Mets Merized Online » matt cain Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Game Recap: Giants 4, Mets 2 Sat, 07 Jun 2014 03:00:10 +0000 jon niese

The Mets (28-33), who hoped to bounce back after being swept by the Chicago Cubs, lost 4-2 to the Giants (40-21) to drop their fourth game in a row and are now 4-5 on their current 11 game road trip.

Jon Niese, who faced off against Matt Cain, matched zeros with the Giants starter until the fifth inning when Niese gave a one-out triple to Brandon Hicks and then a sac fly by Brandon Crawford scored Hicks from third to put the Giants up 1-0. In the seventh inning, after the Mets took a 2-1 lead, Niese walked Hicks with two outs and then threw a wild pitch, advancing the tying run to second base. A single by Crawford scored Hicks to tie the game at 2-2. Niese, who hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game this season, continued that streak as he allowed only two runs on Friday.

Carlos Torres replaced Niese in the bottom of the eighth and quickly walked lead-off hitter Angel Pagan on four pitches, then after a fielders choice moved the go ahead run to second base, Buster Posey launched a two-run home run to left center field to put the Giants up 4-2. Torres escaped more damaged as he struck out Hicks with two runners on to end the inning. Torres threw an inning, giving up two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out a batter. The big blow was the home run by Posey.

Offensively, the Mets could not muster a hit or for that matter get on base off Cain until the fifth inning when Curtis Granderson walked to break the streak at 12 batters. Andrew Brown then quickly grounded into a double play to erase the base runner.

In the top of the sixth inning, hot hitting Rubin Tejada broke up Cain’s no hitter, but Travis d’Arnaud quickly erased any threat by hitting into a double play. In the seventh inning, Matt den Dekker doubled to left filed and Daniel Murphy launched a two-run home run with his “deceptive power”, as Howie Rose put it, to put the Mets up 2-1. David Wright, Granderson and Brown then went in order to end the inning. 

After the Giants took the lead in the bottom of the eighth, the Mets went quietly in the top of the ninth to drop their fourth straight game.

Game Notes:

Jon Niese pitched another solid game tossing seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, one walk, struck out three batters and deserved a better fate.

Daniel Murphy went 1 for 4, with a run scored, home run, and two RBI.

Ruben Tejada was 2 for 3 and raised his batting average to .239 on the season.

Up Next: The Mets will be in San Francisco for game two of their three game series with the Giants. Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52) will face off against Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75) with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 PM.


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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Giants, 10:15 PM Sat, 07 Jun 2014 00:54:11 +0000 at&t park giants

The Mets begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday against the Giants who own an MLB-best 39-21 record.

Jon Niese (3-3, 2.69 ERA) gets the start for the Mets and will be opposed by right-hander Matt Cain (1-3, 3.66) in a 10:15 PM start at AT&T Park.

The Mets had six more walks last night and now lead the National League while ranking second in the majors with 229 walks. Oakland is first with 259 walks. The Mets have 63 walks in their last 10 games.

Mike Piazza said the Mets need to stop blaming Citi Field for their offensive struggles. “Don’t be so wrapped up into the environmental factors of the game, find a way to push through it,” Piazza said. “There is such a thing as productive outs, there is such a thing as finding a way to win, finding a way to get guys on and finding a way to get them home. You’ve got to be resourceful, you’ve got to be creative.”

Andrew Brown was promoted from Triple-A on Thursday and hit a game-tying two-run homer while batting in the cleanup spot. “We’ve put him in the middle there to see if he can do some damage,” Terry Collins said after the game. Brown was raking in Vegas, batting .359 with 13 HR, 12 doubles and a 1.178 OPS in just 142 at-bats.

Starting Lineup

  1. Matt den Dekker, CF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson, RF
  5. Andrew Brown, LF
  6. Lucas Duda, 1B
  7. Ruben Tejada, SS
  8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  9. Jon Niese, LHP

Game Preview

The Mets followed their 4-1 trip to Philly with an 0-3 trip to the struggling Cubs, essentially erasing everything they did in Philly. The Mets have no time to lament as they head to San Francisco to face the league leading Giants. Tonight Niese will get the start against Matt Cain.

Niese is 3-3 this season over 11 games and 70.1 innings with a 2.69 ERA. His last start against Philly was excellent going 8.0 innings allowing 2 ER and 1 BB with 6 K’s. Last year he faced the Giants once, getting the loss allowing 2 ER over 7.0 innings and 7 hits, 2 BB and 4 K’s. The Giants have the following numbers against Niese:

  • Pence 3-26
  • Morse 3-15, 3 2B
  • Posey 4-12, 2 2B, HR
  • Pagan 1-8, HR
  • Blanco 1-6
  • Sandoval 3-7

Matt Cain is 1-3 this season with a 3.66 ERA over 8 starts and 46.2 innings of work. Cain is coming off the DL tonight to face the Amazins. Last year he faced the Mets twice allowing 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned over 8.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Cain:

  • C Young 8-36, 2 2B
  • Wright 11-25, 6 2B
  • Murphy 3-13, 2B
  • Tejada 4-11
  • Abreu 1-5, 2B
  • Duda 1-6, 3B

Lets Go Mets!


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Wright Makes No Excuses, “We Were Outplayed” Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:37:42 +0000 david wright swings

What a difference three days can make. Heading into Friday’s series opener against the Cubs, the Mets were firing on all pistons after taking four of five games against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

However, things didn’t go as expected and the Mets were swept by the Cubs, dropping them to fourth place and four games under .500 for the season at 28-32.

“I thought we played well in Philadelphia,” David Wright said according to ESPN. “Here things just didn’t click for us. We didn’t pitch all that well. We didn’t hit all that well. We didn’t field all that well. It’s just the recipe for getting swept. That’s what happened. They played better than us in pretty much every area of the game. We didn’t play well at all.”

While manager Terry Collins attributed the poor play to his team being worn down and tired from the five game series in Philly, Wright said that was no excuse.

“I think we played well in Philadelphia, and then got here and didn’t play well,” Wright said. “You can use the excuse of the extra-inning games. You can use the excuse of whatever — 20 in a row. You can go on and on about the excuses. The fact is we just got outplayed in pretty much every area of the game.”

Wright and the Mets now go from playing the worst team in the league to the best, as they travel to San Francisco for a three game series with the 39-21 Giants. They’ll have a tall task.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us in San Francisco,” Collins said. “We’ll get on the plane tonight, we’ll hopefully get some rest and get after it tomorrow night. There are no secrets. You’ve got to keep playing hard.”

Collins expects to give Wright his first day off during one game in the weekend set, but the Mets captain was unaware after last night’s loss.

Additionally, Wright seemed perturbed when he was asked about being removed from the game during a double switch last night, curtly responding, “I don’t know, I’m not the manager.”


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Could Dexter Fowler Be The Cure To Mets’ Leadoff Problems Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:37:28 +0000 Cincinnati Reds v Colorado Rockies

While all the attention has been on the Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, it’s becoming very clear that the team is reluctant to move either of their two marquee players. However, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports does suggest that center fielder Dexter Fowler could be available.

Heyman confirms that the Rockies have already discussed Fowler with a couple of teams and that the St. Louis Cardinals were one of the teams to inquire about their talented center fielder who becomes a free agent after the 2014 season.

Last season, Fowler batted .263 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 415 at-bats, but it’s his .369 on-base percentage that would appeal to most teams including the Mets.

You could say that Fowler profiles as a poor man’s Shin-Soo Choo when you consider the overall package. His career .365 OBP in over five seasons is quite the attraction, but his .423 career slugging shows he has some surprising pop in his bat. He’s hit 25 home runs over the last two seasons and at 28-years old next April, he could be entering a power spike in his career.

For the Mets, who could certainly use a leadoff hitter, the switch-hitting Fowler may be the perfect solution. He seems to fall right in line with the Mets’ philosophy at the plate and his 13.2% walk rate was among one of the best marks in the league last season among leadoff men. He may not have the speed of Eric Young Jr., but the lanky outfielder has averaged 15 stolen bases and ten triples a season in his career.

Defensively, Fowler has the speed, range and instincts to play a solid center field and given the vast expanses of left field in Citi Field, he should be able to cover plenty of ground for the Mets and form a lethal defensive tandem with center fielder Juan Lagares.

Overall, Fowler has averaged a 2.4 fWAR over his last three seasons and he is just one season removed from 2012 when he posted a .863 OPS.

It’s tough to say what the Mets may have to give up to acquire Fowler, but the Rockies are said to be looking for a major league arm and while I’m not thrilled about moving Dillon Gee at this point, the Mets might be able to sell high on their righthander.

not typical metsmerized

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Wright Feels Fine After Getting Hit In The Head, Could Play Tonight If Everything Checks Out Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:36:40 +0000 david wright

David Wright was hit in the head by a pitch from Brewers starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg in the bottom of the third inning of during last night’s game against Milwaukee,

Wright ducked in an attempt to get out of the way of the inside pitch which still drilled him off the the helmet. He went down initially, but quickly got up to one knee and then stood up before removed from the game.

The good news is that Wright left the field under his own power and appeared to be fine once he made it back to the dugout.

He passed a concussion test that was performed in the trainer’s room according to Terry Collins, and he is expected to go through a battery of tests before Friday night’s game to make sure there’s no aftereffects. If everything checks out, Wright is expected to play, the manager said.

After the game, an alert Wright spoke with reporters and said he feels fine.

“It’s scary, having been through it before, but this seems different,” Wright explained. “It was not as painful this time.”

Wright is referring to the concussion he suffered when he was hit in the head by a Matt Cain fast ball years ago.

There is a little concerned about Wright’s thumb, which may have been injured when falling hard after the being hit by the pitch.

With just three games left, I’d just shut him down for the season. He’s proven that the hamstring problem is behind him. Use the last three games to evaluate someone like Wilmer Flores instead and give the captain a break..

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Juan Centeno To Catch His First Major League Game Tonight Wed, 18 Sep 2013 22:02:14 +0000

Recently promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas, catcher Juan Centeno will make his first major league appearance today against the San Francisco Giants.

The longtime minor leaguer – who, even after seven years of professional play, is only 23 years old – was called up on September 9 and will play in his first major league game at 7:10 p.m. today.

Centeno spent two years playing for the GCL Mets before he was promoted in 2009 to play Short-Season Class A for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He started 2010 playing for the Cyclones where he was hitting .371/.417/.517 in 104 plate appearances.

That same year, he was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets and then eventually to AA Binghamton for one game. He played for St. Lucie in 2011 and Binghamton in 2012. He started 2013 in Binghamton for six games before being promoted to join Class AAA Las Vegas.

Centeno hit .305/.346/.371 in 237 plate appearances for the 51′s.

Centeno has long been the best defensive catcher in the Mets system with a an accurate and powerful arm that always has him among the league leaders in caught-stealing percentage. He’s a fierce blocker at the plate and has a reputation for it throughout the league.

“He’s as good a defender as we have,” Collins said today. “He has gotten better offensively. He is going to get some hits. He absolutely controls the running game.”

Centeno will bat eighth tonight behind Ruben Tejada, who was called up on September 11, and before pitcher Aaron Harang. He will face off against Giants pitcher Matt Cain.

With the start, Centeno will mark the second Binghamton Met to make their MLB debut in 2013, alongside Travis d’Arnaud, as well as the 52nd B-Met all time to play on the team and then make their major league debut that season.

He’s been an MMO favorite for a few years, and it will be great to see him make his debut tonight.

(Photo by Gordon Donovan)

To get the most comprehensive coverage of the Mets minor league system, pay a visit to!

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Giants vs Mets: Harang Goes Up Against Cain, Centeno Starts At Catcher Wed, 18 Sep 2013 20:15:37 +0000 aaron harang

Giants (70-81) at Mets (67-83)

RHP Matt Cain (8-9, 4.24) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.50)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Josh Satin – 3B
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Andrew Brown – RF
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Juan Lagares – CF
  7. Ruben Tejada – SS
  8. Juan Centeno – C
  9. Aaron Harang - RHP

On Wednesday night at Citi Field, Cain faces the Mets, looking for just his ninth win of the season after finishing the 2012 campaign sixth in National League Cy Young Award voting. The right-hander is in jeopardy of not reaching double-digit wins for the first time since 2008.

Aaron Harang is making his second start for the club. He pitched well over six innings in his last outing, giving up three runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts. But he couldn’t avoid the long ball, surrendering three of them in an eventual Mets loss to Washington.

Game Preview

The Mets dropped the series opener to the Giants last night as both starters struggled. Matt Cain will get the start tonight for the Giants as he goes up against Aaron Harang making his second Mets start. On the whole, Harang is 5-12 over 126.1 innings with a 5.70 ERA over 23 games. As a Met, he pitched 6.0 innings allowing 4 hits with 3 ER. He has made 18 starts and pitched 115.0 innings in his career against the Giants with a 3.13 ERA. The Giants have the following numbers against Harang:

Pence 10-33, 2B
Sandoval 4-23
Scutaro 2-14, 2B
Pagan 3-11
Posey 4-8, 2B, HR
Crawford 1-6
Belt 0-5

Matt Cain is 8-9 over 28 starts this season logging 169.2 innings with a 4.24 ERA. He has pitched 37.2 innings in his last 6 games with a 3.13 ERA. He had a poor start against the Mets in July where he was pulled in the first inning after allowing 3 ER over 0.2 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Cain:

Young 2-14
Murphy 3-10, 2B
Tejada 3-8, HR
Baxter 0-3
Duda 1-3, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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Wheeler Struggles Against Former Team, Pagan Has Big Night In 8-5 Giants Win Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:42:07 +0000 zack wheeler

The Mets (67-83) lost 8-5 to the Giants (70-81) on Tuesday Night

Zack Wheeler took the ball for the Mets, but struggled with his command against the team that traded him back in 2011. Wheeler managed to work around a leadoff walk in the 1st, but 4 walks in the 2nd (including one to the pitcher with the bases loaded) allowed the Giants to put up 3 runs in the 2nd inning.

New York fought back against former Met Yusmeiro Petit, getting a run in the 3rd before taking the lead in the 4th behind RBI hits from rookies Wilmer Flores and Matt den Dekker. MdD ran himself off of the basepaths by taking a reckless turn around 1st after his single, but the ensuing rundown ultimately allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The next inning, Wheeler’s 6th walk of the game helped Buster Posey drive in the tying run with a grounder to Murphy. In the 7th, Angel Pagan  gave the Giants a lead they would never relinquish with a long homer to left. San Francisco tacked on 2 more in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

wilmer flores lucas dudaThe Mets tried to put together a rally in the bottom of the 9th, but after Daniel Murphy‘s RBI single made it a 3-run game, Lucas Duda and Andrew Brown both flied out to end it, giving the Mets yet another loss.

Wheeler was very disappointing today. He ended up going 5 innings and throwing 107 pitches, giving up 4 runs on only 3 hits thanks to a whopping 6 walks.

In case you’re wondering why Yusmeiro Petit left the Mets, we traded him for Carlos Delgado during the 2005 offseason. Remember when we used to make moves for impact players? According to our front office, “significant steps to improve the roster” are on the way, but given the track record of the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson when it comes to being honest, I am quite skeptical.

Speaking of Sandy, Angel Pagan really killed us tonight, driving in three, walking twice, and leaving the yard in the 5th. I guess the Andres Torres experiment didn’t work out. And whatever happened to Ramon Ramirez?

Travis d’Arnaud left the game early with a sore shoulder after being hit by a foul ball. His propensity for injuries is quite frustrating given that he is seen as our teams “future”, but hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow or Thursday. We have to hope that these injuries truly are all freak injuries— injuries that are not an indicator of an injury-riddled future for the young catcher.

Wilmer Flores also left the game early. Terry Collins said that it was mostly a lineup move, but Flores did seem to be having trouble with his ankle again. On the bright side, he swung the bat well today, as did his fellow rookie Matt den Dekker.

How great was Jerry Seinfeld tonight? The handful of innings he spent in the booth with Gary, Keith, and Ron were gold… the Mets might want to try to get him on the air a bit more often.

The year is winding down, and it’s really getting pretty ugly. Again, each loss helps us in terms of our draft pick, and it looks like we will be able to sign a top free agent without losing that pick this offseason… if Sandy is so inclined. Let’s see what “The Plan” has in store for us. Sandy has been talking about 2014 for so long that he must improve the team this winter… or else.

The biggest Mets news of the day? Matt Harvey might be able to avoid Tommy John, which is great, assuming that they are responsible and don’t let him pitch if it will put his long-term health at risk.

The Mets will try to even their series against the defending champions tomorrow. Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will take the mound against Matt Cain (8-9, 4.24 ERA) at 7:10 PM in Flushing.

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Wheeler Shines And Byrd Homers Again As Mets Sweep Giants Wed, 10 Jul 2013 23:38:10 +0000 wheeler sf


Matt Cain lasted 21 minutes, 0.2 innings and 36 pitches as the Mets tagged him for three runs to take a lead in the first and escort Cain to the showers early. Daniel Murphy started the scoring off with an RBI single and John Buck followed it up with a two-run single. Cain has never left the game against the Mets without pitching at least five innings.

byrd  hr 2Marlon Byrd tacked on two more with a home run in the fifth to put the Mets up 5-0. The home run marked the third time Byrd has homered in consecutive games this season. He did so May 29 and 30, June 12 and 13 then again today and yesterday. Byrd is now at 15 for the season. His career high for a season is 20 back in 2009 with the Rangers. He’s been phenomenal hitting in 12 of his last 14 games and going 19-for-61 (.311) with 4 homers and 13 RBIs in that span.

Zack Wheeler came out and took a no hitter into the fourth before Pablo Sandoval broke it up with a single to shallow right. He pitched well in his homecoming to San Francisco.

“I got drafted by the Giants, and obviously I wanted to pitch here,” Wheeler said. “It’s definitely a pitcher-friendly park. I was lucky enough to get traded. I’m in a good situation now. I’m happy here where I’m at.”

He went seven innings on 101 pitches allowing one earned run over three hits and three walks while striking out five.

“That’s the best all-around stuff I’ve seen so far,” Collins said. “Great movement on his fastball. His changeup was the best I’ve seen. He used his breaking stuff when he needed to, but I thought his changeup really, really kept them off the fastball and he got some easy outs. The ball had good life today.”

He also drove in a run with a ringing double to centerfield to plate Buck and make it 6-0. The double gave Wheeler his first career RBI.

Since last night’s go ahead sac fly, Murphy seems to be snapping out of his funk and driving the ball. He notched his 23rd double of the season to score Wheeler in the sixth and gave the Mets a 7-0 lead. He finished the game 2-for-5.

The Giants finally broke through on Wheeler in the seventh with an RBI single by Brandon Crawford, Wheeler’s former Class-A teammate, making it 7-1.

The bullpen was decent again for the Mets. Josh Edgin came in and pitched a scoreless eighth and LaTroy Hawkins pitched through the ninth surrendering one run as the Mets went on to win 7-2.

This is the first series sweep for the Mets since late May when they swept the Yankees in four games. The Mets will head to Pittsburgh to for a three-game series and then head back to New York for the All-Star game, where we will have coverage live from Citi Field all week.

It’s been a great series here in San Francisco. Let’s keep it up!

mets win byrd

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Mets at Giants: Wheeler Seeks Redemption Against Former Team Wed, 10 Jul 2013 17:42:59 +0000 zack wheeler fires

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

Wednesday 7/10, 3:45 PM ET at AT&T Park

RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.29) vs RHP Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd – RF
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
  7. John Buck – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

Game Notes

Marlon Byrd now has seven career grand slams. His first since 2009 gave the New York Mets their margin of victory. Byrd’s eighth-inning slam gave the Mets a five-run lead en route to a 10-6 win against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park. Byrd now has 14 homers this season, tied with John Buck for the team lead.

Mets right-hander Shaun Marcum will undergo season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome Monday. He experienced numbness in his right hand Saturday night in a start against Milwaukee. ”The two courses of treatment would be conservative — which would be rehab — or surgery,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “And Shaun has opted to have the surgery. And that is the recommendation of our doctors as well.”

Carlos Torres is the now the starting pitcher to replace Marcum for the New York Mets, although he still had some relief work left to complete before switching roles.  Torres worked two innings for the second straight day Tuesday night. He surrendered only his second run in 17 2/3 innings since a call-up from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he served as a starting pitcher.

The club called up right-hander Gonzalez Germen from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Zack Wheeler threw a bullpen session at AT&T Park on Monday afternoon and then spent 20 minutes running sprints on the warning track. He covered the same route that Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner often take as they’re preparing for starts. When he was selected sixth overall in the 2009 draft, Wheeler seemed destined to join Cain and Bumgarner at the top of the Giants rotation. But seeking a repeat championship and an impact hitter, the Giants shipped Wheeler to New York in 2011 in a deal that brought Carlos Beltran to San Francisco.

It’s a deal that general manager Brian Sabean does not regret. All the same, Wheeler wouldn’t mind sticking it to his old team when he takes the mound for the Mets on Wednesday. ”I definitely want to go out there and do well for myself, and maybe show them what they could have had, I guess,” Wheeler said, smiling. “It’ll definitely be fun.”

Mets All-Star third baseman David Wright has hit Cain hard in his 27 career plate appearances against the right-hander. He is batting .458 with a .519 on-base percentage and six doubles.

In their last 17 games, the Giants are batting .128 with runners in scoring position, including a current stretch of 6-for-64.

The Mets are considering skipping Matt Harvey’s final first-half start to (1) allow a blister to heal, (2) start curtailing his innings so he can complete the season without hitting a cap and (3) give him ample rest to start for the NL All-Star team.

On the season, the Mets are 22-21 away from Citi Field, the third-best mark in the NL. In their last 10 road series, including the current one, they’ve gone 7-1-2.

Center fielder Matt den Dekker is off to a slow start since recovering from a fractured right wrist and moving to Las Vegas. Den Dekker is 3-for-32 with five walks and 11 strikeouts in nine games since joining the 51s.

Game Preview

The Mets conclude their three game series with the Giants this afternoon as they look for the sweep! In the first game of the series, the Orange and Blue went 16 innings deep to take the W. Last night, Byrd was not having any of that extra-inning shenanigans and busted out a grand slam. Today Zack Wheeler gets the nod as he goes up against Matt Cain.

Wheeler is coming off of a better start where he pitched 5.0 innings allowing 3 runs, only one earned over 7 hits while walking three and striking out 3. He is now 2-1 over 21.0 innings of work and 4 games with a 4.29 ERA walking 13 batters and striking out 16. This will be his first time facing the Giants and facing any on the Giants in a Major League game.

The Mets draw Matt Cain who has a 4.85 ERA on the season with a 5-5 record over 18 games and 111.1 innings. Cain was 1-2 in the month of June making 6 starts with a 3.10 ERA. His first start in July, his last start, was awful as he allowed 8 ER over 2.1 innings. Last year he faced the Mets once allowing 2 ER over 5 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Matt:

Wright 11-24, 6 2B
Young 2-14
Murphy 2-9, 2B
Buck 0-10
Byrd 0-8
Davis 1-4, HR

Lets Go Mets!

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Wheeler Says He’s Not A Savior, But Will Try To Help Team Anyway He Can Mon, 17 Jun 2013 19:44:23 +0000 zack-wheelers-jerseyZack Wheeler held a 14 minute press conference with reporters at Turner Field this afternoon ahead of his major league debut on Tuesday.

Wheeler said he does not see himself as a savior.

“I don’t think I’m the savior at all. We’ve got great arms here and we’ve got great players. We might not be doing too well right now, but I know the talent of these guys and hopefully we can turn it around soon. I’m just trying to come up here and help the team any way I can.”

He doesn’t expect to treat his first MLB start any differently than any other start and doesn’t feel he has to live up to Matt Harvey.

“He set the bar so high. Matt just took off, but I’m in majors to just pitch my game and be myself.”

“Some people expected it. Some people didn’t. I’m just going to go out there and do the best that I can. People can take it how they want it. Hopefully I’ll do well and just be up there with him.”

He feels his experience at Triple-A Las Vegas was valuable. It toughened him up and taught him how to battle.

Turner Field will be packed with plenty of family and friends tomorrow night, as the Georgia native will be playing in front of his hometown crowd.

“I grew up watching Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux,” he said.

He got some advice from his brother last night who told him, “Whatever you do, don’t go up there and look up, ’cause all the lights and the fans and everybody will be moving and make you sick.”

Wheeler will wear uniform No. 45 because it’s his favorite and he’s worn it since he was 12 years old.

Here’s a video of the presser from SNY.

This is pretty damn exciting, I can’t wait…

Original Post

zack wheeler usa today

On Tuesday, during the second game of a doubleheader against the first place Atlanta Braves, Mets prized pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will make his long anticipated major league debut.

For Wheeler, he will feel unlike any other pitching prospect who who is making his first big league start. He’ll be wound up tighter than the guts of a baseball and those butterflies will be fluttering in his stomach. And then it all goes from surreal to real when that first pitch is fired toward home plate… Will he hear the pop of the leather or the crack of a bat?

Before Wheeler there was that other much ballyhooed Mets debut… The one from that pitcher whose stuff wasn’t nearly as good as Wheeler’s – I’m talking about righthander Matt Harvey.

He of course burst onto the scene with an 11 strikeout gem against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the most strikeouts a pitcher has had in his debut since Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals whiffed 14 in June, 2010 against Pittsburgh.

Harvey pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three hits and no earned runs and for good measure went 2-for-2 with a double in his only two at-bats. Since that day, Harvey has become an unstoppable force and is now among the National League’s elite.

matt harvey usa today

Tough act to follow? Ironically enough, that’s exactly what Wheeler will be doing tomorrow as Harvey is slated to pitch the first game of the twin-bill.

When you compare Wheeler and Harvey’s minor league numbers, the similarities are so uncanny it’s scary, but will those similarities play out at the major league level? We’re all about to find out.

Last week I asked Lynn Worthy, who covers the B-Mets and has seen both of them pitch, what differences he saw in the two and he told me, the obvious similarities were how hard they threw hitting 96 miles per hour regularly.

“The fact that they were highly-touted prospects before they got here, and how after a few starts opposing hitters just started jumping on the first fastball they saw from each of them.”

Worthy remarked that of the two Harvey was very intense. “I still recall talking to him after his final start – he went just three innings, gave up four runs and walked four – and he wanted no part of talking about the season as a whole. All he could do was boil over his last start.”

While he agreed with the scouts who all say Wheeler has the best pure stuff and plus pitches, he also noted that he struggled to command certain pitches.

“When you looked at Wheeler, he didn’t give off the intensity that Harvey did. However, Wheeler always seemed confident in his stuff even when he didn’t have his best.”

While both pitchers measure in at 6’4″, Wheeler has a lanky frame at 185 pounds, while Harvey packs an additional 40 pounds checking in at 225. Both have great frames for pitchers. Harvey reminded many scouts of Roger Clemens and in fact even Clemens himself said that Harvey is the first pitcher he’s seen that reminds him of himself. I’ve seen Wheeler compared to many pitchers ranging from Matt Cain to A.J. Burnett to Philip Humber.

Tomorrow should be an exciting day for Met fans as the future of the franchise will be on full display for the first time since Sandy Alderson became the general manager. Wheeler represents what many feel is his one singular signature move. He and the team have a lot riding on what happens tomorrow.

The scouts were all wrong about Harvey having the ceiling of a number two pitcher, but lets hope they are all right about Wheeler having the ceiling of an ace pitcher.

One thing is certain though… Tomorrow you can throw away everything you ever heard about Wheeler… You can ditch all the comparisons… Forget what he did in the minors… And even trash everything the scouts and experts had to say… Tomorrow we’ll all see what we have in Wheeler for ourselves.

Here’s to another smashing Mets debut…

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Sandy Alderson And His Legacy Of Diminished Expectations Mon, 19 Nov 2012 02:19:44 +0000 Who can forget where we were and what we were doing on December 16, 2004? (Ok, I admit it. I didn’t know the exact date either). It was a huge day for us fans. After finishing 25 GB and under .500 for the 3rd straight year, Omar Minaya made not only a bold move but made a statement. The New York Mets—yes, OUR New York Mets—signed the top pitcher of his era: Pedro Martinez.

Granted, we all knew at 33, Pedro’s best days were likely behind him. However, it sent a message to the National League. The Mets were back! And ready to build a champion.

Just as the realization of Pedro pitching in blue and orange took hold, the Mets did not back off. Less than one month later our GM went out and signed one of the game’s premier hitters and 5 tool superstars, Carlos Beltran.

Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran within 30 days? Yes, it was a hell of a good winter. Remember how it felt? Remember how we were drooling in anticipation? Opening Day could not get here quick enough.

The Mets improved their win total by 12 and finished just 7 GB. Pedro went 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and although Beltran struggled in the NY spotlight, we felt hopeful for a bright future. We were heading in the right direction.

Meanwhile, 3000 miles west, in August that year, the Giants called up a pitcher named Matt Cain.

In spite of the improvement in 05, Mets fans hungered for more. We were on the cusp of something great. We had Pedro, Beltran and youngsters David Wright and Jose Reyes were coming into their own.

If we thought the 2005 off-season was good, 2006 far surpassed it. There were areas for improvement. And Minaya acted.

Our closer, Braden Looper, posted an unacceptable 3.94 ERA. The Mets went out and signed Billy Wagner and his 284 career saves. Wagner responded and in his first season he recorded 40 saves (3rd most in team history) and a 2.24 ERA.

While Doug Mientkiewicz provided a good glove, first base is a power position. Minaya was able to pull the string and bring Carlos Delgado to Flushing. Like Wagner, Delgado put up solid numbers, knocking in 114 RBI’s and 38 HRs.

That same winter we said a tearful goodbye to our beloved Mike Piazza. No one could fill his shoes. But in 2006 it was fiery Paul LoDuca behind the plate. LoDuca hit 318, the 2nd highest of his career.

Pedro. Delgado. Wright. Reyes. Wagner. Veterans like Glavine and El Duque. Yes, we were on the verge of greatness. A dynasty to rival the 1980’s. We were taking New York back from the aging Yankees.

We still remember that late October evening. Carlos Beltran flinched at the knee-buckling curve delivered by Adam Wainwright. We sat and watched in disbelief as the Cardinals celebrated on OUR field, in OUR home.

The disappointment of 2006 was a bitter pill to swallow. As we blamed Aaron Heilman and cursed Yadier Molina, we were still hopeful. Our young players now had post-season experience. We finally dethroned the mighty Braves and although we fell short in 06, we were confident this was the start of something new, something great. This was only the beginning.

That winter the Mets fine-tuned the bullpen and also acquired veteran Moises Alou.

In 2007, the Mets were on fire all season but suffered a September collapse for the record books. Our 88 wins put us just 1 GB of our 2nd straight division title.

That season also saw the debut of Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.

2007 was another bitter pill to swallow…but we remained hopeful. 185 wins in 2 years for the Mets is something to behold. The future was still bright. We were oh-so-close. We could taste it. We were only one or two players away from getting that Championship.

On February 2, 2008, I was driving down the street listening to the radio when I heard the news. I screamed out in excitement, pounded my steering wheel, pulled to the curb, picked up my cell and called my dad. When he picked up, I shouted, “Holy &*%$, we just got Johan!!!”

Once again, Mets fans were chomping at the bit, counting down to Opening Day. The best LHP pitcher in baseball would be towing the rubber for us every fifth day. It was a great time to be a Mets fan. After falling short in 06 and 07, NOW we’d finally get to the Promised Land. We were ecstatic.

That same winter, 3000 miles west, Giants GM Brian Sabean picked up the phone. He asked the Padres if he could negotiate with San Diego’s manager, a guy named Bruce Bochy. The Padres CEO was Sandy Alderson. Alderson said ‘Go right ahead.’

On August 14 of 2008, a rookie third baseman named Pablo Sandoval made his debut.

2008 was another heartbreak. We tallied 89 wins, just 3 GB and missing the Wild Card by 1. Three straight seasons. Three straight heartbreaks. While we were building a winner and focusing on dethroning the Braves, it was suddenly now the Phillies who were the class of the NL East.

Our hope was waning. But we still felt confident. We still had a hell of a good team. We were competitive. We had talent. We could almost taste the champagne on our lips.

That winter Omar Minaya ratcheted things up. He went out and signed the premier closer in the game. Fresh off his record setting 62 saves with Anaheim, K-Rod would now be closing for us. The Mets also acquired innings eater Livan Hernandez and veteran proven winner Gary Sheffield.

In spite of 3 straight gut-wrenching years, we spent the winter eagerly awaiting Opening Day. No matter what happened in the past, the future appeared bright.

I don’t want to start a debate about our GM’s. One ran the Mets as a team, the other as a business. One was concerned about wins on the field, the other is concerned with the bottom line, putting a sub-par product on the field, and then asking fans to hand over money.

Bruce Bochy has been at the helm of the Giants for 6 seasons. The Mets have had 3 managers in that time. In the 16 seasons since Brian Sabean has been running the Giants, we’ve gone through 5 general managers. Maybe something is to be said about the way the Giants do things: After all, they’ve won as many championships in the last 3 seasons as we’ve won in 50.

Did Omar fail? Maybe, maybe not. But at least he tried. All those years he was our GM, we were seemingly only 1 or 2 players away from a championship. How many players away are we now?

Minaya spent winters bringing us guys like Delgado, Beltran, Pedro, Wagner and yes, even Jason Bay—but at least the man tried. Minaya brought us hope. The first winter Alderson was at the helm, we were pinning our hopes on guys like Brad Emaus, Chris Young and Chin Lung-Hu. (I didn’t bother calling my dad to share the news)

With 2 full-seasons under his belt, Alderson has watched our wins decrease both years. Attendance has continued to plummet.

As heartbreaking as 2006, 2007 and 2008 were, wouldn’t it be nice to at least be part of a pennant race again? Wouldn’t it be nice to play meaningful games after June?

We tried to build a winner under Minaya. That didn’t work. But at least we were heading in the right direction. We were so close. But now? Is anyone out there looking forward to Opening Day? Any Mets fans chomping at the bit for that big series in September against the Nationals when we might be fighting for a pennant?

The point I’m making (in a very long winded way) is this: We’ve gone from a fan base eager to win, thirsting for improvement, hungry for a championship to an impatient bunch, worn down by the spin of the front office.

Think about it. Just a few years ago, we spent winters hoping to IMPROVE. Now we spend winters simply not wanting to get any worse.

The Mets front office considers it a victory not to improve with new players, but to retain the players we have.

This winter our goal is not to go after guys like Upton or Hamilton but to keep what we have. Let’s be honest. If we end up keeping both Wright and Dickey, we’ll consider it a great winter. But is that IMPROVEMENT?

Jose Reyes, in spite of being a Met for 8 seasons, was told by Alderson, ‘Show me what you can do.’ Reyes responded by becoming the first Met ever to win a batting title. Alderson’s response was a kick in the butt and sending him south.

Now, the much loved, hard-working, Cinderella story of RA Dickey has played out. Eight months ago who would have dreamed that RA would win the Cy Young? The last time a Mets player won that award was Doc Gooden in 1985. At that time David Wright had just learned to walk and was two years shy of kindergarten.

The Alderson regime has not only attempted to teach us to do more with less, but he has also trained us to expect less. No expectations breeds a contented fan base.

In 2006, the Mets catch phrase was “The Future is Now.” Under Sandy Alderson, the future is…well, the future is in the future.

“I, by no means, am looking beyond 2011. Our job here is to put the best possible team on the field in 2011. And I think if we work at it, we should have every chance to be competitive.”

Sandy Alderson speaking to the media after being announced as Mets GM.  October 29, 2010

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LaRussa Says Matt Cain, Not R.A. Dickey, Will Start All-Star Game Mon, 09 Jul 2012 19:46:40 +0000

It must be great to be a San Francisco Giants fan.

Not only did a late push of fan votes elect three starting position players (Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera) to the NL lineup, but now the Giants will also have Matt Cain as the starting pitcher.

John Harper of the New York Daily News tweeted at 9:23 a.m. that “Source says Dickey is not starting All-Star Game. Will be Cain vs. Verlander.”

No knock on Cain, whose perfect game this season certainly warrants an All-Star start, but R.A. Dickey has been the feel-good story of the year.

Here are the results of a National Poll taken by ESPN shortly after the announcement was made: Click the image to embiggen.

More than two to one of over 34,000 votes tallied thus far would have preferred to see R.A. Dickey over Matt Cain.

NL manager Tony La Russa had been rumored last week to be on the fence about starting Dickey based on Posey potentially having difficulty handling the knuckleball. Posey will instead catch his regular battery mate Cain to open the game.

Either way though, whoever is catching will have to handle the pitch, since obviously Josh Thole will not be heading to Kansas City. Posey and Carlos Ruiz are the only catchers on the NL roster, so most likely Posey will be catching Dickey anyway.

While we are bound to see Dickey at some point, it’s a shame he’s not getting the start. He’s tied for the NL lead in wins, is second in strikeouts and is fifth in ERA.

Dickey said that he wanted the start since he’s a competitor and any competitor would want to start the game.

So both Mets representatives have now been swindled out of their potential starting roles in the mid-summer classic. David Wright’s fate rested with the fans, so that is not as egregious as the Dickey decision.

You would think that an actual baseball mind in La Russa would be able to make the right choice. I guess not.

This post was updated at 3:30 PM

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Reyes and Wright Are No Longer Mets Cornerstones? Fri, 21 May 2010 18:33:05 +0000  I’ve always been a big fan of Joel Sherman of the NY Post, but I think he really must have been in the midst of a bad hair day when he penned this piece this morning.

I warn you that this falls into the category of Wright and Reyes bashing, so if you want to turn the page by all means go for it. Sherman writes his intro as follows,

Jose Reyes and David Wright seemed on an arc to eclipse Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as the pre-eminent left side of the infield in New York. That never happened, of course. And what has been problematic for the Mets is that there has been regression in the games of Reyes and Wright at a point both should be in their primes.

That may or not be true, and I’m not ready to stand up and say that their best years are behind them and not ahead of them. I mean we are talking about two established star level players who both just hit their mid twenties. He goes onto say,

The Mets signed Reyes and Wright to long-term contracts during the 2006 season, and they believed they had created stability for the future. They were young, homegrown, already thriving in their early 20s. Why would the Mets not believe that they had put the cornerstones of a foundation into place for a long time? That feeling was only accentuated as the team followed through in 2006 by nearly getting to the World Series. Who would have believed that was going to be the last great moment for this concept? That mostly misery lay ahead.

Both Reyes and Wright could point to a significant injury as the cause of their woes. Few will admit it, but I am convinced that Wright is still recovering from the concussion that came as the result of the beaning he suffered at the hands of Matt Cain. He is still showing the effects of not being as aggressive as he once was on the inside of the plate and bails out on any pitches that bite the inside corner. The inside part of the plate used to be Wright’s hot zone. This will get better with time and I’m already seeing signs of it.

In Reyes’ case, his game is totally built on the strength of his legs. After nearly a year since resuming baseball activities no thanks to a couple of severe leg injuries, Reyes had to completely re-acclimate himself to playing the game. Everyone expected that he would simply grab a bat and pick up where he last left off, and that was a totally unrealistic expectation. (The same could be said for Beltran when he finally returns.)Reyes was bound to struggle until he regained his timing, his stroke, and his confidence. He’s slowly getting there and I feel that he’ll be fine after the All Star break. It’s only a matter of time until Reyes begins to get some payback on those pitchers who are currently getting the best of him at the plate. Reyes will soon exact his pound of flesh from them, and return to being the catalyst he once was before he got hurt.

Sherman concludes his article by saying,

I keep wondering about the future as much as 2010. I assume no matter how poorly Reyes plays that the Mets will pick up his $11 million option for 2011. But that is just an assumption. The Mets probably know now – or should know – that they cannot build their team around Reyes and Wright. And that is an extraordinary setback for now and beyond.

If not Reyes and Wright, than who? Obviously, Sherman is wrong in his assertion that the Mets should move on from Reyes and Wright. 

Hear me out… I’m not wearing blinders and I know fully well that both Wright and Reyes are not perfect. Yes, they both have flaws to their games and both could be better if they showed better baseball judgment and had more memorable clutch at-bats. But that’s not to say that either of them or not top 5 talents at their positions… Surely we can all agree on that…

Maybe Wright or Reyes will never be the type of players that will pick up the team and carry them on their back like Seaver, Strawberry, Hernandez and Piazza once did, but make no mistake that they still have tremendous value to this team and are in my opinion irreplaceable.

Most Mets fans that I know all firmly believe that Wright and Reyes will continue to be at the core of any Mets future.

That’s not conjecture, it’s just simply a fact.

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David Wright Drilled By Pitch To Head; Leaves Game Sat, 15 Aug 2009 21:41:57 +0000

David Wright was drilled in the head by a 2-0 pitch thrown by Matt Cain in the bottom of the fourth inning during today’s game.

Wright walked off the field under his own power, and Fernando Tatis replaced him as a pinch runner.

An absolutely scary sight to say the least as Wright lied motionless on the ground for 2-3 minutes. It was a good sign that he walked off the field under his own power.

The 0-2 pitch smacked Wright in the helmet, knocking it off his head. Wright crumpled to the dirt face-first and did not move for about two minutes as trainers tended to him. Eventually, he turned over to sit up, and he walked off the field with the help of the training staff.

More to come…

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