Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy. Here is today’s roundup of Mets information from the blogosphere:
- Now that the Mets are without Victor Zambrano for the rest of the year, the team will obviously be looking around for a replacement. Eric Simon at Mets Geek examines the various options the Mets have. ESPN’s Buster Olney took an in-depth look in his blog (subscription required) at the possibility of the Mets dealing for Barry Zito, an idea they have long flirted with. He writes:
Inevitably, the Mets will tinker with patch jobs before they have this internal discussion, following up on cursory trade talks they’ve had with Oakland in recent months: "Should we trade Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito as part of our all-out effort?"
But if Zito is made available, the Mets would be the front-runners because they have Milledge. And three talent evaluators said over the weekend that Oakland GM Billy Beane loves the outfielder above all other prospects. "He’d make the deal [something built around Zito for Milledge] right now," says one scout.
Olney concludes that:
Personally, I wouldn’t trade Milledge for the left-hander, because Milledge is an extraordinary talent. But you’d have a very hard time finding fault with the Mets if they were to be aggressive and make a deal for the best pitcher available who would give them a chance to succeed in late October.
- The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has a press release from SportsNet New York, which says that the Mets TV ratings are up dramatically from last year. Apparently SNY’s Mets broadcasts have an increase of 64% over last year’s showing from MSG/FSN NY. However, those results reflect the season-to-date, and I seem to remember that there was a MSG/ FSN NY blackout for Time Warner cable customers in the first two weeks of last season, which significantly hurt the Mets ratings. More telling might be the 50% increase in household viewership, which takes into account all of last year’s ratings.
I will be back and posting regularly (I hope) from now on. Also, I might consider making additions to the sight in the next couple of weeks. If you have any suggestions to improve the site, make sure to leave a comment – they are always read and appreciated.
Blogger’s Note: I saw all of last night’s win over San Francisco, but was only half awake for most of the game. I will also miss most of this afternoon’s game against the Giants. But I’ll be back full-time for the Atlanta series this weekend. I will post this morning’s roundup and maybe I’ll have time tonight for a recap of this afternoon’s game.
- The Mets won 4-1 last night, behind two late-inning home runs. Xavier Nady continued his hot start last night with his 6th dinger, a solo shot in the 7th inning to break a 1-1 tie. Cliff Floyd followed that up with a two-run bomb into McCovey Cove to put the Mets up 4-1. Steve Trachsel pitched very well through 6 innings, with a solo homer by Barry Bonds accounting for the only San Francisco run. Here is Marty Noble’s recap.
- We are still awaiting the Mets’ decision on Friday as to whether or not Carlos Beltran will be put on the DL. Jeremy Heit makes the case over at Mets Geek that Lastings Milledge deserves to be called up from AAA if Beltran lands on the disabled list. Speaking of talented Mets’ prospects, Mike Pelfrey got promoted to AA yesterday.
- Gary Gillette has a good post over at ESPN Insider (subscription required) about the challenges the Atlanta Braves face this year if they hope to win the division once again.
So, unless Atlanta makes some unexpected trades, the success or failure of these sophomores probably will determine whether the Braves can hold off the hard-charging Mets in 2006. When you field a lineup with career minor leaguer Matt Diaz batting third against lefty Chris Capuano, as Atlanta did Monday in Milwaukee, someone has to step up to the plate if the Braves want to continue their remarkable streak.
Mets play today at 3:30 in the rubber game of the San Francisco series.
I missed most of last night’s loss to the Giants, but here’s Marty Noble’s recap. Atlanta lost 3-2 to Milwaukee, so the Mets remain in first place by three games.
Buzz & Roundup
- David Lennon writes in Newsday that the Mets have "targeted Friday as the deadline to place Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list and manager Willie Randolph suggested for the first time yesterday that Lastings Milledge could be his replacement if that happens." Milledge has been tearing it up in AAA Norfolk, hitting over .400 and winning Batter of the Week honors.
- Mets Geek has a minor league recap from yesterday, which notes that super-prospect Mike Pelfrey won his second game with the St. Lucie Mets. Pelfrey’s record is now 2-1 and he has a 1.64 ERA.
- Mets’ color commentator Keith Hernandez remains under fire for his insensitive remarks about a female trainer in the San Diego Padres dugout during Saturday night’s broadcast. Neil Best at Newsday takes issue both with Hernandez’s remarks, and his original, inadequate explanation of them.
It would have been easy for the Mets to let Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Atlanta halt their early season success. It certainly seemed possible entering the 8th inning of yesterday’s game in San Diego, that the outstanding offensive start for the ball club was merely an aberration, before entering their usual offensive doldrums.
In fact, entering the 8th, the Mets had collected only three runs in their last 25 innings, dating back to the beginning of Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to Atlanta. They had just narrowly escaped a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the bottom of the 7th, and had been limited to just four hits in the first seven innings by San Diego starter Jake Peavy. But Peavy was out, and the bats suddenly came alive.
Xavier Nady doubled on an 0-2 count, and after Kaz Matsui grounded out to third, Julio Franco came to the plate as a pinch hitter. Four pitches later, Franco became the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run, and the Mets took a 3-2 lead.
After piling on four more runs that inning, and eventually winning the game 7-2, one thing was clear: this team may not have exorcised the Atlanta demons yet, but they haven’t been defeated by them either.
First off, let me apologize for the lack of updates to the Daily Mets Blog, as I have been rather busy lately. However, let me assure you that I am just as Mets-obsessed as ever, perhaps even more so now that we are officially (at least for today) the best team in Major League Baseball, record wise. I went to all three games against the Brewers this weekend and came away pretty pleased with what I saw. Even following the Mets taking two of three in this series, Milwaukee is 7-5, and probably the first relatively strong team the Mets have played this year.
Here are some observations from the three game series:
- Carlos Beltran is back! Despite missing Sunday’s game with a minor hamstring problem, the Mets center fielder is doing everything I expected from him. He has the second highest on base percentage on the team (.422), by far the most walks (10), seen the most pitches (204), already stolen two bases without getting caught, has the second most home runs on the team (3), and is tied with Jose Reyes for the most runs scored (13).
- David Wright and Carlos Delgado are as good (or better) than expected. Wright is hitting .429. His OPS is 1.235. Plus he’s Mr. Clutch. Delgado, aside from the strikeouts (12), is hitting tremendously, and his fielding has been much better than expected.
- Pitching is inconsistent. Brian Bannister needed over 110 pitches to work 5 innings yesterday, in a thoroughly Al Leiter performance. With the exception of Chad Bradford and Duaner Sanchez, the bullpen has been up and down. Billy Wagner hasn’t been gotten as many strikeouts as expected, and has gotten hit pretty hard. Aaron Heilman has had two rocky outings. Darren Oliver has had two rough games in a row. Jorge Julio looks like a disastor. With that said, Tom Glavine looks amazing, and the rest of the staff looks pretty solid, Steve Trachsel aside.
Huge three game series against Atlanta tonight. We are four games up, let’s keep it going.
In a last second decision, the Mets have “purchas[ed] the contract of left-hander Darren Oliver and re-assigning left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano to Minor League camp”, reports Bryan Hotch over at mets.com. The move follows the injury to Mets’ starter Victor Zambrano, who is sidelined with hamstring problems. Though the Mets are stating that Zambrano is fine, they have decided to insert rookie Brian Bannister into Zambrano’s scheduled start, on April 5th against the Nationals.
In other news, the Mets will open tomorrow’s season at Shea Stadium against the Washington Nationals under the threat of rain. My friend and Daily Mets Blog’s resident Cliff Floyd nut, George a.k.a. Big Red Dog, is informing me that that there is about a 50% chance of rain from 1 PM through 4 PM, tomorrow afternoon. It is supposed to get progressively worse throughout the day. Hopefully Shea will be 54,000 strong, cheering the Mets to victory tomorrow.
The New York Mets held their first ever “Workout Day” today in front of a few thousand fans at Shea Stadium. The workout, which could be attended by season and plan ticket holders only, featured infield drills, batting practice, and various other running and throwing warmups. The attendance was rather impressive, given that the event itself was not much more than a prolonged batting practice. Practically the entire field level was taken over by Mets fans, who were eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s opener against Washington.
The Mets new first baseman Carlos Delgado wowed the crowd with his power, belting close to ten home runs during his batting practice session. Delgado’s fireworks included a shot that nailed the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd also had multiple home runs in their turns at the plate. Even pitcher Tom Glavine got into the act, hitting a line-drive homer into the bullpen in right field.
The ever-exciting Mets ace Pedro Martinez was also on hand, entertaining the fans by dancing and tossing balls into the crowd.
Just watching the team on the field today gave me a good feeling. To see that strong lineup of hitters, from the solid Paul Lo Duca, to the outstanding Carlos Delgado, gave me hope that this really could be the year the Mets turn things around.
Here are some photos I took from the practice. I apologize for the quality, but my camera’s battery died, and I was forced to use my cell phone. (From top to bottom) Diamond Vision, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Cliff Floyd, Marlon Anderson