Mets Merized Online » Gio Gonzalez http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Dilson Herrera Homers In Big Night At The Plate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dilson-herrera-homers-in-big-night-at-the-plate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dilson-herrera-homers-in-big-night-at-the-plate.html/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 12:28:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180950 Dilson, Herrera

The grumblings had already begun for Dilson Herrera who had just one hit in 13 at-bats going into Wednesday’s finale against the Baltimore Orioles.

“He looks overmatched. ” “Definitely not ready yet. ” “Needs more seasoning.” “You can’t trust PCL numbers.”

But Dilson Herrera silenced all his critics and shut up his detractors with a breakthrough performance at the plate last night, going 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI in the Mets 5-1 win over the Orioles.

Herrera, 21, delivered his best performance as a major leaguer, belting his first homer of the season and fourth of his brief MLB career. Only 75 at-bats long to be exact.

He joins Gregg Jefferies as the only second basemen in franchise history to hit four home runs in their first 23 career games.

The future of second base for the Mets set career highs with his three hits and three runs batted in, and spoke through an interpreter after the game.

“I know there are going to be ups and downs,” Herrera said. “But being able to contribute today made me very happy.”

“I let the ball travel a bit more today. Being here last year helped me to get better and get more comfortable.”

Manager Terry Collins knew it was only a matter of time until Herrera would break through.

“It’s all about trying to get comfortable and getting him used to playing back in the big leagues and not trying to do too much,” said Collins. “His swing is good enough. He just managed to do more, not just swinging harder.”

The question I have is what do the Mets do once David Wright is activated from the DL after the weekend?

To be honest, it has been refreshing not having to hold my breath whenever a ball was hit toward second base.

But of course with Daniel Murphy leading the team with 18 RBI, he’s not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

From what I’ve been told, the Mets don’t view Herrera as an option at shortstop and are reluctant to start shuffling their future star around the diamond to try and force a fit.

But what if Herrera really pushes the envelope and delivers a couple of more performances like this over the next 5-7 days?

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Nationals 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-0-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-0-2.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:35:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177695 WAR.  What is it good for?  For Niese, it might be good for keeping him in New York.

The New York Mets traveled to Viera on Tuesday and defeated the Washington Nationals by a score of 2-0.

Pitching:

What a stellar performance by lefthander Jon Niese who is having himself a fantastic spring and looks to be gearing up for huge season in 2015. All he did was fire six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, walking none and striking out three.

Niese has been working on a new delivery to put less stress on his shoulder, and by all accounts he’s looked great and even dominant at times. He improved his Grapefruit League record to 3-0 with a pristine 1.65 ERA.

“My shoulder feels as good or better than its felt in a real long time,” Niese said. “Real happy with it.”

The newest Met Jerry Blevins faced Bryce Harper in the 7th inning, striking him out. The Mets acquired Blevins from the Nationals to do just this during the regular season, come in and get out the tough lefties.

Zack Thornton continued his strong spring, tossing 2/3 of an inning, striking out one. He lowers his spring ERA to a sterling 1.80.

Rule-5 pick Sean Gilmartin pitched two scoreless innings to record the save, striking out one National and walking one. After an abysmal start to the spring, Gilmartin’s ERA now stands at a respectable 4.22.

Offense:

Ruben Tejada got the Mets on the board with an RBI single to score Daniel Muno in the 5th inning He now has 12 RBIs in 19 games. Travis d’Arnaud had a pair of singles to raise his average to .239 for the spring.

Lucas Duda singled against Gio Gonzalez today, and that marked four consecutive hits against left-handed pitching.

John Mayberry had three hits, including the big blow, his fourth home run of the spring. He improved his batting average to a team leading .426 and a .473 OBP and ten RBIs in 20 games.

Notes:

All three of John Mayberry‘s hits came off lefties today. The Mets brought him on board to serve as a lefty killer off the bench, and has proven to be up to that task.

Lucas Duda‘s hit came off Gio Gonzalez, a tough lefty. He has hit well against lefties this spring, let’s hope it continues into the season.

The Mets dominated the Nationals this spring, going 5-1 and out-scoring them 48-23. After it was the other way around last season, it would be great to see the Mets’ success against Washington carry over into the regular season.

On Deck:

The Mets will play their last Grapefruit League game at Port St. Lucie tomorrow at 1:10 against the St. Louis Cardinals, when Bartolo Colon takes the hill against Carlos Martinez.

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Olney: Mets Are the Losers of the Max Scherzer Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/olney-mets-are-the-losers-of-the-max-scherzer-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/olney-mets-are-the-losers-of-the-max-scherzer-deal.html/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:29:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173508 Max-Scherzer-450x316

Buster Olney of ESPN lists the winners and losers of the Max Scherzer mega-deal agreed to this weekend, listing the Nationals, baseball players in general, and Scott Boras as the big winners.

The Nationals, he says, have properly groomed their trade leverage in the first 48 hours after the deal  The on-background message being dispensed through reporters is that Washington intends to keep all of its starting pitching, including Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister, who are eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.

“The Nationals don’t have to address their surplus now; they have time to slow-play this, to go through the process of talking with all teams again, of even going into spring training and seeing if some injury in another camp makes another club desperate — as the Braves were last spring, after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy got hurt.”

“After letting the trade market develop, some executives with other teams fully expect the Nationals to move either Zimmermann or Fister. “Because they don’t need all six guys,” one official said. ”

He says the Marlins and the Mets are the big losers.

“The Marlins have loaded up during the offseason, investing big dollars in Giancarlo Stanton and trading for Martin Prado and Dee Gordon, but now have to overcome what appears to be a superteam to win the NL East.”

“But the Marlins are in a better position than the Mets, because not only do the Mets have to try to find a way to beat the Nationals, but they may also suffer from the wrath of a fan base increasingly angry at the team’s unwillingness to have much more than a small-market payroll.”

“The Mets are inhabitants of the best media market in the free world, with a loyal fan base built over more than a half-century — and yet they have a payroll that will be about two-thirds the size of that of the Nationals. In the eyes of a lot of Mets fans, that makes no sense. And they are right.”

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It’s Easy To Forget How Good Jon Niese Has Been http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/its-easy-to-forget-how-good-jon-niese-has-been.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/its-easy-to-forget-how-good-jon-niese-has-been.html/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 20:12:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171752 jon niese

Reading the tea leaves, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon will all inevitably be traded in the near future sooner or later and certainly before their team control with the Mets expires. Top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard will likely come in and assume a rotation spot this season, followed by the final development and eventual promotion of Steven Matz who will ultimately replaces fellow left-hander Niese.

The question is, what will Matz have to accomplish at the major league level in order to reproduce the void created by Niese’s absence?  What would it take for the younger to surpass the elder?

Matz and Niese have often drawn parallels between one another because they are both southpaws and were each drafted and developed by the Mets. However, Matz is still just a prospect and there’s no telling if his career will ever match or surpass what 28-year old Niese has been able to accomplish thus far as a major leaguer.

Jon Shestakofsky, Manager of Media Relations and Baseball Information for the Boston Red Sox, tweeted an interesting fact about the top five starting LHP in the National League who’ve racked up the most wins over the last three seasons (’12-’14). Here’s how the best stack up:

1. Clayton Kershaw (51)

2. Madison Bumgarner (47)

3. Gio Gonzalez (42)

4. Cole Hamels and Wade Miley (34)

Next on that list would be none other than Jon Niese with 30 wins. During that three year span, Niese also produced an impressive 3.49 ERA.

Niese also ranks in the top twenty among all NL pitchers over the last three seasons in the percentage of ground balls induced (14th) and the percentage of men he’s left on base (19th).  By most measurements, Niese is a well above average veteran starter.  His  cutter and his curveball blend beautifully with one another when they’re both clicking and he gives the Mets a reliable weapon to throw off the timing set by the other hard throwing righties.

While we’re all excited to eventually see Steven Matz who brings the same tools as Niese and is supposedly better, it’s easy to forget just how valuable Niese’s performance level, grit and determination is.

Niese has pitched well above what’s considered average among all starters, but even better, he’s up there with some of the best among lefties. He quietly produces and gives you all the things you look for in a hard-nosed veteran, yet there he sits, quietly on the trading block, biding his time.

Does it make sense to hang onto Niese at least until we know exactly what we have in Matz? Or should Sandy deal our only proven lefthanded starter when the first decent offer comes along?

Lets! Go! Mets!

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NLDS Thread: Dodgers vs Cardinals, Nationals vs Giants (Game 4′s) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/alds-thread-dodgers-vs-cardinals-nationals-vs-giants-game-4s.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/alds-thread-dodgers-vs-cardinals-nationals-vs-giants-game-4s.html/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 19:20:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167461 kershawGame 4 (Cardinals Lead 2-1)

Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5:00 PM, FS1

Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77) vs Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74)

The Cardinals will look to land the finishing blow as they send Shelby Miller to the mound in his first ever playoff start. Miller has pitched in relief opportunities before for the Cardinals, in 2012 and 2013. Facing elimination, the Dodgers counter with their ace Clayton Kershaw, who looks to lower his postseason ERA form it’s current mark of 5.20.

gio gonzalezGame 4 (Giants Lead 2-1)

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 9:00 PM, FS1

Gio Gonzalez (10-10, 3.57) vs Ryan Vogelsong (8-13, 4.00)

The Nationals picked up a win last night to send this series to game four. Ryan Vogelsong brings a 1.09 postseason ERA into this, his fourth playoff start. Gio Gonzalez will be making his first playoff start since 2012 with the Nationals. He has a 4.50 postseason ERA.MMO footer

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Nationals 4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-nationals-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-nationals-4.html/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:09:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166532 dillon geeThe Mets (77-81) beat the Nationals (92-65) tonight by a score of 7 to 4 in Washington.

What you should know:

It was nice to see the Mets win a game that was as back and fourth as this one. The game was tied twice before the Mets broke through in the 8th inning for good.

Carlos Torres earned the win in relief of Dillon Gee who pitched ok in his final start of the season. Gee went 5 innings, striking out just one batter. The nationals got 9 hits and scored 4 times off of him. Torres’ one scoreless inning earned him the win. Jenrry Mejia earned his 28th save of the year.

The Mets scattered 15 hits throughout the game with Wilmer Flores, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson and Kirk Nieuwenhuis all had multiple hits with Matt den Dekker landing the finishing blow. His 8th inning RBI single put the Mets ahead for good. He scored later that inning to extend the lead.

Juan Centeno, who started for the injured Travis d’Arnaud, was hitless in the game.

This was just the 4th win of the season for the Mets against the Nationals.

On Deck:

The Mets conclude their series with the Nationals in the second half of their split doubleheader tonight with Zack Wheeler (11-10, 3.49 ERA) taking on Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74 ERA)

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 4, Mets 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-nationals-4-mets-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-nationals-4-mets-2.html/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:54:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166433 bartolo colonThe Mets (76-81) lost to the Nationals (92-64) tonight by a score of 4 to 2 in Washington.

What you should know:

The Mets fell to the Nationals for the 14th time this season tonight behind a strong effort from starting pitcher Tanner Roark who won his 15th game of the season.

Bartolo Colon fielded himself into trouble in the 5th inning. After he failed to break off the mound to cover 1st base, Adam LaRoche made him pay with a big 3-run shot into the right field stands. It was LaRoche’s 6th home run this year against the Mets, the most against any one team.

The only Met with multiple hits was Wilmer Flores, who scored 2 runs and recorded his 12th double of the season.

Travis d’Arnaud hit his 3rd triple of the season but also committed his 9th error. That ranks 4th highest in baseball.

Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin and Daisuke Matsuzaka combined for 2 scoreless innings.

The Mets were a dismal 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. They squandered multiple opportunities throughout the game including in the 7th when they loaded the bases twice and scored just a single run.

On Deck:

The Mets continue their series against the Nationals on Wednesday with Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) facing Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74 ERA)

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3 Up 3 Down: Playoffs? Nat Happening. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/3-up-3-down-playoffs-nat-happening.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/3-up-3-down-playoffs-nat-happening.html/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:00:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165822 bartolo colon terry collins

Yesterday, the Mets wrapped up a 4 game series against their division rival, the Washington Nationals.  Prior to the start of Thursday’s series opener at Citi Field, the Mets were 7-2 in the month of September and on the back end discussions of the wild card race.  This matchup confirmed two things, the Mets are not able to compete with the best team in their division and they are not headed to the playoffs.  The Amazins’ ended up losing 3 of 4 at home, below are the best and worst takeaways in this edition of 3 and 3.

3 Up

1.  Juan Lagares is no stranger to the “Up” list.  All year, he has shown measured growth and improvement in all facets of his game, offense in particular.  In this series, Juan went 6-16 (.375) with 2 doubles, batting out of the 2 hole in all four games.  The #2 spot in the lineup card is where the young center fielder thrives best.  His numbers out of the 2 hole are fantastic this year, owning a triple slash line of .375/.531/.943 in 32 at bats (ESPN.com).  2014 has been an incredible year for Lagares, he is on a short list of players that has salvaged what little bragging rights Mets fans have left.

2.  Lucas Duda had a decent series, getting on base at a .375 clip, but also passed a big test against one of the game’s elite left handed pitchers on Friday night.  With Gio Gonzalez on the mound,  Lucas went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored in the Mets 4-3 win.  While one game is not enough to declare him capable against southpaws, Lucas has improved slightly against lefties over the last couple months and turned in a few big hits in situations where he is facing one.  The learning curve for left handed power hitters can be much steeper, but I believe Duda has turned in a valuable 2014 campaign with marked improvement in a lot of areas.

3. Curtis Granderson has come alive since being moved to the #6 hole.  He remained in that slot this series and produced a triple slash line of .308/.400/.862 in the four game set.  If this is where Granderson finds a home everything else should be irrelevant.  At this point, all that matters is that he is as productive as his salary would suggest.  In 80 at bats from the #5 or #6 spot this year, Granderson is batting .362, slugging .650 and producing an OPS of 1.091.  He also has 6 doubles, a triple and 5 home runs to go along with 20 RBI’s when hitting in the middle of the order.

3 Down

1. The Mets have to do a better job against the top team in the division. The Nationals are now 9-1 at Citi Field this year, 13-3 overall, and have completely dominated with their pitching and hitting.  Washington’s pitching staff owns a 2.31 ERA against the Mets and their hitters are batting .280, with 25 home runs and an .815 OPS.

2. Getting on base does not appear to be an issue for the Mets, but getting across home plate certainly has been all year.  New York left 27 men on base this series and batted .176 with runners in scoring position.

3. Bartolo Colon’s ejection was a rare display of emotion from a Mets player, which was probably the only part of the whole fiasco that I appreciated.  In the end, Bartolo had no one to be frustrated with but himself for allowing home runs to Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rendon.  Over the years, I’ve come to understand the unwritten rules of baseball more and more, but hitting an opposing batter simply because the guy in front of him took you yard is an utterly selfish thing to do.  Colon only put in 3 innings of work, gave up 7 hits and 5 earned runs while leaving his team to try and battle back from the results of his poor outing.

Lets.Go.Mets

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 6, Mets 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-nationals-6-mets-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-nationals-6-mets-2.html/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:33:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165527 bartolo colon terry collins

The Mets (71-76) lost the series opener against the division leading Washington Nationals (82-62) by a score of 6 to 2.

What you should know:

This was an emotional game for both teams and it seemed as if the emotions got the better of Bartolo Colon. Colon got the loss, giving up 5 earned runs including 2 home runs. He falls to 13-12 on the season.

More important than the home runs themselves were Colon’s reactions. He hit the batters following each of the home runs leading to his ejection in the 4th inning. Terry Collins was also ejected in that frame standing up for his starter.

The Mets offense blew a few big opportunities. They left a number of men on base and ran themselves out of a few innings with some very bone-headed errors. Travis d’Arnaud got caught running on a pop up and didn’t retreat to first. He was easily doubled off.

In the 8th inning, the Mets loaded the bases with one out but Lucas Duda lined out hard to short and Anthony Recker, who had hit a solo home run earlier in the game, struck out against Tyler Clippard.

Tanner Roark (13-10) got the win for that Nats, going 6.1 and giving up just 2 runs.

On deck:

The Mets continue their 4-game series against the Nationals on Friday at 7:10 pm with Dillon Gee (6-7, 3.74 ERA) taking on Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 3.78 ERA).

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Time To Put Up Or Shut Up As Nats Roll Into Town http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/time-to-put-up-or-shut-up-as-nats-roll-into-town.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/time-to-put-up-or-shut-up-as-nats-roll-into-town.html/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:46:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165507 terry collins

It’s time to put up or shut up for Terry Collins and the Mets, and though they’ve been one of the hottest teams in baseball this month, it’s not like they’ve been beating juggernauts.

Winners of four in a row and seven of eight, their good fortune has come against the National League’s worst Colorado Rockies and the hapless Cincinnati Reds who aren’t too far behind them.

The Mets have now pulled to within 5 1/2 games of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild card, but still have five teams they have to leapfrog to get there. So not only must they keep winning, they have to hope all the other teams start folding.

The bad news is that the Washington Nationals head to Queens for a four game set, and all they’ve done is win 11 straight games against the Mets in Citi Field. In fact, going back to the 2011 season, the Nationals are 25-4 at Citi Field.

The Nationals have owned the Mets this season, winning 10 of their 12 contests and outscoring the Amazins 62-34 in the process.

The Mets have been thriving due to strong efforts from their starting pitching these last two weeks, but tonight the real test begins. Here are the probables:

Thu: RHP Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97), 7:10 PM

Fri: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 3.74) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 3.78), 7:10 PM

Sat: RHP Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38) vs. RHP Doug Fister (13-8, 2.53), 7:10 PM

Sun: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.59) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (11-5, 2.93), 1:10 PM

You want to keep claiming you’re in the hunt and legitimate contenders? Then lets see you take three of four this weekend. Make me a believer.

I’ll leave you with this little nugget of hope. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only two teams that were under .500 with 16 games or fewer remaining in their season came back to make the playoffs.

One of those teams were the 1973 Mets, who were under .500 with nine games remaining.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 7:05 PM, (Lagares Leading Off) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-705-pm-lagares-leading-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-705-pm-lagares-leading-off.html/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 19:40:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162623 wheeler

The Mets head to Washington to open a three-game series against the Nationals on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Zack Wheeler (6-8, 3.60) will lead things off for the Mets and will oppose left-hander Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.88) for the Nationals.

Wheeler is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his past six starts and 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA in five career starts against the Nats. Wheeler has walked two batters or fewer in 12 of his last 14 starts, posting a 2.89 walks-per-nine in that time span. He walked two batters or fewer three times in his first eight starts of the season. Wheeler is surging.

After yesterday’s game the Mets recalled outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Las Vegas and designated outfielder Bobby Abreu for assignment. Nieuwenhuis will wear #9 and will be available for tonight’s game, He was hitting .265 (56-211) with 34 runs scored, 13 doubles, 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 57 games with the 51s.

The Mets pen took the loss yesterday. It was just their third loss over the last 31 games. New York’s pen had 18 losses in its in first 81 games. The pen has posted a 2.38 ERA in its last 22 games and ranks seventh overall this year in the majors with a 3.15 ERA.

Terry Collins must be reading Joe D’s posts. There’s Juan Lagares batting leadoff…

Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Eric Campbell – LF
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  7. Chris Young – RF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

The Mets head to DC tonight after a disappointing end to their series with the Giants. The Mets radio booth said it best at the end of the game yesterday describing the game as “blah” from the Mets. Pretty accurate representation of what the game felt like. Today Zack Wheeler takes on Gio Gonzalez.

Wheeler on the season is 6-8 over 22 starts and 127.2 innings with a 3.60 ERA. In his last 6 games he has pitched 38.2 innings with a 3-0 record posting a 1.63 ERA allowing only 7 ER, 8 total, only 14 walks while striking out 34. He has had two starts against the Nationals this year, and they weren’t his best. His first was average as he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 innings, his second he allowed 5 ER over 6.0 innings. The Nationals have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Span 7-15, 2 2B
  • Werth 4-13, 2B, HR
  • Desmond 4-14, 2B, HR
  • LaRoche 1-10, HR
  • Rendon 3-8
  • Harper 1-8
  • Ramos 2-9, 2B

Gio Gonzalez is 6-7 over 17 starts and 97.1 innings this year with a 3.88 ERA. He is coming off of a bad start in Philly where he allowed 5 ER over 3.2 innings allowing 8 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. He has had two very different starts against the Mets this year. His first start of the season was against the Mets and he allowed only only earned run over 6.0 innings. In his second start against the Mets he allowed 5 ER over 3.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Gio:

  • Wright 5-16, 2B, 3B, HR
  • Granderson 2-19, HR
  • Abreu 1-16, 2B
  • Murphy 4-12
  • Lagares 4-11, 2B, 3B, HR
  • Tejada 3-8
  • E Young 0-10
  • Duda 1-6
  • Flores 0-7

homer the dog

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MMO Game Recap: Giants 4, Mets 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-recap-giants-4-mets-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-recap-giants-4-mets-3.html/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:04:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162607 dillon gee

The Mets lost to the Giants this afternoon by a score of 4-3.

This is a tough loss to swallow for the Mets who were looking to split against the Giants. After Bartolo Colon got destroyed on Sunday, Dillon Gee pitched a decent game, surrendering two earned runs over his 5.2. The loss went to Jenrry Mejia who gave up the winning run in the 9th inning when Pablo Sandoval hit a ground rule double and Gregor Blanco scored.

Much of this game was dominated by defense, both good and bad. Curtis Granderson made a fantastic catch in the first inning and Blanco and Juan Lagares traded off throwing each other out on the base paths. Daniel Murphy scored after a wild throw by Buster Posey put him at third with two outs. David Wright drove him in a few pitches later. Later in the game, Jeurys Familia‘s wild pitch allowed the tying run to score. Murphy went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and a run scored.

Another theme of this game was the strike zone. Home plate umpire Ben May made a few questionable calls. One got Wright fired up, something we rarely see from the captain. Another close call made against Lucas Duda got Terry Collins ejected. Sergio Romo earned the win in relief and Santiago Casilla slammed the door with an 11 pitch 9th.

The Mets travel to Washington to take on the Nationals tomorrow night at 7:05 pm with Zack Wheeler taking on Gio Gonzalez.

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Mets Set MLB Record With 31 Strikeouts In First Two Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-set-mlb-record-with-31-strikeouts-in-first-two-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-set-mlb-record-with-31-strikeouts-in-first-two-games.html/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152476 MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

After leading the league in strikeouts in 2013, the Mets are off to an ominous start in 2014, setting a modern MLB record with 31 strikeouts through their first two games of the season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Still reeling from striking out 18 times on Opening Day against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, the Mets futility continued as they fanned 13 more times on Wednesday with Gio Gonzalez on the hill.

“Certainly we have to do a better job of putting the ball in play with two strikes,” manager Terry Collins said afterward. 

Five of those 31 strikeouts are from new right fielder Curtis Granderson who is off to an 0-for-9 start at the plate. Collins cited the switch in leagues as the reason why.

“No surprise really. Curtis is playing in a new league and it’s going to take some time for him to learn the pitchers. Two games in, it’s not anything to throw up the white flag over.”

Granderson however shouldered the blame and rejected his manager’s excuse.”Changing leagues is nothing new. This is something that has been done, and I can do it.”

The Mets have just five walks to go with the 31 Ks.

During the broadcast last night, SNY’s Keith Hernandez expressed some frustration and said that Mets hitters needed to get away from the sabermetrics and start putting the ball in play, whatever that means.

Hernandez then said the Mets were striking out at an alarming rate because they were taking too many pitches and focusing heavily on the count.

I’m not so sure that’s what’s happening, but I do believe they need to be a little more aggressive than they’ve showed thus far.

bleed orange & blue  button

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 5, Mets 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-recap-nationals-5-mets-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-recap-nationals-5-mets-1.html/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:54:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152473 USATSI bartolo colon brad barr

The packed stadium was now empty. The dressings of Opening Day gone. Day turned to night. And the Mets still in search of their 2014 offense. For the first time since 2005, the Mets will start the season 0-2. Also, for the first time since 1997, they start the season 0-2 at home.

The Nationals defeated the Mets 5-1 in mundane fashion on a chilly, Wednesday night. It is still extremely early in the season – two games – but Mets fans are already concerned that there will be too many nights with the vibe of Wednesday. A dead atmosphere at Citi. A dead team in the standings.

The Mets have struck out in nearly 50% of their 2014 at-bats. 47% to be exact. They broke a franchise record with 31 strikeouts in their first two games. Per Elias, also a modern record for the Nationals pitching staff for most strikeouts in the first two games of a season.

Mets Nats WPA 4/2

Key Plays

  • Leading off the fifth inning, with the game tied 1-1, Ian Desmond hit a home run to give the Nats a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
  • In the fourth inning, Adam LaRoche doubled home Jayson Werth to tie the game 1-1.
  • The stake in the heart. Gio Gonzalez hit a home run, two batters after Desmond hit his own, to give the Nats a 3-1 lead.

Starter Focus

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon became the fourth ex-Cy Young winner to make a debut for the Mets since 2003. The previous were Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana, and Tom Glavine.

Colon is known for throwing fastballs and pitching to contact. He did that tonight, but found too much hard contact. 30% of balls hit off him in play were line drives. He also allowed 39% fly balls, two turning into home runs. 

Pitch Type Velo (Max) H-Break V-Break Count Strikes / % Swings / % Whiffs / % BIP (No Out) SNIPs / % LWTS
FT (Two-seam Fastball) 89.2 (92.0) -8.92 4.48 13 13 / 100.0% 11 / 84.6% 1 / 7.7% 10 (5) 3 / 100.0% -0.07
FF (Four-seam Fastball) 92.0 (94.2) -4.38 9.06 9 9 / 100.0% 9 / 100.0% 0 / 0.0% 9 (3) 0 / 0.0% 2.29
CH (Changeup) 82.3 (83.5) -8.34 5.29 4 4 / 100.0% 4 / 100.0% 1 / 25.0% 3 (1) 1 / 100.0% -0.12
SL (Slider) 82.4 (82.4) 4.07 -2.70 1 1 / 100.0% 1 / 100.0% 0 / 0.0% 1 (0) 0 / 0.0% -0.12
 

Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez continued his dominance against the Mets at Citi Field, improving to 5-0 with an ERA below two.

As hard as Colon was hit (30% line drives), the Mets barely squared their bats against any of Gio’s pitches, as he allowed only 6.7% of balls in play to be line drives. Gonzalez struck out six of the 22 batters that he faced. He produced groundballs 60% of the time.

Pitch Type Velo (Max) H-Break V-Break Count Strikes / % Swings / % Whiffs / % BIP (No Out) SNIPs / % LWTS
FT (Two-seam Fastball) 93.3 (95.7) 11.74 6.17 22 18 / 81.8% 12 / 54.5% 1 / 4.5% 5 (1) 13 / 76.5% -0.70
FF (Four-seam Fastball) 94.0 (95.4) 7.67 9.25 27 18 / 66.7% 13 / 48.1% 1 / 3.7% 3 (1) 15 / 62.5% -0.94
CH (Changeup) 84.5 (86.1) 10.56 3.76 18 10 / 55.6% 7 / 38.9% 3 / 16.7% 3 (1) 7 / 46.7% 1.24
CU (Curveball) 80.3 (81.9) -4.29 -9.16 23 13 / 56.5% 10 / 43.5% 4 / 17.4% 3 (1) 10 / 50.0% -0.83
 

Game Notes

  • Chris Young left the game due to injury.
  • The Mets broke a 16 consecutive inning scoreless streak that Gio Gonzalez had on the team in the first inning. But he has now only allowed 1 run over 22 innings.
  • Curtis Granderson is off to a slow start. He is now 0-9 with five strikeouts.
  • Juan Lagares has been the bright spot so far. He added two more hits tonight. He is 4-8 in the first two games.
Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Exclusive: Debunking A Myth http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-exclusive-debunking-a-myth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-exclusive-debunking-a-myth.html/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:12:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133737 Debunking a myth – how the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A´s have built perennial contenders as small market teams

With the Mets caught in a massive financial restructuring and – apparently – unable and / or unwilling to compete for high-end free agents this winter, the Tampa Bay Rays & Oakland A´s are often referred to as models of how you can win with a small payroll.

And indeed, both teams have had stunning success over the past couple of years, both winning 90+ games in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. The Rays did it with payrolls in the $57 to $70 million range,  and the A´s with payrolls of $59 to $68 million. Meanwhile, our New York Mets  – who haven´t won 90+ games in back to back seasons since the days of Mike Piazza & Bobby Valentine in 1999 & 2000 – finished 74-88 in each of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. A closer look shows that with payrolls between $90 and $100 million in 12-13,  almost half of it was allotted to sunken costs like Jason Bay & Johan Santana, so essentially if you leave out those two relics, the Mets actually spent a bit less than the small market Rays & A´s, but that´s not the point of this post.

What I´ll try to explain is that there´s a myth that these two teams were supposedly built in a miraculous way of signing inexpensive scrap heap veteran players  that suddenly outperformed all expectations. This is wrong. Sure, both teams have rarely spent significant money on veteran relievers, realizing that this is a place where it´s more efficient to go cheap – be it from within or the scrap heap. And both did well with a couple of inexpensive free agent pickups, most notably the A´s with RHP Bartolo Colon and 1B/DH Brandon Moss, and the Rays with 1B James Loney. But those players were certainly not the reason they succeeded. It was mainly done via drafting or trading for prospects and developing them properly.

David-Price

1. How The Rays Were Built

The Rays M.O. has been to build around pitching recently. And that´s not only in terms of winning with pitching on the field but using pitching to the advantage of filling holes via trades.

Take a look at some of the key members of the 2012 / 2013 staffs:

LHP David Price – Drafted  # 1 overall in 2007

LHP Matt Moore – Drafted in round 8 in 2007

RHP Alex Cobb – Drafted in round 4 in 2006

RHP Jeremy Hellickson – Drafted in round 4 in 2005

LHP Jake McGee – Drafted in round 5 in 2004

RHP Chris Archer – Acquired as a prospect from from the Cubs in 2011 in exchange for young RHP Matt Garza (after 4 years of team control) who had been acquired with the Rays 2003 first round pick Delmon Young a few years earlier.

LHP Alex Torres – Acquired as a prospect out of High-A Ball from the Angels at the 2009 trade deadline for LHP Scott Kazmir (after 4 years of team control) who had been acquired for…, err, won’t get into that.

To summarize: This staff was mainly put together by strong drafting between 2004 and 2007 and by trading for prospects between 2009 and 2011.

Now, offensively, the Rays were more mix & match and not as deep structurally. That said, the M.O. remains similar:

3B Evan Longoria – Drafted  3rd overall in 2006 draft.

CF Desmond Jennings – Drafted in round 10 in 2006

IF/OF Ben Zobrist – Acquired as a prospect in 2006 from the Astros for former Rays All Star third baseman Aubrey Huff.

RF Wil Myers – Acquired as a top prospect in 2012 from the Royals for RHP James Shields (after 5 years of team control) who had been an undistinguished 16th round pick by the Rays in 2000; this trade has also brought in RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery from KC who may eventually help the Rays pitching staff going forward.

LF Matt Joyce – Acquired as a prospect in 2008 by Rays for young RHP Edwin Jackson (after 4 years of team control).

SS Yunel Escobar – Acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2012 for OF prospect Derek Dietrich, the Rays 2nd round pick in 2010, reversing the prospect for veteran path for a change.

To summarize: This offense was built around drafting well in 2006 and trading major leaguers for prospects between 2006 and 2012, plus trading a prospect for a proven major leaguer last winter. And of course, aided by signing useful veterans like James Loney, Jose Molina and Kelly Johnson who rounded things out.

The Rays have been built around a plethora of strong players drafted 6 to 9 years ago and players mostly acquired as prospects turned into good major leaguers. It does serve as an indication for the time frame it takes to build a team like this, of course. By the way the 2004 to 2007 Rays won between 61 and 70 games per season…

Yoennis Cespedes

2. How The Oakland A´s Were Built

To avoid the post becoming too lengthy (and with my 2 year-old daughter about to wake up), I´ll try to keep myself short. But please remember that the post “Moneyball” (1999 to 2006) A´s finished at or below .500 between 2007 and 2011 and was widely expected to finish below .500 again in 2012 – before winning 94 games, seemingly out of nowhere. Unlike the Rays, the A´s 2012 / 2013 weren´t mainly built via the draft – but they were built by heavy trading for prospects…

Pitching:

Yes, Bartolo Colon was an almost R.A. Dickey type revelation, seemingly out of nowhere.

And half of the A´s rotation was actually drafted – A.J. Griffin (round 13 in 2010), Dan Straily (round 24 in 2009) and Sonny Gray (round 1 in 2011). But key pieces of the staff were acquired in trades:

RHP Jarrod Parker and RHP Ryan Cook in a trade for former 2006 2nd round pick RH Trevor Cahill

LHP Tom Milone in a trade for LHP Gio Gonzalez

LHP Jerry Blevins in a trade for C Jason Kendall, way back in 2007

Disappointing LHP Brett Anderson came in a trade of RHP Dan Haren  who himself can be tracked back to trading former stud LHP Mark Mulder to the Cardinals.

To be fair, another key contributor , RHP Grant Balfour was signed as a free agent. But overall, you can track the main pieces of the Oakland A´s staffs to drafting & trades of quality starters  Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren (and previously Mark Mulder) and Trevor Cahill.

Offense:

Trades. Trades. Trades. Oh, and Coco Crisp & Yoenis Cespedes as free agents for more than Sandy Alderson has paid to anyone as Mets GM so far and Brandon Moss as a nice scrap heap pickup. But again, you´ll see that the trades of Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren and others played a key role here:

3B Josh Donaldson – acquired from the Cubs in a trade of former ace Rich Harden (a 17th round pick by the A´s in 2000)

OF Josh Reddick – acquired from the Red Sox in a trade of former closer Andrew Bailey (a 6th round pick in 2006)

SS Jed Lowrie – acquired from the Houston Astros in a trade for prospect 1b Chris Carter who  had been part of the Dan Haren trade and for RHP Brad Peacock who had been part of the Gio Gonzalez trade; by the way, Gio Gonzalez had been acquired for “Moneyball” 2002 1st round pick Nick Swisher in 2008….

2B Eric Sogard – also acquired for a piece from the Dan Haren trade, OF Aaron Cunningham, Sogard was actually drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007…

C Derek Norris – also acquired as part of the Gio Gonzalez trade after the 2011 season

OF Seth Smith – acquired in a trade with the Rockies of waiver pickup and LH Josh Outman (who himself had been acquired for “Moneybal” RH Joe Blanton)

OF Chris Young – acquired for SS Cliff Pennington, the A´s 21st round pick in 2005

So summarize:

Large chunks of the A´s offense can be tracked to the trades of almost an entire rotation of Dan Haren, Rich Harden, Gio Gonzalez, Joe Blanton and Mark Mulder essentially.

What to conclude from all this?

Inexpensive playoff teams aren´t built around picking up veterans from the scrap heap. They are built the traditional way by good scouting & player development. You can build a strong cost-efficient team by drafting well and some trades (Rays). You can build a strong cost-efficient team by drafting ok but trading very well (A´s).  It also shows that this approach takes quite a while. And that the groundwork of winning in 2012 & 2013 was mostly laid several years ago and actually the key contributors mostly entered pro-ball between 2004 and 2008. And if you´re asking for a reason why the Mets have struggled over the past 3 to 5 years ? It´s because they failed to add enough significant players between 2004 and 2008 AND have been unable to outspend those neglects recently.

But if you want to win without spending money, you need: a) patience – as it takes about 5 to 7  years before players that are brought in as amateurs will reasonably be productive in the majors. And b) to either draft and/or trade well to land those players.

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Mets Pitching Suffers, Gio Lights Out In 9-0 Blowout http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-pitching-suffers-gio-lights-out-in-9-0-blowout.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-pitching-suffers-gio-lights-out-in-9-0-blowout.html/#comments Tue, 10 Sep 2013 02:22:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128900 carlos torres

Spoiler Alert: This game was really, really ugly. Let’s get right to it…

The Nationals got off to a quick start off of Carlos Torres when Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back jacks to lead off the game. Torres would settle down, but just for a while.

After a quiet second, the Nats struck again in the third when Jayson Werth took the first pitch he saw to left center for a three run home run. It was Werth’s 22nd of year. The Nats went up 5-0, but that was just the beginning.

The fatal blow to Torres was a Tyler Moore solo bomb in the fourth. Torres final line was this: HORRIBLE.

Greg Burke relieved Torres, but fared about the same. Wilson Ramos smacked a dinger to left center, bringing in two other Nats and for the last time, expanding their lead to 9.

While this was a brutal game to watch, at least it was fun coming up with all these different names to call home runs.

Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez tossed an absolute gem, allowing only three Met baserunners. Zach Lutz was the lone hero, leading off the seventh with a single ando, while this was a brutal game to watch, it was fun coming up with all these different names to call home runs.

The series continues tomorrow at 7:10, when Jordan Zimmermann and Dillon Gee will face off for game two of this four game series.

bark in park dog citi

The dogs were out in full force at Citi Field tonight…

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Nationals vs Mets: Flores Back In The Lineup, Brown Batting Third, Torres Gets Homestand Started http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/nationals-vs-mets-flores-back-in-the-lineup-brown-batting-third-torres-gets-homestand-started.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/nationals-vs-mets-flores-back-in-the-lineup-brown-batting-third-torres-gets-homestand-started.html/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 19:44:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128836 carlos torres 2

Nationals at Mets • 7:10 PM

Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.49) vs Carlos Torres (3-3, 2.89)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr., lf
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. Andrew Brown, rf
  4. Lucas Duda, 1b
  5. Justin Turner, ss
  6. Juan Lagares, cf
  7. Wilmer Flores, 3b
  8. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  9. Carlos Torres, rhp

Gio Gonzalez is coming off a rough outing against the Phillies in which he allowed five runs (one earned) on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He didn’t have much help from his defense, though, as Washington committed three errors.

Meanwhile, Carlos Torres has given the Mets a couple of solid starts after taking over for the injured Harvey. In his last outing against the Braves, the right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings. But he was shutting Atlanta out until the seventh, when he allowed all three runs.

Brown batting third? He has one hit in his last 14 at-bats with six strikeouts, his only hit a home run.

Justin Turner continues to play regularly and is 7-for-his-last-17 (.412) while scoring at least one run in four straight games (five total) and has driven in four runs in his last three games, including his first home run of the year on Friday night and a solo home run yesterday.

Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-4 in his last start against Cleveland and is now batting .143 this season in 64 plate appearances. he continues to bat in the number eight spot in his last five starts.

Flores is back in the lineup and it’s not quite clear if he is still being asked to play with his ankle still bothering him. He too has slumped badly since injuring the ankle batting .323 before and .130 since.

Aaron Harang had his contract selected today from Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League and will wear uniform No. 44. He pitched 6.0 innings, allowed six hits, three runs, earned, issued two walks and struck out six vs. Salt Lake in Game Four of the PCL semi-finals on September 7. Harang, 35, was 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA in 22 starts this year for the Seattle Mariners.

Joe D.

Game Preview

The Mets come back to New York and are bringing the Nationals with them tonight. The Mets could really mess up the Nationals playoff push with a good series this week as the Amazin’s look to build off of yesterday’s win in Cleveland. A few new players will be also joining the Mets tomorrow as Harang, Baxter and Centero come aboard. Tonight Carlos Torres gets the start as he goes up against Gio Gonzalez.

Carlos Torres is 3-3 over 28 games on the season pitching 62.1 innings with a 2.89 ERA. In his last two starts he has tossed 13.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and 4 earned runs. On the season he has pitched 5.0 innings against the Nationals allowing 8 ER. The Nationals have the following numbers against Carlos Torres:

Hairston 1-3, 2B
Harper 1-3
LaRoche 0-3
Rendon 0-3
Span 2-2
Zimmerman 2-3, 2B
Desmond 2-2, 2B
Ramos 2-2, HR, 5 RBI

The Mets bats get yet another look at Gio Gonzalez who is 9-6 over 28 games with a 3.49 ERA over 167.2 innings with 170 strikeouts. In his last three starts he has pitched 16.0 innings with 12 ER. In two starts against the Mets this year he has pitched 11.0 innings allowing 5 ER. The Mets have the following numbers against Gonzalez:

Davis 4-12, 2B, HR
Turner 2-13
Murphy 2-9
Duda 1-3
Young 0-4
Lagares 0-3
Satin 1-3

Lets Go Mets!

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Matsuzaka Spins Gem, Young’s Late RBI Gives Mets Unlikely 2-1 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/matsuzaka-spins-gem-youngs-late-rbi-gives-mets-unlikely-2-1-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/matsuzaka-spins-gem-youngs-late-rbi-gives-mets-unlikely-2-1-win.html/#comments Sun, 08 Sep 2013 21:06:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128820 Daisuke - Matsuzaka

metsindians1Between the Mets and the Jets today, nothing makes sense — and I’m happier than a kid in a candy store. The New York Mets pulled off an unlikely 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians through the strength of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Justin Turner, and Eric Young. …Yeah, what?

Matsuzaka was masterful early, as he didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. He finished with six innings pitched and only one run allowed — a run that crossed that plate via Vic Black. Matsuzaka was removed in favor of Black after he was drilled by a liner that left the bases loaded with two outs. Black nailed Asdrubal Cabrera accidentally and forced in a run, but he got out of the jam after that. Daisuke allowed just three hits and three walks, while striking out six batters. The Mets bullpen pieced together the win the rest of the way, with Pedro Feliciano and the unlikeliest of heros — Frank Francisco. Calling him a hero is definitely pushing it, but he induced a double-play with the bases loaded to keep the game scoreless heading into the ninth.

The game was dead-locked at one heading into the ninth, as Justin Turner went deep early off Danny Salazar, who otherwise mowed down the Mets. The Mets would take the lead after Matt den Dekker scored in the ninth off an Eric Young Jr. double, and LaTroy Hawkins would shut the Indians down in the ninth for the save. He received a little help from Anthony Recker, who gunned down an over-eager Mike Aviles trying to steal second base with one out.

I’m pretty excited with the events that took place today, so I hope you all had a good Sunday. Carlos Torres will take the mound for the Mets against Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals in New York as the Mets open a series with them at 7:10 tomorrow. Torres was excellent in his last start, going seven innings and allowing just three earned runs.

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Why The Mets Shouldn’t Sign Shin-Soo Choo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/why-the-mets-shouldnt-sign-shin-soo-choo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/why-the-mets-shouldnt-sign-shin-soo-choo.html/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:04:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127087 Shin-Soo Choo

I know this probably isn’t going to be a popular opinion around here, so let me preface it by saying this — I think Shin-Soo Choo is pretty good. However, I don’t think he’s the type of player the Mets should be allocating their available funds to. I know Mets fans are clamoring to root for a winner. I don’t, however, think the Mets need to go out and spend money this offseason. Some fans seem to want the Wilpon’s to spend just for the sake of spending. Because for two plus years we’ve been told that this would be the offseason that we took a big step forward. But if you’re looking at the names available objectively, I think you’ll see there isn’t a player worth breaking the bank for.

A quick glance would suggest that Choo is a perfect fit. First, he’s an outfielder– a real need for the Mets. Secondly, he’s an on-base machine with pop and speed. What team couldn’t use that? Let’s examine.

A good place to start would be trying to figure out just how much it would take to sign Choo. Let’s compare Choo over a three year period (2011-2013) to Andre Ethier and B.J. Upton – two players who are of similar age, play the outfield and have recently signed long term contracts:

choo ethier upton

As you can see, each player has his advantages, but overall they’re very close in WAR. Choo is clearly the superior player when it comes to reaching base. Upton is the best defender of the three, and also has the better power/speed combination. Ethier is likely the most consistent player across the board; he doesn’t stand out in any category, but doesn’t kill you in any of them either. Now let’s look at the contracts signed by Ethier and Upton (according to Cot’s Contracts):

In 2012 Andre Ethier signed a 5-year, $85 million dollar contract extension. The contract runs from 2013-2017 and will pay him an average annual salary of $17MM. Ethier is currently 31-years old and his contract will run through his age 35 season. Now onto Upton.

Prior to the 2013 season BJ Upton signed a 5-year, $75.25 million dollar contract. Obviously his contract also runs from 2013-2017. BJ’s annual salary comes to $15.05MM. He will turn 33 towards the end of his contract with the Braves, making him slightly younger than Choo.

I’m feeling generous, so lets say we split the difference (almost) and go with 5-years and $80MM. That’s $16 million dollars per season. I say “generous” because I think there’s a chance Choo tops both deals. My reasons for that are because agents usually look to surpass contracts from previous seasons. Also because Choo has gotten overhyped by many baseball analysts who think that on-base percentage is what “moneyball” is.

So the question is whether Choo is an $80 million dollar player. Many will answer “yes”, since that appears to be the going rate. But go ahead and ask the Dodgers or Braves how many teams are knocking down their doors to take on those contracts. It’s also more than just a question of money. If you dig just a little deeper you’ll see that Choo is not without his flaws.

The first thing that stands out is that Choo is essentially a platoon player. Solid walk-rate aside, his numbers against left-handed pitchers have spiraled downward at an alarming rate. Here’s a look at his numbers over the past three seasons:

Shoo LHP

As you can see, Choo is hitting a meager .175 against southpaws this season. Even more unsettling is that he’s slugged just .204 without a single homerun in 169 plate appearances. To put those numbers in perspective– Choo would rank 6th in batting average and 10th in slugging AMONG NL PITCHERS (min. 50 PA). If this were one outlier season I could overlook it, but it’s been a steady decline that cannot be ignored. Essentially you’d be paying $16MM per season for a player who would hit like a second pitcher in your lineup when there’s a lefty on the mound. In a division that already features lefties like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez and Mike Minor.

Another red flag is his defense. Choo has played center field almost exclusively this year. Problem is– he’s not a center fielder. The only way I can explain that is with two simple words: Dusty Baker. But that’s a whole other blog post. Let’s take a look at Choo’s defense from the sabermetric side:

fielding

In 2011, playing right field exclusively, Choo had the metrics of a league average outfielder. Playing the same position in 2012 in the same ballpark, his numbers dropped dramatically. His UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) fell from 2.1 to -16.7 and his DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) nose-dived from +3 to -12. So far in 2013 the trend has continued. He’s on pace to surpass his lowly UZR from 2012, and his -13 DRS thus far ranks dead last amongst qualified outfielders.

I know the skeptics will say that defensive metrics are a work in progress and often flawed themselves– and they’re right. However I think they’re a reasonably reliable indicator of defensive performance. Certainly a good outfielder isn’t going to put up metrics that terrible. Not for two consecutive seasons. The sample size at this point is large enough.

In summation, I’m going to reiterate what I said to start this — Shin-Soo Choo is a pretty good player. You have to like a guy getting on base at a 40% clip regardless of his aforementioned flaws. I just don’t think he’s the right player for the Mets. He’s a great complimentary player for a team that’s a player away. He’s not a building block for a team looking to find it’s identity. Choo doesn’t posses the impact tools that the Mets need. At least not at that price. What’s a .400 OBP if you don’t have the players behind him to bring him in? I think the money could be better spent on a few players that could help in multiple spots, or even *gasp* saved for another time. There’s a great feeling around this team right now, and I don’t want to rush to sign a player who will cripple us financially in the future. We’ve been through that before. We’re finally about to get out from under that rock. Better days are nearing. Let’s get it right this time.

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Statement From Bud Selig On Biogenesis Investigation And Punishment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/statement-from-bud-selig-on-biogenesis-investigation-and-punishment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/statement-from-bud-selig-on-biogenesis-investigation-and-punishment.html/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 20:31:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126528 2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

Here is the official statement by Bud Selig on this afternoon’s announcement from MLB regarding the conclusion of their Biogenesis investigation.

“Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports.  I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts – not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case.  Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program.  We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules.

“Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do.  For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it.  I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately.  I am also grateful to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and our club physicians, who were instrumental in the banning of amphetamines and whose expertise remains invaluable to me.  As an institution, we have made unprecedented strides together.

“It is important to point out that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012.  With the important additions of the hGH testing and longitudinal profiling this season, we are more confident than ever in the effectiveness of the testing program.  Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way.

“This case resoundingly illustrates that the strength of our Program is not limited only to testing.  We continue to attack this issue on every front – from science and research, to education and awareness, to fact-finding and investigative skills.  Major League Baseball is proud of the enormous progress we have made, and we look forward to working with the players to make the penalties for violations of the Drug Program even more stringent and a stronger deterrent.

“As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field.  We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game.”

Major League Baseball issued the following discipline today for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in relation to the Biogenesis investigation. Players receiving 50-game suspensions without pay for their violations of the Program are:

  • Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo;
  • San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera;
  • New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli;
  • Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz;
  • Padres pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A San Antonio Missions of the Texas League;
  • Houston Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona, who is currently of the roster of the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League;
  • Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the International League;
  • Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League;
  • Free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto;
  • Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta;
  • New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League; and · Mets infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League.

Norberto’s suspension will be effective immediately once he signs with another Major League organization. All other suspensions are effective immediately. None of the players will appeal their discipline.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, all of whom already have served 50-game suspensions as a result of their violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program stemming from their connections to Biogenesis, will not receive additional discipline.

Major League Baseball’s investigation found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia.

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Good Riddance Jordany http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/good-riddance-jordany.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/good-riddance-jordany.html/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:53:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126519 While everybody in the sports world is focused on Alex Rodriguez today, the Mets universe just imploded with news that not one but TWO New York Mets will be suspended by MLB for 50 games.

Look, we all knew that Cesar Puello was involved. It was just a matter of time, and I still contend to this day that since the Mets knew that he was involved they didn’t feel rushed to promote Puello. With Puello, it is what it is.

But what’s this? Jordany Valdespin, suspended for 50 games? Say it ain’t so. The most polarizing bench player in all of baseball, using…PED’s? I guess you could say that Jordany Had A Bad Day?

You know, I am sick and tired of hearing Valdespin’s name even associated with the New York Mets. I’m all for giving a guy a second chance – I’ll give Byrd a second chance, I’ll give Puello a second chance, heck I even gave Ryan Braun a second chance. Valdespin has had more chances than any .219 career hitter deserves.

From the day he posed wearing a Miami Marlins caps, I was done with him. (Hey now we know where he got that hat right?)jordany valdespin

He is the poster child for everything that is wrong with professional athletes today. He’s a young, arrogant player with minimal talent who thinks he deserves it all.

With regards to PED’s, I do not believe they will ever leave the game until the players themselves police it. Peer acceptance is critical for athletes. It’s up to the leaders in the clubhouse to show these players that their involvement with PED’s is unacceptable. Perhaps the Mets found out about Valdespin sooner than we think, which could explain some recent happenings? If that is the case, then bravo to the Mets.

I hope this is the last I ever hear of Jordany Valdespin in a Mets uniform. He’s a subpar player who apparently needs PED’s just to achieve that label. He has been nothing but trouble for this franchise, and today was the final nail in the coffin.

He’s brought nothing but problems to this franchise, and created such a divide among players and even fans. I’m tired of the countless excuses in favor of Jordany, and conspiracy theories surrounding how the Mets treat him.

I hope the Mets respond by cutting Valdespin, and forcing him to go find another team with his shiny MLB resume. Be sure to use the whole “I never got a chance,” story – GM’s will love that.

Following the Pirates/Plunking incident Valdespin tweeted (in translation) “They criticize me to lower my self-esteem but I’m going straight to the top. I was not born to lose.”

Valdespin you’re right, you weren’t born to lose – you became a loser with years of practice. Good riddance.

Author Note: In January of 2013, I wrote about the Biogenesis scandal here at MMO. The original list that was first reported included Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Gio Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez.

When this new broke, I honestly was only surprised about one name – Gio Gonzalez. I didn’t accuse Gonzalez of anything, I responded to the report and while I still believe Gonzalez used poor judgment, MLB has cleared him which means I owe Gonzalez an apology, so I was wrong and am sorry (now Gio can sleep at night I am sure).

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