Mets Merized Online » Livan Hernandez Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Are The Mets Ignoring The Cuban Market? Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:42:43 +0000 abreu chapman

Chris asks….

Why are the Mets ignoring Cuban prospects? They showed no interest in Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig. They also passed on Jose Fernandez who was selected immediately after the Mets drafted Brandon Nimmo, and made no attempt to sign Aroldis Chapman. Who is in charge of Latin America scouting for the Mets and why are they ignoring one of the hottest international markets in baseball?

Teddy replies…

First of all, that is an age – old question. The Mets haven’t really invested in any Cuban player since Omar with Alay Soler, El Duque, and Livan Hernandez, and those were just very minor signings. They have historically shied away from big-ticket Cuban players, and have been unwilling to spend for Chapman, Ramirez, Puig, Cespedes, and Abreu.

The main word to describe any of these cases has always been “spending.” Many of these players come from leagues with drastic areas of skill, some of whom are in the AA range and others in the MLB range. And even though they are the elite, they are still unproven. It’s a big risk to throw millions of dollars into that unknown void (Then again “spending” hasn’t really applied lately anywhere for the Mets).

The Jose Fernandez failure was a domestic scouting blunder under draft director Tommy Tanous. But the most important question was about the Latin American Scouting Director, who had changed from the great Ismael Cruz (who was there for Chapman only) to unknown scout Chris Becerra. He didn’t seem to have any scouting experience in Latin America which makes him puzzling.

However, I doubt he would harness enough power to convince the ownership to spend tens of millions of dollars, especially on the advice of an unproven Latin American Scouting Director. That responsibility falls on the General Manager who has the ultimate decision, and so does the fault if these players excel.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Todd Pratt Goes Boom Edition! Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:04:07 +0000 A lot of things can happen in 14 years. Children are born, people die, presidents are elected, and fads come and go. (Remember the Macarena?) But I can’t believe it was 14 years ago today that one of the most overlooked moments in Mets history took place.

Yes, today is the 14th anniversary of when  Todd “The Tank” Pratt went boom to lead the Mets past the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1999 NLDS.

I remember waking up just in time to see Todd Pratt, the Mets back-up catcher who was subbing for the injured Mike Piazza, take Diamondbacks closer Matt Mantai’s fastball over the centerfield wall.

I was working for the heavy metal band, Shango at the time, and I had gotten home at around 6:00 AM from an overnight gig. I generally don’t sleep into the afternoon, but I was so tired from the night before and I missed the first nine innings of the game. I turned on the television while still being barely conscious to hear Chris Berman utter (more like scream) that now famous play by play:

Oh… That’s hit well to centerfield…

Finley goes back… BACK! BACK!!!!! (long pause)


I remember watching Diamondbacks centerfielder, Steve Finley make what looked to be a leaping grab of the ball, but I saw the look of despair in his eyes and when he bowed his head in shame. I was totally awake (hung-over, but awake) and screaming at the top of my lungs!

Yes the Mets would be eliminated by the insidious Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, but if it was not for Todd Pratt – a man who just a scant years before was out of baseball and working at a Dominos Pizza franchise – the Mets may not of gotten that far.

So what are your memories of that incredible Mets moment?

We at MMO wish Todd Pratt all the best in his battle with head and neck cancer which he revealed in August. So far so good, for the former Met catcher… After surgery to remove the tumors, his cancer is now in remission and he says he feels good and doctors tell him he’s healthy.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

Utility man from the ’98 season, Jim Tatum is 46 (1967). In his lone season with the Mets, Tatum played every position except for shortstop, second base and pitcher!

One third of “Generation K” Bill Pulsipher is 40 (1973). Oh what could have been!

Starting pitcher from the ’06 season, Alay Soler is 34 (1979). Soler was the one of the few Cuban defectors the Mets signed in the past decade. But unlike an El Duque or a Livan Hernandez, Alay never lived up to the hype. He only pitched in eight games for the Mets, posting a record of 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.

Reserve outfielder from the ’11 season, Jason Pridie is 30 (1983). Pridie played in 101 games for the Mets that season, batting a paltry .231 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs.

Other notables include:

The  Oakland Athletics claimed both reserve outfielder Matt Watson and utility infielder Marco Scutaro of the New York Mets on waivers on October 9, 2003. As of this past season Scutaro was still an active player with the Giants, makes you wish the Mets never put him through waivers huh?

Mo Vaughn nearly choked on his third helping of Dominos Pizza when he saw Pratt hit that homerun!!!!

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “Songs That Best Describe The Mets” Edition Tue, 20 Aug 2013 12:20:47 +0000 In today’s ever changing world, the art form of music is extremely important. Classical Music calms us down, Hard Rock and Hip Hop can give us a feeling of angst as well as euphoria , Adult Contemporary can make us contemplative and this new pop//techno//Bieber style is just well….. CRAP !

But the type of music a ballplayer uses when he steps up to the plate or runs out to the mound is rather important as well. It can create a feeling of fear or anxiety to the opposing batter/pitcher. This is sometimes purposeful – case in point the use of the Metallica song “Enter Sandman” as Mariano Rivera‘s intro song. If you are a batter and you hear that song , well you know you have a Sisyphean task ahead of you.

Oftentimes their musical choice is just a play on their name or personality, and yes sometimes they mean absolutely nothing at all… But not in this exercise…

I now present you with my list of songs that our current Mets players should be using as their walk up/intro music:

David Wright should be walking up to the strains of “I’m Your Captain” by Grand Funk.

Middle reliever, Scott Atchinson should enter the game to “Old Man” by Neil Young.

The recently promoted Travis d’Arnaud should use “New Kid In Town” by The Eagles as his theme until he gets more experienced.

The case of Marlon Byrd it is quite simple – “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Matt Harvey should walk to the mound with the song “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor blasting through the P.A. system.

And an appropriate song for Zack Wheeler is “Wheel In The Sky” by Journey .

Last but not least, if there was a song that should best describe the Mets future it should be “Movin On Up” – The theme from The Jefferson’s!

So what do you think ? Agree/disagree? What song would you use for a player that was either mentioned or not? Feel free to write your choices in the comments section.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Utility player from 1962, Cliff Cook is 87 (1936) .

Reserve outfielder from the ’09 season, Cory Sullivan is 34 (1979).

Middle reliever from the ’09 season, Lance Broadway is 30 (1983).

Some other notables...

  • The  New York Mets purchased the contract of spot starter/middle reliever, Bill Connors from the Chicago Cubs on August 20, 1967.
  • The New York Mets purchased the contract of starting pitcher Ray Burris from the New York Yankees on August 20, 1979.
  • The New York Mets signed free agent utility infielder, Larry Bowa on August 20, 1985. Bowa’s tenure with the Mets was rather short. He played in 14 games for the Mets, batting .105 with just 2 RBIs.
  • The New York Mets traded minor league infielders, Sean Henry and Jose Castro, to the Cincinnati Reds for reserve outfielder/first baseman, Jeff  Conine on August 20, 2007.
  • The New York Mets released starting pitcher, Livan Hernandez on August 20, 2009.

The song that best describes Mo Vaughn is “I Want Candy’ !!!!!

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Ex-Met Hernandez, No Longer Livan’ In The High Life Tue, 20 Oct 2009 04:37:44 +0000 2009 has been a year to forget for, former-Met, Livan Hernandez from a personal standpoint.

I had reported back in August that Hernandez was being sued over damage done to a rental car.

Unfortunately, now the pitcher’s troubles have hit closer to home…literally.

Robert Snell at the Detroit News, who also broke the two IRS cases against Ron Darling and Darryl Strawberry, is now reporting that the former Mets pitcher is in danger of having his home in Miami, Florida foreclosed.

According to the report, that on top of his home being foreclosed, Hernandez owes a considerable amount of debt to numerous organizations.

Apparently, the pitcher owes more than $6,000 to two different property management groups. The pitcher is even accused of stiffing his pool maintenance guy of more than $1,000.

And, yes, to top it all off the IRS claims he owes more than $300,000 in unpaid taxes. As Snell points out, the right-hander has made over $50 million in his career, so you’d like to think that he will be able to pay off these debts, but who knows.

The 34 year-old pitcher had expressed interest in returning to the Nationals next season, but you have to wonder if these financial woes will deter the team from bringing him back.

What is it with all these Mets not paying their taxes?

Granted, I understand that numerous celebrities are involved in similar issues, but it just seems that as of late these celebrities are somehow connected to the Mets.

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Livan Hernandez Is Released Then Sued Wed, 26 Aug 2009 21:30:05 +0000 Just days after being released by the New York Mets, pitcher Livan Hernandez was handed a $16,000 lawsuit, TMZ reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed by a man named Luis Vizcaino, states that Livan had used him as his personal driver throughout the 2009 season for when he was in New York.

According to the suit, Hernandez owes Vizcaino $7,500 for his services as a driver. The suit also alleges that the pitcher totaled Vizcaino’s Lincoln Navigator when it was loaned to him, which is where the other $8,500 is coming from.

If the lawsuit is in fact legitimate, shame on Livan. Here’s a baseball player, who this year alone made one million dollars alone, and is trying to skip out of town without paying off the debt he owes.

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Livan On a Jet Plane Thu, 20 Aug 2009 20:19:01 +0000 Get it? Okay, anyway. According to, the Mets have announced that Billy Wagner has been activated from the disabled list. To make room for Wagner, the Mets have released pitcher Livan Hernandez.

Hernandez was 7-8 with a 5.47 ERA. Hernandez started the year off strong, but since July 3rd at Philadelphia, he really hasn’t shown the Mets much.

You know, the one thing I could never stand about him was how he never seemed to care on the mound. He’s very much like El Duque in a sense that they can just throw all day. The big difference was, Duque showed emotion, and didn’t look like he was out there just to collect a paycheck.

Hernandez was scheduled to start on Saturday against Philadelphia versus J.A. Happ.

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Livan Gets Rocked By Giants 10-1 Tue, 18 Aug 2009 12:03:18 +0000 For the second straight game, the Mets were forced to play without any of their core players and this time it really showed as they were annihilated by the Giants 10-1. It was the Mets’ 12th loss in their last 18 games, and things are really starting to go downhill fast.

Livan Hernandez started and he was absolutely torched by the Giants batters who were teeing off on him like it was batting practice. He ended up lasting just 5.1 innings, but in the process he allowed six runs on eleven hits and a walk. Livan is clearly gassed and has hit the skids in the second half with a 6.55 ERA in six starts. Hernandez has an 11.30 ERA in his past three outings. I’ve had enough of the Hernandez siblings.

Elmer Dessens relieved Livan and looked solid, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit or walk. Not bad at all, but then along came trouble… Tim Redding started the eight inning and got pummeled for three more runs on four hits. His ERA now stands at 6.42 this season. What a terrible addition he has been… In 69 innings pitched, he has allowed 83 hits, 39 walks and 49 runs. Nelson Figueroa pitched the final inning and gave up the Giants’ tenth run of the game.

The Mets lone run came courtesy of Gary Sheffield who singled home Cory Sullivan who had two hits and a walk batting leadoff. Dan Murphy also had a couple of hits while batting in the cleanup spot. Speaking of the cleanup spot, I have to say that as long as I’ve been watching baseball, I have never see outfielders come in and play so shallow when a cleanup hitter comes to the plate. It was so freaky watching the Giants come all the way in and then go all the way back deep when Jeff Francoeur came to the plate.

After the game, Jerry Manuel said that Livan Hernandez will remain in the rotation. Now don’t go flipping out on him, as the fact of the matter is what other options does he have? Obviously, all those untouchable arms we apparently have in the minors can’t seem to get AA batters out so what help can they offer? There’s really nothing else he can do and his choices are not only limited, but pretty bad as well.

The Mets begin a three-game series against the Braves tonight; Derek Lowe versus Oliver Perez. How fitting.

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Snake-bit Mets Fall To Diamondbacks 3-2 Sat, 01 Aug 2009 03:43:33 +0000 The five game winning streak that rejuvenated a fan base is now just a forgotten memory as the Mets lose their second straight tonight at Citi Field. The Diamondbacks took the first game of the series 3-2 after scoring the winning run on a wild pitch by Sean Green.

Livan Hernandez started the game and delivered his third straight solid performance. Hernandez held the D-Backs to just two runs on four hits in six innings of work. The two runs came courtesy of two solo homers, one by Mark Reynolds (his 29th), and another by Miguel Montero (his 10th).

The Mets scored both of their runs on solo homers, one by Daniel Murphy who crushed his sixth homer of the season to rightfield. The other homer was by David Wright, his seventh of the season. Wright also had two walks in the game. That was all of the scoring as the Mets were held to just four hits in the game.

The Mets did have a chance to break the game open in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the base of  D-backs starter Doug Davis. But Jerry Manuel decided to pinch hit Angel Berroa for Livan Hernandez, and Berroa grounded into a fielder’s choice on the first pitch for the third out.

The Mets were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base tonight.

With the score tied 2-2 tie in the eighth, reliever Pedro Feliciano allowed a single and was replaced by an ineffective Sean Green who then loaded the bases with a walk and a hit batsman. Daniel Murphy than made a spectacular 3-2-3 double play and it looked like the Mets were going to get out of the inning without any damage. But Green uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Justin Upton to score from third base and put the D-Backs up 3-2.

That was about it, as the Mets went quietly in the eighth and ninth innings.

Frankie Rodriguez has still not pitched in a save situation since before the All Star break.

Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo are 1-for-15 in the last two games batting first and second, and Jeff Francoeur is hitless since Manuel put him into the cleanup spot, although as GKR mentioned, he has hit the ball as hard as you can.

The offense has reverted back to the one we grew accustomed to before the five game winning streak. During the pre game, Bobby Ojeda said that the Mets needed to trade for someone if only to reward the team for trying so hard this past week. Another bat, especially Victor Martinez, would have provided a nice boost and helped the Mets try to secure that wild card spot. However, it wasn’t meant to be.

Oliver Perez takes the hill tomorrow at 7:10 PM.

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Mets Rocket Past Astros 8-3, Take The Series 2-1 Sun, 26 Jul 2009 21:37:07 +0000 This afternoon, the suddenly revitalized Mets launched a 13 hit attack against the Astros to beat them 8-3, and take the series two games to one. It was the second straight win for the Mets who have been fueled by the hot hitting of Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo, and clutch hitting of Jeff Francoeur. Even David Wright seems to be getting into the act.

Livan Hernandez started the game and it looked like he wouldn’t survive the first inning after allowing three straight run scoring doubles. But the Astros ran themselves out of the inning, getting thrown out at the plate for the second out and then Schneider gunned down Hunter Pence at second base for the third out. Livan would shutdown the ‘Stros for the next six innings. He walked just one batter and struck out a season high, seven batters. It was the second straight solid start for Livan who picks up his seventh win of the season. Stay focused Livan, we need you!

The Mets would come roaring back and scored three runs in the third to tie the game, and then two more runs in the fifth inning to take the lead and never look back.

The Mets had three triples in the game and all three figured into the scoring. Castillo, Pagan, and Jeremy Reed each drove in runs. Angel Pagan has been a spark-plug since rejoining the Mets, and has produced with his bat, his glove, and his arm which he showcased today; nailing Geoff Blum at homeplate. He has an eight game hitting streak. A real Angel in the outfield, I love it!

Alex Cora, Luis Castillo and David Wright each had two hits, Wright nearly homered in the ninth and had to settle for a double. Jeff Francoeur drove in two more runs today and now has 14 RBIs in 12 games as a Met. After the game, Manuel said that Francoeur has energized a number of players that needed some recharging including David Wright. He said the clubhouse has had a positive energy and different dynamic since his arrival. Wow!

Everybody in the Mets lineup had a hit today. Teamwork!

Sean Green earned a four out save in the game, his first of the season. Nice job Greenie!

It was a great series win for the Mets who looked like a team with something to prove. This team ain’t done yet!

The Mets now hop on a plane back home, and will host the Colorado Rockies for a big four game series starting Monday. The Rockies currently lead the Wild Card chase, but with a few wins the Mets could resuscitate their season and get back in striking distance. Wouldn’t that be nice? Oliver Perez will try to keep the momentum going.

Lets Go Mets!

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Random Stats and Thoughts Wed, 22 Jul 2009 16:12:39 +0000 We can beat a dead horse all day long about how bad and disappointing the 2009 Mets have become, and how we’re going to have to endure a few months of meaningless baseball now that all hope for the playoffs is basically lost.  So instead of beating the horse, I’m just going to point out a few things I noticed when perusing stats last night (through Sunday’s games)…..

The Mets have 53 home runs, worst in the majors.  The Phillies have 126 and the Yankees 136.  Gary Sheffield leads the team with 10 homers, and David Wright still only has 5.  FIVE. 

Speaking of Wright, while he’s batting a respectable .322, his 5 homers and 44 RBI puts him in the company of guys like Jacoby Ellsbury (5, 29), Freddy Sanchez (6, 34) or Pat Burrell (5, 32).  Those are decent players, but Wright is supposed to be more in the company of guys like Ryan Braun (16, 58) or Albert Pujols (34, 90).  In fact, Wright has similar power numbers to teammate Daniel Murphy (5, 29).  What the hell is that?

The Mets have 814 hits and 362 RBI.  The Phillies have 804 hits and 457 RBI.  Think about that….less hits, but almost 100 more runs batted in? 

The Mets have one complete game, and it’s not by Johan…it’s by Livan.  The Giants and Royals each have 8 complete games to lead the majors.  The GIANTS and ROYALS.

Mets’ pitchers have given up 361 walks, trailing only Washington (365) for worst in the majors.  And of course, their 10 balks leads the majors by far, thanks mostly to Pelfrey’s “yips.” 

The Mets could have had Raul Ibanez, who has 24 homers, 65 RBI and is batting .316 for you-know-who.  

The Phillies’ notable rookie this year is pitcher JA Happ, who is 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA and 65 strikeouts.  The Mets’ notable rookie is F-Mart, who is batting .176 with one homer and 8 RBI. 

Amazingly, the Mets’ hitters have only struck out 501 times, which is best in the majors.  But I guess power hitters strike out more, and the Mets have almost no power, so in that context it makes sense. 

The Phillies’ top home run hitters are Ibanez (24), Ryan Howard (23), Chase Utley (21) and Jayson Werth (20).  The Mets’ top home run hitters are Sheffield (10), Carlos Beltran (8), and Wright (5).  Oh, and Jeff Francoeur also has 5, but he hit most of those with the Braves. 

I probably just made you all sick, and I’m right there with you.  I can’t wait for this season to be over so we can move on!

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Mets Take Down The Nats 6-2 Tue, 21 Jul 2009 00:35:20 +0000 Editor’s note: Drew Costello originally wrote this on Mets Fans Forever

The Mets defeated the Washington Nationals by a score of 6-2 Monday night. Livan Hernandez got the win going seven strong innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. After a few shaky outings in a row, Hernandez was seemingly in control for the entire night. The only damage that was done came in the bottom of the fourth when Josh Bard doubled down the right field line scoring two.

Livan was pitching for his spot in the rotation tonight. He earned himself at least one more start, but I hate to judge it on a start against the Nationals. He has dominated the Nationals since leaving the team and has not been great against other teams.

Great base running in the early innings and a strong night from Jeff Francoeur powered the Mets offense. Francoeur had 3 hits including a double and his first home run as a Met. Francoeur in a post game interview said that David Wright has been helping him with his batting stance.

It has been a small sample size, but Francoeur has been a pleasant addition to the ball club. A fresh start may be just what he needed to get back to his 05-06 form.

The Mets were able to use heads up base running to score all night. The Nationals kept making the mistake of throwing the ball home instead of hitting the cut off man to prevent runners from getting into scoring position.

It was nice to see the Mets play smart for once. They made all the plays in the field and took advantage of mental errors by the Nats. These are the things the Mets have to do to win ball games with the AAA lineup they field every day.

The Mets will be back in action on Tuesday night as they continue the three game series with the Nationals. Oliver Perez (2-2 7.99) will take on John Lannan (6-7 3.64)

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Now Batting Sixth… First Baseman… Livan Hernandez Mon, 20 Jul 2009 15:39:02 +0000 From the archives of the strange, but true…

The Mets may have found themselves a new utility infielder who can play first base, third base, pinch hit, and even pitch a complete game.

And the best part is, we don’t have to give up any propsects to get him because he’s already on the team.

Adam Rubin of the Daily News explains in his excellent blog Surfing The Mets,

Manuel said he has another use for Hernandez. With the Mets completing the weekend with a three-man bench while Sheffield’s hamstring mends, the manager indicated Hernandez could pinch-hit, or play first or third base if necessary. Manuel insisted he was serious, and that Hernandez manned those positions in Cuba.

Wow. I know things were bad, but I had no idea that they were this bad.

Also, from the “Take The Damn Foot Out Of Your Mouth” department…

Jerry Manuel proudly proclaimed last week that any Mets starter that had three poor performances in a row, “would be yanked from the rotation”.

It was probably one of Manuel’s most ridiculous comment in a season that has been full of ridiculous quotes from the skipper.

Anyway, after two poor starts by Livan Hernandez, he was told that he is not in any danger of being “yanked from the rotation”.

It appears to me, that everytime Manuel tries to be Berra-esque, all he does is undermine his own credibility.

In another brain freeze moment, this weekend, when asked to comment about Sheffield’s leg injury he said,

“They’re calling it cramps . . . surgery on Thursday.”

Manuel then erupted with laughter and abruptly stopped laughing when he realized that SNY had the camera rolling. Manuel then offered an apology, ”I couldn’t resist. Sorry, doctors.”

He then pleaded twice with Kevin Burkhardt not to run the footage, but Burkhardt told him he couldn’t do that.

Poor Jerry… he still doesn’t understand the power of the press…

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Three Strikes And Your Out? Great Idea! Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:41:02 +0000 Michael Baron of MetsBlog had an interesting quote from Jerry Manuel in a post this morning regarding the starting rotation.

The Mets have setup their rotation for after the break and it will go as follows beginning with the four games against the Atlanta Braves.

  1. Oliver Perez on Thursday (Braves)
  2. Mike Pelfrey on Friday (Braves)
  3. Johan Santana on Saturday (Braves)
  4. Fernando Nieve on Sunday (Braves)
  5. Livan Hernandez on Monday (Nationals)

Jerry Manuel then told reporters that lefthander Jonathan Niese, who is having a solid two months in Class-AAA Buffalo, would take the place of a starter who has “three bad outings in a row”.

Michael points out that the threat applies mostly to Livan Hernandez who in his last two starts is 0-2 with a 19.29 ERA, allowing 21 hits, eight walks, and 15 earned runs in his last seven innings and has lost his last four starts.

I have absolutely no problem with the three strikes and your out theme, and in fact I applaud it.

I only wish that we could the apply that same measure to the general manager Omar Minaya.

I don’t want to hear him whining about the injuries, because he was in a position to react to them with through trades and free agency and he chose not to.

I don’t want to hear him say that the minor leagues had no major league ready talent to call upon when guys like Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran went down. Omar had five years to build our minor leagues and he should be held responsible for a system that is ranked 26th out of 30 and has no prospects in Baseball America’s Top 25.

Has Omar had some shining moments? Of course he has, just like Willie Randolph did, and yes even Livan Hernandez.

But after two straight collapses and the potential for another doomed season lurking in the background, why should he not have the same three strikes rule applied to him?

Hopefully, the Mets can pick themselves up and go on to win the division. That would be my dream come true for the season. But anything short of that, would require drastic action. And even though I’m not exactly thrilled with Jerry Manuel’s managerial acumen, if anyone deserves a free pass for this season, it’s him. Omar however, already got two free strikes and in baseball it’s three strikes and you’re out.

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MetsMerized Player Of The Week! 6/21-6/28 Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:30:15 +0000

Alright, so I was going to say “I hope everyone’s having a good day”, but watching K-rod walk Mariano last night has sucked the life out of me. I wasn’t favoring the umpire’s strike zone last night, or the ESPN announcers…but that’s not what I’m writing about. I do hope everyone’s having a good day, and I hope you’ll enjoy keeping track of this. The MetsMerized Player of the Week is an old feature that we’re trying to resurrect here on MetsMerized, and I’ll be trying to keep it going every week. I’ll be honoring the position player or pitcher I feel deserves it the most every week. I’ll keep a track of who wins the “award” the most, and I’ll also make sure to put in some honorary mentions each week as well. So, here we go!

This week, and this actually shocks me, I think the best player on the Mets was…Luis Castillo. Really!

Castillo batted .368 (7-19) on the week and was scalding hot against the Cardinals, batting .500 over that series. Over the last seven days, Castillo led the Mets in Hits (7), Runs (5) and OBP .478. He was also tied for the lead in Total Bases (8) and Walks (4) and he managed to throw in a stolen base as well. He also played a perfect week on defense.

He seemed pretty set on redeeming himself after the dropped pop-up, and I give him his due credit. He’s had it rough with the injury to Reyes and Martinez, because he really doesn’t have a back-up unless you count Argenis, who can barely hit his weight. So Kudos To Castillo!

Honorable Mentions :

Nick Evans : .444 (4-9) 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 TB, 1 2B

Livan Hernandez : 2 GS, 3.21 ERA in 14 IP. 2 QS (Quality Starts; 6 Innings+, 3 Runs or less).

What do you guys think?

Of Note 6/21-6/28 :

David Wright, Argenis Reyes, And Jeremy Reed were the only Met position players to not have an RBI last week. David Wright! Come on. And Fernando Martinez batted .067 last week. Ouch.

The Mets had a whopping three home runs last week. (Sheffield, Murphy, Evans.)

The above-mentioned Livan Hernandez is really saving us. In addition to him, Santana managed a quality start against the Cardinals (What’s new?) and Fernando Nieve shutout the Cardinals for 6 innings. His ERA is now 1.31. Wow.

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Orioles Walk Off With 5-4 Win After K-Rod Falters Fri, 19 Jun 2009 04:01:24 +0000 Game Summary

Livan Hernandez was on his way toward his sixth win of the season after delivering another solid performance, but Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save of the season and the Orioles won it on a walk-off single by Aubrey Huff to give the Birds a 5-4 win.

Game Recap

Livan Hernandez delivered yet another quality start and held the Orioles to just two runs in seven innings pitched. He allowed eight hits, walked one, and struck out four batters.

Pedro Feliciano pitched to one batter who quickly doubled and was quickly replaced by Sean Green who allowed the runner to score, but finished the inning with no further damage.

With a one-run lead in the ninth inning, Francisco Rodriguez came into the game and simply didn’t have any control. He allowed a leadoff double, walked the next batter, and loaded the bases with no outs. He walked Adam Jones to tie the game, and the Aubrey Huff singled in the winning run resulting in K-Rod’s second blown save of the season. Nobody’s perfect I guess…

Offensively, the Mets were held in check by rookie Jason Berken who had a 15.25 ERA in his last two starts for five innings, striking out seven times.

Finally they broke through and got on the board in the sixth inning with a leadoff single by Alex Cora another single by Carlos Beltran, and a sac fly by David Wright. Ryan Church then ripped a single off the wall in right field to drive in the Mets second run of the game.

The Mets then managed to add two more runs in the seventh, first on Daniel Murphy’s RBI double and then on a run-scoring single by Beltran against reliever Danys Baez.

They left nine runners on base and blew a couple of chances to add on runs.

Game Thoughts and Notes

The Mets have now lost their third straight series, and fourth in the last five series. They are 5-10 in their last 15 games.

David Wright was held hitless for the second straight game.

The Phillies lost to Toronto before the Mets took the field, but the Mets fail to take advantage and still remain three games back.

John Maine will not come off the disabled list Monday when he can be activated, and the Mets are uncertain when he will rejoin the rotation.

Game Ball

Livan Hernandez – Nice job!

On Deck

The Mets now face a tough home stand starting with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, followed by the Cardinals and then the Yankees. Fasten your seat belts.

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It Feels Like September in June Wed, 03 Jun 2009 19:07:23 +0000 A week ago, I wrote how Livan Hernandez was one of the reasons the Mets were staying in contention despite injuries to half the team.  Now, as Jose Reyes is put on the DL and viruses and other nagging injuries are affecting more of the Mets, it feels like they are all jumping overboard while that big ship known as the Philadelphia Phillies has just blown right by, making the water choppy around those NYM lifeboats. 


I don’t know about you, but the last few days I’ve had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, and what I’m feeling is not the Beltran/Maine virus….it’s AGITA.  Davey Johnson, where are my Rolaids?  Seriously, the last two Septembers have wreaked havoc on our collective gut, as our Mets kept losing and the Phils kept winning.  Now, with May giving way to June, all of the injuries seem to be catching up to the Mets, as they have lost two straight games to the Pirates, while Philly has beaten the Padres twice in a row in San Diego after sweeping the Nationals over the weekend.  A half-game lead is now a 2.5 game deficit, and don’t kid yourself into thinking that gap won’t grow wider in a big hurry. Yes, folks, it’s September in June. 


Okay, so two losses are no reason to hit the panic button again, especially because there have been so many bright spots this season, including a few nice winning streaks.  But this is less about the Mets and more about the Phillies.  They are mostly healthy, and they made the big offensive off-season move the Mets didn’t by signing Raul Ibanez Mantle.  Seriously though, did anyone see that coming?  (Side not to MLB: you might want to check the milk in Raul’s corn flakes).  And last night, with Brett Myers possibly out for the season, the Phillies get six innings of one-run ball from rookie Antonio Bastardo.  Ha.  Does that name fit how we feel about the Phillies, or what? 

In trying to joke here, I’m only doing it to hide the pain we’re all starting to feel.  We can get healthy and get back in this race, but it’s going to take a .600 winning percentage or better against Philly, and it’s going to take some help from the Phils’ opponents.  How confident are all of you?

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Mets Can’t Afford A June Swoon Mon, 01 Jun 2009 00:30:07 +0000 As the calendar changes from May to June, the Mets find themselves a half game behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.  They have managed to stay at or near the top of the division despite the fact that the Mets have become the walking wounded.  In 2006, it was the month of June that propelled the Mets into the runaway train that dominated the division.  The Mets must find a way to look back at that performance three years ago if they want to spring ahead in the division race this year.

Although the Mets had a fast start in 2006, becoming the first team to have a seven-game lead in the division in the month of April, they seemed to coast through May.  By the time early June came around, their lead had shrunk to three and a half games and the Phillies were knocking on the door to first place.  That’s when the Mets took off, scoring in the first inning in what seemed like every game.  By the time June was over, the Mets had a 12-game lead in the NL East and never looked back.  The 2009 Mets now have a chance to take over first place and start building on that lead.

The Phillies begin the month of June on the West Coast, taking on the San Diego Padres for three games followed by a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, or as I like to call them, the team with the best record in baseball.  At the same time, the Mets will be playing four games in Pittsburgh and three games in Washington, or as I like to call them, the team with the worst record in baseball.  The Mets swept both of these teams at Citi Field in the past three weeks.  If the Mets are going to follow the example set by the 2006 Mets, this is the week to do it.

Jose Reyes is set to return from the disabled list by the end of this week.  He will be needed to set the table so that the Mets can score early and often.  This formula was instrumental in the Mets hot streak in June 2006.  Once they scored in the first inning, their pitchers took over, never letting the opposition feel like they had a chance to come back from the early deficit.  This year’s Mets can do the same thing.  Their starting pitchers have made quite a turnaround from their gloomy April.  There was a time that every starter not named Johan Santana had an ERA over 7.00.  That is clearly not the case now.  Over his last seven starts, John Maine is 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA.  In the same seven-start stretch, Mike Pelfrey is 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA.  Even Livan Hernandez was impressive in May, going 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

A combination of scoring early and often along with the continued success of the starting pitchers could produce a similar result this June to what the 2006 team did.  Also, the further the Mets get into the season, the healthier they should become.  The recent loss of Brett Myers leaves a gaping hole in the Phillies’ rotation.  For now, they are filling Myers’ spot in the rotation with Antonio Bastardo.  All signs are pointing to this being the time that the Mets can make their run in the division similar to 2006.  After a hot month of May for the Mets, a June swoon is not an option.  It all begins in Pittsburgh.  It’s time for our boys to step it up like we know they can!

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Redding – $2.25 MM, Perez – $36 MM, Livan… Priceless! Wed, 27 May 2009 20:51:18 +0000 Oh yeah, give it up for the big guy Livan Hernandez.

We’ll never know if he’s really 34 years old or 38 years old, but as long as he continues to pitch this effectivelly does it really matter?

Livan was in complete control last night, baffling Nationals hitters, keeping them off balance, and saving his best stuff for getting himself out of trouble. It was Starting Pitching 101 and class was definitely in session.

Lets hope that his complete game performance made a strong impresion on the rest of the staff, and that it will spark similar performances from Maine, Pelfrey and even Johan in the coming days. The key is to stop nibbling and attack the zone… pitch to contact and let the defense do their job, especially in the case of Mike Pelfrey who is blessed with that remarkable sink on his fastball.

Livan now sports a 4-1 record this season with a 4.28 ERA that continues to shrink everytime he takes the mound in May. For the month, he is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

His big win sets up what could be a 3-game sweep tonight when Johan Santana takes the mound.

L- Let the hitter know that YOU OWN the inside part of the plate.

I – Induce the groundball whenever you’re in trouble. It’s true what they say, the double play really is my best friend.

V – Vengeance! If they hit one of our guys, knock down one of their guys as soon as you’re back on the mound.

A – Attack the strike zone and conserve your pitches!

N – Never let them see you sweat! Growl when they get a hit and shout Cuban profanities if they homer off of you.

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Can We Now Say Livan is #2? Wed, 27 May 2009 15:54:18 +0000 During spring training, there were several pitchers competing for the fifth spot in the Mets’ rotation—Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, Jon Niese and Freddy Garcia.  When the smoke cleared, the (ahem) 34-year-old Hernandez won that spot and never looked back.  Now, after winning his fourth game against one loss last night by giving up one run and GOING THE DISTANCE against Washington, it’s safe to say that signing Livan was one of Omar Minaya’s best moves in the off-season. 


My question is this, though…..for as dominating as Livan has been so far, does last night’s game cement him as our #2 starter behind Johan?  I mean, Pelfrey and Maine are doing better than their collective April indicated, and have similar ERAs and won-loss records, but Livan has been a downright stopper.  Forget the radar gun too….he’s got stuff on his pitches that have kept his career going, and the fact that he throws so slow most of the time is a big reason Livan was able to pitch nine innings last night, throwing 127 pitches. 


True, in the grand scheme of the 2009 season, it doesn’t matter who is #2 or 3 or 4 or 5, and there is still a lot of baseball to be pitched and played this season.  But not only has Livan been a pleasant surprise and made many of us forget about Ollie Perez’ horrendous start, but he just might be the piece of the off-season puzzle that gets the Mets back to the postseason.  And who could have predicted that?

So is he #2?  Do you care?  I know I don’t, as long as he keeps doing what he’s doing. 

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Our Starters Have Been Pitching Well Tue, 26 May 2009 14:15:28 +0000 As April came to a close, I was very alarmed at the state of our starting pitching. Aside from Johan Santana, everyone had an ERA over 5.00 and questions lingered about the makeup of the rotation.

John Maine had an ERA of 5.40, Mike Pelfrey was at 6.32, Livan Hernandez was at risk of losing his job with a 6.75 ERA, and Oliver Perez was yanked from the rotation with a 9.97 ERA.

There were concerns about John Maine’s recovery from surgery, fears of Mike Pelfrey and the Verducci Effect, and Livan Hernandez was on the verge of losing his spot, except that Oliver Perez beat him to it.

The concern hit a fever pitch when the Mets announced that newly resigned Oliver Perez was placed on the DL with a knee ailment.

Things were looking very bleak.

Then as May rolled around and April faded away, things started coming together for the rotation.

John Maine found his control, Mike Pelfrey’s sinker started to sink again, and Livan Hernandez was keeping the Mets in the game.

All three are now showing significant improvement this month and are a combined 7-2 with a 3.32 ERA. Here is the breakdown:

John Maine: 3.30 ERA 3-1 

Mike Pelfrey: 3.34 ERA 2-1

Livan Hernandez: 3.33 ERA 2-0

While Maine, Pelfrey and Hernandez haven’t exactly blown anybody away, give them credit for the huge improvement and lets hope it continues as they get stronger and the weather gets warmer.

And as for Oliver Perez, he’s also coming along very well and recently pitched a solid game while rehabbing. He is now expected to pitch a rehab game in AAA, after which the Mets will determine if he is ready to rejoin the rotation.

I guess April showers do bring May flowers…

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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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