Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mets Stick to Guns at Trading Deadline But On Losing End Against Astros

Unless you count signing Wil Cordero big news, the Mets did little at the trading deadline. Which is probably fine, because they now have a very tough road to making the playoffs. After losing two of three to the Rockies earlier in the week, the Mets needed to bounce back to stop some of the other teams in the mix from passing them.

They did the exact opposite. They lost the first three games against the Astros, and like the Rockies series, limped in to win the final game to avoid getting swept. In the three losses, they managed only four runs and were shutout once.

So, now we're back to eight games out in the NL East and we're also back in last place. We're four games back of the Astros for the Wild Card spot, which is probably what we should be shooting for. Nobody ahead of us made a major trade either, so it looks like we'll all be working with basically what we've had all season.

The Brewers are on deck. To say we need to win two of three is important is an understatement. Every series is big. They get a day off tomorrow to travel back home, and then hopefully they'll be able to get back down to business.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mets Salvage Series With Final Game Win Over Rockies

I hate these kind of series. The Mets were rolling and they went to Colorado, home of the worst team in the National League. And they lost not just one game, but two games and the series.

Monday, Tom Glavine was tagged for five runs (four earned) and eight hits through six innings as he slipped below .500 (7-8) on the season. The Mets only gave him three runs on six hits though. Jose Reyes had two hits and Mike Cameron and Mike Piazza doubled, but that was the extent of their offense at the Coors Field launching pad.

Tuesday's game was almost as bad because the Mets staged a late comeback, only to fall short. The Rockies jumped on Kaz Ishii for four runs in the first three innings as the Mets fell behind 4-1. The Mets creeped back into the game with David Wright homer in the seventh and a Jose Reyes RBI double to cut the lead to a single run. Unfortunately the Mets couldn't get Reyes home, so the comeback fell short.

The Mets finally got some offense yesterday from two unlikely sources. Marlon Anderson hit his second and third homers of the season and Ramon Castro hit his third homer and drove in three runs. The Mets big inning came in the fifth when they put six runs on the board. They doubled three times that inning.

Fortunately, nobody else in the division did much in their opening series of the week. The Mets actually passed the Phillies to move into third place and they now trail the Braves by five games. They have a 1-0 lead tonight in their series opener against the Astros, so hopefully that will turn into a win. The Mets are also only three games back of the Nationals for the wildcard.

Monday, July 25, 2005

An Inch at a Time

While Friday's game was a tough one, it was nice to see the Mets take care of business at home against a struggling team. With the emergence of Kris Benson, it's not having a one-two punch where you know more times then not you're going to walk away with two wins.

And Benson really got it done yesterday. Eight shutout innings in which he only gave up four hits and a walk is about as good as you can ask. Had his pitch count not gotten towards the upper end of what he's used to (125 pitches) he probably would have come out and finished the game out. The Mets bats weren't asleep either. They racked up six runs on twelve hits. Mike Piazza hit a two run homer and also had an RBI single. Carlos Beltran was two for four with a triple.

Saturday's game was nice because for once, it was the hitters bailing out Pedro instead of Pedro bailing out the offense. A three run first inning put the Dodgers ahead early, but by the end of the third, the Mets had tied it up. The Dodgers took a 4-3 lead in the fourth and a 5-3 lead in the sixth but the Mets stormed back with four runs in their last three innings to give Pedro his twelth victory.

Pedro's line looked pretty mortal. Seven innings, eight hits, two walks and five runs. He also only struck out four. Jose Reyes had a monster game. Four for five with three runs, two RBIs, and his tenth triple of the season. He also stole two bases, and in all, the Mets swiped five. And while we're probably off the triples/walk watch (10/14), you have to give credit to Reyes for providing a lot of offense when the Mets really needed it.

In Friday's game you have to give credit for the comeback, even if they came up short. The Mets went down 6-0 in the top of the fifth, but stormed back with five in their next two innings. Unfortunately the Dodgers pen is still very solid even with out Gagne, and once the struggling Jeff Weaver was pulled, the bullpen held the Mets scoreless over three innings.

The Mets scored all of their runs via the homer. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a two run shot, and Carlos Beltran went yard with a three run shot.

With the Nationals still struggling, things are really starting to tighten up again. The Mets are in fourth, but they're only three and a half back. Only four and a half games seperate first and last so you'd think everyone would be buyers as the trading deadline looms.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Making a Move

The Mets roughed up the Padres in the opening series of the week. Riding a Sunday win over the Braves, the Mets got a solid start from Kris Benson to keep the Mets in the game until Chris Woodward hit a two run walk off homer in the eleventh. Credit the bullpen in this one as well because they went four innings and only gave up one hit. Brandon Looper walked away with the win after pitching a perfect tenth and eleventh.

Yesterday's game was a little cleaner as Tom Glavine threw a nice game. Six solid innings from him allowed and four runs in the first three innings by the Mets offense were the difference makers. All Stars Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran both hit homers and Jose Reyes stole two bases and now has 30 on the season.

This afternoon's game was a cake walk. Kaz Ishii threw six shutout innings before yielding to the pen to complete the shutout and the Mets put twelve runs on the board. Jose Reyes had a really nice game as he went three for five with two RBIs, two runs and a stolen base.

The four game winning streak has put the Mets three games above .500. They've also passed the Marlins and Phillies to move into the third place. They're now only 5 games back of the Nationals but I still think the Braves are the team to beat. The Mets are also now in second place for the Wild Card spot, so we always have to keep that in mind.

I think we definitely have to be buyers at the trading deadline. We could use another quality arm in the pen (although they have done well lately), but we also can't make a move like we did last year by giving up one of the top pitching prospects. Scott Kazmir hasn't lit it up this year, but he probably would have helped if we decided to go to a six man rotation to give Pedro some rest.

The Mets host the struggling Dodgers this weekend. Two of three is the way to go, but as always, I'll take a sweep.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mets Settle for Split

Leave it to Pedro Martinez. The Mets needed a win yesterday to salvage a split with the Atlanta Braves, and like he's done all year, he's delivered. Pedro's line included six shutout innings, two hits and five strikeouts. Three different relievers pitched the final three innings, and with only 61 pitches, Pedro earned his eleventh win.

Mike Cameron had a pretty big day. He's been in an extended hitting slump (his average has dropped to .269 when it was around or over .300 through the end of June), but he hit a two run homer and had three hits. In all, he drove in three runs.

Jose Reyes scored three runs and stole his 27th base.

The win put the Mets in a tie with the Marlins at seven games back. The Mets have actually picked up a few games on the Nationals (who have lost seven of their last ten), but they need to bridge that gap even more. The trade deadline is coming up, and we need to figure out of if we'll be buyers or sellers.

The Padres are on deck tomorrow. Two of three would be nice.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lack of Offense Costs Mets

Hand it to the Braves pitching. When you can only manage one run over two games, it's not going to lead too many games as the Mets couldn't build on their win just after the All Star Break.

To make it even worse, our pitching has been awesome. We lost Friday night by a score of 2-1, and then today we lost 3-0. One of Tom Glavine's best starts of the season went to waste, as did Victor Zambrano's today. The Met's sole run was David Wright's third homer of the season.

The Mets can still salvage a split tomorrow as Pedro goes up against Mike Hampton.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back to Business

The boredom of the this year's All Star Break has come and gone and now it's time to get back to work. The Mets have a huge series against the Braves the rest of this week (which is also huge because I can see the games on TBS) and once again they really need to win three of four to make some gains in the division.

And so far, David Wright is trying to do it all by himself. The Mets trail 3-2, but Wright has two solo homers. Kris Benson has thrown seven very solid innings (7 strikeouts) so hopefully his good performance won't go to waste.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Mets, Pedro Salvage Final Game of Series, Avoid Sweep

Leave it up to the ace. I guess this is why we pay him the big bucks. Pedro ended a two game mini-skid with a strong seven innings outing. He yielded only a single run on five hits, and he struck out nine. Roberto Hernandez and Brandon Looper both struck out two batters in their respective innings.

Jose Reyes had a big game as he went four for five. He scored twice and stole his 26th base of the season. Carlos Beltran hit his 10th homer of the year.

The first two games of the series weren't nearly as pleasant. The Pirates edged the Pirates 6-5 in extra frames on Friday. On Saturday, Kaz Ishii lost his eighth game as the Pirates ran up the score and beat the Mets 11-4. Cliff Floyd, who is definitely the Met's offensive MVP, hit his 22nd homerun.

Once again, the Mets are in cellar. They are right at .500 (44-44), but they're eight games back. They're 6 1/2 back for the Wild Card, so they have a long way to go.

Good luck to Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran on Tuesday. I'll be watching the game as usualy.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mets Win In Extra Frames to Take Series Against Nationals

This was a big series. Coming off of two losses to the Marlins last weekend, the Mets needed to do something to justify staying in the NL East race. And they came through in grand fashion. I already took a look at their first win, so let's take a look at the rest of the series.

Game two in the series was a tough loss just because Pedro was on the mound. If there was one game I would have expected to take, it would have been this one. And Pedro did throw well. He gave them seven very solid innings, but he would have had to throw an awesome outing because the Mets only gave him two runs to work with. The Mets never got an extra base hit with the only offensive highlight going to Marlon Anderson, who went three for three.

The Mets got off to a nice start in the third game when Mike Cameron hit a solo homer in the first inning. Tom Glavine gave up the lead in the fourth, but the Mets got it back with three runs in the sixth. They added a run in the eighth on a Marlon Anderson sac. fly, and Tom Glavine walked away with his sixth win despite giving up nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. The pen really came through for them as they did in the first game as Heilman and Looper combined for 3 1/3 perfect innings.

In the fourth and final game this afternoon, once again it was the pen that did the job. After struggling at times this season, they really came through for the Mets. After Kris Benson gave the Mets seven great innings (six hits and two runs), Hernandez, Bell and Looper combined to throw four innings of one hit ball. The Nationals touched up Benson for two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Mike Piazza tied it up in the fourth with a an RBI double, then he struck again to win it in eleventh. His RBI single was the difference as the Mets walked away with a 3-2 win.

While they came oh so close to a sweep, I'll definitely take 3 of 4. As it stands the Mets are tied with Philadelphia at nine games back. The Phillies are losing to Pittsburgh, so they could finally pull themselves out of the cellar.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mets Start Huge Series With Win

After dropping two straight to the Marlins, the Mets bounced back and beat the first place Nationals at RFK. There's no doubt this is a huge series, and anything short of a split will be a disappointment. While I'd like to hold out for a sweep, I'd definitely take three of four and they're on their way with a come from behind win this afternoon.

Jose Reyes responded postively after being dropped down to seventh in the lineup. He went two for four with two runs and an RBI. He also stole his 24th base of the season. Mike Cameron performed equally well after being pushed into the leadoff spot. He went two for five with two RBIs.

The bullpen really came through for the Mets. Heath Bell, Roberto Hernandez and Brandon Looper combined to throw 3 2/3 perfect innings. Hernandez improved to 4-2 and Looper converted his eighteenth save of the season.

The win put the Mets nine games back. They still have a long way to go, with four teams in front of them, but this series could go a long way to giving the Mets the push that they need.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Independence Day

Have a great holiday weekend everyone. I'll be back on Monday, so I'll be looking back at a Marlins sweep.