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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!

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!

Morning Mets Links: July 23, 2012

Here are this morning’s Mets links:

  • The Mets lost yesterday afternoon in a marathon 12-inning game with the Dodgers that ended in an 8-3 defeat. Jonathon Niese pitched well, but the offense couldn’t score until the ninth, when they tied up the game. In the end, however, it all went to waste as Ramon Ramirez allowed five runs in the 12th to lost. (Post, Box Score)
  • The Mets announced that they will call up Matt Harvey to make his major league debut on Thursday against the Diamondbacks. Harvey is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 20 starts for the Triple-A Bisons this season. (ESPN New York)
  • The Mets also called up Elvin Ramirez yesterday. Ramirez had pitched very well in Buffalo this season. Miguel Batista's Mets career finally ended as he was designated for assignment to make room for Ramirez. (NJ.com)
  • It might all be over… (Real Dirty Mets)
  • Despite recent struggles, the Mets will not be sellers at the deadline. Adam Rubin tweets that the front office “didn’t want to leave the clubhouse bare.” (@AdamRubinESPN) Rubin also tweeted that the Mets could still be active in the trade market, dealing for players under control next season. (@AdamRubinESPN)
  • Chris Young takes on Jordan Zimmerman tonight at 7:10 in the first game of a three-game series.

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.

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 9

Morning Links: 7.9.12

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”490”] New York-bound?[/caption]

News:

Rumors:
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 6

Morning Links: 7.6.12

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”540”] Back and as mediocre as ever![/caption]

News:

Opinion pieces:

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.

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.
Apr 9

Series Preview: First Place Mets Host Nationals at Citi Field

[caption id=”attachment_1781” align=”aligncenter” width=”439” caption=”PELFREY-GEE-SANTANA- The rotation for this week’s series against the Nationals at Citi Field.”][/caption]

After sweeping the Braves over the weekend, the Mets will look to the Nationals to be their next victims as they start a three-game series in Citi Field tonight at 7:10.

David Wright comes in hot for the Mets tonight. David has driven in a run in each of the first three games of the season. At this point, his rib injury seems far behind him. Yesterday, he continued that, reaching base three times, including two walks.

Speaking of yesterday, the Mets finished off a three-game sweep of the Braves by a score of 7-5. Jonathon Niese had a no-hitter through six, but Freddie Freeman broke it up on a right field single. The Braves scored four in the seventh, but the Met offense was just too good. Lead by 4-5 Ruben Tejada, the Mets scored seven runs on 11 hits to beat Atlanta, with Frank Francisco earning the save once again, pitching a perfect ninth.

The Nationals, meanwhile, took on the Cubs and almost came back to win it in the ninth, but just fell short. Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija threw 8.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out eight. He was relieved by Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who got Xavier Nady to fly out and end the game. The Nats fell to 2-1, but earned the series win.

Here are your starters for the series:

Game 1- Tonight at 7:10:

  • Mike Pelfrey- Mets- Mike is coming off an awful 7-13 season in which he posted an abysmal 4.74 ERA, which is much better than how he pitched. He almost lost his job in Spring Training, but was saved by two nice starts. He hopes (for his future’s sake) that he continues and pitches well tonight.
  • Edwin Jackson- Nationals- In the Nats’ second biggest move of the winter, they acquired starter Edwin Jackson, signing him via free agency. Jackson 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA between the White Sox and Cardinals last season. He helped the Cardinals in their playoff run last year, and made three postseason starts.

Game 2- Tuesday at 7:10:

  • Dillon Gee- Mets- Gee will look to capture some of that first half magic from last season, when he was the last undefeated starter in baseball at 7-0, and a Rookie of the Year favorite. Now, after a second half to forget, Gee will look to start his first full season with a set role with a bang against the Nationals on Tuesday.
  • Ross Detwiler- Nationals- Detwiler beat out John Lannon for the last spot in the Washington rotation after going 1-1 in seven games this spring. Last season, Detwiler started 10 games, going 4-5 with a 3.00 ERA.

Game 3- Wednesday at 1:10:

  • Johan Santana- Mets-  Johan will make his second start of the year Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field. In his Opening Day start against the Braves, Santana pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits.
  • Stephen Strasburg- Nationals- Strasburg will make his second career start against the Amazin’s. The first came back in 2010, when he tossed five innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five.

The Mets were 8-10 against the Nationals last season.

Reaction: the Niese injury

Thread: Mets (60-67) vs. Phillies (82-44)