In the inaugural Daily Mets Podcast, we take a look at the first two games of the Yankees series, and how they represented the highest of the highs, and the lowest of the lows in the Mets’ season. Also we’ll examine the injuries to the Mets’ pitching staff, and what steps the Mets are taking to try to mend the back end of the rotation.
New York Mets (23-14) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (24-14)
Time: 8:10 PM EST
Location: Busch Stadium (Cardinals)
Mets’ Starting Pitcher: Tom Glavine (5-2 2.19 ERA)
Cardinals Starting Pitcher: Jeff Suppan (4-2 4.58 ERA)
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Paul Lo Duca C
3. Carlos Beltran CF
4. Carlos Delgado 1B
5. David Wright 3B
6. Cliff Floyd LF
7. Xavier Nady RF
8. Kaz Matsui 2B
9. Tom Glavine P
1. David Eckstein SS
2. So Taguchi LF
3. Albert Pujols 1B
4. Scott Rolen 3B
5. Juan Encarnacion RF
6. Jim Edmonds CF
7. Gary Bennett C
8. Hector Luna 2B
9. Jeff Suppan P
I’m still surprised it got out – I really am. But there are so many more things to be surprised about in this game that the fact that Bill Hall’s fly ball off the end of the bat cleared the wall is not particularly high on my list. Why was Chad Bradford sent out to work a second inning, when Billy Wagner was ready in the bullpen? Why was Duaner Sanchez running in front of Carlos Delgado when Delgado was trying to field a sacrifice bunt? What on earth is wrong with Cliff Floyd? How come Jose Valentin is suddenly becoming a force to be reckoned with? How many outs can Jose Reyes make? Why won’t Philly lose? Has anyone noticed that the Mets only lead the N.L. East by one game?
Questions, questions, questions. Questions to which I wish I knew the answer. One could argue that using Bradford was a good decision because Milwaukee was sending three right-handers to the plate to start the 10th inning and that Bradford had set down the two batters he faced in the 9th and had looked impressive in the previous day’s game. But Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman were both available (granted Heilman threw two innings the night before, but he was throwing in the bullpen), and you can’t tell me that in extra innings against a team who can hit you want to go with your #3 option.
As for the other questions, most of them probably couldn’t be answered by the players themselves, so I’m certainly not going to try to answer them here. Joe DiGiovanni’s mets.com wrap-up of today’s game can be found here. I am far too disheartened with this afternoon’s loss to give a complete synopsis of the game, but let me tell you that losing this one is tough. Especially with Philadelphia’s comeback win in Cincinnati shaving the Mets lead in the N.L. East to just a game. The next six games (starting Tuesday) will be murder. Three in St. Louis, followed by three at home against the Yankees. It doesn’t get much bigger, or much tougher than that. Hopefully, the Mets can use tomorrow’s off day to forget about today and focus on the very difficult task ahead.
New York Mets vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Time: 2:05 PM EST
Location: Miller Park; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Brewers)
Mets’ Starting Pitcher: Pedro Martinez (5-0 2.89 ERA)
Brewers’ Starting Pitcher: Doug Davis (2-2 5.32 ERA)
Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy. Here is today’s roundup of Mets information from the blogosphere:
- Now that the Mets are without Victor Zambrano for the rest of the year, the team will obviously be looking around for a replacement. Eric Simon at Mets Geek examines the various options the Mets have. ESPN’s Buster Olney took an in-depth look in his blog (subscription required) at the possibility of the Mets dealing for Barry Zito, an idea they have long flirted with. He writes:
Inevitably, the Mets will tinker with patch jobs before they have this internal discussion, following up on cursory trade talks they’ve had with Oakland in recent months: "Should we trade Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito as part of our all-out effort?"
But if Zito is made available, the Mets would be the front-runners because they have Milledge. And three talent evaluators said over the weekend that Oakland GM Billy Beane loves the outfielder above all other prospects. "He’d make the deal [something built around Zito for Milledge] right now," says one scout.
Olney concludes that:
Personally, I wouldn’t trade Milledge for the left-hander, because Milledge is an extraordinary talent. But you’d have a very hard time finding fault with the Mets if they were to be aggressive and make a deal for the best pitcher available who would give them a chance to succeed in late October.
- The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has a press release from SportsNet New York, which says that the Mets TV ratings are up dramatically from last year. Apparently SNY’s Mets broadcasts have an increase of 64% over last year’s showing from MSG/FSN NY. However, those results reflect the season-to-date, and I seem to remember that there was a MSG/ FSN NY blackout for Time Warner cable customers in the first two weeks of last season, which significantly hurt the Mets ratings. More telling might be the 50% increase in household viewership, which takes into account all of last year’s ratings.
I will be back and posting regularly (I hope) from now on. Also, I might consider making additions to the sight in the next couple of weeks. If you have any suggestions to improve the site, make sure to leave a comment – they are always read and appreciated.
Mike at Mike’s Mets sums up my reaction to last night’s game perfectly:
When you’re a blogger that follows a team on a day-in, day-out basis, some days you’re going to find yourself just plain disgusted. Today was one of those days for me. I love baseball, which is why I chose to do this, but games like tonight’s leave me feeling I have nothing to offer. It’s not sour grapes over losing, either. I don’t expect to win every game. I just hate feeling like I wasted an evening, and I felt that way watching this game.
As usual, Mike is right on the money. Watching a pitcher who, prior to last night’s start, had just 5 innings under his big league belt shut down the best offensive lineup the Mets can put on the field was very frustrating. Michael O’Connor was simply brilliant for the Nationals, striking out six over seven innings, and giving up only one run. He’s got a Barry Zito-esque 12 to 6 curve that looked especially tough for left-handers. Certainly seemed that way for Carlos Delgado.
John Maine was decent, despite a pretty bad line in the box score. One bad pitch to Alfonso Soriano made a big difference.
Jorge Julio Watch
Julio looked outstanding, reaching 98 MPH with his fastball and throwing 1.2 perfect innings in the 8th and 9th. He struck out two, and lowered his ERA to 6.75.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Time: 7:10 PM
Location: Shea Stadium; Queens, New York (Mets)
TV: SportsNet New York
Nationals’ Starting Pitcher: Michael O’Connor (0-1 0.00 ERA)
Mets’ Starting Pitcher: John Maine (0-0 0.00 ERA)
Blogger’s Note: I saw all of last night’s win over San Francisco, but was only half awake for most of the game. I will also miss most of this afternoon’s game against the Giants. But I’ll be back full-time for the Atlanta series this weekend. I will post this morning’s roundup and maybe I’ll have time tonight for a recap of this afternoon’s game.
- The Mets won 4-1 last night, behind two late-inning home runs. Xavier Nady continued his hot start last night with his 6th dinger, a solo shot in the 7th inning to break a 1-1 tie. Cliff Floyd followed that up with a two-run bomb into McCovey Cove to put the Mets up 4-1. Steve Trachsel pitched very well through 6 innings, with a solo homer by Barry Bonds accounting for the only San Francisco run. Here is Marty Noble’s recap.
- We are still awaiting the Mets’ decision on Friday as to whether or not Carlos Beltran will be put on the DL. Jeremy Heit makes the case over at Mets Geek that Lastings Milledge deserves to be called up from AAA if Beltran lands on the disabled list. Speaking of talented Mets’ prospects, Mike Pelfrey got promoted to AA yesterday.
- Gary Gillette has a good post over at ESPN Insider (subscription required) about the challenges the Atlanta Braves face this year if they hope to win the division once again.
So, unless Atlanta makes some unexpected trades, the success or failure of these sophomores probably will determine whether the Braves can hold off the hard-charging Mets in 2006. When you field a lineup with career minor leaguer Matt Diaz batting third against lefty Chris Capuano, as Atlanta did Monday in Milwaukee, someone has to step up to the plate if the Braves want to continue their remarkable streak.
Mets play today at 3:30 in the rubber game of the San Francisco series.
New York Mets (12-7) vs. San Francisco Giants (11-8)
Time: 10:15 PM EST
Location: AT&T Park; San Francisco, California (Giants)
TV: SportsNet New York
Mets’ Starting Pitcher: Steve Trachsel (1-1 3.71 ERA)
Giants’ Starting Pitcher: Jamey Wright (2-0 2.91 ERA)
I missed most of last night’s loss to the Giants, but here’s Marty Noble’s recap. Atlanta lost 3-2 to Milwaukee, so the Mets remain in first place by three games.
Buzz & Roundup
- David Lennon writes in Newsday that the Mets have "targeted Friday as the deadline to place Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list and manager Willie Randolph suggested for the first time yesterday that Lastings Milledge could be his replacement if that happens." Milledge has been tearing it up in AAA Norfolk, hitting over .400 and winning Batter of the Week honors.
- Mets Geek has a minor league recap from yesterday, which notes that super-prospect Mike Pelfrey won his second game with the St. Lucie Mets. Pelfrey’s record is now 2-1 and he has a 1.64 ERA.
- Mets’ color commentator Keith Hernandez remains under fire for his insensitive remarks about a female trainer in the San Diego Padres dugout during Saturday night’s broadcast. Neil Best at Newsday takes issue both with Hernandez’s remarks, and his original, inadequate explanation of them.