday 8:10

Jonathon Niese (136.2 IP, 99 ERA+, 1.18 WHIP, 3.22 K/BB)

vs.

Ben Sheets (32 IP, 289 ERA+, 1.18 WHIP, 3.29 K/BB)

Biggest Threats

Notes

  • Chipper Jones has been red-hot lately. Jones has hit .354 since the beginning of July with four home runs. Jones is having quite a season for someone his age, a season that he claims will be his last.
  • While Jones has picked up the production, Michael Bourn’s has dropped. He is hitting .248 with a .329 OBP since July 1.
  • Ben Sheets may have had his best outing as a Brave yet in his last start. Sheets went 7.1 innings, allowing one run on seven hits. In four of Sheets’ five starts, he has allowed one run or fewer.
  • Jair Jurrjens was recently sent back down to the minors after being given another chance with the Braves last month. In July, Jurrjens struggled again, allowing 17 earned runs (20 total) in 18.2 innings. Jurrjens’ struggles may be due to arm wear. He has lost a few miles per hour on his fastball, which we saw when he faced the Mets in April.
  • Craig Kimbrel is having another outstanding season for Atlanta. Kimbrel has a 1.26 ERA in 43 innings this season, and has a 0.75 ERA since June 1.
  • Let’s go Mets!

Morning Mets Links: July 22, 2012


Here are this morning’s Mets links:

  • The Mets placed Johan Santana on the DL yesterday with a sprained ankle. Santana hurt the ankle against the Cubs on July 6 when he had his foot stepped on while covering first base. Santana, 33, is 6-7 on the season with a 3.98 ERA. (MLB.com)
  • The Mets lost yesterday to the Dodgers by a score of 8-5. Miguel Batista got the start and got rocked. He went just three innings on a day when the Mets needed more. He also gave up four runs on five hits. (Box Score)
  • Matt Harvey got roughed up in Triple-A last night, allowing six runs on seven hits over five innings. (MiLB.com)
  • Elvin Ramirez was called back up to the Mets yesterday. Ramirez, 24, has made five appearances for the Mets this season. He has allowed a total of seven earned runs over seven innings pitched. However, he has a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched in Buffalo this season. (ESPN New York)
  • The Mets lost out on another reliever in the trade market yesterday as the Astros dealt closer Brett Myers to the White Sox . Myers, 31, has a 3.52 ERA in 30.2 innings this year. (@Ken_Rosenthal)

Morning Mets Links: July 21, 2012

Here are this morning’s Mets links:

  • The Mets were defeated last night by a score of 7-6. Johan Santana struggled early, but the Mets mounted a comeback. The comeback wouldn’t be enough however, as the Mets fell one run short. (Box Score)
  • The Mets dealt Omar Quintanilla to the Orioles for cash considerations yesterday. The 30 year-old infielder played 29 games for the Mets this season before being designated for assignment on July 17. (Yahoo Sports)
  • Terry Collins explained to reporters yesterday why he doesn’t expect Dillon Gee back this season. He basically said that after six weeks, it will be like the beginning of spring training again. It does make sense. Usually pitchers take six to eight weeks off in the off-season before they resume their throwing program. It would be very, very difficult for Gee to come back this season and doing so could risk injury. (ESPN New York)
  • It seems possible that Johan Santana may not be 100% after being thrown right into the rotation a year after surgery. However, there will be no innings limit for Santana this season. (Mets Blog)
  • Mike Baxter's rehab is moving to Binghamton. (ESPN New York)
  • While everyone is talking about external solutions to the Mets’ bullpen woes, there may be a young arm in the farm system that we just aren’t talking about. Jeurys Familia, who scouts have long said is a future relief pitcher, could be moved to the bullpen and get the call to pitch in the big leagues. (Metszilla)

Series Preview: Mets Head Home, Try To Stay Alive In Playoff Hunt Against Dodgers

The Mets begin another critical series tonight against the Dodgers at 7:10.

The Mets and Dodgers are both currently in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot, with the Dodgers currently ahead of the Mets by 1.5 games. The Mets need to take this series to not only keep up with the Braves, but also distance themselves with some of the other Wild Card contenders. There are currently five other teams withing seven games of the last playoff spot.

The Dodgers that we will see this weekend is a much different team than we saw before the All-Star break, when the Mets took three of four games in Los Angeles. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, Kemp was having a ridiculous April and May before going down with a hamstring problem, which has since flared up again. Ethier was also having a nice season, driving in 59 runs through 81 games. With both of these guys back, the Dodger lineup immediately goes from well below average, to pretty decent.

What’s kept the Dodgers in contention despite the absence of their two best hitters has been their pitching. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Capuano have continued their fantastic seasons. Capuano, who the Mets decided not to sign this past offseason, has a 2.75 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 118 innings pitched. The team’s 3.34 starter’s ERA is second in baseball.

The Dodger bullpen has also played a big role in keeping this team alive. The Dodger bullpen has a 3.13 ERA. Kenley Jansen has continued his dominance this season. He has a 2.04 ERA to go along with 16 saves this season. He also has 13.4 strikeouts per nine this year.

Hopefully the Mets can get on a bit of a roll here and make everyone forget the si-game losing streak.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 7:10

Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (6-5, 3.53 ERA)

Game 2- Saturday 1:10

Miguel Batista (1-2, 4.33 ERA) vs. Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75 ERA)

Game 3- Sunday 1:10

Jonathon Niese (7-4, 3.58 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33 ERA)

Notes:

  • In 43 appearances this season, Kenley Jansen has allowed more than one hit only four times.
  • Nathan Eovaldi has struggled of late. The 22 yea-old has a 7.17 ERA over his last four starts, including a start against the Dodgers on June 25 in which he gave up eight runs on ten hits. Eovaldi was ranked before the season as the 96th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.
  • David Wright has hit five homers this month and driven in 15 runs in just 13 games. He is hitting .340 with a .407 on-base percentage this month.
  • Ruben Tejada has also had a great month, hitting .345. He has seven multi-hit games this month.

Morning Mets Links: July 20, 2012

Here are this morning’s Mets links:

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Mets salvaged the third game in Washington, in part thanks to a fantastic two home run game from David Wright en route to a 9-5 victory. R.A. Dickey also recorded his 13th win of the season. (ESPN New York)
  • Mike Baxter is slowly progressing in his rehab. He has reportedly still not thrown yet, and only has a maximum of 16 days left on his rehab assignment. (@AdamRubinESPN)
  • Just when we thought the whole Matt Harvey vs. Miguel Batista thing was over, A source tells Mike Puma of the New York Post that if Batista is awful on Saturday, the Mets may turn to Harvey in the near future. (New York Post)
  • The Mets are going to go after the top tier relievers and only guys “who can actually have an impact.” (Star-Ledger)
  • Despite the Mets’ interest in the top tier of available relief pitchers, Sandy Alderson is set on not overpaying. He will not get desparate (like the Giants did in last year’s Carlos Beltran trade) and trade away top prospects for bullpen help. (ESPN New York)
  • Joe Janish at Mets Today loooks at what is separating Bobby Parnell from being a decent closer. (Mets Today)
  • There may be another bullpen option in Triple-A that we have been iignoring for quite some time. Fernando Cabrera is having a stellar season for Buffalo. Ed Ryan at Mets Fever makes the case for Cabrera. (Mets Fever)
  • The Mets take on the Dodgers tonight at Citi Field, when Aaron Harang faces off against Johan Santana. First pitch is 7:10. (MLB.com- Preview)

Series Preview: Mets Open Up Second Half With Three In Atlanta

Tonight at 7:35, the Mets begin a three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field.

The Braves ended the first half 46-39, four games behind the Nationals and a half a game in front of the Mets in the NL East. They finished up the first half with a devastating sweep of the Phillies.

The Braves have been a balanced team this season and haven’t been particularly great at anything. Their bullpen ERA is 13th in baseball and their starters’ ERA ranks 18th. On offense, they are 13th in on-base percentage and 14th in slugging percentage.

On paper this season, they should have had a fantastic pitching staff. However, they suffered a big blow last month, losing young ace Brandon Beachey. Since then, they have experimented with young prospects to fill in. The Braves have reportedly been interested in acquiring an ace before the July 31 trade deadline. Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, and others could be targeted by the Atlanta front office. They also recently signed Ben Sheets, who will be on the mound on Sunday.

On offense, the Braves are pretty average. Jason Heyward has had a nice season, hitting .272 with 14 home runs. Michael Bourn is hitting a career-high .311 at the plate. However, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla have had down years. Uggla has only hit 12 home runs and is batting .221. Freeman, their 22 year-old first baseman who had an excellent rookie campaign last year, has seen his batting average drop by 20 points and his on-base percentage drop by 30 points.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 7:35

Chris Young (2-2, 3.41 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.56 ERA)

Game 2- Saturday 4:05

R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.40 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (10-5, 3.71 ERA)

Game 3- Sunday 1:35

Johan Santana (6-5, 3.24 ERA) vs. Ben Sheets (Has not pitched this year)

Notes:

  • Jonny Venters was placed on the DL about a week ago. Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge deal. However, with all the left-handed bats in the Mets lineup, Venters being out means Terry Collins has one less thing to worry about in the late innings.
  • 22 year-old shortstop Andrelton Simmons was placed on the DL three days ago with a finger injury. Simmons was batting .296 in 115 at-bats for the Braves this season.
  • Ben Sheets will be making his first start since July 19, 2010.
  • How is Tim Hudson still so good? He is 36 (turning 37 on Saturday) and he is still pitching just as well as he was five years ago. The guy is the picture of consistency.
  • Johan Santana’s ankle is fine. He will almost certainly be good to go on Sunday…

Morning Links: 7.13.12

News:

Opinion:

Morning Links: 7.12.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”480”] Not ready for the big leagues…[/caption]

News:

Opinion:

Jul 8

Morning Links: 7.8.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”512”] DOMINATION[/caption]

News:

Opinion:

Jul 7

Morning Links: 7.7.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”286”]Chicago Cubs v New York Mets Roughed up last night at Citi Field[/caption]

News:

Opinion:
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. :)
Jul 1

Morning News: Mets Sign Picks,

Here is this morning’s Mets news:

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.

Series Preview: Mets Go To Chicago To Play The Worst Team In Baseball

The Mets begin a three-game set with the Cubs in Chicaco tonight at 8:05

The Cubs have been the worst team in baseball this season. Their .333 winning percentage is the worst in the MLB, and they are a team full of under-performing, overpaid veterans. This team’s so bad, it’s only a matter of time before the team is broken up by Theo Epstein.

The Cubs best player this season has clearly been Starlin Castro. Castro is having a breakout year at shortstop, hitting .308 with 38 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He has quickly cemented his status as a cornerstone of the Cubs franchise. He may be one of the few players not on the market for the Cubs as the trade deadline approaches

Here is a look at the pitching matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 8:05

Johan Santana (5-3, 3.00 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (1-3, 4.14 ERA)

Game 2- Tuesday 8:05

Dillon Gee (5-5, 4.27 ERA) vs. Randy Wells (1-2, 4.91 ERA)

Game 3- Wednesday 2:20

Jonathon Niese (5-3, 3.75 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34 ERA)

Notes:

  • The Cubs will be without Ryan Dempster, who went on the DL last week with a tight right lat. He was 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA.
  • If you missed the flurry of Mets roster moves last night, here they are.
  • Johan Santana bounced back after two bad outings with six shutout innings against the Orioles in his last start. He seems to be back to normal.
  • The Cubs are a very weak offensive team. Their 264 runs is 27th in baseball. They also have a .301 ob-base percentage, 28th in baseball. Their biggest power threat may be Bryan LaHair, who has 13 home runs this year, and hit 40 between Triple-A and the big league club last year.
  • The pitching staff isn’t much better. As you can see in the pitching matchups, the rotation hasn’t been good this year, but the bullpen has been awful as well. Their bullpen’s ERA is much better than the Mets’ but it’s still 26th in baseball at 4.49.The 1.55 WHIP as a bullpen is 29th in baseball.
  • Unless the Mets bullpen is heavily used in this series, the Mets should have an easy time taking care of the MLB-worst Cubs. But it’s baseball and this is the Mets so anything can happen.