Sunday, September 29, 2013

Game #162: Mets 3, Brewers 2

A wild season deserves a wild finish. Not nearly as wild as what Miami did, but reasonably wild.

New York plated two runs on shoddy Milwaukee defense in the bottom of the 8th, and Frank Francisco finally returned to the closer's role as the Mets capped Mike Piazza Day and the 2013 season with a 3-2 victory over the Brewers.

The Good Stuff:
  • Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Juan Lagares got a rally going with a groundball that shortstop Jeff Bianchi couldn't handle, scoring immediately after on Juan Centeno's bunt single that was kicked around the infield. Wilfredo Tovar followed with a sac bunt that wasn't a sac, as pinch-runner Matt den Dekker beat the throw to third. Two batters later, Eric Young got the final run of the year home on an RBI groundout.
  • In a moment 161 games (and quite a bit of frustration) in the making, Frank Francisco closed out a 1-2-3 9th inning for his first and only save of the year, sending the nearly 42,000 Met fans who packed the house for Mike Piazza's Hall of Fame induction home happy and satisfied for the offseason.
  • Jonathon Niese finished out the season strong, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings, walking two and striking out two on 80 pitches.
  • Eric Young stole two bases, giving him 46 for the season (38 with the Mets) and the National League stolen bases crown. He also scored the game's opening run on David Wright's sac fly in the 1st.
The Bad Stuff:
  • How about the 161 games before today that Frank Francisco was doing everything to not be a major league closer? Good riddance.
Final Analysis:
And that was all she wrote. 162 games in the books, the same record as last year at 74-88. Time flies when you're having fun (admit it - baseball is still fun, even if your team is losing). Check back in the next few days for MM's season in review.


Game #161: Brewers 4, Mets 2

Call it deja-deja-vu. (Or would it be daja-vu-vu?) Whatever it was, once again it wasn't pretty.

Eric Young tied the game in the bottom of the 9th but the Brewers scored two in the 10th to put away the Mets 4-2 for the third straight game.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Scott Atchison gave up both runs in the top of the 10th inning, assuring himself his third L of the year and New York's 88th of 2013, matching last year's loss column.
  • David Wright grounded into a bases-loaded double play in the bottom of the 9th, ending the rally that extended the game into the 10th.
  • The Mets hit 1-10 with RISP, stranded 10 men on base, and had no XBHs (and just five hits) the entire night.
The Good Stuff:
  • Aaron Harang took a no-decision after six innings of one-run, five-hit ball, walking two and striking out seven on 107 pitches.
  • New York managed to tie the game when, after Zach Lutz and Andrew Brown walked, Eric Young slapped a single to left to plate pinch-runner Matt den Dekker.
  • Daniel Murphy went 2-3 and picked up his 78th RBI of the year.
Final Analysis:
It would be great to win tomorrow, otherwise the offseason will be even more depressing than anticipated.

After tomorrow, I won't get to say, "There's always another game." I don't care what anyone thinks of the Mets in 2013 - I'm going to miss them when it's all over. So let's enjoy it tomorrow while we still can!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Game #160: Brewers 4, Mets 2

Call it deja-vu all over again. (Although nicer than yesterday - no one got beaned this time.)

Carlos Torres allowed three early runs and the Mets couldn't get any offense going, falling to the Brewers 4-2 once again.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Carlos Torres allowed a home run to Norichika Aoki on the fourth pitch of the game, then later in the 1st set up Khris Davis for a two-run shot. Milwaukee's immediate 3-0 lead would go unchallenged all night.
  • New York only had three at-bats with RISP and stranded five.
The Good Stuff:
  • Torres kept the damage to the 1st, lasting six innings and allowing no more runs and two more hits, walking one and striking out seven on 100 pitches.
  • Justin Turner had a nice night at the plate, going 2-4 with a run and an RBI in the cleanup slot.
Final Analysis:
Do we really have to wait another day for that Piazza Party?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Game #159: Brewers 4, Mets 2

The last series of the year opened up with a the worst possible way.

David Wright was hit in the head by a pitch, and Dillon Gee struggled in his final start of the year as the Mets dropped the game to the Brewers 4-2.

The Bad Stuff:
  • With two outs and a run home in the bottom of the 3rd, David Wright took a Johnny Hellweg change up right to the head and left the game immediately. Fortunately, he passed his concussion tests and says he feels fine.
  • Dillon Gee couldn't finish the year strong, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out two on 89 pitches. He finishes the season one inning short of 200.
  • New York was hitless in 14 at-bats with RISP and stranded 11 men on base.
The Good Stuff:
Final Analysis:
Wright passed his concussion test. Let's just try to move on.

It's a shame Dillon Gee didn't get to the "badge of honor" of 200 innings, but to come back from a career-threatening blood clot just a year before to pitch the complete season is pretty impressive. 199 will be a number he can be proud of for the rest of his career.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Game #158: Mets 1, Reds 0

Only the pace of the game would have indicated the difference between Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Harvey today in Cincinnati.

Dice-K tossed nearly eight shutout innings, and Eric Young's RBI single in the 3rd was all the Mets needed in a 1-0 series clincher over the Reds.

The Good Stuff:
  • Matsuzaka out-dueled Cincy's Mat Latos, giving up just four hits and two walks in 7.2 scoreless frames, striking out six on 105 pitches.
  • The game's only run came in the top of the 3rd when Wilfrdo Tovar was hit by a pitch, went to second on Dice-K's bunt, advanced on a passed ball, and came home on Eric Young's single to right.
  • Pedro Feliciano got the last out of the 8th, and after deferring to Vic Black last night, LaTroy Hawkins completed a 1-2-3 9th for his 13th save of the year.
The Bad Stuff:
  • New York only managed four hits on the afternoon, but with pitching like that, offense wasn't needed.
Final Analysis:
Hey, the Mets are on a hot streak! Their 9-4 stretch over the past 13 contests almost makes us forget that half the team is injured. And half those wins came without David Wright! Not all is lost in Amazin' Land.

Tomorrow the Mets return home for their final four games of the year against the Milwaukee Brewers. I don't care how rough the season's been - I'll miss baseball when it's done.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Game #157: Mets 4, Reds 2

New York can't play spoilers on Cincinnati's playoff hopes anymore, but they can force them into the uncomfortable situation of having to play one game to get to the next round. They sure made 'em look uncomfortable tonight.

Daniel Murphy's three-run homer in the 2nd helped chase Mike Leake as the Mets rode Jonathon Niese's arm to a 4-2 road victory over the Reds.

The Good Stuff:
  • Wilfredo Tovar singled home Mike Baxter early in the top of the 2nd, then three batters later, Daniel Murphy worked a ten-pitch at-bat off Leake before blasting a home run to right field, his 13th of the season. David Wright's single on the next at-bat chased Leake from the game and all but guaranteed a Mets W for the night.
  • The guarantee was backed up by Jon Niese's Solid Seven, as he allowed two runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out six on 113 pitches.
  • Shin-Soo Choo may have been the hero last night, but his hubris was no match for Juan Lagares's arm in the bottom of the 1st: Lagares threw Choo out at the plate for his 13th outfield assist of the season and 12th as a center fielder.
  • Eric Young stole a base tonight, and Billy Hamilton did not.
  • Scott Atchison and Vic Black each pitched 1-2-3 innings in the 8th and 9th as Black picked up the first save of his career.
The Bad Stuff:
Final Analysis:
Jon Niese and Daniel Murphy will likely at least be considered as trade chips this offseason, but when they come together like that it's hard to imagine the Mets without them. Good job, boys.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Game #156: Reds 3, Mets 2 (10)

One of the Mets' prime targets this offseason was the one who extended their misery this current season.

Shin-Soo Choo's walk-off single propelled the Reds over the top, as they finally shook the Mets 3-2.

The Bad Stuff:
  • After David Aardsma got out of a similar situation in the bottom of the 9th, Greg Burke allowed two one-out singles in the bottom of the 10th. He was relieved in favor of Sean Henn, who promptly served up a walk-off single to upcoming free agent Shin-Soo Choo.
    • Choo also stole two bases to give him 20 on the season. In other news, Cincy speedster Billy Hamilton, who has appeared in 93 percent fewer major-league games this season than Choo, stole his 13th base of the season.
  • New York managed just six hits off Johnny Cueto and company, managing only five at-bats with RISP and stranding five men on base.
The Good Stuff:
  • Aaron Harang actually earned a quality start tonight, allowing two runs despite walking a whopping six batters and giving up five more hits in six innings. Three of those walks were issued to Joey Votto, who pulled a Mike Baxter by walking five times in the game.
  • Lucas Duda drove in both Met runs, the first on a sac fly in the 3rd and the next on a solo home run in the 6th.
  • Eric Young went 2-5, stole a base, and was caught another time. The stolen base was EY Jr.'s 41st of the year and 33rd as a Met. Should the Reds make the playoffs (and I don't count losing the play-in game as "making it"), Billy Hamilton will probably surpass that number by, say, Game 4 of the NLCS.
Final Analysis:
Cincinnati is good. I mean, really good. How are they not in first place?

Back to our story...oh yeah, I guess that's about it.

Except Lucas Duda needs to hit more home runs with men on base. I don't know what spooks him about it, but he needs to make it work if he's going to find work with the Mets in 2014.


P.S. While I was writing this blog post, Billy Hamilton just stole three more bases.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Game #155: Mets 4, Phillies 3

Everybody know everybody? Mets, Wilfredo Tovar. Wilfredo Tovar, Phillies. Phillies, sweep. Good.

Wilfredo Tovar's first big-league hit put his team out in front, and the Mets held on to sweep the Phillies 4-3.

The Good Stuff:
  • Wilfredo Tovar had about as good a major-league debut as one could have hoped.
    • The young Venezuelan, who helped the B-Mets do so well in the Eastern League this season, showed off his arm in the bottom of the 3rd when he successfully sat down Jimmy Rollins at first to complete an unlikely double play.
    • Down 2-1 with runners on second and third in the top of the 7th, Tovar lined a Cliff Lee fastball into left field for his first hit and RBI. Juan Lagares scored and Anthony Recker was able to come home on Domonic Brown's error in left, and the Mets were up 3-2 thanks to Tovar's bat.
    • With a single in the top of the 9th, Tovar finished his first day 2-4 with an RBI and stolen base.
  • Lagares broke out of his slump with a double, two singles, a run, and an RBI.
  • Eric Young went 2-5 with a double and a run.
  • The support was good enough for Carlos Torres, who earned the W after lasting six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six on 95 pitches.
  • LaTroy Hawkins managed the 9th to earn his 100th career save. With 12 on the season, it's the most saves Hawkins has gotten in a season since 2004 as the Cubs' closer.
The Bad Stuff:
  • New York hit just 2-14 with RISP and stranded seven men on base.
Final Analysis:
A sweep of the hated Phillies in their final home games of the season, plus a successful prospect debut at a position the Mets desperately need to fill? That'll do.


Game #154: Mets 5, Phillies 4 (7)

It was the second time this season Dillon Gee earned a "complete game." This time he was on the right side of the shortness.

Home runs by David Wright and Daniel Murphy backed Gee's six innings as the Mets took a rain-shortened affair from the Phillies 5-4 to clinch their final division series of the season.

The Good Stuff:
  • Down 1-0 in the 4th, David Wright got his team on the board with his second home run in as many days back from the DL to make it 1-1.
  • Daniel Murphy led off a big 6th inning with a solo home run.
    • Wright followed with a single, then after Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch, Juan Lagares laced a two-run triple. Lagares then came home on Travis d'Arnaud's double to cap a four-run inning.
  • Philadelphia scored three in the bottom of the 6th, but the rain came in the top of the 7th to win it for the New Yorkers.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Dillon Gee picked up his 12th W of the season but wasn't great doing it, allowing four runs on seven hits in his six innings, walking none and striking out three on 84 pitches.
Final Analysis:
It's been a rough year for the Mets, but at least they get to finish off 2013 on a high note against their bitter NL East rivals. A sweep tomorrow would make it even sweeter.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Game #153: Mets 6, Phillies 4

Now THAT is how you announce your return.

David Wright homered on the second pitch he saw in seven weeks and the Mets held off the Phillies 6-4 to start their final road trip of the season.

The Good Stuff:
  • Last year, David Wright hit an injury-busting home run at Citizens Bank Park on the first pitch he saw. Last time it was only a couple days, this time it was nearly a couple months. I guess we could let him get away with using one more pitch.
    • Wright's opposite-field shot off Cole Hamels, who he owns, put New York up 3-0 in the top of the 1st.
  • Daniel Murphy went 3-5, scored three times, and drove in the game's first run.
  • Eric Young went 2-5 with a double, run, and RBI. He also stole his 40th base of the season (32nd with the Mets). He would need to hit 38 home runs in the final nine games, an average of more than four per game, to earn a spot in the 40-40 club.
  • The early offense was enough for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings, walking three and striking out six on 96 pitches.
  • Scott Atchison took care of the 7th inning, while a Vic Black-Pedro Feliciano combo handled the 8th, and LaTroy Hawkins locked down the 9th for his 11th save of the year.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Young committed a 4th-inning error that led to two unearned runs for Philadelphia.
  • Juan Lagares's struggles at the plate continued as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Final Analysis:
With only nine games left after tonight, we all would have understood if David Wright took a slower approach to his rehab. But his presence in the lineup adds new meaning to these final meaningless games. With Captain America in the lineup, the Mets actually look somewhat formidable. Is he the be-all, end-all to New York's offensive struggles? No, but no one player is in baseball. But is a healthy David Wright a reassurance that 2014 will be an up year in Flushing? Yes.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Game #152: Giants 2, Mets 1

Both teams had a late night last night. It showed.

The Mets were completely shut down by Madison Bumgarner, falling to the Giants 2-1 in the series finale.

The Bad Stuff:
  • MadBum limited the less-than-Amazin's to four hits in seven innings and struck out 10. Enough said.
The Good Stuff:
  • Jonathon Niese didn't deserve the L, allowing two runs on seven hits in his own Solid Seven, walking two and striking out four on 100 pitches.
  • Daniel Murphy's RBI single in the 4th kept New York from being shut out.
Final Analysis:
Howie Rose reported that apparently Josh Satin messed up his friends' rooting interests last night when he hit a walk-off to beat his hometown San Francisco Giants. Betcha his friends were happy today.


Game #151: Mets 5, Giants 4

Tonight I was prepared to write another piece with the them of the New York Mets being lifeless in their final two weeks of 2013. But against all odds, in the bottom of the 9th tonight against the defending world champions, the Mets woke up.

Josh Satin's walk-off two-run single capped an improbable four-run comeback as the Mets nipped the Giants at the last possible moment 5-4.

The Good Stuff:
  • Down 4-0 in the bottom of the 8th and showing no signs of getting anything going, Matt den Dekker worked a full count and singled to lead off. He stole second and advanced to third on an error, coming home on Josh Satin's sac fly. "Okay," Mets fans thought, "at least we won't get shut out."
  • Then came the bottom of the 9th and an Andrew Brown leadoff walk. Then after a Lucas Duda strikeout came a Juan Lagares walk. Then a Zack Lutz double to score Brown and make it 4-2. Then Juan Centeno got his second hit and first RBI in his first major-league game to make it 4-3. Then after Anthony Recker was brought on to pinch run, den Dekker drew himself a walk. Then Omar Quintanilla flew out to bring up New York's last gasp in the form of Satin. Then, working from his last strike, Satin made contact with a fastball right down the middle, lacing it into left to plate the winning runs. Then came the celebration. And oh, was there a celebration.
  • After Aaron Harang's shaky start, Carlos Torres, David Aardsma, and Vic Black kept the Mets within range for four relief innings, as Black picked up his second W with the team.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Harang again wasn't great, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks in five innings, striking out eight on 100 pitches.
  • Ruben Tejada's season came to a painful end in the top of the 9th when, after colliding with Andrew Brown while going after an Angel Pagan popup, fractured his right fibula. That's right: fractured. He finished his tumultuous 2013 hitting just .202.
Final Analysis:
Sure, it's a meaningless game, but that doesn't have to mean it's worthless. In contention or not, the Mets just managed their first four-run comeback of the season, and Josh Satin had his first career walk-off. Good stuff still happens to losing teams in late September. Way to go, boys.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Game #150: Giants 8, Mets 5

Unlike tonight's four-hour affair, this blog post will be significantly shorter.

Zack Wheeler couldn't find the plate for five innings and a Mets rally came up short as they fell to the Giants 8-5.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Wheeler's final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 3 K, 107 pitches.
  • Sean Henn (who?), Gonzalez Germen, and Jeurys Familia (remember him?) allowed in the other four runs, with Henn taking the loss.
  • New York hit 3-11 with RISP and stranded nine, including leaving the bases loaded to end the bottom of the 9th. Lucas Duda, who had the chance to win it with a grand slam, popped out in foul ground.
The Good Stuff:
  • Ruben Tejada was 1-3 with a double, two runs, and a walk.
  • Daniel Murphy hit his 36th double of the year and drove in a run.
  • Eric Young stole his 39th base of the year and 31st with the Mets.
Final Analysis:
Meh. What else do you want me to see? Wheeler was bad tonight. The bullpen was bad tonight. And where were those five runs during every Matt Harvey start ever? Meh, I say. Meh.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Game #149: Mets 1, Marlins 0 (12)

The Mets and Marlins have had more than their fair share of extra-inning "thrillers" in 2013. Their final contest of the season was more of the same, although this time it was the team from New York that took care of business.

Travis d'Arnaud's walk-off bases-loaded single in the 12th gave the Mets a 1-0 win and a rare series win over the Marlins.

The Good Stuff:
  • Dillon Gee was great once again for 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up just six hits and two walks to go along with his eight strikeouts on 109 pitches.
  • The New York bullpen did a fantastic job of holding back Miami for the remaining 4.2 innings, as Vic Black earned his first Mets W after his scoreless 12th.
  • The Mets loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the 12th, but after fielder's choice groundouts by Zach Lutz and Andrew Brown appeared to be down the long road to nowhere. Enter Travis d'Arnaud, who forced a turnoff onto victory with a single up the middle that scored Lucas Duda. It was d'Arnaud's first-career walk-off hit.
The Bad Stuff:
  • The New York offense made Tom Koehler and company look just as good as Dillon Gee and company.
  • Daniel Murphy committed two errors at second base.
Final Analysis:
Finally, a long extra-inning affair against the Marlins goes our way! Props to d'Arnaud for his feat, continued props to Gee for putting up great numbers since Memorial Day. Having a deep rotation will alleviate some of the sting that will come if Matt Harvey misses all of next year.

The Mets host the soon-to-be-dethroned San Francisco Giants starting on Tuesday.


Games #147 & #148: Mets 0-3, Marlins 3-1

The Mets split a Saturday afternoon doubleheader with the Marlins, falling in the first game 3-0 while taking the second 3-1.

The Bad Stuff (Game 1):
The Good Stuff (Game 1):
  • Carlos Torres turned in a quality start despite the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in six innings, walking two and striking out eight on 111 pitches.
  • Matt den Dekker went 2-4 with a double, the Mets' only XBH of the first game.
The Good Stuff (Game 2):
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka was vintage Dice-K, allowing a solo home run and one other single in a seven-inning win, his first W in over a year. Matsuzaka walked one and struck out three on 91 pitches and most impressively kept the game from going over the standard three hours.
  • Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back home runs in the 3rd to add to the 1-0 lead already set up by Wilmer Flores.
  • Murphy and Eric Young each had stolen bases.
  • Pedro Feliciano and Vic Black combined to toss a scoreless 8th, while LaTroy Hawkins went into double digits in the save column by reeling the Fish in in the 9th.
The Bad Stuff (Game 2):
  •  New York hit just 1-6 with RISP and stranded seven.
Final Analysis:
The loss in the first game gives the Mets 82 on the season, clinching them a fifth straight losing season. Deflating, yes, but it was nice to see the team come out with ample air in the nightcap to split the twin bill. That's all they can do over the final 14 matchups of the year. Here's hoping they end closer to 80-82 than 66-96.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Game #146: Mets 4, Marlins 3

Welcome back, Big Dude.

Lucas Duda blasted a three-run homer in the 6th to back Jonathon Niese's strong outing as the Mets snapped their losing streak with a 4-3 over the Marlins.

The Good Stuff:
  • Down 2-1 in with two on and two out in the bottom of the 6th, nobody would blame fans who took their snack breaks early with Lucas Duda coming up. The man has not been, to put it lightly, reliable with runners on base. Tonight? Not so much. Big Dude smashed a three-run homer, his first multi-run jack since the second game of the season, to give New York a lead they needed.
  • Jonathon Niese took the W after a quality start, allowing three runs on six hits in 6.1 innings, walking none and striking out seven on 103 pitches. Two of his runs against came on solo home runs from Giancarlo Stanton - no shame in that.
  • After a legion of Scott Atchison, Vic Black, and Pedro Feliciano managed the next 1.2 innings unscathed, LaTroy Hawkins nailed down Miami with a 1-2-3 9th to earn save #9 on the year in Met victory #65.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Duda's home run was the fifth and final hit of the night for the Mets, who couldn't get much going against the Fish pitchers.
Final Analysis:
Oh, what could have been. Lucas Duda was supposed to be doing this kind of thing all season, and while he came through this time, fans can't help but think to themselves, "Could've used you in the summer." Duda has 16 more games to make a name for himself before the end of the season and the true consideration of the first base question, but if he keeps doing stuff like that, he's got a good chance of supplanting Ike Davis as the man of the future. Or at least becoming marketable to an AL team that needs a DH.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Game #145: Nationals 7, Mets 2

At least you could say New York was consistent in this series. That's about all you can say.

Fresh meat (er, starter) Aaron Harang served up a home run in the 1st inning and it didn't get better from there as the Mets fell to the Nationals 7-2 to complete the sweep.

The Bad Stuff:
  • He's the second marginal starter named Aaron to "grace" the Mets' presence this year. If you figure out who the first one was by the end of this post you earn my hearty congratulations. Aaron Harang took the L in his New York debut, allowing three home runs over his six innings of work.
  • Pedro Feliciano and Frank Francisco combined to let in the other three Washington runs.
  • Ruben Tejada didn't get a hit in three more at-bats and was pinch-hit for by Andrew Brown in the bottom of the 9th.
The Good Stuff:
  • For all the grief, Harang wasn't terrible this afternoon - he even earned a quality start. His final line: 6 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 10 K, 101 pitches.
  • Eric Young went 2-3 with a run and another stolen base.
Final Analysis:
For the second time in as many years a fightless New York Mets team was swept at home by the charging Washington Nationals (who have the best record in baseball since late August - about time!). I understand the team is shorthanded after being decimated by injury and trade in August, but you'd think they'd be able to put up just a little more fight.

The Mets have four games this weekend, including a Saturday doubleheader, against the Miami Marlins. Surely they'll win ONE of those games, right?


Game #144: Nationals 3, Mets 0

It's late, I'm tired, I don't even have a snappy retort for this first line. Use your imagination if September hasn't yet sucked it all away (hey, there was something!).

Ryan Zimmerman's home run broke the scoreless tie in the 6th and Zack Wheeler lost his pitchers' duel to Dan Haren as the Mets lost to the Nationals 3-0.

The Bad Stuff:
  • New York was limited to three singles and a walk against Haren and company.
  • Vic Black surrendered two runs during his relief appearance in the 8th.
  • Ruben Tejada went 0-3 in his "much"-anticipated return to the lineup. Ryan Zimmerman robbed Tejada of what would've been a double with a diving stop in the 3rd inning.
The Good Stuff:
  • Zack Wheeler was great in a hard-luck loss, allowing one run on eight hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out six on 101 pitches.
  • Juan Lagares had two of the Mets' three hits on the night and stole his sixth base of the year.
  • Josh Satin had both the other hit and the walk.
Final Analysis:
Hey, it was triple our output from Monday night! Gotta look for the little things. In this case, the miniscule things you can only see with a microscope that makes everything look the size of Mr. Met's head.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Game #143: Nationals 6, Mets 3

In the span of a few hours, the Mets lost their radio voice, their fireball, and the game. What kind of a day this has been.

Justin Turner's hamstring injury highlighted the Mets' struggles as they fell 6-3 to the Nationals.

The Bad Stuff:
The Good Stuff:
  • Le Grande Orange Jr. was 2-3 with a double, run, and RBI before his injury.
  • Matt den Dekker continues to make strides as he went 1-3 with two RBIs, stealing one base and getting caught on another.
Final Analysis:
After a strong summer, the New York Mets have faltered in September. Stop me if you've heard this before. But frankly, who wouldn't falter under the weight of the ungodly number of injuries? When you've got Andrew Brown and Zach Lutz getting regular time batting third, you know something's up.


P.S. Oh yeah, and now the Mets won't even be on WFAN anymore. They've been booted by the Yankees. The worst news you'll hear all day.

Game #142: Nationals 9, Mets 0

In the spirit of what happened last night, I'm going to strive to use as few words as possible to describe it. Short, not-so-sweet, but to the point. Ready? Go.


  • Gonzalez.
  • Torres.
  • Lutz.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Game #141: Mets 2, Indians 1

Only 13,317 people descended upon Progressive Field for the afternoon game, and both teams combined to use about as many pitchers over the 3 hours and 43 minutes. Fortunately for New York, it was the speedy one who finally put them over the top.

Eric Young's RBI double in the top of the 9th gave the Mets a 2-1 lead, and eventually win, over the Indians in the series finale.

The Good Stuff:
  • After putting runners in scoring position with no out and failing to plate anybody in the top of the 8th, Eric Young made sure the same didn't happen on his watch in the 9th, lining a two-out double to right to score Matt den Dekker and make it 2-1.
  • LaTroy Hawkins finished the Tribe off for his 8th save, aided by the strong arm of Anthony Recker, who threw out Mike Aviles at second.
  • Justin Turner capped his excellent series with his second home run in three days, a solo shot in the 4th to break the scoreless tie.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka bent but didn't break through 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits, walking three and striking out six on 103 pitches.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Vic Black hit Asdrubel Cabrera with the bases loaded in the 6th, leading to the only run charged against Matsuzaka.
  • Frank Francisco (remember him?) needed a double play to get out of the 8th after walking the bases loaded, and it was he who scooped up the W in his 2013 debut (about a month too soon, I think).
  • New York hit just 1-9 with RISP, including three missed chances in the 8th, and stranded 10 men on base in a lackluster offensive weekend.
Final Analysis:
A win is a win, and this win gives the Mets 64 on the season. I don't really think there's much else to say about that.

The team starts their final long homestand of the season tomorrow night as they host the Nationals for four days, followed by four against the Marlins in a long weekend series, followed by an off day and three against the soon-to-be-dethroned world champion San Francisco Giants.


Game #140: Indians 9, Mets 4

There was a great slate of college football on today. Fortunately for Mets fans, they didn't miss much of their team if they slipped away after the 1st.

Cleveland put up a five-spot off Jonathon Niese in the opening act and the Mets could never recover, falling to the Indians 9-4.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Jon Niese was ineffective through six innings, allowing six runs (five earned, but the error was his) on five hits, walking two and striking out five on 108 pitches. The damage in the first two frames as Nick Swisher led the way with a 1st-inning double and 2nd-inning home run.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera's three-run homer off Scott Atchison in the 7th inning gave the Tribe the insurance it needed to put away the visitors from New York.
  • Zack Lutz hit third. Need I say more?
The Good Stuff:
  • Justin Turner led the Mets on the offensive side, going 2-4 with a double and a pair of runs and RBIs.
  • Matt den Dekker was 2-4 with an RBI.
  • Eric Young went 1-2 with a run and another stolen base.
Final Analysis:
Zack Lutz should just never bat anywhere near the top of the order. That is all.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Game #139: Indians 8, Mets 1

It was supposed to be the game in which New York would appreciate what was now instead of what might have been. "Might have" won.

Scott Kazmir dominated his old organization for six innings as the Indians walloped the Mets 8-1.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Pitching his first game against the big club that ten years ago had penned him as their savior, Scott Kazmir made Mets fans once again look back in anger, striking out 12 New Yorkers in six four-hit, no-walk innings of work.
  • It was another former Met, Joe Smith, who kept the visitors down in the 8th inning with a scoreless frame.
  • Conversely, Zack Wheeler was off his control in Cleveland, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and five walks in five innings, striking out three on 92 pitches.
  • The bullpen didn't do much better as the Tribe doubled their output in the 8th on Nick Swisher's grand slam off Tim Byrdak.
  • Eric Young had a rough night on the bases, getting caught stealing one time and picked off another.
  • The rest of the Met offense didn't fare any better, going 0-5 with RISP and stranding five.
The Good Stuff:
  • Justin Turner hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the 7th to break up the shutout.
  • Juan Lagares went 2-3 with his 20th double of the year.
Final Analysis:
In a perfect world, Scott Kazmir would have been the anchor of the 2000s New York Mets pitching staff, presumably the piece that would have put the team over the top in 2006. While Kaz flamed out shortly after his 2004 trade to the Tampa Bay organization, tonight's loss embodied what Met fans have come to expect of the team in the last decade or so: players get better once they get out of Flushing. On this night at least, that was most certainly the case.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Game #138: Mets 5, Braves 2

Looking for some momentum on an actual getaway day, New York turned to its old reliable and was rewarded mightily.

Home runs by Andrew Brown and Lucas Duda(!) backed Dillon Gee's steady-as-she-goes outing as the Mets salvaged the final game from the Braves 5-2.

The Good Stuff:
  • Dillon Gee turned in a Solid Seven with a run and five hits against, walking one and striking out five on 102 pitches.
  • Andrew Brown gave Gee an early lead with a towering two-run homer in the 1st inning.
  • Lucas Duda homered in the 3rd, one of his three hits on the day to make it his best game since returning to the lineup.
  • Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner had two hits and a run each.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Vic Black didn't impress in his New York debut, surrendering a solo home run to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the 8th to give Atlanta some semblance of life.
Final Analysis:
It has gotten to the point where the Mets don't have to worry about whether Gee will give them a quality start or not. At this point, they can be all but assured he will give them a chance to win the ballgame.

New York has the day off before they travel from one Native American-themed mascot to the other as they hit Cleveland to take on the Indians.


Game #137: Braves 3, Mets 1

Carlos Torres is looking more and more like Matt Harvey after every start...and he's got the not run support to prove it.

Torres surrendered three runs in the bottom of the 7th as the Braves blew past the Mets 3-1.

The Bad Stuff:
  • See Torres's 7th inning.
  • See 1-9 with RISP and eight men left on base.
  • See only 21,221 at Turner Field and wonder to yourself, "Hey, aren't these guys supposed to be a playoff team?"
The Good Stuff:
  • See Torres's scoreless 1st-6th innings.
  • See Daniel Murphy's RBI single to score Eric Young after EY's triple.
  • See Young's 35th stolen base of the year and 27th since joining the Mets.
  • See New York's attendance figures similar to Atlanta's, even in rebuilding mode, and think to yourself, "Hey, things are gonna be great when we start competing!"
Final Analysis:
I think we've seen enough tonight.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Game #136: Braves 13, Mets 5

Yesterday, Howie Rose was quoted as saying something along the lines of, "Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching on Labor Day...I think that's appropriate." Conclusion after today's game: Howie Rose is psychic. Probably. Or Dice-K is just incredibly predictable. But probably the psychic thing.

Matsuzaka was shelled in three innings and the Mets' relief pitchers didn't fare much better in a 13-5 holiday loss to the Braves.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Dice-K's final line: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER. I think that's self-explanatory.
  • Gonzalez Germen, Pedro Feliciano, and David Aardsma each gave up two earned runs in relief (Aardsma's third was unearned).
  • New York hit just 3-13 with RISP (compared to Atlanta's astounding 8-20) and stranded eight men on base.
The Good Stuff:
  • Josh Satin went 2-5 with a pair of doubles.
  • Juan Lagares went 1-3 with a walk, run, and RBI.
  • Zack Lutz had an RBI double in his pinch-hit appearance.
Final Analysis:
The one thing I as a Hope College student have in common with major league baseball players: I don't get Labor Day off. It must be nice to do so. The difference is I did what I had to do today. The visiting ball club at Turner Field, on the other hand...

Perhaps it was just the deflated nature of having to play defense and hit behind Dice-K. That would be a tad more excusable.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Game #135: Nationals 6, Mets 5

Six outs from being dealt their death blow, Washington came alive at the expense of their zombie attackers. *Note from house: this is the first time in Midwestern Met history the phrase "zombie attackers" has been used. Carry on.*

The Nationals put up three runs in the bottom of the 8th as the Mets couldn't finish up the sweep, falling 6-5 on Sunday Night Baseball.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Following Jonathon Niese's departure, the usually steady bullpen was victimized from top to bottom. Scott Atchison let a run in in the bottom of the 7th, then Scott Rice and Gonzalez Germen combined to let in the three the Nats used to propel themselves to victory.
  • Niese left after just 5.2 innings of two-run, 10-hit ball with a left leg cramp. With injuries to 60% of the starting rotation in August alone, it's probably wise to be cautious about that sort of thing, but it's never a good sight to see.
The Good Stuff:
  • Matt den Dekker broke out in a big way, smashing his first-career home run into the upper *ahem* dekker of Nationals Park. He also had a single for his first multi-hit game in the bigs.
  • Daniel Murphy capped a great series with a 2-5 night, lacing a double, scoring a run, and driving in two.
  • Eric Young went 2-4 with a couple runs and a stolen base.
  • Lucas Duda made his first real impact since returning to the team, going 2-4 with two RBIs.
Final Analysis:
It would've been nice to secure the sweep, but with an early game tomorrow afternoon I'm sure the Mets are just glad not to be playing extras again. Congrats to Den Dekker for finding the stands for the first time, and thoughts go to Jon Niese. Hopefully it is just a leg cramp...but given New York's track record don't be surprised to see him in a walking boot. And a sling. And perhaps an iron lung.


Game #134: Mets 11, Nationals 3

Somewhere in New York, Matt Harvey is shaking his head at the run support Zack Wheeler received tonight and has gotten through his seven Ws in 2013, now just two behind Harvey's total for the season.

Wheeler pitched well in his own right and was backed by 17 Mets hits on the way to an 11-3 victory over the Nationals.

The Good Stuff:
  • Four Mets hitters had three hits on the night, including:
  • Travis d'Arnaud and Omar Quintanilla added two more hits, as D'Arnaud scored twice and Mr. Q drove in two on a 2nd-inning double.
  • Lagares had himself another outfield assist, partnering with Murph to gun down Bryce Harper at third in the 8th.
  • Matt den Dekker singled in the 3rd to drive home a run, his first major-league hit and RBI.
  • The plethora of runs was more than enough for Zack Wheeler, who delivered the goods in the form of 6.2 innings of two-run, five-hit ball, with one walk and three strikeouts on 99 pitches.
The Bad Stuff:
Final Analysis:
Washington gets hot in August, and the Mets have capitalized on that heat to drive themselves to a series victory over a team that had finally gotten things together. And in the resumed competition to replace Ike Davis at first base, Josh Satin has reestablished himself as the man to beat, although I would like to see Wilmer Flores get some time there this month.