Mets Merized Online » Dan Murphy Sun, 26 Feb 2017 17:30:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Waste Another Harvey Gem In 2-1 Loss To Nats Sat, 27 Jul 2013 03:00:44 +0000 matt harvey

What a difference a few hours makes.

Matt Harvey toed the rubber and allowed no earned runs in eight innings tonight, but as we’ve come to expect, the run support was not there and the Mets dropped a heartbreaker 2-1.

The game was quiet for three innings, but Josh Satin got it going in the top of the fourth when he drove a double to the opposite field. John Buck followed with a double of his own, driving in Satin and giving Harv’ and the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

Harvey found himself in a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth when Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond got on base. After getting a huge strikeout, he got the double play ball he needed, but Daniel Murphy‘s throw went wide and Werth came around to tie it up, 1-1. Harvey was not charged with the earned run.

It was quiet again until the seventh, when Andrew Brown reached on a Ryan Zimmerman error and was moved over on Harvey’s sacrifice bunt. Murphy walked, but Wright could not come through and popped out to first, ending the threat. Wright is in a bit of a slump, batting just .235 over his last 17 at bats. That was it for Ohlendorf, who finished the day with this final line: 7IP, 6H, 1ER, 2BB, 8K.

Harvey tossed eight innings of five-hit ball. His final line: 8IP, 5H, 0ER (1R), 1BB, 7K. His ERA dropped to 2.11.

The Mets threatened again in the top of the ninth, and had runners on the corners with one out. But Lagares and Murphy popped and flew out, respectively, and as was the theme tonight the threat was over.

The bottom of the ninth didn’t last long. With one out, Ryan Zimmerman directed a LaTroy Hawkins fastball into the right field bleachers, ending the game at 2-1.

The series continues tomorrow at 3:05 PM. Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79)


I don’t know how Harvey does this week after week without having a complete breakdown. I’ve lost track of how many times he’s thrown a legitimate gem and gotten absolutely no run support whatsoever. If his lack of wins ends up losing him the Cy Young this year, he’ll have nobody but the Mets’ bats to blame. He was handed his eleventh no-decision tonight, officially giving him more no-decisions than decisions on the year.

Not much else. Pretty disappointed by the offensive effort in the night cap. Knocked around Jordan Zimmerman (a Cy Young candidate last year) and then a few hours later, couldn’t score a run off of Ohlendorf, who was throwing 87mph fastballs right down the middle in his last inning.

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Recker And Byrd Homer To Lift Mets Past Giants Wed, 10 Jul 2013 05:49:46 +0000 It was déjà vu all over again to start Game 2 of the Mets’ three-game series against the Giants.

anthony recker

The Giants took an early 2-0 off Dillon Gee. This time the Giants scored on an Anthony Recker error trying to catch Brandon Belt stealing that scored Hunter Pence and a poor fielder’s choice by Daniel Murphy that allowed Belt to score.

The Mets battled back in the fourth and hung three on Barry Zito on a two-run single by Andrew Brown followed by an Omar Quintanilla RBI single.

The Mets had a chance to tack on more in the fifth, but a questionable caught stealing call against Eric Young squashed the rally. Terry Collins went out to argue the play and upon further review it looked like Brandon Crawford’s glove missed Young.

Anthony Recker hit a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

“I think it was a cutter in, maybe a fastball in, that stayed up and I was able to get the good part of the bat on it,” Recker said.

In 2013, Recker has hit five home runs—four of which have given the Mets the lead or tied a game. The Mets are also 10-8 in Recker’s 18 starts this season. They are 6-1 in his last seven starts. I think it’s time to put the Recker project into effect.

marlon byrdGee almost gave the lead right back after leading off the bottom of the sixth with two walks. An infield hit by Tony Abreu got the Giants within one, but Gee giveth and Gee taketh away. Gregor Blanco smoked a line drive right at Gee who made a slick catch and doubled up Abreu at first to end the inning and maintain a 5-4 lead.

“I mean, I saw it, but that was definitely where the luck went my way for once,” Gee said. “I went back to the dugout after that and everybody said, ‘You deserve that after the all those infield hits.’ If it hadn’t gone right at me, right there in my glove, there’s no way I would have caught it.”

Gee surrendered another leadoff walk in the seventh and it wound up tying the game 5-5 after Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly. Scott Rice came in to get the last out of the seventh and kept the game tied. Gee finished the game at 108 pitches in 6.2 IP with nine hits, five earned runs, five walks and three strike outs. It wasn’t very dominant, but it did keep them in the game.

Murphy gave the Mets a 6-5 lead in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, but the big at-bat came from Marlon Byrd who launched a grand slam into deep left field to make it 10-5.

“Dan Murphy’s at-bat, he’s down in the count and Affeldt’s awfully tough on lefties and I thought Dan had a good at-bat to give us a run.” Collins said. “Marlon just goes up and does what he does. He’s dangerous and he just got a hanging slider and made a big difference.”

It was the seventh grand slam of Byrd’s career. The last one was back in 2009. In 2009 with Texas, Byrd tallied a season-high 20 home runs. So far this year, he has 14. Byrd has been a great asset for the Mets. It will be interesting to see what they do with him come the trade deadline.

“You don’t always come through, but it’s just one of those things where, when you do, it just feels good,” Byrd said. “I’ve had seven good swings with the bases loaded, but I’ve also had some strike outs. Tonight was on of those one’s where I put a good swing on it.”

Carlos Torres finished the game for the Mets after giving up a run and they took Game 2 10-6.

Maybe a forgotten play in the game was the picture-perfect relay from Brown to Quintanilla to Recker that saved an early run in the first inning. It didn’t wind up factoring in this one, but it’s a microcosm of the cohesion this team is starting to show.

Can’t wait to see Zack Wheeler and Matt Cain pitch tomorrow. Should be a good one.



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Buck Wasn’t Happy About Being Lifted For Pinch-Hitter Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:51:54 +0000 john - buck

John Buck wen’t 0-for-4 in last night’s win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. He struck out all four time to earn the dreaded Golden Sombrero.

In my recap of the 3-0 win, I mentioned that it may be time to start giving Anthony Recker a few more starts – not so much because he’s that much better than Buck, I couldn’t honestly say that. But it would be good to find out exactly what Recker can offer, and maybe the extra time off would benefit Buck as well.

That said, with Buck owning a slash-line of .210/.272/.337 in 238 at-bats, I found it kind of odd that he would utter a word when he was pinch-hit for on Tuesday. In the top of the ninth with a runner on second and two outs, Terry Collins lifted him for pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy.

The Mets lost the game 5-4 , but afterward Buck said he was disappointed with the manager’s decision.

“That’s baseball,” said Buck. ”Terry doesn’t have to talk to me about that move; that happens. I wouldn’t expect him to talk to me about it. I was just frustrated with the loss. I thought we should have won that game and I was frustrated.”

Collins felt it necessary to explain his actions to Buck for several minutes before batting practice on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.

“The way things have been going,” Collins said, “I can’t sit there with Dan Murphy waiting to hit and not get him in the game.”

Looking at Buck’s career .234 batting average, I would think this wasn’t the first time he’s been pinch-hit for… neither would it be the last. Just make some contact, big guy… And zip it too…

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How Well Does Murphy Have To Hit To Keep His Job At 1B? Fri, 22 May 2009 18:15:24 +0000 So now that we finally figured out where Dan Murphy should play defensively, how long before we start worrying about his lack of hitting this month?

I mean it’s great that we found him a permanent position he can call his own, but will he hit enough to justify his hold on first base both now as well as the future?

If I knew that Murphy was projected to be a 30-100 type slugger as he matured I’d be 100% content, but the fact is he projects to be more like a 15-75 type hitter and I don’t really see how the Mets can afford to give up that much offense at first base.

Last season, among all NL first basemen who had 500 or more at-bats, only one player had less than 20 homeruns. That player was James Loney who had 13 homers last season. He may struggle to surpass even that total based on his trends this season.

Statistically, Daniel Murphy compares very favorably to James Loney.

In 87 Major League games, Murphy’s stat lines looks like this: .290 BA - .368 OBP - .437 SLG

In 347 games, James Loney comes in with very similar stat lines: .299 BA - .352 OBP - .464 SLG

Their OPS of .805 for Murphy, and .816 for Loney are about as close as you can get.

Neither of them have any speed, and both of them have a good eye at the plate.

Loney (25) is just one year older than Murphy (24). Loney has settled in and he is what he is. Murphy on the other hand is still an unknown quantity. Opposing pitchers are learning how to pitch to him and how to get him out.

In Murphy’s first 100 major league at-bats he batted a robust .363, and in his last 100 at-bats he is batting .260. That’s over a .100 point drop-off and we still don’t know if he’s bottom yet.

The key to every good hitter is to continually make adjustments at the plate as pitchers continually find ways to get you out.

We hear the term sophomore jinx a lot in baseball, and usually it’s not a jinx at all, it’s just a case of a hitter not making adjustments after the league adjusted to him.

I believe Dan Murphy is at that point right now, and only time will tell which side of the tunnel he emerges from.

But assuming that he does rise to the level of a James Loney (something he hasn’t really done yet over a full season), will that be enough to justify making him our first baseman for the next five or more years?

Keith Hernandez, who we all hold in the highest esteem as a Mets first baseman, finished his season with 162 game averages of .296 BA - 13 HR - 83 RBI. Amazingly, Keith’s career slugging percentage is almost exactly the same as Murphy’s at .436.

So the answer is yes, we can afford Murphy’s brand of offense at first base, and if he can rise to the level of close to gold glove caliber defense, which isn’t entirely out of the question, it makes Murphy even more desirable and valuable at the position for the New York Mets.

So let’s hope Murphy makes those adjustments and gets that batting average back up around the .300 to .290 level.

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If At First You Do Succeed… Thu, 21 May 2009 15:15:01 +0000 As I watched the start of the game last night and got my first look at Dan Murphy manning his new digs at first base, I have to admit my expectations for success were very low.

Based on what I had already seen of Murphy at leftfield, and how reluctant the Mets were to move him to first base, I could only surmise that he must be even worse as an infielder than he was as an outfielder.

I am happy to report that my worst fears were not realized last night. Daniel Murphy’s debut at first base was one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise dismal game. He was spectacular.

He looked like a natural out there and it was the first time in his Mets career that he looked like he belonged on the field. There were no signs of anxiety on his face, and no deer in the headlight moments either.

He made three standout defensive plays with the key play coming in the fifth when he speared a liner and completed an unassisted double play with the poise of a Keith Hernandez. I was like, wow!

What really puzzles me more than anything, is why the Mets waited so long to make the switch.

Surely they must have seen Murphy playing like this during pre game drills and fielding practice in the last two weeks. Murphy has been practicing with his first basemans glove for quite some time now and yet the Mets thought they were better defensively by putting Jeremy Reed at first base?

Maybe the Mets would be leaving Los Angeles with one less loss if they had Murphy at first base instead of Reed the other day, when he failed to make a simple throw to the plate to keep the winning run form scoring. What exactly was Jerry Manuel thinking?

Anyway, at least we finally figured out where Dan Murphy belongs, at least until Carlos Delgado returns at which point we’ll have another small dilemna, but that problem is still at least two months away.  

Unfortunately, Murphy’s success in the field was not matched at the plate, and he continues to struggle offensively.

It’s an interesting twist because it was Murphy’s bat that got him the job in leftfield in the first place. Now it will be up to him to find his stroke before the Mets grow impatient and trade up which would mean a ticket to AAA Buffalo for Murphy.

That’s the way the ball bounces in baseball.

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Dan Murphy Gets One More Shot To Prove He Belongs Wed, 20 May 2009 21:34:07 +0000 Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post, reported on Jerry Manuel’s interview on WFAN with Mike Francesa.

During his appearance, Manuel said that Dan Murphy will start at first base tonight against the Dodgers.

Daniel Murphy will start at first base for the Mets tonight against the Dodgers, and Jerry Manuel said the second-year player needs to produce there to stay in the lineup.

With Carlos Delgado out, Manuel is using Gary Sheffield regularly in the outfield, taking at-bats away from Murphy.

During his weekly radio interview on WFAN, Manuel said, therefore, Murphy will have to make his mark on the infield after struggling in left.

Murphy played mostly third base in the minors, but injuries forced him into leftfield as a Met and he’s been stuck there ever since without showing much improvement.

His follies in leftfield may be affecting him at the plate. After opening the season with a .324 average as of April 29, he went into tonight’s game hitting .273. He is batting .115 in his last ten games.

Good luck tonight, Murph!

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Omar Minaya: Murphy’s Our First Baseman, No DL For Reyes Tue, 19 May 2009 21:07:32 +0000 According to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, here are the main points covered during Omar Minaya’s conference call with the media.

1. As most of you already know, Carlos Delgado will be out an estimated ten weeks after surgery to repair his hip injury. The ten weeks is estimated based on the track record of other players with a similar condition.

2. Don’t look for the Mets to make a trade. Omar Minaya insisted that they have the manpower to ride this storm. Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy will now play first base almost exclusively.

3. Regarding Daniel Murphy, Omar stated that first base belonged to him along anyway. He was going to be the first baseman of the future even in the Delgado injury had never occurred. Reminds me of Adam Schein, “That’s my guy!”

4. Finally, Jose Reyes will not go on the DL, but he didn’t mention whether he would be in tonights lineup. We’ll wait and see.

Omar also said that there’s plenty of time between now and the trade deadline, which I guess suggest that the phone lines are always open.

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It’s Time To Consider Our Trade Options Tue, 19 May 2009 01:50:25 +0000 Last nights loss coupled with the loss of first baseman Carlos Delgado for an extended period of time, is enough for me to begin to consider some serious options in terms of a trade.

First lets consider the whys…

1. The experiment in leftfield with Dan Murphy has been shelved because Jerry Manuel feels he needs a presence in the middle of the lineup. Right now that presence is named Gary Sheffield.

2. Carlos Delgado’s absence at first base has led to a series of odd replacements ranging from outfielder Jeremy Reed, to third baseman Fernando Tatis, to second baseman Alex Cora. Clearly the Mets have no viable first baseman especially one that can bat cleanup.

3. Jerry Manuel has completely undermined the confidence of Ryan Church. He is now a shell of the player we say last year before the injury when he was the MVP of the Mets. He is so lost at the plate that he has now dangerously close to being a liability at the plate.

Now that we’ve briefly outlined the areas of most concern, what players or prospects are we willing to give up to address any of those positions via a trade?

Lets begin by putting either Fernando Martinez or Wilmer Flores on the table.Yes they are the two best prospects in the organization right now, but I hardly doubt that anyone would have interest in Nick Evans or Eddie Kunz right now.

As far as major leaguers, the Mets may have to strongly consider that Dan Murphy is nothing more than a bargaining chip at this point. He is a defensive liability anywhere the Mets play him. He’s a Dave Magadan type player, but some teams may see him as more than that.

Once Brian Schneider returns, the Mets will have one too many catchers, and if trading Castro or Santos can help fill another void, than by all means do it.

Unfortunately, the players that most fans would want to jettison if you were to listen to some of these ridiculous calls on WFAN, include; Ryan Church, Jeremy Reed, Alex Cora, Brian Schneider, Oliver Perez and Sean Green. What a wonderful world it would be if we could really trade our trash for another team’s prized possessions.. Unfortunately, it don’t work that way.

Finally, what players are realistically available right now? Look for high priced contracts on teams that residing at the bottom of their division. Or players on the verge of free agency with low market teams. Some of the ones that fit the category and appeal to me are as follows:

Carlos Lee, Houston Astros – .331 – 8 – 29 (been rumored to be on the block for 2 years now)
Matt Holliday, Oakland A’s – .267 – 4 – 23 (The A’s must sign him or trade him)
Adam Dunn, Washington Nationals – .292 – 11 – 30 (Mets could have had him on the cheap)

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners – .323 – 4 – 12 (WSJ says he is suddenly tradable)
Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers – .256 – 2 – 17 (Slow start, but always a gamer)
Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox – .274 – 8 – 20 (won’t cost as much as last season)

First Base
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres – .294 – 15 – 29 (will cost the Mets a ton, but worth every penny)
Aubrey Huff, Baltimore Orioles – .281 – 7 – 33 (Orioles will move him)
Lance Berkman, Houston Astros – .238 – 8 – 21 (Houston is taking offers)
Nick Johnson, Washington Nationals – .333 – 3 – 21 (everyone mentions his name, I haven’t seen anything saying he’s available)

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If You’re Going To Play Both Murphy and Reed… Mon, 18 May 2009 15:24:31 +0000 Maybe someone can help me out on this, but if both Jeremy Reed and Daniel Murphy are in the lineup, shouldn’t you play Reed in leftfield and Murphy at first base?

Wouldn’t it make sense to be defensively flawed at one position rather than two?

Jeremy Reed is a fine defensive outfielder, and in his career he has less than five starts at first base all of them coming as a Met this month.

If Dan Murphy is the heir apparent to Carlos Delgado at first base, why was Jeremy Reed playing first instead of leftfield?

I guess it’s just another one of those Jerry Manuel head-scratchers.

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Mets Not Freaked Out, They Beat The Giants 8-6 Sat, 16 May 2009 07:44:46 +0000 Lincecum, Schmincecum… That’s all the Mets had to say as they completed their biggest comeback of the season and beat the Giants 8-6 on Friday night.

It was a game that featured many layers of clutch hitting, clutch baserunning, clutch fielding and a little bit of luck on this very Freaky Friday.

Livan Hernandez started and he was opposed by Tim Lincecum in what looked to be a major league mismatch, and after the first two innings it was shaping up to be just that as an ineffective Livan got the Mets into an early 5-1 hole.

But these are the new and mighty Mets, and four run deficits are no big deal to them, even when the reigning Cy Young award winner is the opposing pitcher.

Livan ramped up his performance, drew a line in the sand, and held the Giants scoreless for the next three innings before departing. He allowed five runs on eight hits and no walks, while striking out four in five innings.

Sean Green continues to look absolutely terrible out there and gave up another run in the sixth inning after the Mets had scored two in the top of the inning. I would be very shocked if he is still a Met when Tim Redding gets activated on Monday… Very shocked.

The Mets bullpen went into lockdown mode for the final three innings, with Pedro Feliciano, Brian Stokes and K-Rod holding the Giants scoreless and allowing just one hit. Stokes picked up the win, and K-Rod picked up his 11th save. Will he save 50 for the Mets this season???

David Wright would be the conquering warrior again and delivered another huge clutch performance at the plate. He had three hits and four RBIs, three of them coming on a game tying double in the seventh inning to spark the Mets comeback.

Gary Sheffield scored the go-ahead run off San Francisco closer Brian Wilson’s throwing error in the ninth inning, and the Mets rallied from a four-run deficit to complete the 8-6 victory and take the first two games of this four game series.

By the way, Gary Sheffield has now had two hits for three games in a row and besides a solid bat and veteran presence, he has shown a remarkable agility on the basepaths that has been an unexpected surprise. He has also played the best leftfield of all the Mets outfielders.

Carlos Beltran extended his hot hitting with another hit and two walks, and still leads the NL in batting. Dan Murphy came in as a pinch hitter and delivered a big RBI single. Fernando Tatis also delivered as a pinch hitter.

The Mets pounded out another 14 hits and stole four more bases after setting a franchise record with seven steals on Thursday.

Jerry Manuel was ejected for the second time this season after arguing a strike call on outfielder Carlos Beltran who also came close to getting tossed himself.

This win is certainly indicative of just how good the Mets really are. They man not overpower you with the longball, but they find new ways to win every day and will make teams pay for any of their mistakes. I’m really digging this!

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Dan Murphy Is Hitting.200 In May Tue, 12 May 2009 17:01:57 +0000 Last night, I was feeling a little masochistic and I decided that a self imposed torture of listening to WFAN after the game would do the trick. It did.

I did manage however to hear an interesting call about Dan Murphy that managed to find a way to sneak in between all the ”Jerry Manuel sucks” calls, and the “this team has no grit” calls.

The caller argued that the fascination with Dan Murphy is growing old, and that the last thing the Mets need right now is a slumping rightfielder in Church, and a glorified singles hitter in Murphy.

He was told that Murphy had as many homeruns as Wright with three, but the caller fired right back and said that those homers would have been outs anywhere else but in Philadelphia where he hit two, and Cincinnati where he hit his other.

I certainly couldn’t argue that point as all three of those Murphy homeruns barely cleared the fence in those bandboxes.

I fell asleep, but when I awoke I wanted to take a closer look at Murphy and see if that caller had a legitimate argument.

The first thing I noticed is that Murphy’s batting average in May was just .200 and that was over a period of nine games and 30 at-bats.

His batting average has fallen below .325 in mid April to .286. In 98 at-bats this season, he has 28 hits, but only 8 of them are extra base hits versus 20 singles.

He is in fact a singles hitter. He also continues to be a liability in left field and despite improving his glove work and footing, he still makes too many mental errors and one of them proved costly in last night’s loss.

I looked at his OBP of .790 and found that only a couple of leftfielders in the NL were worse, and last night’s heart-breaker Matt Diaz was one of them. <insert shriek here>

With Ryan Church continuing to slide into oblivion, don’t expect much improvement as long as he’s taken up permanent residency in Jerry Manuel’s doghouse.

The Mets can afford one corner outfield spot to skimp on the slugging, but two would be playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in the revolver. There’s a chance they can get by, but the odds are it will end up biting us on the ass.

Unfortunately, I don’t offer any solutions with this post. I only wanted to shed light on what could become a big problem down the line, especially if Murphy don’t start swing the bat like he did in May when he hit all those singles.

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Mets Find Their Edge And Top Phillies 7-4 Sat, 02 May 2009 11:57:55 +0000 Game Summary

The Mets (10-12) beat the  Philadelphia Phillies (11-10)  7-4 in the first game of a make or break series for the Mets. Mike Pelfrey wasn’t spectacular, but pitched well enough to get the Mets back on track and pick up the win. The Mets bats came alive in this one scoring early and often.

Mets Pitching

Mike Pelfrey improved his record to 3-0, holding the Phillies to just three runs on seven hits. He walked four batters in 5.1 innings and struck out none which was a little odd. Pelfrey got in trouble a couple of times in the game, but both times he was able to pitch to contact and let his defense do their job.

Pedro Feliciano relieved Pelfrey after one out in the sixth inning and did a solid job pitching 1.2 innings and allowing just a solo homerun to Chase Utley. He picked up his third hold of the season, and we should see more of Feliciano in the last two games.

The final two innings showcased the Mets 1-2 bullpen punch to the Phillies for the first time this season. J.J. Putz and Frankie Rodriguez were both solid in the eight and ninth, each pitching a hitless and scoreless inning. For Putz it was a much needed shot in the arm after a disastrous outing against the Marlins. K-Rod notched his fifth save in five chances.

Mets Hitting

The Mets wasted no time as they jumped on Park early. After Alex Cora walked in the first, Dan Murphy belted a two run homer to put the Mets on the board 2-0. The Mets almost broke the game open after that when Park walked Carlos Beltran and David Wright after the homer and fell behind Ryan Church 3-0, before retiring him on a double-play grounder to end the inning. Ahhhhh!The Mets scored again in the second thanks to sacrifice flies by Jose Reyes and Mike Pelfrey who nearly missed a three-run homer. Omir Santos drove in the Mets fifth run with another sac fly in the third to make it 5-0.

After the Phillies made some noise and with the Mets up 5-3, Beltran led off the fifth with a double, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Wright followed and singled him in to give the Mets a 6-3 lead. Pelfrey then helped his own cause with a two-out, RBI single that made it 7-3.

Both Wright and Tatis had a couple of hits in the game. Carlos Beltran was on base four times as he increased his average to .390 to lead the league, and he also stole a base and scored two runs. 

Random Thoughts


There might be a chance that Carlos Delgado ends up on the DL if he is not ready to play in today’s game. Tatis has been fantastic filling in for Delgado and is batting .370 this season.

Game Ball

Carlos Beltran and Mike Pelfrey.

Up Next

The Mets play a matinée today and send Oliver Perez to the mound. Perez has always done well against the Phillies, so lets hope the Mets can make it two in a row. LGM

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Mets Notes: Tatis At 1B, Santos Catching Again, Murphy Out Mon, 27 Apr 2009 21:07:58 +0000 Fernando Tatis will be at first base tonight when the Mets take the field against the Florida Marlins.

Carlos Delgado who was originally scheduled for a day off on Wednesday, will sit this one out due to a sore hip. For Tatis, it will be his first start of the season at first base.

Delgado won’t be the only regular player  riding the bench for the game, as left fielder Daniel Murphy will be keeping him company. Jerry Manuel will go with Gary Sheffield instead as he seeks to add some more right handed pop to the lineup.

Finally, Omir Santos may have unseated Ramon Castro as the backup catcher to Brian Schneider. Santos will be making his third start in a row going back to the game when Ramon Castro one handed a foul popup and dropped the ball.

This isn’t official, but it certainly looks like it. Santos is batting .294, almost 100 points higher than Castro who is struggling with a .197 batting average.

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Where Does Dan Murphy Fit In The Long Term? Wed, 22 Apr 2009 10:44:19 +0000 Dan Murphy is a good kid and a hard worker, as Jerry Manuel said yesterday, “He has done everything we have asked of him”.

His performance at the plate has been solid and he currently wields a .320 average to go with his team leading 12 runs scored. As a table setter and number two hitter, you can’t ask for much more from a player in his first full season in the majors.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that his defense in leftfield is responsible for three Mets losses. Rather than a 6-7 record, the Mets could easily find themselves one game out of first place with a 9-4 record.

Last night was probably Murphy’s worst night in his young major league career. The misplayed fly ball that ended up being a triple that scored the winning run was just a part of it. Murphy was also out by a mile on a play to the plate, and was also picked off first base. Seeing him respond to questions during the post game was tough to watch because he’s such a grinder for the most part.

Manuel, seems to think he’ll be fine and repeated same things he said the last time Murphy misplayed an out into a triple that cost the Mets a game against the Padres.

“I guess I’m a little concerned, to be honest with you,” Manuel said. “I think he’ll be fine. I don’t see this as an on-going situation for him. I see him at some point getting comfortable out there and being able to keep the ball in front and catch the balls that are catchable. I suspect that will come with time. It seems like he’s playing a little tight … a lot of anxiety.”

Oliver Perez was as much to blame as Murphy for yesterday’s loss, but lets keep this conversation aimed squarely at leftfield for now.

The Mets knew what they were getting themselves into when they anointed Murphy as the everyday leftfielder. The lack of experience and the terrible route to the balls were all apparent last season and this spring. The Mets rolled the dice anyway.

The Mets could have signed a more experienced leftfielder, and no I’m not referring to Manny, but how good would Raul Ibanez be looking in leftfield right about now? It’s rhetorical question and it’s just a segue into the point of this post.

If Fernando Martinez is our leftfielder of the future, maybe we should consider moving up the future a little. Maybe we should see exactly how good Fernando Martinez really is. He may not hit .300 at the beginning, but can we get a .280 batting average out of him? He probably will hit for more power than Murphy, wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Murphy currently has a .795 OPS compared to .831 for F-Mart. It’s going to happen anyway… Many scouts projected F-Mart to be playing leftfield by July of 2009 last season. He was derailed a little by injuries, but was a stud in the AFL and Winter Ball in the off season, so why not make the move now?

The real question is, where does Murphy fit in on this team in the long term?

We have David Wright locked in at third base, and Nick Evans is projected to take over at first base once Delgado moves on. There was talk of Murphy playing second base, but we still have Castillo signed through 2011.

We can’t turn a blind eye to how costly his defense has been thus far. Three losses in 2 1/2 weeks can easily become a dozen losses over the course of a season. For a team that missed the post season by just one game in consecutive seasons, this is question that needs to be confronted.

The Mets could surely use a number two pitcher in the rotation.

Murphy needs to be playing either third base or first base everyday. He’s clearly not an outfielder and I’m not willing to wait for him to come around and hope for the best. He only has a temporary hold on the position until F-Mart makes his debut.

Let’s make a move for starting pitcher now instead of July, and let Dan Murphy be a centerpiece to that deal. The Mets have to get another starter who can give them more than five innings a start. Right now, only Johan Santana does that for the Mets. It won’t be long before we start to burn out our revamped bullpen if the current trends hold.

Omar, pick up the phone and get something done.

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Mets Lose To Brewers 4-2, DFA Figueroa Sun, 19 Apr 2009 21:16:23 +0000 I guess a three game sweep was too much to ask for as the Mets wasted plenty of scoring opportunities and fell to the Brewers 4-2.

The problem with this loss is that the Mets squandered a gutsy start by Nelson Figueroa who did all he could manage to keep the Mets in the game and within striking distance.  Figueroa pitched six innings and allowed 3 runs on just five hits while dealing with an umpire who squeezed him all day. The big blow of Figgy came off the bat of Mike Cameron who powered a solo homerun off him in the 6th inning. He took the loss and after the game the Mets designated him for assignment. Pat on the back or kick in the ass?

The Mets squandered plenty of scoring opportunities in the game stranding ten baserunners today. Jose Reyes had three hits including a triple and yet he had no runs scored. Reyes is now batting .333 on the season. Dan Murphy also had three hits and managed to score one of the Mets runs.  With both table-setters hitting over .320, you would expect to see more offense from this team.

One bright spot in this game was the solid play of Omir Santos who tripled, scored a run, and also had some solid at-bats today. The Mets may have something here, and if I’m Castro and Schneider, I’d be looking over my shoulder right about now.

Tatis started at second base and looked decent out there, but went 0-4 at the plate despite a couple of hard outs.

That’s it for now… The Mets went 3-3 on the homestand and now head to St. Louis for a three game series starting on Tuesday.

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Opening Day Highlight Reel Tue, 07 Apr 2009 16:55:20 +0000 The Mets bullpen is the talk of the town after yesterdays opening day performance. They were also the opening story on ESPN’s Baseball tonight and MLB Network’s MLB Tonight. I can definitely get used to more of this!

Was it just me or did Ryan Church look extremely motivated yesterday? I mean extremely motivated! The best part was that remarkable diving catch and getting up to fire a bullet to double up the runner for the double play. It seemed like he was saying, “I’d like to see Gary Sheffield do that!”

Did you catch the expressions on the faces of Jerry Manuel and Johan Santana after Sean Green put out the fire in the sixth inning without allowing any damage? The only thing better was their reaction after K-Rod closed out the game by whiffing Ramon Hernandez and raising his arms in the air in a “V” for victory!

Dan Murphy is definitely looking more comfortable in left field as evidenced by the way he speared the laser of the bat of Edwin Encarnacion in the sixth inning. It looks like Murph is becoming that gritty gamer that we’ve been pining for since 2007. Heck yeah!

I knew the Mets had an impressive 31-17 record on Opening Day, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I learned it was the best mark in baseball… Not too shabby!

How about Johan Santana… He has now won his last ten decisions, a perfect 10-0, and he has not lost a game in his last eighteen starts. Holy Cow!!!

This is starting so shape up as an amazin’s season. I can just feel it!

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Do You Really Want Gary Sheffield On The Mets? Fri, 03 Apr 2009 18:36:30 +0000 sheff2.jpegAs I posted earlier, the Mets could be on the verge of signing Gary Sheffield as soon as tonight.

In addition to the sources I already mentioned this morning, Joel Sherman of the NY Post adds a little more clarity to the situation and writes,

The Mets are closing in on signing Gary Sheffield, likely today, with an eye on giving him significant playing time, according to two people involved in the talks. “Unless something drastic happens, he is a Met,” one of the sources said.

The Mets dispatched two scouts to watch Sheffield in Tampa on Thursday, which was first reported by Having seen that workout, the Mets intensified their efforts to beat out the Phillies and Reds to sign Sheffield, and they delivered a message to the veteran slugger that has apparently won his affections: “They told him if he plays well, he will play a lot,” a Sheffield confidant said.

The ramifications of signing Gary Sheffield are somewhat wide-ranging for the Mets.

1. The move would eliminate any chance of Nick Evans winning a permanent reserve role with the Mets, and unless the Mets get hit with some unforeseen injury, we may not see Nick Evans again until September call-ups. Evans had one of the best showings this spring.

2. This would serious reduce the role of Fernando Tatis to a pinch hitter and occasional backup for Delgado, Wright and Murphy. He also finished the spring with a strong offensive showing.

3. Ryan Church may have grimaced when Manuel hinted that he’d platoon with Tatis last month. Imagine what might be going through his head knowing that at the very least, all he can hope for is a platoon role with Sheffield who could eventually rob even more playing time from him if he excels. A touchy situation to say the least.

4. Finally, and I know this won’t sadden too many Mets fans, but it would mean the end of the Marlon Anderson era with the Mets. It may not happen immediately, but once Livan Hernandez is activated for his first start, Anderson is as good as gone.

The question is… Will Gary Sheffield be worth it?

Will his presence make all of the above issues a mute point?

I have my doubts, but his past performance intrigues me. What about you? Do you want Gary Sheffield?

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Grading the Mets: Outfield Fri, 03 Apr 2009 05:14:31 +0000 The Mets outfield has some question marks going into the season – but it should have the depth to be solid all year.  Other then Jeremy Reed replacing Endy Chavez, it will look similar to the end of the last year.  Although it has some questions, the pieces fit together nicely to give it depth should anyone not live up to expectations. 

In left field, Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis figure to split time – with the plans being for Murphy to get most of the playing time.  Murphy came up last year, and instantly started producing (.313, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 131 AB).  His major league production was better than his minor league record – so it will be interesting to see how he develops in his sophomore season.  If he falters, the reigning Comeback Player of the Year Fernando Tatis will hope to pick up where he left off before getting injured at the end of last year (.292, 11 HR, 47 RBI).  Coming out of nowhere, there are some questions on whether he can do it again.  Fortunately, the combination of the two give the Mets another path if either doesn’t fulfill their projected roles this season.

There are no questions about center field.  Carlos Beltran had another solid year at the plate (.284, 27 HR, 112 RBI, 25 SB) – and only missed one game all year.  His defense will also never come into question, as he won his third straight Gold Glove last year.

Right field has one main question, and that is the health of Ryan Church.  Church hopes to play more this year, as two concussions limited him to 90 games last year.  When in the lineup, he was productive (.276, 12 HR, 49 RBI), and was solid in the outfield.  If Church can’t stay healthy, look for Tatis to spend a good amount of time in right.

Jeremy Reed, Marlon Anderson, and Nick Evans will get any remaining playing time.  Jeremy Reed is capable of playing all three outfield positions, and is solid at the plate (.269, 2 HR, 31 RBI, 2 SB).  Marlon Anderson will primarily be used as a pinch hitter this year, although he didn’t exactly thrive in that role last year (.210, 1 HR, 10 RBI).  He doesn’t have as much versatility as he once had – mainly limited to left field, first base, and pinch hitting.  I expect at some point this year, Nick Evans will force Anderson off the roster.  He is younger, has more upside, and is right-handed.  He received 109 at bats last year, and showed he could hit major league pitching (.257, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 10 doubles).

If the Mets are in a position to make the playoffs most of the year, it is doubtful we will see Fernando Martinez called up.  Angel Pagan, Cory Sullivan, or Bobby Kielty will get called up if anyone goes awry during any part of the season.  If it is a tight race around the trading deadline, I think its possible that Martinez could be a candidate to get traded for a starting pitcher.

Overall Grade: B-

Projected Statistics:

Daniel Murphy: .265, 8 HR, 61 RBI
Fernando Tatis: .284, 10 HR, 44 RBI
Carlos Beltran: .277, 30 HR, 107 RBI, 27 SB
Ryan Church: .279, 17 HR, 81 RBI
Jeremy Reed: .244, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 10 SB
Marlon Anderson: .243, 2 HR, 12 RBI
Nick Evans: .251, 5 HR, 32 RBI

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Mets Notes Fri, 13 Mar 2009 16:00:19 +0000
A new daily feature that will keep you fully briefed on the current state of the Mets. One post with all you need to know until tomorrow.

Domestic Policy

Nick Evans is making it very hard for the Mets to send him back to Buffalo. He is now batting .313 and lead the team with 20 total bases. His right handed bat could be a big asset, but will the Mets ignore all these things and send him back to AAA for fear he may not get enough work on the Mets?

Johan Santana was extremely positive and upbeat after his start last night where he allowed three runs including a homer to  Dan Uggla who is slowly creeping up my batters who like to torment the Mets list. Santana threw all his signature pitches with no problems, and by all accounts all is well and Santana will start on Opening Day. (yeay!)

Tim Redding is another story. He had another brutal outing yesterday against the Marlins and allowed nine runs in two innings including three homeruns. Can you imagine this guy coming out of the bullpen in relief? Shades of Guillermo Mota. It was the second time he got torched. In his last outing he couldn’t get more than one out against the University of Michigan who lambasted him for five runs before they applied the mercy rule and pulled him. He has now thrown 2 1/3 innings and allowed 14 runs and 5 homers. He has a $2.25 million dollar contract which isn’t a whole heck of a lot, but unless he does a complete 180, the Mets may hold him back for extended spring training is my guess.

Jose Reyes joined the growing list of Mets that have openly lobbied for the return of Pedro Martinez. The others include Carlos Beltran, K-Rod, and Carlos Delgado. The Mets still insist they are not interested, but depending on how Freddy Garcia does in his start today, things could change in a hurry. This story isn’t going away yet.

Left-handed relief candidate Tom Martin fell down the stairs at his home here on Wednesday and suffered a broken right wrist. Martin is expected to miss several weeks, ending his hopes of making the Mets’ Opening Day roster.

The more I see of Dan Murphy, the more comfortable I am getting about him being our left fielder. He may not have the power you expect from a corner outfielder, but he brings a lot to the table with his hitting prowess and I’m thinking that all those crazy angles in the new stadium could mean 35 or more doubles for Murph. Couple with a .300 batting average, it will still translate into some nice production from left field.

Foreign Policy

Formers Mets pitcher Ambiorix Burgos was convicted Thursday of beating his girlfriend in a hotel near Shea Stadium in September after she tried to leave their room to go register her young daughter for school.

The Seattle Mariners signed one-time Nationals closer Chad Cordero to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. The Mets had shown some tepid interest in him during the off season.

Randy Wolf struck out four in 3 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday as the Dodgers beat Korea 4-2 in an exhibition game. Wolf was considered a top target by the Mets this offseason and after he signed the pace picked up in the Oliver Perez negotiations.

Pirates outfielder Craig Monroe hit three homers to double his spring total to six and lead the Pirates to a 6-4 win over the Twins on Thursday. 

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Are The Mets Holding Out For Matt Holliday? Mon, 02 Mar 2009 20:25:12 +0000 What if there’s a method to the Mets madness?

Could it be possible that the Mets refrained from pursuing Manny Ramirez or any other left fielder because they believe they have a real chance at securing Matt Holliday at the trade deadline?

Adam Rubin of the Daily News hinted as much today when he opened his article with the following:

All along the Mets have been thinking, privately at least, that they could be in a position to trade for Matt Holliday in late July, and add the big bat they passed on this winter. As in, you know, Manny Ramirez.

It’s not unreasonable to believe that the Mets are capable of thinking that far in advance.

Maybe this whole everday leftfielder talk is because they are going to showcase Dan Murphy as the prized jewel of a mid season trade package?

After all, Murphy perfectly fits the mold of those hitters the A’s have always coveted. He’s got the strike zone judgment that they crave coupled with the patience to draw a walk or wait for a pitch to drive in the gap.

Holliday would be the perfect jolt for the Mets as they enter the stretch run of a pennant race, and wouldn’t he look perfect patrolling leftfield in CitiField?

Maybe Adam Rubin is onto something…. 

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The Mets Are All In On Dan Murphy… So Am I… Mon, 23 Feb 2009 14:29:01 +0000 If you love Texas Hold-em as much as I do, then you’ll know what I mean when I say the Mets are “all in” on Dan Murphy.

While many fans including myself, mostly moaned and groaned about the left field platoon of Tatis and Murphy, it turns out that we were on the outside looking in.

It’s become quite obvious that the Mets had big plans for Dan Murphy all along. They never swayed from those plans… They never had any dissenting opinions in the organization about Murphy’s ability… And most importantly, they have treated Murphy with the same regard and kid gloves they once did with Jose Reyes and David Wright.

It looks like 2009 is going to be a coming out party for Dan Murphy, and everyone from the owners, GM, manager and coaches are all on board with the plan.

Good for them.

There must be more to Dan Murphy than meets the eye.

Right off the bat we all knew he was different from all the others by showing such a veteran approach at the plate. We didn’t see a kid who was scared and swinging wildly at pitches which can sometimes happen with a new callup.

Murphy has played the part of a savvy veteran and exhibited the patience of dare I say it, Keith Hernandez when he’s at the plate.

After seeing the enormous confidence the organization has shown in Dan Murphy, I’m willing to completely back off my fears that we should have signed one of the big three free agent leftfielders. Instead of looking backwards, I’m going to look ahead and take in what could be another one of those breakthroughs that we don’t get enough of as Mets fans.

I’ve seen enough of his character, determination and willingness to improve, to step forward and say that just like the Mets, I am “all in” on Dan Murphy too.

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