Mets Merized Online » Carlos Zambrano http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:04:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Keep Dreaming Kernan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/keep-dreaming-kernan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/keep-dreaming-kernan.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:06:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133358 robinson-cano3-540x422Robinson Cano is not the answer to the New York Mets problems.

A 31-year old free agent, Cano’s sticker price is somewhere around 10 years/$300 million. In fan speak that’s somewhere in the nosebleed section.

Which Major League Baseball organization is ready to invest in a player who will earn $30 million per season (assuming he earns $30 million per year) at age 38, 39, 40 and 41. The New York Yankees won’t. The Los Angeles Dodgers learned their lesson on trying to buy a championship; they’re not interested in Cano at that price. The Mets? Comical.

The dinner meeting between Jay Z, and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is nothing more than hype. In fact, baseball insiders suggest the Mets are pawns in an attempt to get the crosstown Yankees to respond. No such luck.

The Mets are in no position to make an offer to Cano and here’s why: According to COT’s, the 2013 New York Mets payroll was $93,684,590. As reported, Cano is asking for $300 million over 10 years, or the equivalent of the Mets entire 25-man payroll over three years.

This is the “dream” that New York Post columnist is Kevin Kernan suggests fans and the organization buy into, both literally and figuratively? If so, recent history suggests such investments can quickly turn into a nightmare.

The Mets have to get into major buy mode … Dream along with me for a little bit more. Could you imagine if the Mets had Cano and Wright in the same lineup and how that would turn this town upside down … The Mets need to find a way to wipe away the face of failure that has been with them every day for years.

Two years ago, at age 31, Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The deal was loaded with incentives above and beyond the $240 million guaranteed deal.

In 2001, Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. During his three years in Texas the team won 73, 72, and 71 games, finishing in fourth place every season. Rodriguez produced but the Rangers didn’t.

When the contract was signed, there was a lot of concern among not just Major League Baseball, but all sports for the dollars that were involved. In terms of what was going on in the economy and everything else five or six years ago, it really changed the economics across all of sport in a pretty dramatic way. What’s the real value of a player? — Harvey Schiller

The organization realized one player, regardless of his output, does not make a winner. Rodriguez — and his massive contract — were traded to New York.

I am certain the Mets human resources department is familiar with the residual effects of overpaying. Remember Bobby Bonilla? You should. He’s on the Mets payroll until 2035. Mind you, he hasn’t played in a major league game in more than a decade.

How about Prince Fielder? He signed a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2012 season. Two years, zero rings and a lingering feeling in Detroit that this was a bad deal. As Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports noted in the aftermath of another disappointing post-season:

$46 million he made this year and last, and for the $168 million he will earn over the next seven seasons, and almost always the amount of money a player receives and the level of vitriol toward him for October letdowns are correlated … He is Prince Fielder, he signed the fifth-largest contract in baseball history and he will keep catching hell if he doesn’t start hitting.

Kernan added:

Remember the excitement when Mike Piazza was traded to the Mets from the Marlins. Imagine if the Mets could somehow pull off a deal to acquire someone as talented as Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton. The Mets would be a big-market team again.

Has Stanton made the Marlins a contender? No. In 2012 he was surrounded by Hanley Ramirez, Logan Morrison, Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee. The Marlins were loaded with great starting pitching: Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez. The Marlins finished in last place in the National League East — behind the beleaguered Mets.

Don’t misunderstand. The Mets would be a better team with Gonzalez, Stanton or Cano, but at what price? Let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely the Mets will be playing for a playoff spot in 2014. Will one high-profile player put them over the top? No. The Mets need a handful of young, major league ready talent, not an aging veteran or an overpriced big ticket free agent. Improve the overall team, get competitive — quickly — then add the final pieces, either by free agent or trade.

Robinson Cano would not make the Mets a “big market” team again. The Mets are a big-market team, performing at a minor league level and operating on a small market budget.

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MMO Fan Shot: Should the Mets trade for Alfonso Soriano? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/06/mmo-fan-shot-should-the-mets-trade-for-alfonso-soriano.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/06/mmo-fan-shot-should-the-mets-trade-for-alfonso-soriano.html/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 12:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=85266

Not too long ago, the answer to that question would be easy. A resounding “NO!”. Too much money, too old, bad attitude, lousy fielder and he is a strikeout waiting to happen. Physical prowess be damned, he just has too much baggage. Then again, not too long ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of signing Derrek Lee<you could probably link to your post about Lee here> to the team. My, how things have changed.

At the very least, it should be considered. I’ll admit, I am very conflicted about the idea. There is a lot to consider (disclaimer: These are all hypothetical, pie in the sky type stuff. I’m just laying out some possible scenarios.)

Pros:

  • He addresses a major weakness on the team. Power. As I write this the Mets are 11th in slugging and 13th in home runs. The fact that they were 4th (and presently 6th) in runs scored in the NL was a minor miracle. They took advantage of that crazy high team OBP with some timely hitting and small ball. The problem is, small ball doesn’t win long term. You need real power in the heart of the line up and the guys the Mets expected to supply that have failed miserably so far (although, Duda looks like he’s on track now). Unless Ike Davis starts on a 30 home run pace tomorrow, they need to bring in someone from the outside. And if we start seeing some real power in the lineup and the Mets start plating more runs earlier in games, we’ll have less bullpen inspired agita. A healthy Soriano is good for 25-30 HR (he already has 12) and a .500 slugging.
  • He’d be relatively cheap. Since taking over the Cubs, Theo Epstein has been trying to get rid of all the long term big money deals. He traded away Carlos Zambrano along with $15.5 million of the money guaranteed to Big Z to the Marlins for essentially a warm body. His age and health questions would also drive the asking price down. If the Cubs eat half the money owed on Soriano and take Bay straight up, I’d jump on that. If they ate almost all of it and took a B prospect, I’d be open to it.
  • He’s right handed. After David Wright, our next best right handed hitter is Scott Hairston. That is bad on a lot of levels. Also, while Wright has seen a boost in overall production this year, he’s not a 30 home run type hitter. Alfonso is. And, you don’t have to worry about his splits because his numbers stay consistent throughout. We need someone to break up our parade of lefties because all it takes is one LOOGY to kill our offense.

Cons:

  • His attitude problems. It is no secret that he wore out his welcome on 3 different teams. And this was while he was a legit 30/30 player. Granted, there hasn’t been a lot of noise about him specifically, but that could simply be that a prima donna is not that interesting a story when Carlos Zambrano’s drama is playing out on the same train wreck of a team. Do we really want a guy like him on a team that is built around guys hustling and putting their bodies on the line? What happens if he snubs Terry Collins or he loafs on a fly ball?
  • His defense is still lousy. Yes, so far this season, he has a 1.000 fielding percentage. But that is going to change. Also, he plays in a smaller park. Playing Citi Field is far different from playing Wrigley. The Mets are already weak on defense. Do they need to risk becoming weaker? For all his trouble at the plate, Jason Bay has played a solid left field. At the very least, he’s exceeded expectations there.
  • His contract is huge. The rumors are that Epstein is willing to eat a big chunk of his remaining money, but no one has an exact number. He is signed through 2014 at $18 million per year. That means he is still owed over $40 million. Zambrano only had 1 guranteed year left at $19 million. That is a huge difference. Epstein probably won’t eat $40 million just to open up a roster spot. He’s going to want some actual talent coming back. The 2 ½ year commitment will assuage that somewhat, but it is still a lot of money.
  • He is old and has health problems. This is kind of a double edge sword. He is 36 this year and hasn’t played 150 games since 2006. It is a given that he is going to have some kind of surgery on his knee after the season. He said outright that at the very least, it will be exploratory. There is a real chance it will be full on arthroscopic. This is the same knee that had season ending surgery in 2009. He’d be lucky to give a team 130 games a year after that. This will drive the asking price down for sure, but you are still getting an old and injured player.

Those I think are the major arguments. The cons outnumber the pros, but I think each individual pro outweighs each individual con. So, it is probably a wash. I think the deciding factor will be if Alderson truly believes this team can compete right now. And I don’t mean win 88 games, scratch their way to a Wild Card spot, and get bounced immediately. A move like this isn’t to try making the playoffs. A move like this is about gunning for the World Series. It is very much a win now move. Alfonso Soriano isn’t going to help a team of young guys win 2 or 3 years from now. He’s going to put a winning team over the top this year.

This Fan Shot was submitted by MMO reader, Donal. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over ten-thousand Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask about being a regular contributor, and share your opinions with an engaging community that loves to debate.

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Series Preview: Mets @ Marlins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/05/series-preview-mets-marlins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/05/series-preview-mets-marlins.html/#comments Fri, 11 May 2012 17:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=80817 I’m not sure who is feeling better today, the Mets players or their fans? Sure, the Phillies didn’t have Howard or Utley, but they had Halladay and Lee and the Mets still swept them in Philadelphia!

Before the Arizona series, I explained how I thought that series through the Toronto series were going to tell us a lot about this Mets team.

So far, they are 5-1, and have 10 more games to go.

After a relaxing off day in Miami, the Mets have to turn it on again because the Marlins are red hot right now. They’ve won 8 out of their last 9, and in their last game, and Houston reliever Wilton Lopez may have woken a sleeping giant in Hanley Ramirez when he plunked him and then mocked the Marlins “did you see that” gesture. Thanks Mr. Lopez.

Despite the red hot May, closer Heath Bell lost his closer job to young Steve Cishek. Man, oh man, that makes me smile.

I’ve made it no secret that with Jose Reyes going to Miami, and all of the terrible PR this team has had, they have taken over the #1 spot on my most hated list, just ahead of Philadelphia.

Friday at 7:05 PM: Johan Santana v. Mark Buehrle

It’s game number 8,000 for our beloved Mets. Wouldn’t it be awesome if on game 8,000, Johan Santana tossed a no hitter? If the stars were ever aligned for that to happen, Santana is the guy I want on the mound and the Marlins are the team I want him to face.

Santana is 6-1 with a 1.46 ERA against the Marlins. Ice cold Gaby Sanchez may be licking his chops against Santana (.625 career average). I’m not as concerned with Sanchez as I am with Giancarlo!

Giancarlo (who I refuse to call anything but simply “Giancarlo”) is a monster right now. In 35 May at bats, he has 5 HR, 2 doubles, and 8 RBI.

Mark Buehrle for me is somebody I’ve always liked. So it pains me that he wears a Marlins uniform. In fact, a few years ago, I wanted the Mets to go get Buehrle when there were rumors of his trade availability.

Buehrle was a tough luck loser in his 1st outing against the Mets. He went 7 innings, allowing just 5 hits and 2 runs but was outpitched by Dickey.

Buehrle puts the ball in play, so it’s really on the Mets lineup to make things happen here tonight. This new Marlins park is perfect for a guy like Buehrle so the phrase “hit em where they ain’t,” couldn’t be more true for the Mets tonight.

I’m pretty amped for tonight’s game. Am I predicting a no-hitter? No. However, I just feel like it’s been that type of year for the Mets and what a story it’d be. I am expecting Santana to feed off of the sweep of Philadelphia, and have a big time performance tonight.

Saturday, 1:05pm: R.A. Dickey v. Ricky Nolasco

Dickey has a nice record against the Marlins as well. He’s 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA. With Dickey you never know what you will get. So much of his outing depends on so many unpredictable factors. You know he’s going to come to play, but if the knuckler doesn’t move, there’s not a lot he can do.

Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez have been his biggest nemesis within the lineup. All three of them hit over .330 with a minimum 18 plate appearances.

With regards to Nolasco, the Mets have had a mixed history with him. He’s 5-7 with a 5.03 ERA. Recently there was discussion about David Wright hitting right handed pitching better than usual. Well, if history is to repeat itself than watch out Mr. Nolasco!

Wright is a career .386 hitter with 4 HR and 13RBI in 60 appearances against Nolasco.

Sunday, 1:10pm: Jon Niese v. Carlos Zambrano

Miami was likely the perfect place for Big Z. His time in Chicago was done, and the only way he could revive his career is to go somewhere that had a clubhouse environment that made him comfortable. Ozzie Guillen’s personality and the way he handles players is a perfect fit for Zambrano.

Niese’s history against Miami isn’t sparkling. He’s 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA. However, his last start was pretty solid. He went 7 innings, allowing 2 runs and 4 hits on April 26th.

Back to Zambrano, he has pitched very well this year. He’s coming off of a 3 hitter against Houston. His record is deceiving, he could easily have 3 or 4 wins.

View From Their Window

For this weekend’s series, I was able to have a chat with Michael Jong from fishstripes.com who provided me with a Marlins fan perspective heading into this weekend!

1) The Marlins are on fire lately. Is it mostly Giancarlo’s red hot bat that is carrying this team? Who else has been major contributor to the recent success?

Everyone has been contributing, but Stanton’s bat has been especially strong lately. The team’s other starters like Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes, players who were expected to do well to start the season, are beginning to play up to their talent level, and that has helped the team win eight out of nine games on their road trip, even as some other hitters like Emilio Bonifacio struggle.

2) The Marlins will see Johan-Dickey-Niese, as a Marlins fan, which pitcher do you think your lineup will have the most trouble against in this series?

You know, that’s a tough one, because the Marlins will certainly have difficulty with a revived Johan Santana, but the team has always has problems facing a good knuckleballer like Dickey.

And this does not even get into Jon Niese, who may be the Mets’ second best starter. If I had to name someone, I would probably say Johan Santana, as the Fish have struggled with lefties thus far.

3) What was the general consensus from Marlins fans after Reyes signed his 6 year deal, and what is the view of his performance to date?

The consensus when the Marlins signed Reyes to his six-year deal was that he would the catalyst at the top of the lineup that would get on base and wreak havoc for the offense with his speed. Thus far, the Marlins have not garnered much benefit from Reyes, as he has struggled at the plate.

However, those struggles are tied to poor placement on balls in play that may not be out of his control, so simple bad luck may be the problem here. As Reyes returns to normal, fans will be happy with their newest Marlin.

4) The Mets will see Carlos Zambrano in the series finale. He’s probably pitched well enough to have 4 wins this year. Is he back?

Zambrano has certainly changed for the better, having incorporated a new splitter pitch that he is using as an out pitch akin to his slider. He is also throwing more two-seam fastballs and slowly whittling away the usage of his weakened four-seamer, which is down in velocity to almost 89 mph.

With more movement on his pitches, he is getting more whiffs from hitters and is rebuilding his strikeout rates while maintaining his typical Zambrano (lack of) control. He may not be “back,” but he may be a new pitcher entirely.

4) If the Marlins win the series, who is the player of the series? If the Marlins lose the series, who is to blame?

The Marlins will go where their offense takes them. Thus far, their limiting factor has been how many runs the team can put up, as their pitching staff has done a decent enough job of keeping runs off the board.

If the Fish struggle against the Mets’ three top starters, the series may not go well. If the team’s bats wake up from their season-long slumber (aside from the most recent hot streak), then the Fish have a good chance of taking the series.

Series Summary

The Marlins offense is heating up, so can the Mets starters cool them down from jump street? This series is all about taming the beast in Giancarlo, and not allowing a potential Met killer in Gabby Sanchez to heat up.

Also, I am curious to see if the Marlins decide to run on the Mets in this series. Nickeas and Johnson aren’t exactly quick to 2nd base, so if Reyes and Bonifacio get on base, it could be trouble.

Other than Heath Bell, this bullpen for Miami has been extremely reliable. When they’ve come into a jam, they have left 74% of base runners on base.

A late inning rally is less likely against the Fish than it was against the Phillies. So the offense has to get started early, and get their starters the support they need.

OVER/UNDER RUNS:: (6-2 on the season) Tonight’s run line is set at 7. If I am to assume Johan and Buehrle will both have good outings, then I have to consider that the Saturday/Sunday game lines will be slightly higher than tonight. So I’ll set it at 24 (which is pretty high), and shoot for the underdog pick and go OVER.

METS POTS:: I’m going to take Johan Santana, only because if I tease a Mets no hitter (have I jinxed it yet?) then how could he not have a huge performance tonight?

KEEP YOUR EYES ON:: Jose Reyes. He’s still struggling, but I think the boo’s at Citi Field gave him a little bit of fuel for this series in his new home. I myself hope he goes 0 for 12, but I can see him having a big series if the Marlins take 2.

I’LL BE DRINKING A::Ten Penny Ale. It is brewed in CT, but is distributed in some NY area stores and bars, give it a shot if you get the chance!

Enjoy the series, and Let’s Go Mets!

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Could Carlos Zambrano Be Heading To The Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/could-carlos-zambrano-be-heading-to-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/could-carlos-zambrano-be-heading-to-the-mets.html/#comments Wed, 30 Dec 2009 16:51:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=18198 On Monday night, SI.com’s Jon Heyman posted via Twitter that the Cubs are very motivated to trade often disgruntled starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

Before getting Javier Vasquez, the Yankees definitely talked to the Cubs about Zambrano, who appears eminently available.

Yesterday, John Fennelly of Bleacher Report reported the following,

Cubs’ pitcher Carlos Zambrano could also be headed to the Mets. A trade, perhaps involving a third team, to bring Zambrano to Flushing remains a possibility.

I am very intrigued by Zambrano, and despite the occasional headache he may give you, there is no doubting his talent and ability.

Zambrano would certainly fit the bill as a number two starter for the Mets, but do the Mets have the pieces to make it work for the Cubs?

Or, like Fennelly states, will a third team be needed to complete the trifecta that can land Zambrano in Flushing?

Zambrano, 28, had a down season as did most of the Cubs players in 2009. Still, he posted a respectable 3.77 ERA and struck out 152 batters while walking 73 in 169 innings pitched.

In his career, Zambrano has a 105-68 won-loss record; a .607 winning percentage, along with a 3.51 ERA.

He’s also pretty handy with the bat and won his third Silver Slugger after clubbing 4 homers last season. He has a career batting average of .236.

With Lackey, Halladay and Wolf all off the table, I would love to see the Mets make a big effort to land Zambrano who I believe is better than any other options left in the free agent market.

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From Ace To Z: Should The Mets Get Zambrano? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/from-ace-to-z-should-the-mets-get-zambrano.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/from-ace-to-z-should-the-mets-get-zambrano.html/#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2009 12:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=13224 According to Steve Rosenbloom’s blog for the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs are looking into trading starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano during the off-season.  Zambrano has been tired of all the criticism being thrown at him and has been quoted as saying,

“Maybe if I go to a different city next year, if I get traded, I can do what I want.”

More than likely, if the Cubs do find a team to trade Zambrano to, it would be a National League team, because Zambrano would have to waive his full no-trade clause and it is doubtful he would want to play in the American League since the DH rule would not allow him to hit.  Zambrano is one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball, with a .236 career average to go along with 20 HR and 22 doubles in eight full seasons in the major leagues.  The 20 career home runs make him the active leader for pitchers.

As for his pitching, he can be very Jekyll and Hyde-like.  His career record is 104-67 and he has never had an ERA over 3.95 for any full season.  However, when things don’t go right for Carlos, he can lose his control and I’m not just talking about balls and strikes.

To say the least, if things don’t go his way, it can be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.  He can be very volatile, confrontational and erratic.  When he’s focused and on his game, he can be dominant (see last year’s no-hitter against Houston).  When he doesn’t get a call from an umpire, he can be lit up in a hurry.

Another thing a possible suitor has to contend with is his salary.  He is one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball and still has quite a few years left in his contract:

  • 2010:  $17.85 million
  • 2011:  $17.85 million
  • 2012:  $18 million
  • 2013:  $19.25 million vesting option (could be player option)

That’s quite a chunk of change to pay for a pitcher that can blow up at the drop of a hat.  However, if the Cubs would be willing to pay part of his salary, it would make a deal for Zambrano more appealing to other teams.

The Mets clearly need pitching.  Zambrano is only 28 and might be made available this off-season.  Should the Mets make a play for him?  Is the potential for a meltdown (or two) too much of a risk for the Mets to take?  Do they even have enough to offer the Cubs, assuming they don’t have to pay his entire contract?

Personally, I’m not sure the Mets should make a deal for Big Z if he is shopped around.  Although the potential is there for Zambrano, he has yet to hone his skills and get his anger management problems under control.  The Mets should try to find a cheaper option that can allow them to have money left over for other players that can help the team.  However, the free agent pitching class this year isn’t very strong.  The best option to acquire a quality starter might be via the trade route.

What do the readers think?  Should the Mets take a chance on Zambrano?  Remember, this isn’t Victor Zambrano we’re talking about.  This is the Zambrano that actually has talent.  Would he fit in with this team?  Would he even waive his no-trade clause to come to a city that might criticize him even more if he doesn’t do as expected?  Take it away, readers.  The podium is all yours.


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No Sweep For You! Mets Take Finale 4-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/no-sweep-for-you-mets-take-finale-4-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/no-sweep-for-you-mets-take-finale-4-1.html/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:17:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=12192 When Johan Santana was disabled with a season-ending injury, the Mets knew his replacement would have some big shoes to fill.  Since replacing Santana in the rotation last week, Nelson Figueroa has done his best to pitch like the Mets ace.  Today, he pitched into the eighth inning and struck out a career-high 10 batters, as the Mets avoided being swept out of Chicago.  Figueroa’s dominant performance and the hitters’ ability to strike early and often against Cubs’ starter Carlos Zambrano helped lead the Mets to a 4-1 victory on Sunday.

Figueroa had never struck out more than eight batters in a major league game, but he had already surpassed that total by the fourth inning.  He gave up a run in the first inning, but recorded all three outs via the strikeout.  It was the only run he’d give up all afternoon.

The Mets came out swinging against Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs.  They turned that early deficit into a lead by scoring two runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth.  They didn’t need to take their pitches or hope for a bad call by the umpires. They just came out hacking, getting a combined nine hits in the two innings that they scored runs.

Angel Pagan started the rally in the third inning by using a prototype version of his new reflecto-glasses to blind Carlos Zambrano on the mound.  His ingenious tactics worked perfectly as Zambrano gave up a one-out single to Pagan.  The next three batters (Castillo, Murphy and Francoeur) also singled to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.  Zambrano did not help his own cause as he committed an error trying to pick off Pagan at second base.  Perhaps he was still blinded by Pagan’s shades.  The Mets could have done more damage in the inning, but Jeremy Reed (making a rare start in left field) lined into a double play to end the inning, as Daniel Murphy was doubled off second base.

In the fourth inning, the Mets kept their hitting shoes on, continuing to do their best to give the Big Z a Big L.  Five consecutive hits in the inning, including an RBI triple by Anderson Hernandez and an RBI single by Nelson Figueroa (he of the .333 average) chased Carlos Zambrano into the Wrigley Field showers.  No word on whether the Gatorade coolers survived his departure.

That was all Nelson Figueroa needed to pick up his second victory of the year.  He was removed in the eighth inning after a blown call by the second base umpire allowed Milton Bradley to reach base on an infield single.  Figueroa’s final line was much like Johan Santana’s lines from the early part of the 2009 season:  7+ innings pitched, one run, six hits, two walks, 10 Ks.

Jon Lovitz came into the broadcast booth to schmooze with Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen after Figueroa’s departure, but his Mets debut was short-lived as Brian Stokes needed only six pitches to get three outs in the eighth.  He induced Derrek Lee to ground into a double play and got Aramis Ramirez to pop out to Luis Castillo.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!

The Mets barely broke a sweat in the ninth inning as Francisco Rodriguez needed only eight pitches to pick up his 28th save of the season.  It was only his fifth save in seven attempts since the All-Star Break.  That means the Mets spent $36 million on Oliver Perez and $37 million on Francisco Rodriguez, or as I like to call them, a win streak killer and a bullpen seat filler, respectively.

The Mets have a day off on Monday as they prepare to take their one-game winning streak into Colorado to face the Rockies.  The Rockies were the last team the Mets won a series from, when they took three out of four at Citi Field in late July.  In the month of August, the Mets lost seven series and split two others.

David Wright will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.  As has become the tradition with the Mets, they have decided to take a man who suffered a concussion and activate him for a series at the home of a team that plays its games in the thinnest air.  Way to go, Mets!  The follies continue Tuesday night at 8:40 PM when Mike Pelfrey takes on Josh Fogg.

In the past two years, the Mets entered the final month of the season hoping it would be a September to remember.  Now that the Mets are far from playoff contention, they can only hope the team can make it through the month in one piece so that it doesn’t become a September to dismember.

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