Tag Archives: Phillies

Decision on Hall

One hour remains before the 2013 class  names its Hall of Fame inductees. Many of this years names are from baseball’s steroid era and we will soon find how the Baseball Writers of America view the class that played between 1995-2005. Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds are some of the expected players to be rejected and one Mike Piazza, although not directly linked to performance enhancing drugs(PED’s) or steroids, may also fall short of the 75% of votes needed because he played during this era.

The reults of todays vote will become a topic of discussion for the following weeks leading up to spring training on sports talk radio and media of the like. At one time, fans were only concerned with which cap a player will be wearing. For the not so distant future the discussion will be tainted with should he or not, because of steroid-use.

If, If, If…

With 25 days until the season opener in Miami, the New York Mets are playing out their spring exhibition season like everybody else, looking to see who should be brought up North or actually South this year to make the final cut.

Despite all the attention ownership is receiving about their financial woes and past investments, the team has been playing daily, without any major injuries under new management and coaching staff.

The Mets are hoping to fly under the radar this season as nobody is expecting big things with a team relying on a handful of ifs. The rotation will not be headed by Johan Santana for the first time in four years, relying instead on last years 15 game winner Mike Pelfrey to be their number 1, followed by R.A Dickey, Jonathan Neise, Chris Young and Chris Capuano. R.A. Dickey was a pleasant surprise last year winning 11 games and a sub 3.00 ERA. Neise first full year in the bigs was a good one, however the last month he wore down and had an era over 7.00. Young and Capuano were low risk pick-ups in the off season hoping to eat innings and provide some leadership. Both, have been allstars in the past before arm issues plagued them.

The lineup looks rather solid,”If” Beltran can play a full season on his ailing knees. “If” Jason Bay can bounce back from a late summer concussion and be the hitter they signed for 4yrs/ 65 million. “If” Jose Reyes can remain healthy in his walk year and be the base threat that he has been in the past. And “if” they can find the second baseman who can get the job done defensively, which is currently a battle between Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and rule V draft Brad Emaus.

The bullpen…well, we will see how that pans out. They do still have Frankie Rodriguez closing games at the moment. Will he make over 55 appearances putting into effect the $17 million dollars he  would be due? Does Reyes get traded if he is having a great season, so the Mets can get something in return?

I think alot has to go right this season for the Mets to be a considered a wild card team. They arent even the 3rd best team in their division. Does the new manager Terry Collins keep the team motivated and hold the team’s collective ear? Can Josh Thole become the every day catcher the Mets believe he will?

Anyway, as a die hard Mets fan, I know that alot is expected to happen for this team to be competitive longer than just the All Star break.

Prediction for 2011: fourth place 82-80

Beltran the right move for 2011

This morning Terry Collins and Carlos Beltran agreed upon Angel Pagan as being the everyday centerfielder. This move should help keep Beltran’s bat in the lineup longer this year and possibly assist in extending his career. Beltran is in the final year of his 7 year contract signed with the Mets in the offseason before 2005.

Rightfield at Citifield is not routine by any means with angled outfield walls that vary in height and the extremely limited foul territory. There is plenty of field to roam in the gap but with Pagan in center, the gaps will be shrunk some.

With a healthy Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay along with David Wright and sophomore year from Ike Davis the Mets are leaning heavy on this lineup to produce  in order to have any chance of improving on last year’s 79-83 mark.

Do the Mets have enough for the long haul of 2010?

July 7, 2010. With the All-star break less than a week away, the Mets find themselves still in the thick of the hunt for the division lead. Before the season began, the general consensus had them pegged as a .500 team. Their pitching was suspect, but their offense was expected to keep them afloat, including an expected return of Carlos Beltran at the beginning of May.

Today, despite the absence of Beltran and a slow start by the offense, timely and effective starting pitching the Mets find themselves 10 games above .500(47-37) and 2 games behind the division leading Braves. The Braves pitching has been superb all the way around and the comeback season from Troy Glaus as well as a solid first half by rookie sensation Jayson Heyward and Martin Prado have led the offensive charge. The Phillies have been fighting injuries the whole first half and will have to endure an a lengthy DL stint by Chase Utley until September.

Though the Mets have received some great performances from R.A Dickey (6-1) and Hisanori Takahashi (7-3) their relief loses some length with both as starters. Jonothan Niese (6-2) going into tonight, has been solid and appears to improve with each outing. Pelfrey has hit a rough patch the past 3 starts but is (10-3) so far which tells you why the Mets have been successful. Johan Santana(6-5) has given up 1 run in his last two starts covering 16 innings and appearing comfortable again since surgery last year. With Beltran’s pending return following the break, the bench gets stronger with Angel Pagan(.300) and Jeff Francoeur splitting time in rightfield.

Will this be enough for the Mets to make a playoff run? If they go after Cliff Lee they will certainly have to give up prospects and he will still, be a free agent in the fall. If the Mets could hold onto Neise who is a rookie still, then any of the other prospects would have to be considered viable chips(Mejia, Thole, Martinez , or Tejada).Will Johan be the dominant second half pitcher his resume indicates he’ll be? Does Pelfrey get back on track and does Niese continue to grow as a solid young lefthander? As presently constituted, i think the Mets need more relief pitching to get to the wildcard and I am sure the Mets are looking and listening to the rumors and seeing what is available. I would welcome Cliff Lee with arms wide open, but then you better be the team to lock him up in the winter,

Who knows? It has been fun so far and with 78 games to go…anything can happen!

Chapter 2 : Phillies v. Mets 2010…Does the Empire Strike Back ?

The baseball season is approaching Memorial Day weekend. And, Met fans are still hoping and wishing their season has a heartbeat after the Phillies leave town on Thursday evening. After taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees this past weekend and the Phils losing 2 of 3 to the Red Sox, the Mets trail by 5 games and are sitting in the basement of the NL east. Last month, at Citizens Bank Park the Phillies tore the guts out of the Mets two best starters and spit them out, en route to taking 2 of 3 from the Mets. At the beginning of this series the Phils had been struggling some at the end of their west coast trip and the Mets were flying high coming in to town on a 7 game winning streak. But, although that series didnt mean much to the Phillies, it turned the Mets season downward. Now, the Mets are feeling a little better about themselves, because their offense has awoken a bit and their winning 3 of their last 4. At 22-23 they are not exactly inducing confidence in their fan base. Their pitching staff is constantly under renovation except for Santana and Pelfrey. But hopefully, they can take 2 of 3 from the Phillies beginning tomorrow night and return the favor. After the Phils inability to hit Wakefield Sunday, the Mets will start knuckleballer RA Dickey against Jaimie Moyer in the series opener.

If Jason Bay can turn it around as he did last weekend against the Yankees and Wright can continue driving in runs despite his mounting strikeouts, then the Wild-card is also a very viable option to get to the post season. The need to pick up a starting pitcher is more evident now, with Niese and Maine on the DL and Oliver Perez designated to the bullpen. But, will the Mets pull the trigger this early in the season? Probably not…eventhough Roy Oswalt is pleading for the Astros to trade him.

Anyway, back to reality the Mets need 2 of 3 wins to inch closer at 4 games behind and still be relevant going into June…for the fans sake and for the organizations sake as they hope their fans will start to return to Citifield soon!

1/5 of the season in the bag, so……

Well, Its true…The Mets are 17-15 in the first fifth of the season. At this rate, this would produce a roughly a 85 win season. Surprise? not really. If not for an 8 game winning streak(ended by the Phillies) a week and a half ago, this team has been playing sub. 500 ball. But, they did win 8 in a row and it all counts. Of course what the Mets and any other team have done thus far doesn’t predict their finish at their end. It gives you a glimpse of what they have done to this point. At this pace the Nationals will win 90!…really? Yeah, Dont think so! But a good start gives the contenders a springboard towards bigger things and the pretenders? well…something to believe in.

Coming out of spring training the Mets figured their offense would be carrying them and their pitching was very questionable….who was going to step up in that bullpen and rotation? Well, their record is not a surprise, but their overall ineptness at times to put two hits together and drive in runs, has. Along with a pitching staff and bullpen that sports the best ERA in the NL East and fourth in the National League at 3.58. How are they above .500 with Jose Reyes batting under . 240 and batting 3rd, Jason Bay with 1 homerun at cleanup, No Carlos Beltran…YET (Has he retired?) David Wright on pace to strike out over 200 times and Johan Santana pitching like a number 3 with an ERA hovering around 4.50 ? Well, Mike Pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise with a 4-1 record and 2.65 ERA, Jonothan Neise has pitched very well in his first full season and a 3.60 ERA. John Maine has pitched well in his last three starts and is averaging almost 9 k’s per 9 innings pitched. The relief corp as a whole and each guy individually has pitched excellent.The catching tandem of Rod Barajas with his 9 homeruns has saved a bunch of games, as well as Henry Blanco with throwing out 100% of base stealers.They have also played pretty solid defense.

So, who knows in one-fifth of the season what to expect the rest of the way. You expect things to level out. The offense has to turn it around right? But, doesnt that mean the pitching will come back to reality too? There is no way in the world that this staff will lead the NL East in pitching. But, since its only 32 games old, this season still is relevant because the Mets are 17-15 and their is hope that the pitching will hold on and not drop too much, while we expect the offense to wake up and throw some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Afterall, with all their injuries last year they tied for the best batting average in the National League.

Preview of whats to come?

Tonight at Citizens Bank Park begins a three game series between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. It is a matchup of the recently hot Mets and the best team in the National League. What had been a rivalry the past few years may have been reborn after a hiatus last year. The Mets at this time find themselves atop the NL east a whole 1/2 game ahead of the Phils. To the Phillies they are looking forward to some home cooking and the Mets…well they are merely an entre. The Mets are going to look towards making a statement, as early as the season is, but they need to get a barometer of where they are.

The matchups are Niese v. Kendrick tonight, Pelfrey(4-0) v. Halladay(4-1) tomorrow and Santana(3-1) v. 47 yr old Jaimie Moyer(2-2). Its too early to put any real significance on this series. But, the Mets come to Philly playing their best all around ball in a long while and dont want this roll to end. The past 10 days have given Mets fans something to believe in again. Their pitching is tops in their division at this time and the bats have woken up from their hibernation. The Phillies will fight until the end with their lineup that doesnt offer a break even without Rollins.

I expect the Phils to repeat as division champs this season but, if the Mets can keep playing solid defense and get the type of pitching they have the first month,throughout this season? They have a chance to contend for the postseason!

LETS GO METS!!!

President Obama to join Nationals rotation!

President Obama is starting for the Nationals in their home opener on April 5th. He will be relieved after one pitch, in order to build up his arm strength for the grueling season ahead. This unprecedented event, is the first signing of a President of the U.S. to a major league contract. The Illinois native will inevitably be the number 3 starter in the Washington Nationals rotation this year. The late signing gives the Nationals a nice looking lefty, righty, lefty 1-3 in their rotation. Nats fans everywhere are psyched of the new and improved rotation beginning with lannan, Marquis, Obama!!! Play Ball!

 

Spread the Word!LOL

National League East 2010

Just a quick entry since it has been a while i have posted anything, since the Mets signed Kiko Calero about a month ago. I figured a month or so when i wrote my previews and predictions that my opinion would vastly differ as opening day approached. However, my thoughts on the National League East remain the same in order of finish. Although the Braves do have better starting pitching than the Phillies, I do believe the Phils will prevail with a fourth straight division title. The Braves will be a close second and represent the National League wild card. I think the Mets may edge out the Marlins for third with the improved Nationals, sans Strassburgh finishing last. The top four teams may be separated by 9-10 games when all is said and done.For these teams to be at their best, the Phils need Cole Hammels to regain his form of two years ago. The Braves need health from Glaus and Chipper and a solid rookie season from Jason Heyward. The Mets need Reyes and Beltran to be healthy and for the starters to at least finish 6 innings. The Marlins need to vastly improve defensively and hope for Anibel Sanchez to remain healthy…and the Nats will improve based on their upgrades in the field as well as their signing of Jason Marquis alone.

Mets sign Calero

 The New York Mets upgraded their bullpen today by signing righthander Kiko Calero. Although, he does have a history of shoulder issues and even missed 18 games last year, he has low-risk, high-reward potential. Coming off a 2009 season with the Marlins, he was 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 69 K’s in 60 innings while giving up only one homer. The signing is for one year at $850,000 with performance bonuses equaling an additional $ 650,000. Good job, Omar!