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Reds 6, Mets 1: Leake Shuts Down Mets, Dickey Rocked

Post-game recap up at UpAlongFirst.com

Aug 3

Series Preview: Mets Play Three Against Struggling Padres

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Padres tonight at PETCO Park in San Diego. The first pitch is at 10:05 eastern time.

The Padres have really struggled lately. After opening up the second half 7-3, including winning two of three against the Dodgers on the road, San Diego has gone just 3-7. In their last series, a four-game set against the Reds, they lost three of four.

Pitching, which has been a big constant for the Padres over the last few years, has not been at the same level as years past in 2012. Last year, the Padres were third in baseball in ERA, but have fallen this year to 15th. That, combined with a less-than-stellar offense, make the Padres a very mediocre team.

Speaking of the offense, are one of the worst in baseball. The Padres rank third to last in baseball in runs scored, and only have two players with ten or more home runs. Chase Headley, who has been the only threat in the Padres lineup over the past few seasons, is having a career year. He has a career-high 13 home runs. Besides Headley, the only other real power threat is Carlos Quentin. Quentin has ten homers in 50 games this season. Past those two, however, and you’ll find mostly players similar to Will Venable- guys who are able to steal a few bases, but not much else. If the Mets can score four runs in each game in this series, they should at least take two of three from the Padres.

If there is one real bright spot on the Padres roster, it has to be their bullpen. Led by Huston Street, the Padres have one of the better bullpens in baseball. Street has a 0.88 ERA in 30.2 innings this season. Luke Gregerson, who currently has the team lead in appearances, has a 2.81 ERA in 48 innings pitched. It should be difficult for the Mets to score runs in the late innings this weekend. They’ll have to score early.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1- Tonight 10:05

R.A. Dickey (14-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (7-11, 4.14 ERA)

Game 2- Saturday 8:35

Jeremy Hefner (1-4, 5.52 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (7-7, 3.51 ERA)

Game 3- Sunday 4:05

Matt Harvey (1-1, 1.59 ERA) vs. Jason Marquis (4-6, 4.08 ERA)

Notes:

  • Frank Francisco will be back and available tonight for the Mets. Francisco has been out since June 22 with an oblique injury and was rehabbing with Binghamton this week.
  •  The Mets will be wearing their 1989 road throwback uniforms tonight. Click here for a picture.
  • After Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1, the Padres became the last team without a no-hitter.
  • Over his last ten games, Chase Headley is hitting .324 with two home runs and seven RBI.
  • Let”s go Mets!

Sorry for the short notes section this time…

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 25, 2012

Here are this morning’s Mets links:

Morning Links: July 24, 2012

Here are this morning’s Mets links:

  • The Mets imploded in the 10th innin last night, losing 8-2 to the Nationals to drop to 47-49. Chris Young pitched well and Ike Davis tied it up late, but Pedro Beato got rocked in the top of the tenth. (Post, Box Score)
  • Sandy Alderson told reporters before yesterday’s game that they would not be major buyers at the trade deadline. The only moves the Mets would make are ones that would help them in 2013 and beyond. (ESPN New York)
  • In order to make room for Matt Harvey on the roster, the Mets have to send someone to Triple-A Buffalo. Bob Klapisch reports it will be the struggling Lucas Duda that gets sent down. (@BobKlap)
  • Frank Francisco will begin his rehab assignment today in Brooklyn. Francisco threw two bullpen sessions this weekend. (ESPN New York)
  • The Braves made a big move yesterday by agreeing to a deal that would send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta. There is only one obstacle in the way of the deal now: Dempster’s approval. (@MLBBowman)
  • The Marlins also made a blockbuster deal yesterday. They dealt Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers in return for Jacob Turner and two other prospects. (@Pgammo)
  • The Mets battle the Nationals tonight at Citi Field as R.A. Dickey faces off against Gio Gonzalez. First pitch is at 7:10. (MLB.com Preview)

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.

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 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.

Morning Links: 7.14.12

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

Morning Links: 7.6.12

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

News:

Opinion pieces:

Jul 5

Morning Links: 6.5.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”450”] He’s back[/caption]


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.
Jul 2

Morning News: ASG Rosters Released, Alderson Surprised, Demotion Could Be Coming For Familia

Here is this morning’s Mets news:

Morning News: Mets “Seem To Match Up” On Balfour, Dickey Lined Up For ASG, Mejia Back To Bullpen… Again

Here are yesterday’s top three stories from Mets-land.

Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that he thinks the Mets and Oakland Athletics would make great trade partners in a deal that would send Grant Balfour to Queens.

Balfour, 34, has been stellar out of the ‘pen for Oakland this season. He has seven saves and a 2.62 ERA in 37 games.

According to ESPNNewYork, R.A. Dickey is all lined up with his rest to pitch in the All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City.

July 10 would be a day that Dickey would normally be scheduled to start. He is 11-1 this season with a 2.34 ERA.

After about a week of confusion, Terry Collins told reporters yesterday that Jenrry Mejia is staying in the bullpen down in the minor leagues. Mejia’s role has been debated for years, and it heated up recently after he struggled in a few bullpen outings.

Mejia will likely join the Mets bullpen sometime later this season.