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.
Matt Cerrone at Mets Blog writes that Cliff Floyd’s rib cage strain is a day-to-day issue that may keep him out of tonight’s starting lineup. However, he quotes an optimistic Floyd as saying that the injury is "not as bad as I thought it was going to be…It was worse last year. I’m looking forward to trying to play [today]." As for Carlos Beltran, the Mets appear to be taking a cautious route with his hamstring problem. I wouldn’t expect him to be in the lineup tonight.
The Mets are apparently interested in bullpen help and are looking at Kansas City’s Jeremy Affeldt and Mike MacDougal, according to the Newark Star-Ledger and ESPN Insider.
Insider also reports that the Mets and Yankees remain interested in Oakland’s Barry Zito, who the A’s are reportedly interested in trading.
It was ugly, no two ways about that. However, one day after the Mets let a four run lead get away to the Washington Nationals, Mets’ fans can take comfort in the obvious: there are still 160 games to go. It is not yet time to fly off the handle about Carlos Beltran (still hit less) or Billy Wagner (blew last night’s save) or even Jorge Julio (got the loss in disastrous 10th inning).
There is an excellent post over at Mets Geek, which tries (and succeeds) in finding positives in last night’s debacle. Here’s a summary of what they came up with: Anderson Hernandez can field, Beltran got three walks, Delgado (with Beltran on) ripped two hits including a two-run homer, Jose Reyes worked some good plate appearances and saw thirty pitches, and the Duaner Sanchez / Aaron Heilman set-up team looked impressive.
One thing that came to my mind, after I had fired off last night’s angry post recapping the meltdown, was that Mariano Rivera started out last year poorly – blowing a save against the Red Sox – before finishing second in the A.L. Cy Young voting. That is not to imply that Wagner will do that this year, but certainly it is not yet time to start questioning whether Wagner has come down with a case of "Metitis". Basically, he challenged a good young hitter with a piece of cheese and he got beat. Life goes on. What worries many Mets fans more is that Wagner is not throwing nearly as hard as we remember him throwing in previous years. Still, as Eric Simon at Mets Geek reminds us, "it’s only been two games, and both came on rather chilly days."
Brian Bannister pitched decently, though he seemed to really fall apart in the sixth inning. I tend not to read to much into a start like this ever since I saw David Cone’s comeback with the Mets several years ago on a chilly night against the then-Expos. Cone worked five strong innings, against an Expo team that was so cold it practically wore head scarfs to the plate. We all remember how badly Cone struggled in the starts that followed, so we’ll judge Bannister more after his second or third start.
As for Julio, maybe we can worry about him a little bit. Give him a few more appearances, and maybe he’ll turn things around. If not, it will look like Minaya made another Zambrano / Kazmir trade: one that looked stupid at the time and proved to be as bad, or worse, as was expected.
Anyway, the "first place Mets" lasted one day, and now it’s time to regroup and win the series. If Pedro pitches poorly tonight, it could cause more worries than the entire game yesterday, so let’s hope for the best. Since Martinez will probably only give us five or six innings, the bullpen, and possibly Wagner, will be tested again. How they respond could be very telling.