Category Archives: Game/Series Recaps

Dickey Almost Blows It…Castillo Slaps Mets To Victory

The Mets have climbed their way over the Marlins into 3rd place in the division, and within 7 game of the wild card with their victory last night.  R.A. Dickey had a good start until a missed call and a bad pitch almost cost the Mets the game in the 7th inning.  With men on first and third and one out, Dickey appeared to have picked off the runner on first (I believe it was Hanley Ramirez), only to have him called safe.  The batter proceeded to pop out for the 2nd (should have been 3rd) out.  Then the next batter was Gaby Sanchez who hit a 3 run HR to give the Marlins a 5-4 lead.

Thankfully, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Castillo (shocking, I know!) fought tooth and nail and won the game 6-5.  Pagan’s hustle on a base hit to rightfield and turning it into a double, Beltran’s game tying hit, and Luis Castillo’s walkoff single were all exciting to watch, as the Mets turned in their most exciting and enjoyable game in a while.

Castillo gets the walkoff treatment

This is the kind of effort that Met fans like seeing.  It’s great to see the team fight to the finish even when Dickey didn’t have his best stuff.  Beating Josh Johnson is also a nice bonus, the Mets have beaten him twice this year, something most teams can’t say.

A hot streak right now would give the Mets a shot to be playing meaningful games towards the end of September, and while that hasn’t boded well for the Mets the last few times the end of the season meant something, after last year, and the second half of this year, I’ll take it.

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Can Anything Stop The Animal?

Chris Carter certainly isn’t unstoppable (or is he?), but last night he was a key part of the Mets 7-2 victory.  The Mets got offense from Carter (2 hits, 2 RBI, HR), Jose Reyes and David Wright (3 hits, 2 Runs, and a Stolen Base each).  Mike Pelfrey pitched well once again, giving up just one earned run in his 8 innings of work.

This is exactly how the Mets need to play to win.  They’ve been far to inconsistent with both their hitting and pitching.  The Mets need to have Reyes and Wright lead the way almost daily, they need 6-7 solid innings from their starters (especially Johan, Dickey, Niese, and Pelf), and they need to fight hard for every game.  As much as every loss makes me believe the Mets are done, they do have a puncher’s chance.

The stretch run gives us a bunch of games against the Mets and Phillies, as well as a few more against the Astros and Pirates, and if the Mets can play like they did last night, they might be able to at least regain some dignity, if not get back in a race.

Chris Carter has shown signs of being a pretty good hitter.  He isn’t a stellar defensive outfielder…he isn’t a stellar defensive anything, but if his hitting is consistently good, and he brings the intensity we’ve seen from him literally since his first at bat this season…especially with Jason Bay out, he needs to be in the lineup on a semi-regular basis.

Carter is an animal.  He’s ferocious, and you can just see it in his eyes.  I (and many other Met fans) love Carter’s intensity and his tendency to stalk the dugout as if he’s stalking his prey…but also his desire (and commitment) to winning.  Every quote I’ve heard from The Animal has him saying that he still believes in this team, and that this season is NOT over.  And the more I hear it, the more I believe him.  I think that Carter is an example of the kind of pieces this team needs.  He’ll almost definitely never be a star, but if you surround a talented core of players with more guys like The Animal…you can certainly build a winner.

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Good News, Bad News

Last night was a solid win for these Mets.  They won a game in extra innings.  Albeit against a terrible team, but they won…and in doing so, they put themselves in line for what COULD be their first road series win against an NL team all season.  Yes, that’s right, they haven’t won a road series within their own league all year.  In fact, the only road series’ they have won were against the Orioles and Indians….remember those?  Exactly.

R.A. Dickey pitched damn well again.  It has begun to get difficult to come up with new Dickey jokes, you know, the ones that make a pun out of the fact that R.A.’s last name is a slang term for male genitalia…

Well, last night Dickey gave it all he had, went deep, and satisfied his fans.

The bad news from last night is on the injury (illness?) front.  David Wright was removed from the game in the 12th inning…and while keeping tabs on the game from my cell phone, I personally got scared it would be far worse.  With no lineup related reason to remove Wright, and no double switch, I expected him to have torn his knee, the cherry on top of the past 2 seasons.  But all reports now indicate that he as light headed and nauseous, perhaps just a simple flu.  The flu would make sense, as apparently Josh Thole had similar symptoms.

Hopefully Wright doesn’t miss much time, and hopefully the Mets can win this series tonight, and hopefully they can turn it around.  The only one of those things that I’d bank on is DW coming back sooner than later though.

More good news came in the form of another R.A…..

Robert Allen Parnell, that is.  Bobby came in last night and pitched 2 scoreless innings, striking out 3, and lighting up the radar gun from all reports.  He seems to have hit 100+ a couple times during the outing, and the way he’s pitching, he should be the Mets closer for as long as K-Rod is gone.

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Another Day, Another Loss

Coming off last night’s 1-0 victory over the Phils, the Mets had a shot to win their first road series against an NL team, and maybe even catapult themselves back into the playoff chase.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and the Mets still have not won consecutive games since June 22 and 23.  With the loss the Mets fell back to a game below .500.

The Mets went on this road trip knowing their season was on the line and needing to win at least 4 of 6 against the Braves and Phillies.  Instead, they lost 4 of 6, and they’ve fallen to 9 games out of the division. As the series losses pile up (the Mets have yet to win a series on the road against an NL team), their season continues rolling down the path towards an early offseason.

R.A. Dickey struggled in what was probably his worst game of the season, lasting just 3 innings and surrendering 6 runs.  He never seemed comfortable throwing either of his knuckleballs, throwing almost as many fastballs as knuckleballs in the first inning.  His stuff didn’t fool the Phillies today, they didn’t chase pitches, and managed to fight off even the good pitches Dickey made.

R.A. Dickey struggled in Philly giving up 6 runs in 3.0 innings

The offense scratched 2 runs across on Halladay early thanks to a Jose Reyes double, an Angel Pagan RBI single, 2 Pagan stolen bases, and an RBI infield single for Ike Davis.  The Phillies earned one back in the 2nd on a Jayson Werth Home Run that Carlos Beltran might have been able to rob had he not misjudged his position on the warning track.  In the third, the Phillies scored 5 runs on a Jose Reyes error and 7 hits, including a 3 run Home Run for Raul Ibanez and an RBI single by ex-Met Brian Schneider.  Reyes’s error was his third of the road trip, and each of the three has led to unearned runs that may have cost the Mets a game.

Jose Reyes bobbled a grounder in the 3rd that led to 5 runs

The Mets bullpen was solid, and the offense clawed back into the game pulling to within 6-5, and even getting the tying run into scoring position in the 9th.  Unfortunately, a Chris Carter groundout and a Jose Reyes fly out failed to bring Josh Thole in from 2nd, and Brad Lidge managed to close out a series win for the Phillies.

The Mets have a 6 game homestand against the Rockies and Phillies, and if they don’t win at least 4 of those games, they can probably change their stance from one eye on 2010 and one on 2011 to both eyes on the future.  With young players like Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, and Ruben Tejada getting the majority of the starts down the stretch (so says Jerry Manuel…for now), the Mets may at least maintain a shred of intrigue, unlike the unfortunate stretch run last year.

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1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Backward

After Tuesday night’s victory over the Braves, I (and a surprisingly large group of Mets fans) as reinvigorated and felt as though the Mets could pull themselves back into the NL East race.  Well, after a miserable loss last night it appears that by the end of this weekend, those hopes could be completely dashed.

Coming into this week, Kevin Burkhardt tweeted that the Mets players knew their season was on the line this week.  Well, half of this week’s games are over, and thus far the Mets have lost 1 game in the division and .5 games in the wild card.  Next, the Mets go to Philadelphia, and while the Phillies have been hit by a string of injuries, they’ve still managed to keep winning.  Without Utley and Howard, and Polanco out for a while, the Phillies are still just 2 games out of the division.

A win yesterday would have put the Mets just 5.5 games behind the Braves, and just 3.5 behind the Phillies.  Instead, we’re a game farther back, and tied with the Marlins for 4th place.  The more I watch, the more I believe that this team is exactly what we are seeing.  They aren’t the team from June, that team apparently was overachieving.  But a part of me refuses to sit here and think that the Mets are THIS bad.

But honestly, it’s tiring.  Watching a team like this that has talent, and just plays….terribly…isn’t fun for the fans.  The 2010 Mets, to quote ex-NFL Coach Denny Green “are who we thought they were”.  No one came into 2010 expecting the Mets to be as good as they appeared in June.  In fact, the only reason their record was as good as it was was to good hot streaks.  The Mets are a .500 or so team, and the fans know that (whether they’re ready to admit it or not).

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  I’d say yes.  A Mets source says that the team is open to a long term extension with Jose Reyes.  It will have to wait until the winter, but the team is at least somewhat interested in making sure that the first of the two homegrown core players is here for the long run. David Wright has said he wants to spend his career here (and hopefully the failures of the past few years haven’t changed his mind), and so, if he is resigned after his current contract ends in 2013 and Reyes is resigned as well, the Mets will maintain one of the best left sides of an infield in the Majors.  There is promise in Jon Niese, and even Mike Pelfrey(should he ever right himself).  The farm system is slowly being built up with prospects like Kirk Niewenhuis, Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejia, etc.  Over the next year and a half the Mets will likely cut ties with many of their albatrosses (Jerry Manuel, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Jeff Francoeur, and maybe even Omar Minaya).

The Mets will not contend for the playoffs in 2010, that much I’m confident in.  And they probably won’t be Championship contenders in 2011 either.  But the Mets have a (slightly less than) middle of the pack farm system and a solid core of Reyes, Wright, Santana, Beltran, Niese, and Pagan locked up for the foreseeable future(assuming Reyes is resigned).  There’s plenty of holes that need to be filled around them, but for some irrational reason I still believe in the future of the Mets.  I believe that there will be a plan.  I believe that the team will eventually climb back to the top of the National League. I think a lot of Met fans have this same irrational belief.

But that’s because we’re Mets fans, and 37 years ago fan favorite Tug McGraw told us something that rings true to this day:  Ya Gotta Believe!

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Just When I Thought I Was Out…They Pull Me Back In!

I’m not sure what actually happened tonight.  I’ve heard rumors that Jeff Francoeur hit a 9th inning game winning Home Run off of Billy Wagner, just 2 innings after Frenchy drew a 4 pitch walk and scored the tying run.

But it just doesn’t seem possible.

ESPN says the Mets beat the Braves tonight.  Win again tomorrow, and this race will just be heating up.

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7/30 Mets vs Diamondbacks: Ophidiophobia

Being a writing major, I’m going to use this post to teach everyone here a word that they will never use. Ophidiophobia:  A persistent, irrational fear related to snakes.  Based on this season, the Mets are clearly ophidiophobic, failing to beat the miserable Diamondbacks in 4 tries.  In 15 games since the All-Star Break, the Diamondbacks are 4-11…with all 4 victories coming against the Mets.  Yes, the Mets have now lost the season series to the second worse team in the National League.  Not only that, but the Mets are now 5-11 against the Diamondbacks and Nationals this season, a team that poor against the bottom feeders is just never going to be as successful as we all want the Mets to be.

In last night’s game we witnessed the continuing of a few trends.  First, Mike Pelfrey continued his trend of not very good starts.  Pelf lasted 5.2 innings, but left having allowed 4 runs, including 3 in the first inning. He left with a runner on first base (thanks to a Jose Reyes error).  Raul Valdes came in and proceeded to allow 4 consecutive hits with Home Runs as the first and last of those hits.  Valdes’ failure follows a couple trends: 1) Jerry Manuel’s overuse of relievers turning them ineffective, and 2) Manuel’s failure to notice when certain relievers are poor against certain handedness batters.  Valdes has been terrible against left handed batters this year, and sure enough, he gave up Home Runs to 2 of them.

The offense was also really good at following trends yesterday.  David Wright and Jose Reyes continued their trend of performing well in team losses.  Reyes had 3 hits and scored 2 runs, and Wright had 3 hits with 2 Home Runs and 5 RBIs.

Unfortunately, after Wright, the lineup went 0-18 and failed to support David Wright’s Home Run barrage. Once again, the team failed to produce offensively against the Diamondbacks historically bad bullpen. Embarrassing to be honest, the team just seems to shut down from the 7th inning and beyond.

The Home Plate umpire seemed to have an insanely inconsistent strike zone all night, starting small and growing throughout the game.  He was relatively even for both teams, but the inconsistency seemed to be a factor in Pelfrey getting frustrated and losing his command.

The Mets really need to wake up if they expect to be in contention, and if they expect a waiver wire trade next month to help them make the playoffs.  Right now, the team is far more than one move from a playoff team.  They need Pelfrey to find the command that made him successful for the first half of the season, Johan, Niese, and Dickey to keep up their run of success, and the offense to get on a roll.  If they get all of that, the Mets still have time to get themselves back in contention, but they need to turn it around, and preferably tonight.

Let’s Go Mets!

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