Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mets and Pedro Handle Phillies

When Pedro Martinez takes the mound, you expect the Mets to win. This afternoon, he went six innings and did just that as he earned his ninth win of the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks.

Jose Reyes drove in two runs with a triple in the fourth. It was ninth triple of the season, which leads the National League. And with ten walks, he's once again close to having the same amount of triples as he does walks.

Chris Woodward drove in two runs and both Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran stole two bases. For Beltran, it was only his second and third of the season.

Another big series this weekend, as the Mets host the Marlins. Any game against a division opponent, when the division race is this tight, is an important one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Almost Out of the Cellar

A strong outing by Victor Zambrano and some good hitting by Mike Piazza pushed the Mets over the Phillies in last nights' game and got them closer to pulling themselves out of the basement in the NL East standings. The Mets' hitting stars, Mike Cameron, Carlos Beltran and Mike Piazza all had two hits, and Piazza drove in three runs.

Victor Zambrano had a strong outing as he went five innings. He gave up only one run and he struck out seven.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mets Player Retrospective - Tom Seaver 1969

I like to call this "The Year." The Mets won 100 games and the World Series in their first ever winning season. They wouldn't win it all again for seventeen more years, but as anyone can testify, having those one year wonder teams is almost as good as a dynasty. A championship is a championship.

This was also "the year" for Terrific Tom Seaver. He won the first of three Cy Young Awards, finished second in the MVP voting next to only Willie McCovey (and that was by a mere 22 points), and won 25 games. His 6.65 hits/9 innings was tops in the league and he struck out 208 batters in 273 1/3 innings.

To narrow Seaver's best starts down to a couple is pretty tough. On July 9, 1969 Seaver threw a one hitter. He struck out eleven and walked none. His no-hitter was broken up with one out in the ninth inning. He also had two different three hitters and on June 8, 1969 he struck out fourteen batters in seven innings.

Tom Seaver pitched in the first ever National League Championship game. His victory in game one began what would eventually be a sweep of the Atlanta Braves. While he didn't have his best stuff (five runs and eight hits through seven innings), it was good enough for the Mets to walk away with a win.

Tom Seaver lost game one of the World Series. While the Mets only gave him one run to work with, he went only five innings. He gave up four runs on six hits, and the Mets walked away down 1-0. He redeemed himself in game four with a ten inning, six hit performance. He gave up a single run in the ninth, but he pitched himself out of a tenth inning jam that allowed the Mets to win it in the tenth. The win gave the Mets a 3-1 lead, and they wrapped up their first championship the following day.

Here are Tom Seaver's 1969 Season Stats:

Wins 25
Losses 7
Games 36
Games Started 35
Complete Games 18
Innings Pitched 273 1/3
Hits 202
Runs 75
Earned Runs 67
Walks 82
Strikeouts 208
ERA 2.21
Runs Saved Above Average 40
Shutouts 5
H/9 6.65
BR/9 9.58
SO/9 6.85
BB/9 2.70
SO/BB 2.54
Neutral Wins 22
Neutral Losses 10

Going for the Sweep

Anytime you can go on the road and sweep a three game series, it's definitely a good thing. When you go into Yankee Stadium to play the Yankees and you walk away with a sweep, it's even better. Right now, it's the bottom of the fourth, and the Mets are up 1-0. Ramon Castro scored on a Jose Reyes groundout.

On Friday, Pedro did his thing and of course the Mets won. Eight innings, six hits and two runs. Brandon Looper gave up a two run shot to Tino Martinez in the ninth to make things interesting, but at that point, the game was basically over (as long as Danny Graves didn't enter the ball game).

On Saturday, the Mets made the Yankees pay for putting in a rookie starter. Sean Henn gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings and ended up getting a ticket back to the Columbus Clippers for his troubles. Cliff Floyd hit two homers and he drove in four runs. Seven different Mets had multi-hit games.

Tonight, it's Kris Benson vs. Randy Johnson. Johnson's already yielded a run, so hopefully the Mets can hang on and we can get the brooms out.

With the Nationals losing, if the Mets win, they'll shave their deficit to six games. They'll still be in last, but they have a huge week coming up. They have a three game series against the Phillies (who they currently trail by a game) and then a three game series against the Marlins. All six games are at Shea. If they really want to make a move, they'll have to win at least four out of six.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mets Tak Two of Three Against Phillies

Another solid game by Jose Reyes and some timely pitching by Kaz Ishii helped the Mets take the series against the Phillies. Reyes had three singles and he stole three bases. No other Met had more then one hit, but Doug Mientkiewicz drove in two runs, one of which was one a solo shot in the seventh that ended up being the difference in the game.

Kaz Ishii won his second game, and this was probably his second best start all season (other one his first win). Problem is, he's only gone seven innings once, and the last time was his second start on April 13. He hasn't gone eight. So every time he throws, we have to expect the pen to work. Roberto Hernandez and Brandon Looper were both effective, and Looper earned his fifteenth save.

Florida is well ahead of Atlanta so the Mets will remain in the cellar. The Nationals had the day off, the Mets' win shaves a half game off of that lead (now seven games). This weekend is the subway series with the Yankees. Two out of three would be nice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mets Top Phillies With Big Second Inning

A big four run second inning put the Mets in front for good. Carlos Beltran went two for five. He drove in two and he scored a run. Jose Reyes also had a big game. He tripled for the eighth time this season as he went three for five with a stolen base and two runs. Once again, Reyes has just as many triples as he does walks (8).

Kris Benson took advantage of the nice cushion the Mets offense provided. In six innings of work, he gave up nine hits, five runs (four earned) and he struck out two. Brandon Looper threw the ninth and earned his fourteenth save of the season.

The Nationals lost, so the Met's deficit was shaved to 6 1/2 games. They now a game and a half back of the fourth place Marlins. Hopefully Victor Zambrano will be able to best an equally wild Robinson Tejada. The rookie has posted solid numbers despite a 14/17 strikeout to walk ratio this season. Of course Zambrano's 46/41 isn't a whole lot better.

Whether you're watching the game online, listening to it on the radio, or catching it on TV, be sure to stop by Amazin' Avenue. He gets a ton of chatters while the games going on. Last night's game garnered 108 comments.

Tom Seaver Retires

18 years ago, one of the greatest pitcher called it quits as on June 22, 1987, Tom Seaver officially retired. If you want to get a glimpse of how good Tom was, be sure to check out the year by year retrospective I've started. You can check out his 1967 and 1968 seasons by following the links below. 1969, the first year he won the Cy Young, will be completed in the next couple of days.

1967 Tom Seaver Retrospective
1968 Tom Seaver Retrospective

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Mets Swept by Mariners

This was a pretty tough series to swallow. I know it's never easy when you travel to the West Coast, but the Mariners haven't done much this year, and to be swept by them goes to show you the up and down season the Mets have had.

Yesterday it was Pedro that lost a tight game. This afternoon, Tom Glavine was hit pretty hard. He gave up six runs and he didn't even escape the third inning.

Still MIA is Mike Cameron, and the news isn't great. In Will Carroll's Under the Knife it was reported that Mike Cameron is pretty beat up and that his injured quad is flaring up, among other things. If you don't subscribe to BP's premium content, Will Carroll's column alone is worth the price.

So with eight losses in their last ten games, the Mets now stand seven games back of the first place Nationals and 2 1/2 games back of the fourth place Marlins. They have a huge series starting Tuesday with a division rival (Phillies) and it doesn't get easier because they travel (if you can call it that) to play the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Big Comeback Ends Mets Skid

well, the Mets avoided a sweep and they also ended their three game skid with a monster seven run fifth inning. Carlos Beltran had the big blast with a three run shot. Mike Piazza homered in the seventh and Brian Daubach made his 2005 debut by going 0 for 1 with three walks and two runs scored.

Kris Benson threw six quality innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits. Oddly enough, his stat line included two homers and three walks, but not a single strikeout.

Danny Graves made his Mets debut, and he got started right where he left off for the Reds. He gave up three runs on four hits in an inning of work.

The Mets are still in last, and they're six games back. They picked a bad time to go into a skid, as the Nationals have still been red hot. They now have a three game lead over the second place Phillies. It wasn't that long ago that a game and a half seperated first and fifth place.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Off Day

Since the Mets weren't playing, I was all set to do another Tom Seaver Retrospective. I got part of the way through, and realized it wouldn't be worth finishing because Retrosheet is down.

Sorry folks.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mets Drop Series to Angels

Pedro Martinez was less then perfect, and the Mets offense only gave him three runs to work with. He threw six innings, walked four, and he gave up three runs on six hits in the no decision. To make matters worse, the winning run was scored on David Wright's throwing error in the ninth, giving the loss to Brandon Looper.

The Nationals won their tenth in a row, so the Mets dropped to five games back. Oddly enough, it's Philadelphia and Washington in the top two spots, when for a big chunk of the season, they were in the bottom two spots.

Extra Frames

The Mets and Angels went into extra innings yesterday, but the hometeam came out on top in one of the most exciting Mets games of the season. In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets were down 2-1 when Marlon Anderson had a pinch hit game tying inside the park homer to put the game into extra innings. The Angels looked to set to win it when they scored a run in the tenth on a Darin Erstad RBI single.

Then in the bottom of the tenth, Cliff Floyd came up in a huge way with a three run walk off homer. Kris Benson was awesome as he gave up only four hits in seven inning. Unfortunately he didn't get a decision. The bullpen really came through as well, as Aaron Heilman and Brandon Looper combined to throw three shutout innings to keep the Mets in the game.

The rubber game is this afternoon. Thankfully the Mets snapped their three game losing streak, and despite dropping into last place, they're still only four games. Each NL East team won their game yesterday, and the Nationals are still red hot with nine straight wins.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mets Drop Series to Astros

This one was tough. We had the hammer, but we couldn't use it to walk away with a win. And a solid start by Tom Glavine (his third straight good start) went to waste. Heath Bell gave up four hits and three runs in the eleventh to earn his third loss of the season.

David Wright hit his tenth homer of the season, and he drove in two. Carlos Beltran had three hits but he made his second error of the season.

So, the standings shuffle once again. Philadelphia has moved into second with a nice run, and the Mets are tied for third with the Braves at 2 1/2 games back. The Marlins then sit a game behind the two of them.

I still haven't seen anything about the Mets inking Danny Graves. While he struggled at Cincinnati this year, I'm hoping a change of scenery will do him good.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mets Player Retrospective - Tom Seaver 1968

It was the year of the pitcher, and Tom Seaver progressed nicely in his second year for the Mets. He threw in 26 2/3 more innings then he did the year before, yet he gave up the same amount of hits and gave up 30 less walks to improve his WHIP to a very impressive 0.980 (second best in the NL to Cy Young winner Bob Gibson). He also gave up four fewer homers and struck out 35 more batters.

Seaver didn't get much run support to start the season. Through his first seven starts, he was 1-3 despite posting a very impressive 1.83 ERA. In his second start, he pitched ten shutout innings and didn't get a decision. He earned his first shutout and had his best start of the season on June 10 when he pitched ten innings of four hit ball. His ERA could have finished below 2.00 if it weren't for a couple of mediocre outings near the end of the year.

The Mets didn't finish last that year, but they came very close. They finished a mere one game ahead of the last place Houston Astros with a 73-89 record, making Seaver's season that much more impressive.

Here are the numbers:

Wins 16
Losses 12
Games 36
Games Started 35
Complete Games 14
Innings Pitched 277 2/3
Hits 224
Runs 73
Earned Runs 78
Walks 48
Strikeouts 205
ERA 2.20
Runs Saves Above Average 25
Shutouts 5
H/9 7.26
BR/9 9.08
SO/9 6.64
BB/9 1.56
SO/BB 4.27
Neutral Wins 18
Neutral Losses 10

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pedro Awesome Again

Pedro Martinez has had an incredible season so far for the Mets, and tonight's outing was no exception. He took a no-hitter into the seventh innings, and he ended up holding the Astros to one hit. He walked one, and one of the of the two hits was a solo homer by Chris Burke. He struck out twelve Astros.

The Mets could have turned this one into a route, but they stranded ten runners. They got to Oswalt (good pitching matchup) for twelve hits, but only three crossed the plate.

With the win, the Mets are now tied with the Braves at a half game back of the Nationals. The Marlins lost again, so they dropped further into the cellar.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mets A Game Back In Tight Division Race

There's only one other division right now that has a race seperating the first and second place teams by 1 1/2 games. As it stands, the first and fifth place teams in the NL East are seperated by a game and a half. The last place Marlins (I like saying that) trail the first place Nationals. The Mets are tied with Philly at a game back, and the Braves stand half a game back.

The Mets did what they had to do by taking the series against the Giants, including splitting a double header last night. They pounced all over Jason Schmidt, which I thought would be our toughest pitching matchup, while Bret Tomko shut us down.

A day off, then Houston is in town. They've been struggling, so two out of three is expected.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Norfolk Tides AAA Report

Since the Mets are rained out, let's take a look down on the farm. Also be sure to check out my latest Tom Seaver Retrospective. Note that everything is through June 1, which is what's been updated on Minor League

The Tides have gone into a bit of a slump the last week. They've lost their last three games, and four out of their last five. Their 29-27 still puts them in first place in the International League South by three games over the Durham Bulls. There's a box score for June 3 showing they lost a close game to the Rochester Red Wings, so it looks like their in an even deeper slump then I first thought.

Brian Daubach continues to tear it up, and there's rumors that he might be headed for the big league club. He's hitting at a very impressive .353/.421/.615 clip, and he leads the team in homers with eight.

On the pitching side, Jae Soe continues to throw well for the Tides. He's now struck out 56 batters in 55 innings, and he stands at 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA. On top of that, he's only given up fifteen walks. In his last outing on June 3, he lost a close affair (his first loss of the season) as he pitched six innings, gave up eight hits, and struck out four batters.

The Tides play three more against the Red Wings before playing a odd home and home series against the second best team in their division. They play the Bulls two games at home, then immediately travel and play two games at Durham. So by the end of next week, things could shake out in the division further.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Pedro Martinez = Automatic

Man is it nice having a starting pitcher like Pedro Martinez. Yeah, he'll drop a game every now and then, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. He improved to 6-1 and struck out nine through either innings. He only gave up five hits and he did it all while throwing just 101 pitches.

Carlos Beltran hit his seventh homer of the season and Kaz Matsui drove in two runs. Tomorrow's matchup is with two struggling pitchers. Hopefully Tom Glavine will put it together and the Mets can hit Noah Lowry, who looks more and more like 2004 was a fluke season for him. He is coming off two of his best starts of the season, so hopefully we don't catch him while he's on an upswing.

The Marlins won, and the Braves look like they're on their way to winning.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Just Average

First off, what about Victor Zambrano. Three walks through eight innings means he's going to have one his best outings. Brandon Looper made things interesting by giving up three hits in the ninth, but they escaped the game with a one run win. Jose Reyes had a big game, getting three hits for the second straight game, while stealing three bases. Mike Cameron singled to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

These numbers will change tomorrow by the time most of you read this, but I was checking out the Mets team hitting stats over at the Hardball Times. The first number signifies the Mets number, while the second is the league average. Let's take a look.

Runs Per Game 4.48 vs. 4.48
Batting Average .261 vs. .261
OBP .329 vs. .332
SLG .421 vs. .414
Gross Production Average .253 vs. .253
Pitches per Plate Appearance 3.75 vs. 3.73
Batting Average on Balls in Play .299 vs. 297

There were a few numbers I left out, but all of them were pretty close. The verdict.....the Mets have a league average offense.


I thought we'd be done with the shutouts for a while. Arizona starter Brad Halsey made the Mets looked silly yesterday, as he gave up six hits through seven innings. We couldn't even get a hit against the pen. And this was a team that lost 111 games last year.

Kris Benson wasn't sharp at all as he went six and gave up four runs on eight hits. He did strike out seven. Even worse was how Dae-Sung Koo did. He gave up four hits, two walks and gave up three runs, while only getting two batters out.

Jose Reyes had three of the Mets six hits. Mike Cameron dropped down into the sixth spot and got a hit. He now has a nice six game hitting streak going. Game two in the series is tonight, with Zambrano going against Brandon Webb. I don't like that matchup because Webb's been pretty hot right now.

The good news is, the Braves and Marlins are both mired in slumps. While we dropped to fourth in the standings, we're still only 2 1/2 games back of first place.