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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Pirates 7, Mets 6

W: Wells (2-1)
L: Moreno (0-1)
S: Mesa (4)

Game Notes
Tom Glavine-Great Performance! He gave up 1 hit and no runs in 7 innings while walking 1 and striking out 2. He was amazing. He was getting of the hitters off balanced and most of them were out in front because he changed speeds so well. I feel bad for him because he should have defiantly had the win. Oh well.
Bullpen-Horrible. All they needed to do was not give up a run for two innings. Instead they give up 7 ER in 2 innings. Glavine pitched so well and they blew it for him. The mets should deintly look and see if there is anyone he could try for to solitify the bullpen. So far this season, other than injuries, this is the only main problem I have seen. And now even the whole bullpen, The closer has been getting the job done. Its just that one or two innings to take the game from the starter to the closer. Don't like what I see.
Eric Valent- Impressive! Coming off the bench and hitting a three run homer to keep the Mets in the game. He is 2-12 this year but his two hits have been home runs. Nice!
Mike Cameron- He had a great night! He went 2-3 with an RBI, a double, and a walk. He keep the late inning rally going with the double which he scorched pass the third baseman. But that's not all he did this game. He was great in the field. He makes everything look so easy. He make a great play early in the game, and make some more nice ones at other times. He covers so much ground, It's great.

For a box score go here.

For a game summary go here.

MVP of the Game- Glavine (I feel really bad for him. He pitched so well.)
LVP of the Game-Bullpen (Horrible!)
Glavine's Game Score- 76

Wilpon Speaks for First Time
Addressing the media for the first time this season, Mets owner Fred Wilpon was all smiles yesterday, raving about his coaching staff and his team's solid start. Of course, this was BEFORE the Mets blew a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning and lost a disaster of a game last night. Still, Wilpon was pleased about his team (now 5-5), a noticeable departure from his comments late in spring training, when he said the slumping Mets needed to turn things around. "I think we played pretty well. I think the thing that I'm most impressed with is, when we didn't play well, we corrected what was wrong instead of letting it lag on," Wilpon said. "Clearly that's the manager and the coaches and [GM] Jim Duquette . They really got on it, saw what needed correcting and they did that. That's very encouraging. In 162 games, you must make adjustments frequently." Wilpon also has been pleased with the early buzz surrounding his team. "I think the fans are enjoying this team so far. They're not waiting for the right fielder to come out so they can bury him," Wilpon said in an obvious slight to former Met Roger Cedeno . "They like them."
Wilpon said there was nothing new to report on plans for a new Mets stadium, but added that there may be some meetings a few weeks from now to address the situation.

Wilson to Start
Vance Wilson , the only position player not to start this season, is scheduled to catch this afternoon. In the two previous games in which Mike Piazza played first base, Art Howe decided Jason Phillips would catch to keep Piazza's bat in the injury-depleted lineup.

"I didn't expect it this way, but it obviously is the way the team has gone and the direction they want to go," Wilson said.

Minor League's Update

Norfolk 10, Louisville 9 (11)
Recap
Rodney Nye doubled home Danny Garcia followed by a Wilson Delgado RBI single, as the Norfolk Tides put up two in the top of the tenth to outlast the Louisville Bats 10-9.

Louisville would score once in the bottom of the tenth on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Larson to cut the lead to one, but Jacob Cruz flied out with the tying run on third to end the game.

The game featured seven home runs, four by Louisville and three by Norfolk.

Victor Diaz went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI for the Tides. Mike Jacobs and Craig Brazell also homered and knocked in two in the win. Brazell's homer was his fourth, tying him for the league lead.

Jose Parra (1-0) got the win for Norfolk, allowing a run on two hits in one inning. P.J. Bevis notched his first save, allowing one run and two walks in an inning of work.
MVP of the Game- Victor Diaz
LVP of the Game- J Roach (3ER in 2 innings)
Norfolk Record-5-3


Binghamton 6, Portland 3
Recap
The Mets picked up their runs in the seventh on an RBI triple by Wayne Lydon, followed by an RBI double by Ron Acuna. Acuna would then score on an error by Sea Dogs catcher Edgar Martinez.

Tim Lavigne (1-1) picked up the win, throwing 3 innings of scoreless, hitless ball. Lavigne struck out two. Kole Strayhorn picked up his second save of the season, pitching a perfect ninth.

MVP of the Game-C Basak (2-4)
LVP of the Game- C Lambin (0-4)
Binghamton Record-7-2


Daytona 8, St. Lucie 7
Recap
The Daytona Cubs came from behind with three runs in each of the last three innings to defeat the St. Lucie Mets 8-7 and end the Mets six game winning streak.

Scott Kazmir made his second start of the year lasting just four innings and surrendering five earned runs.

MVP of the Game- B Harper (3-4 with 2 doubles)
LVP of the Game- S Kazmir (I hate to say it)
St. Lucie Record-7-2


Capital City 10, Rome 5
Recap
Capital City narrowed the gap between first and second place back to a half-game by knocking off Rome 10-5 Friday night. The Braves committed three errors and the Bombers took advantage to even the series at one game apiece.

The Bombers answered with Shawn Bowman's two-run homer in the bottom of that frame to tie the ballgame, but Cap-City was far from done. Another pair of runs in the sixth gave the Bombers their first lead at 4-2. The seventh and eighth innings saw the home team parade a half dozen unearned runs across the plate with reliever Brad Nelson on the mound for Rome. First baseman Ian Bladergroen drove in three of those runs with his giant home run (tying him with Bowman for the team lead at 3 HR each).

MVP of the Game- S. Bowman (2-3 with a homer)
LVP of the Game- T Houston (0-4. You can be great every night.)
Bombers Record-6-3


Today's Game
Today, Steve Trachsel will be on the mound and will be opposed by Oliver Perez. Trachsel, in his last start, pitched well. Perez in his last start gave up 3 ER in 5 innings against the Reds. Here are their scouting reports:

Trachsel is an unheralded hurler who keeps his team in games every time he pitches. He does an excellent job of mixing his two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup, and has plus command of all three offerings while keeping them down in the strike zone. He wastes few pitches, which allows him to go deep into games and eat innings. The righthander is determined to get ahead in the count with first-pitch strikes and is not afraid of hitters making contact and putting his fielders to work. His stuff is far from outstanding, with his heater rarely breaking 90 MPH, but his methodical pace can be irritating to opposing hitters.

Perez has an excellent arm with a fastball that reaches 96 MPH and regularly sits in the 92-94 MPH range. His best pitch is a wicked slider with a huge break that can tie hitters up. When Perez gets the slider over for strikes, he can be dominating, as evidenced by the combined 24 strikeouts he posted in back-to-back starts for the Padres in August. He also throws a changeup that is a work in progress. There are some questions about his stamina and his ability to eat up innings over the grind of a 162-game season, and some scouts fear his violent delivery will lead to arm problems.


Enjoy the Game!

Comments and Advice Follow-Up
Thank you so much to the people who left me some comments about my site. I really want to make my site the best one, and while I know I big part is my writing, I need to know what you all like to read about. What would you all like me to add? Do you like game diaries? Would you like me to try and do interviews? Would you like Mailbag editions? Anyone else who has something, anything, to say take 2 minutes of your time and try and make this site better. It really, really will help me. PLEASE LEAVE SOMETHING!
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Friday, April 16, 2004

Mets 4, Braves 0

W: Leiter (1-0)
L: Ramirez (0-1)

For a box score click here.

For a game summary click here.

Game Notes
Al Leiter- He pitched great. He also looked great. When he came off the mound in the 5th, to field a bunt, he looked great fielding it and made a great throw to second to get the lead runner. He even got a double and walked. (Too bad he didn't go for the triple like last year.) Impressive for a pitcher who had 1 hit last year in over 50 at-bats. Go Al! The only problem I had with him last night was his pitch count. He needs to throw more strikes and retire batters faster or his is never going to be able to go further than the 6th inning. He has to improve at that, but other than that, he has been extremely impressive. I have to say though, the umpire's strike zone sucked. It was very inconsistent so you can't totally blame Leiter.
Kaz MatsuiHe had a nice game going 1-2 with 2 walks. It's amazing the rate he is walking at. (Though one of them was intentional.) Everyone though his main problem was going to be being able to talk walks but obviously it isn't. His speed is also amazing. He would have scored on that ball in the first inning if Galante hadn't held him up. Great job, Kaz!
Branden LooperWow! He has been pitching great. Retired the side in order in the 9th with ease and even added in a strike out of Larry for all of us. He stuff is nasty and he has gotten of to a great start this year.

MVP of the Game-Leiter (Great Performance! Man I Love Him!)
LVP of the Game- Wiggy (0-4, not a great though, though he did hit the ball hard a few times)
Leiter's Game Score*- 61

*For those of you who don't know what the Game Score stat is, he is the definition of the stat: Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

More On Duquette's New Assistant
Yesterday, I announced that Duquette had chosen John Ricco to be his assistant. Here's so more information about Ricco. Ricco has worked for the Baseball Commissioner's Office for the last 12 years in a variety of roles, most recently as the director of contract and salary administration for Major League Baseball. He will serve in a similar capacity with the Mets. Ricco has worked in the past with club general managers and assistants assuring compliance with the collective bargaining agreement, assisting them with the interpretation of the agreement and advising them of deadlines. In addition, he oversaw administration of the Competitive Balance Tax rules, calculating player salaries, club payrolls and taxes owed. He also represented MLB in negotiations with the Players' Association over issues that affect Major League rules. Here's what Duquette had to say about his new assistant:

"John has a solid background in so many different facets of the game; salary arbitration, the basic agreement, waivers and contract negotiations," Duquette said. "He will be able to help us in a multitude of areas. He is a bright young executive who will be a tremendous addition to our organization."

And here's what Ricco had to say:

"I couldn't be more excited," said Ricco, 36, a 1990 Villanova University graduate. "Ever since I came to the Commissioner's Office it was my dream to assimilate as much knowledge as I could so that I could one day come work for the a club. To join the Mets is a dream come true. I just want to help Jim any way I can."

I think he will help and it is nice Duquette finally chose an assistant.

Gammons Discusses Mets
In Peter Gammons latest article, he discussed the Mets twice. First he wrote the following:

The Mets dearly wanted Milton Bradley, but told the Indians that they wouldn't give up either third baseman David Wright or left-hander Scott Kazmir, and the Indians wouldn't do the deal without Wright.

I am happy the Mets didn't do this deal. I also really wanted the Mets to get, as he would have greatly improved the Mets line-up. However, he had of problems of his own, and I really believe Wright is something special. Plus, he is supposed to be a great guy, unlike Bradley. Now, onto the second time the Mets were discussed:

With Tom Glavine and Al Leiter in the rotation, the Mets focus on the left side of the infield, which is why Ricky Gutierrez will play a lot of third base behind the veteran lefties when Jose Reyes is back at second base.

I don't really understand this. All know Wiggy is not a great defensive third baseman but I thought Gutierrez wasn't either. Here's what ESPN's scouting report said about Gutierrez's defense:

Picture a slow man running in sand. That's how Gutierrez looked playing defense or running the bases. Worries that the converted shortstop could not turn the double play were unfounded, but his lack of range and speed made every grounder an adventure.

To go even further, I took a look at his career stats. He has only play 42 games in his career at 3B and during that time, he hasn't made an error. However, he only has a range factor of 1.64. (League avg. is 2.29.) Since he has played a very little amount of games at 3B it is hard to tell. I have a feeling he will play the kind of defense Wiggy plays. The balls he gets to he will handle, but he won't have much range.

Gammons referred to the Mets in two other places also, though not directly. First, he talks about a prospect, who the Mets lost to the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft. Here's what he had to say:

The Red Sox are very high on left-hander Lenny DiNardo, whom they took in the Rule 5 draft from the Mets. DiNardo had some arm problems in the spring and opened the season on injury rehab with Sarasota, but they think his natural 86-88 mph cutter and curveball/change repertoire could make him a contributor to their bullpen this year and a starter down the line. In his last outing of spring training, one scout put down slider on every one of his fastballs, meaning that the ball cuts so much it looks like a slider.

Too bad they lost him! Well that's baseball. And the Mets ended up picking up Eric Valent in the draft who hasn't be so bad himself. (Though nothing special, other than being able to hit a 66-mph curve out of the park.) The final thing has to do with a player who is on the Mets. This is what a scout had to say:

"Seattle still doesn't have power (one homer in its first 5 games). They're just finding out how much Mike Cameron covered for everyone else. Defensively, they're nowhere near as good as they were last year."

For All You Yankee Haters
Jim Calhoun, the Head Coach of the Uconn men's basketball team, who's team just won the championship, was asked by the Yankees to throw out the first pitch at an upcoming game. Calhoun, a long time Red Sox fan, rejected the offer. "No chance," Calhoun, 61, said Wednesday. "Sixty years of torment is enough." According to sources, Calhoun said something to the effect of, it would be "over my dead body" the day I throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. The head coach, however, gladly accepted an invitation to throw out the first pitch against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino said it was "very cool" that Calhoun turned down the Yankees. I also thought it was pretty cool, giving the Yankees what they deserve.

Cerda Impresses Neyer
Rob Neyer is very impressed with Jaime Cerda and wrote about it in his April 14th entry over at Rob and Rany. Here is what he had to say:

The other good thing is that I did get to see Jaime Cerda, and he's worth seeing.

I just can't figure out why the Mets would let this guy get away. In two innings he struck out four Sox, and the two runs that scored shouldn't have (the defense let him down, details not worth relating here). Here's my scouting report . . . Cerda's a two-pitch pitcher, which is okay considering 1) he's a reliever, and 2) the two pitches are both good ones. He mostly throws low-90s fastballs, and spots them around the knees on the outside part of the plate. That's not his strikeout pitch, though. His strikeout pitch is a hard breaking ball, a slurvy sort of pitch that continually befuddled the right-handed hitters (notable because Cerda's a lefty). Cerda employs a compact, short-arm delivery, and I suspect that makes his fastball look a bit faster than it is.


Damn! Why does this stuff always happen to the Mets! They leave and really impress. Maybe Mets management just can't spot talent.

Stat Pack
ESPN is now offering a "stat pack," which includes scorecards, updated stats, game day information and more. They are printable, free, and a prefect thing to take to a Mets game. If you don't believe me, look at their stat pack for tonight's met game here and click on Pit at Mets. It is really cool.

Mike Cameron wins an award
In an article by Page 2's Eric Neel, he awards Mike Cameron with the Brian Giles award. (A spot reserved for unheralded greatness.) Here's what he has to say:

After Andruw Jones, probably the best defensive center fielder in the game, and he has some pop and draws some walks. Plus, he wears his cap slightly off-center, and it's hard to overestimate the day-in-day-out value of a thing like that.

Seo Still On Track
Jae Seo will still start Sunday against the Pirates though he isn't viewing it as an audition for regaining his spot. Seo said that he has regained control of all his pitches since being demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on April 2. He's been working on a splitter in his side sessions and is hoping to be able to incorporate it into his repertoire during a game.

Minor League's Update

Norfolk 7, Indianapolis 6
Recap
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Mike Jacobs scored on a Craig Brazell double in the top of the ninth to give Norfolk a 7-6 win over Indianapolis.

Brazell finished the game 2-for-5, including a two run home run, and three RBI. Jacobs went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. Wilson Delgado had a perfect day at the plate with four hits in four at-bats, including two doubles, a run scored, and an RBI.

P.J. Bevis (1-0) pitched one inning and got the win. He held the Indians scoreless on two hits.

Chris Michalak (1-1) gave up one run on three hits in the ninth inning.

Norfolk's second win in a row evens up their record at 3-3, while Indianapolis falls to 3-2.
Norfolk Record: 3-3

Portland 2, Binghamton 1 (11)
Recap
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Kenny Perez drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eleventh inning to give the Portland Sea Dogs a 2-1 victory over the Binghamton Mets.

The Mets Jeremy Hill (0-1) walked lead-off batter John Hattig to start the eleventh. Hill then hit Jeff Bailey to put men on first and second. The next batter Hill retired, but gave up a single to Eric Johnson to load the bases. After a strikeout of Mike O'Keefe, Hill surrendered the game-winning walk to Perez that plated John Hattig.

Sea Dogs starter Charlie Zink went five innings in the no-decision. He surrendered four hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out three in the Sea Dogs second win of the season. Joe Nelson (2-0) picked up his second win in relief.

Mets Neal Musser gave up five hits, one earned run, three walks and struck out four in six innings of work.

Portland's only other run came on a Jeff Bailey RBI double in the bottom of the first inning.

Binghamton's Prentice Redman knocked in the Mets only run with a double.
Binghamton Record: 6-2

St. Lucie 4, Daytona 2
Recap
The St. Lucie Mets fell behind early 1-0 but were able to overcome the early deficit and extend their winning streak to six games with a 4-2 victory over the Daytona Cubs.

Starter Kevin Deaton looked dominating at times allowing just six hits and one unearned run while striking out four. Deaton earned his first victory of the year. The Mets bullpen was again solid in relief allowing just one unearned run. The team of Tim McNab and David Byard combined over the last four innings to allow just five hits. Byard recorded his first save of the year.

At the plate six different Mets collected hits. Jonathan Slack, Justin Huber, Brett Harper, Zack Clements, Robert McIntyre and Corey Ragsdale accounted for the Mets offense. It was Ragsdale two run home run to deep left center field that put the game out of reach for the visiting Cubs.
St. Lucie Record: 7-1

Rome 7, Bombers 3
Recap
Thursday night in Columbia, Rome jumped out to an early lead and kept the Bombers at bay the rest of the night. The Braves held off Capital City's bid for first place in the SAL Southern Division and ended a three-game winning streak for the Bombers by a final score of 7-3.

Capital City starter Vincent Cordova struggled with the Braves from the beginning, as the first two batters in the first and the second innings all notched hits (including a home run by designated hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia) and came home for a quick 4-0 lead.

Rome continued to knock the ball around for the rest of the night, outhitting the Bombers 15-6 along the way. The bulk of the offensive output for the Braves came from the first four batters in the lineup: Josh Burrus (4-5), Mike Hanson (2-5), Steven Doetsch (2-5), and Matt Esquivel (3-5).

Capital City had its moments, but could not bunch hits or baserunners together. The two home runs from the Bombers were both solo shots (from Shawn Bowman and Tyler Davidson), not putting much of a dent into the Rome advantage.

The victory for the Braves gives them a 1.5 game lead over the Bombers in the early battle for first place.
Bombers Record: 5-3

For individual stats, go here.

Tonight's Game
Tom Glavine will be on the mound tonight against Pittsburgh and will be opposed by Kip Wells. Tom Glavine pitched great his last start allowing no ER in 7 innings on 5 hits while walking one and striking out one. Kip Wells, in his last start, gave up 2 ER in 6th innings on 7 hits, allowing 4 walks and seven strike outs against the Cubs. Here are their scouting reports:

Despite his difficulties last year, including a bone spur in his left elbow, blister problems on his fingers and the controversial QuesTec system, Glavine threw the ball nearly as well as he ever has. While he failed to get as many calls on the outside corner, he maintained good command. His fastball continues to register in the high 80s, possesses good movement and looks even faster because of his outstanding changeup, which continues to rank among the best in the game. Glavine's strikeout totals have dropped sharply in the past three years while the lefty focuses on moving his pitches around in the strike zone with the hope of inducing groundballs.

Wells always has had a great arm, but he now is figuring out the nuances of pitching. His fastball tops out at 96 MPH and sits comfortably in the 91-93 range with outstanding movement. He is gaining confidence in throwing his other pitches for strikes, including a curveball, slider and changeup. Wells has a tendency to run up high pitch counts in the early innings, but he improved his efficiency during the latter stages of last season. He also is developing a reputation of being tough with the game on the line, as opponents hit just .169 with runners in scoring position last season.


Should be a fun game! Enjoy!

Comments and Advice Follow-Up
Thank you so much to the people who left me some comments about my site. I really want to make my site the best one, and while I know I big part is my writing, I need to know what you all like to read about. What would you all like me to add? Do you like game diaries? Would you like me to try and do interviews? Would you like Mailbag editions? Anyone else who has something, anything, to say take 2 minutes of your time and try and make this site better. It really, really will help me. PLEASE LEAVE SOMETHING!
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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Last night’s game was a disaster. Yates totally lost it and the hitting didn’t do jack. I didn’t watch most of the game because I couldn’t bear it so today I won’t be doing Game Notes. However, I will be doing the MVP and LVP below:

MVP of Game: Wiggy (has a nice game going 2-4 with a double)
LVP of Game: Yates (5 ER in 2.1 innings)

I promise I will have game notes for tonight’s game though.

Mets Hire Assistant
The Associated Press reports the Mets have decided to hire John Ricco of the commissioner's office as an assistant GM for Duquette.

Continuation of the Mets RF Talk
I am very sorry and apologize for the many mistakes in yesterday’s article about RF. I wrote about many RF I thought were going to be free agents this off season but were actually not. I would like to make up for it and clarify the mistakes I made. For starters, I wrote that Trot Nixon would be a free agent after this season, forgetting he had signed a three year extension which the Red Sox. In addition, I also said Berkman would be a free agent this off season. However, I was reminded that even though his contract expires at the end of the season, he is not eligible for free agency until after next season. There was also some confusion over whether or not Jermaine Dye is a free agent. He is not an actual free agent as he has a mutual option for 2005 for $14 million. However, it is highly unlikely the A’s will pick it up. I am sorry for my mistakes and all the confusion I caused but I’m not perfect. However, in better news concerning the RF situation, the deal between Magglio Ordonez and the White Sox is beginning to face some problems. Ordonez wants 5 years and the White Sox right now are only willing to offer 4. Here’ s what he had to say about it:

"This is going to be my last big contract and I have to take advantage of that," Ordonez told the Chicago Tribune. "It's my last opportunity to get something done.

"If they give me something fair and the years I want, it'll be fine," he said. "If not, I guess I'll have to go to free agency."


Hopefully, it doesn’t get worked out and the Mets get a chance to sign him, knowing that Carlos Beltran will probably be a Yankee. Remember, however, that the chance of the Mets signing Ordonez aren’t very high if he becomes a free agent as the Mets always say they will not sign a contract for more than 3 years and he seems to want 5. Oh, well.

Mets 13th in Power 10 and Bottom 5 rankings
ESPN’s weekly Power 10 and Bottom 5 rankings ranked the Mets at 13th. Here’s what they had to say about our Mets:

Off to a good start, which was imperative with all the new faces. Raise your hand if you were surprised by Cliff Floyd going on the DL.

Good Job Mets! If you want to see all the rankings go here.

Reyes Update

General manager Jim Duquette said that Jose Reyes made strides in the rehab process but added that he couldn't say definitely whether he would be back during before the current homestand ends. Reyes, who is continuing to rehab his strained right hamstring, remains several days away from playing in any minor league game. "At some point we'd like to see him go through some rehab games. Whether that's three or four games, we want to make sure when we test him everything is okay. Most likely he'll play a couple of games in Florida and then we'll take it through (Triple-A) Norfolk."

Duquette said cold weather wasn't a determining factor in Reyes' return. Therefore, it's possible he could rejoin the team in Chicago on April 23 rather than waiting for the warmer weather in southern California later in the trip. Still, Duquette added that all three games in the Cubs series being day games will benefit because it will be warmer.


I can’t wait until he’s back. He’s such an important part of our line-up.

Minor League’s Update

Binghamton 3, Erie 2
3B D. Wright went 2-3 with 2 doubles.
LF R. Acuna went 2-4 with an RBI and a run.
Matt Peterson gave up 1 ER in 5 innings on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strike outs.

Binghamton 5, Erie 2
3B D. Wight went 2-3 and was caught stealing.
C Javier Cardona went 3-3 with 2 doubles, 1 run, and 2 RBI.
RF Prentice Redman went 1-2 with a walk and a run.
Jose Diaz pitched 5 shutout innings allowing no hits, 4 walks, and 8 strike outs.
Binghamton Record: 6-1

St. Lucie 12, Daytona 4
3B Aarom Baldiris went 3-5 with 2 RBU and 2 runs.
RF Bobby Malek went 3-4 with 2 runs, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a walk.
1B Brett Harper went 3-5 with 2 runs, 1 double, and 3 RBI.
Brian Bannister gave up 3 ER in 5 innings allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strike outs.
St. Lucie Record: 6-1

Capital City 2, Greensboro 0
DH Tyler Davidson went 1-4 with a walk and two runs.
1B Ian Bladergrone went 2-5 with a home run, a walk and 2 RBI.
Tanner Osberg gave up 2 ER in 4.2 innings while allowing 5 hits, walking none, and striking out 7.
Capital City: 5-2

Tonight’s Game
On the mound tonight will be Al Leiter who will be opposed by Horacio Ramirez. Al Leiter pitched very well in his last start, throwing 5 innings of shutout ball while giving up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strike outs. Ramirez, on the other hand, in his last start, pitched even better, throwing 7 innings of shutout ball while giving up 4 hits, 5 walks, and 5 strike outs. Here are their scouting reports:

Leiter is an intelligent pitcher who is a capable of dominating hitters even though his stuff is not overpowering. His hard, cut fastball sits in the 90-92 MPH range and possesses incredible sinking action just prior to reaching the plate, making it most difficult for righthanded hitters to hit. He uses his slider and regular fastball mostly against lefthanded hitters, always working the outside half of the dish. His changeup also is an effective offering, provided it stays low in the strike zone. Leiter gets in trouble when he fails to complete the follow-through in his delivery, which causes his pitches to rise.

Ramirez is a purebred product of the Atlanta farm system. He mirrors the organizational philosophy for southpaws by throwing mostly sinkers and changeups down and on the outside part of the plate. His fastball resides in the low 90s, and his natural cut fastball has a sharp break when his mechanics are in sync. He does not hold runners well for a lefty, but at bat he can help himself with a bunt.


Comments and Advice
I would really love to hear what you all think of my site. How is the writing? Do you like the things I focus on? It has been a full week since I started this blog and its time for some evaluating. If any of you will leave me a comment, just telling me what you think of it and any other advice, comments, or more things you would like to see me write about, you don’t know how much I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I hope you all have a great day off from the Mets. (It’s hard but we all get by.) Let’s get right to business (or Mets-ness)

Being Optimistic
Someone left a comment yesterday that made me think. He wrote:

Optimistic Mets' Fan After Seven Games: We're tied for the wild card!

Pessimistic Mets' Fan After Seven Games: We have the same record as we did last season, on our way to 65 wins.


It’s completely true. Yes this is a different year, but you could draw many comparisons, if you wanted to, from this years start to last years start. I’m not saying the Mets this year are going to play let the Mets last year did as I feel the Mets will won at least 80 games. But lets just take a look at some off the comparisons other than the same record:

  • Mike Piazza sat out the home opener (Last year: suspension, This year: hurt)
  • Hole in the outfield caused by injury (Last year: Burnitz, This year: Floyd)
  • Major part of the Line Up goes down (Last year: (Piazza, This year: Floyd)
  • One of the spring training invites who made the team gets hurt (Last year: Cone, This year Erickson)

    However, the are many differences (improvements) from last year:

  • Our defense
  • Younger and more athletic
  • Our rookies from last year have a year of experience under their belts (Phillips, Reyes)

    What I’m trying to say is, you could defiantly make compassions to last year, but most teams can do that. What you have to look at is the improvements. Be optimistic. The Mets are a better team this year!

    Review of the Week
    1. Glavine pitched well in two games giving up 2 ER in 13 innings and getting both wins.
    2. Trachsel gave up mixed results giving up 8 ER in 3 innings in his first start but only 1 ER in 6 innings in his second start.
    3. Kaz Matsui has been on a tear hitting .357 while walking more times than he has struck out, 8 to 7.
    4. Two people, Erickson and Floyd, had to go on the disabled list. Also, Reyes’s return has been delayed.
    5. Grant Roberts has been a disaster giving up 9 ER in 1.2 innings. And we wanted him to be our fifth starter.
    6. Moreno and Looper have been very impressive, together giving up 2 ER in 8.2 innings while striking out 7.
    7. Zeile has shown us he isn’t done, hitting .417, and making nice and big plays in the Mets season so far. (RBI double to win the game.)
    8. Tyler Yates showed us how great it is to have a power arm. I am looking forward to seeing him pitch this year, blowing stuff by people.

    There are many more highs and lows of the week, but for now that’s it. I would say this week was a good one ending with us having a winning record and a better winning % than the Yankees. It’s only the beginning of the year and there will definitely be some more tough roads ahead but for the start, I’d say we have done well.

    Fast Facts
  • Kaz Matsui has reached base in 18 of 34 plate appearances this season.
  • Mike Cameron has a seven-game hitting streak.
  • The lone walk Tom Glavine gave up on Sunday was the 1,209th of his career, tying him with Cy Young for 46th on the all-time list. He also has 2,139 strikeouts, leaving him 10 shy of Dennis Martinez for 49th on the all-time list.
  • The Mets are 27-16 in home openers.

    Mike Piazza on the State of the Mets

    "The mood in here is great. We've proven we have a lot of guys capable of stepping in and doing the job."

    Scutaro Makes All-Good Decision Team
    For those of you who were very mad when the Mets lost Scutaro to the A’s through waviers, and wished he was the player whose role Ricky Gutierrez is playing right now for the Mets, he’s more to be mad about. Rob Neyer put together a team “composed of players with everyday jobs thanks to the wisdom of their employers.” Scutaro made the team at 2B. Here’s what Neyer had to say about him:

    There's a part of me that's reluctant to give the A's too much credit for giving Scutaro a chance to play, because if Mark Ellis hadn't suffered a season-ending injury before the season even started, Scutaro would still be on the bench (or playing every day for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats). On the other hand, it's not like Scutaro was the default choice when Ellis went down. When Ellis went down, I saw one report that listed Frank Menechino and Esteban German as replacement candidates ... with no mention of Scutaro at all!

    So the A's deserve credit for skipping past the guy with the experience (Menechino) and the guy who's been in the organization forever but doesn't have the skills to play every day (German), and settle on the guy who can actually play. I don't know if the A's are actually better off with Scutaro than Ellis -- it depends on whose analysis of defense you believe -- but he's one hell of a fill-in.


    Man, I wish he was still on the Mets. (If you want to read the whole article, go here.)

    Mets Options Lessening
    ESPN reported today that the Anaheim Angels and Garret Anderson have agreed on a $48 million, 4 year contract extension. This is horrible. Our list for RF is shortening by the day. The other day it was reported that the White Sox and Magglio Ordonez were close to a deal. Let’s take a look at some of the remaining options:

  • Lance Berkman- Last year he hit .288 with 25 home runs and an OBP of .412. He slugged .515 and walked almost as many times as he struck out, 107 to 108. He is an average outfielder and a slow but smart base runner.

  • Trot Nixon- Last year he hit .306 with 28 HR and an OBP of .396. He slugged .578 and struck out almost double the amount of times he walked, 96 to 65. He’s an average fielder and is a smart base runner.

  • Carlos Beltran- Last year, he hit .307 with 26 HR and an OBP. Of .389. He slugged .522 and walked all most as much as he struck out, 81 to 72. He is a great defender and great base-runner stealing 41 bases last year.

  • Jermaine Dye- Last year, was a horrible season for him. He batted .172 and was injured most of the season. This year though, so far he has batted .321 with 3 HR and an OBP of .387. He is a good fielder will a great arm and is a good base stealer.

  • Richard Hidalgo- Last year he hit .309 with 28 HR and an OBP of .385. He slugged .572 but struck out almost double his amount of walks, 104 to 58. He is a good fielder but has a cannon for an arm.

    (He isn’t technically a free agent but his team option is of $15 million and is highly unlikely they will pick it up.)

  • J. D. Drew- Last year he hit, .289 with 15 HR and an OBP of .274. He has always been a good player, but injuries have ruined his carrer so far. He is a good fielder and is good on the basepaths.

    These are the main top quality outfielders that are free agents this off-season. My choice would be to go with Carlos Beltran. He is the best defender out of these choices and is a 5-tool player in his prime. That would be my choice, but I would love to hear what you all think!

    Minor League’s Update

    Norfolk 2, Louisville 0
    1B C. Brazell went 1-3 with a run.
    C M. Jacobs went 1-3 with a run.
    M. Ginter pitched 4 scoreless innings of one-hit ball while walking 1 and striking out 6.
    P. Strange pitched 3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball while walking 3 and striking out 5.
    Norfolk Record:2-3

    St. Lucie 7, Brevard 5
    CF F. Lawson went 1-3 with a walk, a run, and an RBI.
    SS C.Ragsdale went 2-4 with a double, a triple, and a run.
    M. Meyers gave up 1 ER on 4 hits in 4 innings while walking none and striking out 3.
    T.McNab picked dup the save, pitching 2 perfect innings and striking out 1.
    St. Lucie Record:5-1

    Capital City 5, Greensboro 0
    SS W.Batista went 2-2 with a SB and 2 BB.
    1B T.Davidson went 2-4 with a double and a strike out.
    I.Bladergroe hit a pinch hit homer.
    M.Lindstrom picked up the win, pitching 5 shutout innings while allowing 1 hit, walking none, and striking out 8.
    Capital City Record: 4-2

    Tonight’s Game
    The pitching match-up for tonight is Tyler Yates (0.00 ERA) vs. John Thomson (3.60 ERA). Yates, in his last start, tossed six scoreless innings against the Expos in Puerto Rico on Friday night. John Thomson, who faced the Mets in his last start, earned a no-decision after allowing two earned runs on five hits in five innings. The player Yates is going to have to look to neutralize is Marcus Giles. He has hit safely in all seven games this year and is 10-17 against the Mets this season. Thomson, on the other hand, is going to have to look to neutralize the two Mike’s, Mike Piazza and Mike Cameron. Piazza is 6-14 (.429) with a pair of homers against Thomson while Cameron is 5-14 (.357) against Thomson. Here is Thomson’s scouting report (No scouting report for Yates because he didn’t pitch in the majors last year):

    Thomson flourished while working with first-year pitching coach Orel Hershiser. Hershiser emphasized using the changeup more, and the combination of a hard sinker and the change forced hitters to be ready to swing early in the count. Thomson was rewarded with his fair share of groundballs. He also kept his walk total down, allowed only 2.03 free passes per nine innings. He was 9-5 with a 3.89 ERA from June 30 on, and he produced quality starts in 12 of his final 18 outings.

    Enjoy the Game and let the Mets win!
  • |

    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    Hey everybody, I didn't write much for today and I know I'm putting it on pretty late but enjoy.

    Minor League's Update

    Binghamton 7, Erie 1
    DH A. Pagan went 1-4 with a 2 run homer and 3 RBI.
    CF W. Lydon went 2-4 with a run and an RBI.
    C Joe Hietpas went 1-2 with a homer and a walk.
    3B D. Wright went 1-3 with 2 RBI and a double.
    W. Ough pitched 4 shutout innings while giving up 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 5.
    Binghamton Record: 4-1

    St. Lucie 6, Brevard County 5
    DH J. Huber went 1-5 with a homer.
    SS C. Ragsdale went 2-5 with a SB.
    C B.Wilson went 2-5 with a double.
    R.Paulk gave up 1 run in 4.2 innings on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2.
    St. Lucie Record: 4-1

    Capital City 12, Greensboro 1
    DH I.Bladergroe went 4-4 with a double, a triple, a sac fly, and 3 RBI.
    RF J. Hill went 3-4 with a double, a homer, and a SB.
    CF D. Watts went 2-4 with a home run and 2 RBI.
    Y.Petit gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 5 innings, while walking 3 and striking out 7.
    Capital City Record: 3-2

    Observations of the New York Teams
    Over on MSG, there is an article by Joel Sherman on some observations he has had watching the New York teams. Check it out.

    MLB Misery Index
    ESPN Page 2 published a list of the most miserable teams. Go check it out. By the way the Mets were ranked 20th.

    Mets Reactions on Yesterday's Game
    Art Howe

    It's good to win opening day here. Guys really came out swinging the bats well. Two outs in the first with no one on, we put three hits together, and got on the board right away. It seemed like everybody up and down the lineup did a great job offensively. We made some outstanding defensive plays too. It was a great team effort. We had a great crowd today.

    It was nice to just come out and get the energy going. The fans were totally supportive and they were into it. I didn't think I was going to have to use my closer to win it today, but whatever it takes. With your three and four hitters out of the lineup, you're asking a lot of your other guys, but they showed today what they are capable of doing.

    We had Mike (Piazza) and Cliff (Floyd) out of the lineup the other day in extra innings and we won the ball game, so that's a big lift for the rest of the guys to know we can win without them.

    Mike Cameron

    One of the reasons why I came here was to help this team defensively. I'm sure there will be many more days that I will have to make plays out there, probably more difficult, and I'm prepared for it. It's satisfying for myself, but more so for (Steve) Trachsel . That stops the bleeding. They had a couple guys on base and that solidifies what we're trying to do here: Be consistent and help the pitchers out and not make too many errors out there.

    Braden Looper

    Today was one of those days I was sitting down there when the boys put up the 10 runs, I thought for sure I wasn't going to pitch. That's the way the game is sometimes. I didn't have a long time to get loose, but I was able to come in and make a couple of good pitches and get the big ground ball. In those situations, you don't have time to think. You're just trying to get loose as quick as you can and you go out there and try to make a good pitch. You can't look at the situation as it is, you just got to focus pitch by pitch.

    Steve Trachsel

    I think it was important for me to go out and throw some innings up and pitch well. I was thinking on that last game a few times and I still believe that I executed well, but even though we were executing pitches, we didn't follow the game plan once we got that big lead. So, that was the main focus, especially once we got the lead is to not do that again. The guys went up there and worked the plan that Denny (Walling) has been talking about. Go up there and get good swings, work the count and try to get yourself into position to drive the ball and its been working for everybody.

    Ty Wigginton

    We want to make it tough for opposing teams to get in here and play us. I think we definitely started out on the right foot. (Mike) Hampton is always a tough pitcher. He always finds a way to win and be in ball games. That's what made him so successful. It was nice to come out and swing the bats well early and give our pitchers a little breathing room. Obviously, we're not going to put 10 spots up every day but we can definitely put some runs up on the board.


    |
    Hey everybody, I didn't write much for today and I know I'm putting it on pretty late but enjoy.

    Minor League's Update

    Binghamton 7, Erie 1
    DH A. Pagan went 1-4 with a 2 run homer and 3 RBI.
    CF W. Lydon went 2-4 with a run and an RBI.
    C Joe Hietpas went 1-2 with a homer and a walk.
    3B D. Wright went 1-3 with 2 RBI and a double.
    W. Ough pitched 4 shutout innings while giving up 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 5.
    Binghamton Record: 4-1

    St. Lucie 6, Brevard County 5
    DH J. Huber went 1-5 with a homer.
    SS C. Ragsdale went 2-5 with a SB.
    C B.Wilson went 2-5 with a double.
    R.Paulk gave up 1 run in 4.2 innings on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2.
    St. Lucie Record: 4-1

    Capital City 12, Greensboro 1
    DH I.Bladergroe went 4-4 with a double, a triple, a sac fly, and 3 RBI.
    RF J. Hill went 3-4 with a double, a homer, and a SB.
    CF D. Watts went 2-4 with a home run and 2 RBI.
    Y.Petit gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 5 innings, while walking 3 and striking out 7.
    Capital City Record: 3-2

    Observations of the New York Teams
    Over on MSG, there is an article by Joel Sherman on some observations he has had watching the New York teams. Check it out.

    MLB Misery Index
    ESPN Page 2 published a list of the most miserable teams. Go check it out. By the way the Mets were ranked 20th.

    Mets Reactions on Yesterday's Game
    Art Howe

    It's good to win opening day here. Guys really came out swinging the bats well. Two outs in the first with no one on, we put three hits together, and got on the board right away. It seemed like everybody up and down the lineup did a great job offensively. We made some outstanding defensive plays too. It was a great team effort. We had a great crowd today.

    It was nice to just come out and get the energy going. The fans were totally supportive and they were into it. I didn't think I was going to have to use my closer to win it today, but whatever it takes. With your three and four hitters out of the lineup, you're asking a lot of your other guys, but they showed today what they are capable of doing.

    We had Mike (Piazza) and Cliff (Floyd) out of the lineup the other day in extra innings and we won the ball game, so that's a big lift for the rest of the guys to know we can win without them.

    Mike Cameron

    One of the reasons why I came here was to help this team defensively. I'm sure there will be many more days that I will have to make plays out there, probably more difficult, and I'm prepared for it. It's satisfying for myself, but more so for (Steve) Trachsel . That stops the bleeding. They had a couple guys on base and that solidifies what we're trying to do here: Be consistent and help the pitchers out and not make too many errors out there.

    Braden Looper

    Today was one of those days I was sitting down there when the boys put up the 10 runs, I thought for sure I wasn't going to pitch. That's the way the game is sometimes. I didn't have a long time to get loose, but I was able to come in and make a couple of good pitches and get the big ground ball. In those situations, you don't have time to think. You're just trying to get loose as quick as you can and you go out there and try to make a good pitch. You can't look at the situation as it is, you just got to focus pitch by pitch.

    Steve Trachsel

    I think it was important for me to go out and throw some innings up and pitch well. I was thinking on that last game a few times and I still believe that I executed well, but even though we were executing pitches, we didn't follow the game plan once we got that big lead. So, that was the main focus, especially once we got the lead is to not do that again. The guys went up there and worked the plan that Denny (Walling) has been talking about. Go up there and get good swings, work the count and try to get yourself into position to drive the ball and its been working for everybody.

    Ty Wigginton

    We want to make it tough for opposing teams to get in here and play us. I think we definitely started out on the right foot. (Mike) Hampton is always a tough pitcher. He always finds a way to win and be in ball games. That's what made him so successful. It was nice to come out and swing the bats well early and give our pitchers a little breathing room. Obviously, we're not going to put 10 spots up every day but we can definitely put some runs up on the board.


    |

    Monday, April 12, 2004

    Mets 10, Atlanta 6
    W: Trachsel (1-1)
    L: Hampton (0-1)
    S: Looper (2)

    Game Notes
    Steve Trachsel- Great outing!
    Mike Cameron- He had a nice day going 2-5 with a nice catch in center field. He is really going to help these pitchers this year in spacious Shea.
    Todd Zeile- He had a great day going, 3-5 with 2 runs and also a nifty play at first. He has really proven me wrong about him. He is still a pretty good smart hitter and plays good defense at first. (At least better defense than any of the other Met first basemens would be playing.) He is a very smart guy. There were two plays where he showed this. First, in the 3rd, while on first base was put into a hit and run. He started off for second, but when the batter struck out and he knew he would be thrown out, he retreated to first. Then, in the 4th, Cameron doubled and Zeile made a great slide under the catcher. Good game Todd!
    Grant Roberts- What has gotten into him? He was so close to being our fifth starter and all the fans wanted him to win it. He gave up 4 runs in 1 innings and gave up two bombs. He just hasn’t been himself. Not good news.

    The Injuries Are Driving Me Crazy
    Let’s take a look at who is hurt’in:

    Cliff Floyd (strained left hamstring, 15-day DL)
    Scott Erickson (strained left hamstring, 15-day DL)
    Scott Strickland (recovering from right elbow surgery, 60-day DL)
    Jose Reyes (strained right hamstring, 15-day DL)
    Mike Piazza (hyper extended right elbow, day-to-day)
    Karim Garcia (broken right ring finger, day-to-day)

    This isn’t good. If we want to be a better team, we have to stay healthy. (Thank you captain Obvious.)

    Nice Article on Seo
    There is a nice article on Jae Seo over at The Hardball Times by Studes. Go take a look.

    A- for Mike Piazza
    Baseball Tonight Extra gave Mike Piazza an A- for his play at first on Monday, acknowledging the difficulty of playing it for a full game for the first time. "I remember my first game at first base,'' Kruk said. "You want things as easy as possible."

    Karim Garcia
    Since his finger injury is only a chip fracture, Karim Garcia won't need to go on the disabled list.

    Mets Recall Duncan
    Mets recalled outfielder Jeff Duncan from Triple-A Norfolk. Here’s what Rotoworld had to say:

    Raul Gonzalez should have been called up to replace Cliff Floyd, but he's not on the 40-man roster and it's clear the Mets don't want to lose another players off waivers.

    Day Off
    Tomorrow is an off day. I will probably do a little write up summarizing the last week. I will also post tomorrow my daily write-ups about the minor leagues. Have a good day without the Mets. (It’s going to be so hard.)
    |
    Mets 4, Expos 1
    W: Glavine (2-0)
    L: Hernandez (0-1)
    S: Looper (1)

    Game Notes
    Tom Glavine- Glavine was very impressive, giving up 1 unearned run on 5 hits in 7 innings. He also walked 1 and struck out 1. He will never blow the ball by people but he did a good job of setting people up and made his pitches, so good job Glavine. He also helped himself out with the bat going 1-2 with a walk and a run.
    Eric Valent- Mixed day. When he first came in I was very upset. Coming in, he was 0-7 this season. Then in the 3rd, with a runner on third and one out, Vidro hit a fly ball to right field. The runner on third darted home after the ball was caught by Valent, and Valent airmailed the throw home. I'm not saying he should have had him at the plate but his throw should have been some where near Phillips. However, in the 6th, he made me change my mind about him. With a runner on third, he sent a 66 mph curveball from Livan Hernandez into the right-field bleachers. He finished the day by going 1-2 with a walk.
    Todd Zeile- I was very impressed with his sacrifice fly in the 6th. Both the runners, Matsui and Glavine moved up, and Glavine scored. Small Ball Wins Games!
    Cliff Floyd- When running to first on an infield grounder, Floyd injured himself. It didn't look good from the beginning as he had to be carried off the field and was screaming in agony once he was in the dugout. Floyd is being diagnosed with a strained right quadriceps muscle. He will be examined tomorrow by team physician Dr. Andrew Rokito and will undergo an MRI. The question now though is, who will take his spot on the roster if he goes on the DL, which he almost defiantly will. My choice would be Raul Gonzalez, though I would love to hear what you guys think.
    Mike Piazza- He played a pretty good game at first base despite getting into a collision because of a bad throw. He is said to have hyper extended right elbow because of the collision and make sit out today. Back to his defense, he is still learning and you can tell that when your watching him. He doesn't have great footwork right now, but it will improve with more playing time. On the hitting side, Mike Piazza has gone cold since the Atlanta series. He is 0-11 in his last 11 at-bats. He doesn't looked as locked in as he did against Atlanta. Oh well.
    Mets Bullpen- First, lets start with Looper. He has some nasty stuff. Struck out the side! 97 mph on the fastball. He's sick. He also got his first save. I was also impressed with Weathers. He struck out the first two batters he faced and then got the third batter to fly out to left, but Spencer lost the ball in the sun and it fell in for a hit. Then the next guy up he walked, but he got some bad calls on balls that should have been called strikes. So it wasn't his fault. After that, Art brought Stanton in and he retired the one batter he had to face on one pitch. Oh Ya! Finally, the bullpen didn't blow the game. Good Job!

    MVP of the Game- Glavine (Very impressive performance!)
    LVP of the Game- Shane Spencer (Went 0-3 with a strike out, and lost a ball in the sun which dropped in for a hit.)

    Mets Leaders-(I know its early to be doing this but I thought it would be fun to take a look. I will give you some of the basic statistics and then get into more of the sabermetric statistics which are the ones I like. Also, just to let you know, I will never use RBI or Win-Loss record (pitcher). I find them absolutely pointless, though some of the ones I will use you might find pointless too.):

    HR- M. Piazza(3)-(T-4th in the NL)
    2B- K. Matsui(4)-(T-2nd in the NL)
    BB- K. Matsui(7)-(T-1st in the NL)
    SO- K. Matsui(7)-(T-7th in the NL)
    SB- M. Cameron(4)-(2nd in the NL)
    BA- C. Floyd(.350)-(T-23rd in the NL)
    OBP- K. Matsui(.500)-(T-8th in the NL)
    SLG- M. Piazza(.692)-(18th in the NL)
    OPS- M. Piazza(1.209)-(12th in the NL)
    P/PA- K. Matsui(4.4)-(10th in the NL)
    RC27- K. Matsui(10.76)-(20th in the NL)
    IsoP- M. Piazza(.400)-(T-9th in the NL)
    SecA- M. Cameron(.778)-(T-4th in the NL)
    BB/PA- J. Phillips(.273)-(1st in the NL)
    BB/K- J. Phillips(.300)-(T-2nd in the NL)

    ERA- A. Leiter and T. Yates(0.00)-(T-1st in the NL)
    K/BB- A. Leiter(4.00)-(T-12th in NL)
    K/9- A. Leiter(7.20)-(T-30th in the NL)
    P/PA- A. Leiter(4.9)-(2nd in the NL)
    P/IP- A. Leiter(19.4)-(T-5th in the NL)
    AGS- T. Yates(66.0)-(12th in the NL)
    G/F- T. Yates(2.00)-(T-9th in the NL)
    WHIP- A. Leiter(0.80)-(T-10th in the NL)
    BBA- A. Leiter(.167)-(T-10th in the NL)
    OPS(against pitcher)- T. Yates(.455)-(12th in the NL)

    As a team the Mets rank in the NL(Hitting Statistics):
    AVG- 10th (.260)
    OBP- 6th (.348)
    SLG- 4th (.461)
    OPS- 4th (.838)
    BB- T-3rd (26)
    SO- 9th (43)
    HR- 3rd (10)

    Now the Pitching Statistics ranked in the NL:
    ERA- 13th (5.43)
    BB- T-7th (20)
    SO- 12th (32)

    Garcia Hurt More Than We Thought
    Karim Garcia was found to have a broken right ring finger. Here's what Rotoworld had to say:

    Garcia figures to be placed on the disabled list soon. If Cliff Floyd is also going to miss some time, Shane Spencer will be a regular for the next couple of weeks. Raul Gonzalez could be called up to split time with Eric Valent and Joe McEwing in Floyd's place.

    More bad news! DAMN!

    Howe on the Hot Seat
    There was an article in yesterday's Star Ledger by Lawrence Rocca, that said Art Howe could be fired if the Mets start to falter. The article said "the Wilpons are not going to sit idly by if the Mets fall out of the race quickly again this year." Here's how the article described Art:

    Howe has proven himself to be a total zero as Mets manager, thoroughly unequipped for the demands that come with a rebuilding team in a major media market. Howe doesn't inspire his players and has no ability to excite fans, yet the man Fred Wilpon said "lit up the room" during his job interview, the man Wilpon bragged about deciding to hire in only five minutes, looks like he's going to have at least one more year to keep things dim at Shea Stadium.

    Not so sweet, huh. That's brings me to the big question. Is Art Howe a good manager and is he doing a good job managing the Mets? I would have to say I feel he is a good manager but I don't think he is the perfect fit for the Mets. After the 2002 season, when the Mets fired Bobby Valentine, I was very upset because I felt he was a great manager for the Mets. He brought fire and wasn't quiet like Howe is. I feel Bobby-V would be doing a better job right now, bit that's just my opinion. I would love to hear what you guys think.

    Mando Getting the Job Done
    Armando Benitez has gone 5-5 in save opportunities and with a WHIP of 0.80. Batters are hitting .211 against him and he is averaging a strike out an inning. Why the hell couldn't he do this last year for us. He blew practically every game last year for us. This makes me so mad!

    Yates to stay on Schedule
    Tyler Yates will stay on schedule and make his next start Wendsday against the Braves. There was talk that Jae Seo might start in place of Yates but Mets management wants Yates to stay on schedule. Seo credited David Cone this weekend for some of his success:

    "I learned how to pitch from him and that you don't have to have a 95-mile-an-hour fastball to be a pitcher," Yates said. "I learned to change speeds and still be aggressive. I charted a couple of his games in the stands when he was there with his hip. In the big leagues, anyone can hit a fastball. But if you don't change speeds, they'll cheat on you and hit it very far."

    They met when Cone was rehabbing an injured hip last year in Port St. Lucie while Yates was working his way back from Tommy John surgery. It is good that Yates learned the valuable lesson that you can't always just blow stuff by people. As Howe said in spring training, pitchers aren't throwers, pitchers are pitchers. You have to set people up and change speeds. You can't just throw 97 mph fastballs to everyone. They will adjust and hit it out of the park. Look at Benitez, for example. He would throw so hard but hardly ever used any other pitches or changed speeds so hitters would sit on the fastball and hit it out of the park. Pitch, don't throw!

    Minor League's Update
    Louisville 12, Norfolk 3
    RF V. Diaz went 0-4 lowering his avg. to .176
    1B C. Brazell went 1-4 but his one hit was a homer
    SS W. Delgado went 3-4 with a double and an RBI.
    J. Baldwin gave up 4 runs in 5 innings on 9 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 3.
    Tides Record: 1-3

    Binghamton 3, Norwich 2
    CF A. Pagan walked twice, stole 2 bases, and scored 2 runs
    3B D. Wright went 1-4 with an RBI
    J. Scobie gave up 1 run in 5 innings on 3 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4.
    Binghamton Record: 3-1

    Intresting Fact: When 3B D. Wright singled yesterday, it was the first time all season he had a single yet he was still batting .438.

    St. Lucie 7, Vero Beach 6
    Justin Huber was 1 for 4 with a walk, including his first homer of the season.
    Brett Harper goes 1-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI.
    Aaron Baldiris was 2 for 4 with a walk, a triple, and 2 RBI.
    RF A. Turay went 2-4 with homer and SB.
    M. Pinango pitched 5 innings of shut out ball while giving up 5 hits and striking out 4.
    St. Lucie Record: 3-1

    Columbus 4, Capital City 1
    DH T. Davidson went 3-4.
    1B I.Bladergroe went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI.
    J.Pimentel gave up 1 run in 5 innings on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6.
    Capital City Record: 3-1

    Howe Eventually to Split Up Lefties
    Art Howe said eventually he would split up lefties Tom Glavine and Al Leiter in the rotation. The two southpaws were slated to be first and third but after Leiter got skulled by an Alex Gonzalez line drive in his final exhibition start, the rotation was changed.

    MVP of Series
    Kazuo Matsui was voted series Most Valuable Player by going 5-12.

    Previewing the AL
    Over at Amazinz.com, they are previewing the American League and offer their World Series prediction. Check it out here.

    Today's Game
    Today Steve Trachsel will be on the mound for the Mets to square off against Mike Hampton in the Mets home opener. Both squared off against each other last week on Wednesday, in a very interesting game. The game started off with a two-run homer by Mike Piazza followed by another shot from the other Mike, Mike Cameron. By the middle of the third inning it looked like the game was over, a 6 run lead for the Mets. I was so excited because I thought the Mets were going to start off the season 2-0. Then, however, it all fell apart. Trachsel gave up 3 runs in the 3rd. Then in the 4th, he gave up 3 runs before being taken out of the game. When he was taken out, he left 2 runners on base and had not recorded an out yet in that inning. When it was all said and done, he was credited with 8 ER in 3 innings. Not impressive. Hopefully, he will pitch much better today and make all us Mets fans glad he just signed an extension instead of mad. Here are the scouting reports for both pitchers:

    Trachsel is an unheralded hurler who keeps his team in games every time he pitches. He does an excellent job of mixing his two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup, and has plus command of all three offerings while keeping them down in the strike zone. He wastes few pitches, which allows him to go deep into games and eat innings. The righthander is determined to get ahead in the count with first-pitch strikes and is not afraid of hitters making contact and putting his fielders to work. His stuff is far from outstanding, with his heater rarely breaking 90 MPH, but his methodical pace can be irritating to opposing hitters.

    Here is Hampton's scouting report:


    Hampton benefited from the insight he garnered from Atlanta pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who got the lefthander to make some mechanical adjustments. Mazzone convinced Hampton to slow his delivery and stop throwing across his body, a tendency that had negated the effect of his sinker-particularly on the inside part of the plate to righthanded hitters. By reducing his velocity, he improved the movement of his sinker as well as his ability to locate the pitch on both sides of the plate. Hampton overpowered lefthanded hitters, limiting them to a paltry .164 batting average.

    Should be an exciting game. GO METS!
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    Sunday, April 11, 2004

    Expos 1, Mets 0
    W: Patterson (1-0)
    L: Seo (0-1)
    S: Biddle (2)

    Game Notes
    Mets Hitting- Its amazing that on the one night where the pitching staff only allowed 1 run, the Mets can't hit jack. They had some opportunities but couldn't capitalize as they went 0-8 with runners in scoring position. They were also 0-9 will runners on base, which is horrendous. Also, no one had more than one hit and only three players had one.
    Al Leiter- Very nice start. He threw five shutout innings, while allowing three hits and striking out four. He was put in a tough position in the fourth because of a Garcia error but pitched his way out of it. It must be hard for hitting after getting hit by that line drive in the temple. He flinched a little but I don't blame him as it must be very hard having that in the back of your mind.
    Mike Cameron- He had a fairly nice night, going 1-3. He also stole 2 bases. He is pretty fast. Its nice to see that the Mets really do have so players that will be able to steal bases this year.
    Todd Zeile- I must say I'm impressed. I admit that when the Mets signed Zeile I was very unhappy but so far when the Mets have put him it clutch situations, he's been, as Art Howe said, "money!" It is early in the year and there is plenty of time for him to falter but so far I've been very impressed.

    MVP of the Game- Al Leiter (Nice Performance!)
    LVP of the Game- Karim Garcia (0-4, flew out to left with a runner on second in the 8th, and made an error. He also got his finger in the way of a ball he caught and had to leave the game.)

    Great Article
    Article on Baseball Prospectus about earned runs so check it out here.

    Scott Kazmir
    Kazmir was diagnosed with a slight abdominal strain. His status for his next start is unclear, though knowing how careful the Mets have been with Kazmir, except them to take it slowly with him again, meaning that he will probably end up on the St. Lucie's DL.

    Matsui's Opening Day Home Run
    Here are all the things Matsui accomplished from that homerun:

    -- Matsui became the first player to hit his first career homer to lead off a game on Opening Day since Emmett Mueller of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1938.

    -- He became only the third player in Mets history to homer in his first at-bat, joining Mike Fitzgerald (1983) and Benny Ayala (1974).

    -- He became the first Met to have three hits in his debut since Preston Wilson on May 7, 1998.

    -- He became the first person to open his team's season by belting a homer on the first pitch since Gerald Williams did it for Tampa Bay in 2000.

    -- He became the first player since Boston's Dwight Evans in 1986 to homer on the first pitch of the season.

    -- He is the 20th player to homer on the first pitch in his first Major League at-bat. The last player to do so was the Yankees' Marcus Thames on July 10, 2002.

    Michael Jacobs
    Mets prospect Mike Jacobs had a cyst in his shoulder drained this week and probably won't play for Triple-A Norfolk until Wednesday or Thursday. Here's what Rotoworld had to say:
    Jacobs, who hit .329 and slugged .548 in Double-A last year, would be the top catching prospect in most organizations. However, with Mike Piazza and Jason Phillips in the majors and Justin Huber on the way up, the Mets are expected to take a look at him at other positions.

    Roger Cedeno
    Roger Cedeno is expected to go on the disabled list after straining his hamstring Saturday. Wow! Already hurt. Glad we got rid of him.

    NOOOOOOOOOO!
    We all had it planned out. After the season, the Mets would swoop in and sign Magglio Ordonez. But no! Instead, the Daily Southtown Newspaper is reporting that Ordonez and the Sox are closing in on a deal. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Zeile to Start
    Todd Zeile is expected to start at 3b in place of Ty Wigginton, who is hitting .136. I think this is good for Ty, as he needs to take a break and return to what he what doing in spring training, where he hit .337 and slugged .556. He has to keep trying to hit to the opposite field.

    No Good News About Jose
    The Newark Star-Ledger reported the following:
    Jose Reyes (2B) NYM will be out about two more weeks with a strained right hamstring. It will about 10 days before he can test his leg in a few minor league games.
    Damn! We need him back.

    Minor League's Update
    Tides 5, Indy 2
    CF Duncan, SS Delgado, 2B Garcia and Pascot had 2 hits apiece.
    R.Keisler went 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, while walking 0 and striking out 6.
    RF Diaz went 0 for 4 with 3 Ks.
    Tides Record: 1-2

    Binghamton 6, Norwich 5
    3B David Wright went 3-4 with 3 doubles. And a stolen base.
    1B Josh Pressley went 2-3 with 2 doubles and a walk.
    CF Angel Pagan went 2-3 with a triple.
    N.Musser went 4 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 5.
    S.Sedlacek pitched 3 shutout innings giving up 1 hit, while walking 0 and striking out 1.
    Binghamton Record: 2-1

    St. Lucie 4, Vero Beach 3
    1B B. Harper went 2-3 with a homer.
    K. Deaton gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, while striking out 3 and walking 1.
    R. Olsen picked up the win, going to innings of shutout ball, while allowing 1 hit and fanning 2.
    St. Lucie Record: 2-1

    Capital City 5, Columbus 4
    1B T. Davidson went 3-5 with a triple, a home run, and 2 RBI's.
    V.Cordova went 5.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 3.
    M.Miramontes went 4.2 innings and gave up 2 ER on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2.
    Capital City Record: 2-1

    Today's Game
    Tom Glavine will be on the mound for the Mets to square off against Livan Hernandez. Glavine's last start, wasn't all that amazing, but he got the job done against the Braves, allowing 2 runs in 6 innings while striking out 2. Hopefully he will build on that start. Livan Hernandez, in his first start of the year, went six strong innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 8. Here are their scouting reports:

    Despite his difficulties last year, including a bone spur in his left elbow, blister problems on his fingers and the controversial QuesTec system, Glavine threw the ball nearly as well as he ever has. While he failed to get as many calls on the outside corner, he maintained good command. His fastball continues to register in the high 80s, possesses good movement and looks even faster because of his outstanding changeup, which continues to rank among the best in the game. Glavine's strikeout totals have dropped sharply in the past three years while the lefty focuses on moving his pitches around in the strike zone with the hope of inducing groundballs.

    Here is Hernandez's:

    The resilience of Hernandez' arm continues to amaze observers. He racked up 13 outings of at least 120 pitches this season, and his career average of 110.3 pitches per start is second only to Randy Johnson among active starters. He throws four pitches-a fastball that tops out at 92 MPH, a slider, change and curve. Since none of those offerings are above average, he uses location and selection to get hitters out. While his weight and conditioning remain a concern, his competitiveness has never been questioned.

    Hopefully today, the bullpen will hold the lead. Enjoy the game and LET THE METS WIN!
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