Mets Merized Online » san francisco Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:20:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Much Ado About Three-Homer Games At Home Sat, 03 Jan 2015 02:16:32 +0000 gkr gary keith ron sny

“You know, Keith, no Met has ever hit three home runs in a game at home.”

If you’ve watched as many Mets games as I have over the years, then you’ve undoubtedly heard Gary Cohen make this statement whenever a Met has come up to the plate after hitting two home runs in a home game.

It’s true.  Nine Mets players have hit three home runs in a game.  But Jim Hickman, Dave Kingman, Claudell Washington, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Ike Davis all accomplished their prodigious displays of power on the road.

So naturally I started wondering if the Mets were the only team in baseball to not have a single player hit three home runs in a home game.  My research yielded an interesting answer.

Below is a list of the last players to pull off a “Home Run Hat Trick” for each major league team while wearing their home whites.




Arizona Diamondbacks

Jason Kubel

7/21/12 vs. HOU

Atlanta Braves

Mark Teixeira

6/22/08 vs. SEA

Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis

8/24/12 vs. TOR

Boston Red Sox

Kevin Millar

7/23/04 vs. NYY

Chicago Cubs

Dioner Navarro

5/29/13 vs. CWS

Chicago White Sox

Paul Konerko

7/7/09 vs. CLE

Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

5/13/12 vs. WAS

Cleveland Indians

Jim Thome

7/6/01 vs. STL

Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez

5/30/12 vs. HOU

Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera

5/28/10 vs. OAK

Florida/Miami Marlins

Cody Ross

9/11/06 vs. NYM

Houston Astros

Morgan Ensberg

5/15/05 vs. SF

Kansas City Royals

Danny Tartabull

7/6/91 vs. OAK

Los Angeles Angels

Torii Hunter

6/13/09 vs. SD

Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Uribe

9/9/13 vs. ARZ

Milwaukee Brewers

Prince Fielder

9/27/11 vs. PIT

New York Yankees

Curtis Granderson

4/19/12 vs. MIN

Oakland Athletics

Miguel Tejada

6/11/99 vs. LAD

Philadelphia Phillies

Jayson Werth

5/16/08 vs. TOR

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

8/1/09 vs. WAS

San Diego Padres

Phil Nevin

10/6/01 vs. COL

San Francisco Giants

Barry Bonds

8/2/94 vs. CIN

Seattle Mariners

Edgar Martinez

5/18/99 vs. MIN

St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols

9/3/06 vs. PIT

Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria

10/3/12 vs. BAL

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre

8/22/12 vs. BAL

Toronto Blue Jays

John Buck

4/29/10 vs. OAK

Washington Nationals

Adam Dunn

7/7/10 vs. SD

Editor’s note:  Barry Bonds was the last member of the San Francisco Giants to hit three home runs in a regular season home game, but the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, which was played in San Francisco.

Did you notice any teams missing in the chart above?  There were two – the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets.  But prior to 1961, the Minnesota Twins were playing ball as the Washington Senators.  And on August 31, 1956, Jim Lemon became the first and only member of the original Washington Senators to hit three home runs in a home game when he clobbered his triumvirate of taters at Griffith Stadium against the New York Yankees.

With the Senators/Twins franchise having a member in the “three homers at home” club, that leaves the Mets as the only team in the majors without a player who has hit three round-trippers in a single game in his home ballpark.

It’s no wonder Gary Cohen continues to mention that fact ad nauseum in the same way he (and every other Mets broadcaster) used to discuss the Mets’ no-hitter futility before the events of June 1, 2012.


In honor of the topic at hand, here are some other bits of “three-homer at home” minutiae for you.

  • Two players have hit three homers in a home game on four separate occasions.  Both accomplished their feats for the Chicago Cubs.  Ernie Banks had his three-homer games at Wrigley Field in 1955, 1957, 1962 and 1963, while Sammy Sosa slammed his way to history at the Friendly Confines in 1996, 1998 and twice in 2001.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers are the only teams to have three players accomplish the “three-homer at home” feat in the same season.  In 1950, fans at Ebbets Field saw Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Tommy Brown go deep three times in one game.  Similarly, Miller Park season-ticket holders in 2011 witnessed Corey Hart, Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder circle the bases thrice in the same game.
  • Although no Mets player has ever hit three homers in a game at home, four opposing players had three-homer games against the Mets in New York.  St. Louis’ Stan Musial was the first to do so, smacking three bombs at the Polo Grounds on July 8, 1962.  Dick Allen of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at Shea Stadium on September 29, 1968.  A decade later, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose became the most unlikely candidate to have a three-homer game at Shea when he circled the bases three times on April 29, 1978.  It was the only time Rose hit three home runs in a single game in his 24-year career.  Finally, former Met Dave Kingman launched three long balls at Shea Stadium as a member of the Chicago Cubs on July 28, 1979.
  • No Mets player has ever hit three homers in a home game.  But seven players have hit three blasts in the same game against the Mets in their home ballparks, with one of the seven doing it twice.  Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants victimized the Mets at Candlestick Park in 1963 and 1966.  The next three times a player hit a trio of home runs in a home game against the Mets, those players were wearing Cubs uniforms.  Adolfo Phillips (1967), Billy Williams (1968) and Tuffy Rhodes (1994) gave a total of nine souvenirs to the Bleacher Bums at Wrigley Field, courtesy of various Mets pitchers.  The other three players to hit three homers in a home game against the Mets were Detroit’s Bobby Higginson (1997 at Tiger Stadium), Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez (2004 at Bank One Ballpark) and Florida’s Cody Ross (2006 at Dolphins Stadium).  Ross’ game remains the only time in Marlins history in which one of their own hit three home runs in a game at home.

curtis granderson

Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, there have been 175 instances in which a player hit three home runs in the same regular season game at his home ballpark.  In all 175 instances, the player who circled the bases was wearing a uniform that did not say “Mets” on it.

Curtis Granderson was the last Yankee to accomplish the feat at Yankee Stadium.  Now, of course, Granderson is a member of the Mets. Will he become the first Met to hit three homers in a game at home? Will the shortened fences and new hitting coach Kevin Long lead to some additional long balls for Grandy? Hey, if the Mets could finally pitch a no-hitter, then anything is possible, right?


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Robin Williams Dead Of Apparent Suicide Tue, 12 Aug 2014 01:13:18 +0000 robin williams

Beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams is dead at the age of 63. The apparent cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation, according to police who found Williams unconscious at his home in nearby San Francisco, California. He had been battling severe depression and spent time in rehab for it as recently as July, his publicist said in a statement.

Williams was best known for his starring roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Dead Poets Society.” He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dr. Sean Maguire in “Good Will Hunting.”

In a statement, President Obama said, “He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”

He brought so much joy and laughter to millions, and it’s so sad to hear he was in so much anguish. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Robin.

MMO footer

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Prediction Audit: Hits and Misses…Mostly Misses Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:55:06 +0000 David-Price

So here we are, 40% of the season is done and the Mets are 61 games away from the 90 win bar set by GM Sandy Alderson before the season started. So the Mets only need to play .628 ball the rest of the way to achieve their 90 wins, totally do-able (crickets).

So, Sandy wasn’t the only one who swung and missed on his 2014 prediction, before the season started I gave you my predictions too. Let’s look at my hits and misses thus far.

AL East: Tampa, Boston, New York, Toronto, Baltimore – Swing and a miss! Tampa’s offense has made the Mets look like the Big Red Machine, and Boston’s luck appears to have run out. Toronto has had a pretty red hot last 30 days and has the rest of the division in the rear view mirror. You know it’s bad here when people actually wish they had an injury prone .735 OPS hitter as their SS again. As for the Yankees? Nailed it.

AL Central: Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago –   Well, I guess I was right so far with regards to the Tigers. But seriously, anybody who picked against Detroit this year was just playing the odds. I think one big miss I had was Jose Abreu – that guy is scary. Still, the rest of the division is hovering the .500 mark so I think it’s too early to tell what was right and what was wrong. Xtreem’s MVP pick has been terrible huh? Where did you go Eric Hosmer?

AL West: Los Angeles, Texas, Oakland, Seattle, Houston – Right now, you can put LA, Texas and Seattle in a hat and draw two names and you’ll be just fine. I feel okay about my predictions for those 3 teams. What still gets me is Oakland. At the next Sandy lover meeting, I’m probably going to have to do push ups when they re-read my Oakland prediction. I don’t know what it is about that team, but they defy “on paper,” so magnificently. Their critics over the last twenty years point to the lack of World Series championships – but this is a team on its way to their 9th 90+ win season in the last 15 years, second only to the Yankees who have 11. It baffles me that people do not respect that.

NL East: Washington, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Philadelphia – You know what I find funny is when people excuse the Nats current lack of a big division lead on “injuries.” Meanwhile Atlanta is thinking, “um hello?” The Braves, like Oakland just continue to defy logic it seems. It’s really telling what a well-run organization can do when faced with great challenges. Atlanta pretty much started the whole Tommy John epidemic conversation, and they have not looked like a team that lost anybody. Miami is somehow still hanging tough without Jose Fernandez, probably thanks to that Giancarlo fella everybody talks about. I totally crushed my awards though right? Harper-Colon-DiceK. That’s what horse racing fans call a Trifecta!

NL Central: St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee – Crushed it! Man those Brewers are terrible right? Probably something like 10 games out of the…what’s that? Oh they are the 3rd best team in the sport? Oh, that’s my bad. But seriously, isn’t that pretty much everybody’s bad? Is somebody going to comment that they saw this coming? Fun fact, Ryan Braun’s OPS is EXACTLY the same as it was when he was suspended last year. Weird. Still, I think the Cardinals can take this division and I’m okay with sliding Cincy and the Buccos down a slot to make room for the Brew Crew in 2nd. Before anybody does it, the fact Carlos Gomez is good now – doesn’t mean the Mets should have not acquired Johan Santana. So don’t even bother typing it. Speaking of Carlos Gomez (I know my most loyal “fans” won’t like this) but whenever a player in their late 20’s suddenly becomes a power hitter, don’t we usually have a habit of questioning that? 44 HR in 2,130 plate appearances through the age of 26, now 36 HR in 858 appearances at 27 and 28. No biggy, probably special vitamins or something. I guess I just find it odd that a guy who was never seen as a power threat is suddenly becoming one late in his career. (And here they go!)

NL West: Los Angeles, Arizona, San Diego, San Francisco, Colorado – Seems like the answer to my question “Can anybody stop the Dodgers?” is yes, “themselves.” I couldn’t have been more wrong about San Francisco and Arizona though, jeez. Back to LA, it’s amazing that a team with so much talent can be such a mess. They can’t even be looked at like the Marlins a few years ago – because this team is pretty much the same roster as last year with some minor tweaks. I saw manager Don Mattingly blame chemistry – and I hate to tell ya Donny, but that’s on you. Colorado started to play really well, but they are starting to come back to reality. This division is a two team race between San Francisco and Los Angeles – and I myself would love to see the Giants take it.

So what does this all mean?

Clearly, I am going to blame the unpredictability of the sport and ignore the fact that with 40% of the season completed – my pick average is somewhere between the batting average of Travis d’Arnaud and Ruben Tejada.

So what has surprised you about your own predictions as we head into the dog days of summer?

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MMO Game Thread: Brewers vs Mets, 7:10 PM Tue, 10 Jun 2014 21:30:27 +0000 dice-k daisuke matsuzaka

The Mets are hoping that a return to Citi Field can end their current 6-game losing streak.  The Milwaukee Brewers come to town for a three-game series starting this evening at 7:10 PM.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-0, 3.09 ERA) will make his third start this season and is tasked with ending the skid.  He will face Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.19 ERA).

Matsuzaka, who replaced Rafael Montero in the Mets rotation, last just 4.1 innings his last time out allowing four runs against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  Dice-K’s looking for his first victory since May 25th..

Ruben Tejada has been moved up to the leadoff spot tonight.  This is the first time in over a year that he will bat in this spot in the order.  Last time was May 29, 2013 against the New York Yankees.

Recently called-up catcher Taylor Teagarden will make his first start as a New York Met, and his first start in the major leagues since August 30, 2013 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles against the New Yankees.

Curtis Granderson has reached base safely in 21 straight games.  It is the second longest current streak in the majors behind Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez who has reached in 24 straight.  Granderson also had two home runs on Sunday against the Giants, making it his 15th multi-home run game and first since 2012.

Starting Lineup

  1. Ruben Tejada – SS
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Taylor Teagarden – C
  8. Matt den Dekker – CF
  9. Daisuke Matsuzaka – P

The Mets come home after a rough road trip. The road trip started off in Philly and they did great winning 4-1 games, but then they lost three in a row in Chicago, and then three in a row again in San Francisco. Anyway, they try to figure it out against the Brewers and Marco Estrada tonight as the Mets send Matsuzaka out to the mound.

Matsuzaka is 2-0 over 18 games and 2 starts this year totaling 33.2 innings with a 3.21 ERA. His last start against Cubs was pretty bad as he allowed 4 hits and 4 earned runs over 4.1 innings while walking 5 batters. He has made one career start against the Brewers allowing 2 runs, none earned, over 6.2 innings. The Brewers have the following numbers against Daisuke:

  • Overbay 7-27, 2 2B, 3 HR
  • Gomez 0-7
  • Braun 2-4
  • Weeks 0-2
  • Reynolds 0-2

Estrada is 5-2 over 12 starts and 73.0 innings while posting a 4.19 ERA. In his last 7 starts he is 3-1 over 41.2 innings while posting a 5.18 ERA. Last year against the Mets he allowed 1 ER and 2 hits over 7.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Marco:

  • Murphy 1-3
  • Wright 0-3
  • Duda 0-3
  • C Young 0-2
  • Tejada 1-1

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Giants, 4:05 PM Sun, 08 Jun 2014 19:18:42 +0000 wheeler

The Mets will try to halt five game losing streak when they take on the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park this evening at 4:05 PM.

Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89 ERA) gets tasked with being the Mets stopper and will oppose right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01) for the Giants.

Wheeler, who is facing the team that originally drafted him, tossed 6.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in his last outing against the Cubs. He has posted a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts.

Last night was New York’s 20th loss after holding a lead at any point during the game, the most in the majors. Eleven of those 20 losses have come on the road.

Lucas Duda has 11 RBI over his last 13 games and is hitting .308 (12-39) with three home runs and a .460 on-base percentage over that span.

Starting Lineup

  1. Matt den Dekker – CF
  2. Ruben Tejada – SS
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Eric Campbell – 3B
  8. Anthony Recker – C
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

The Mets look to salvage the last game of their series in San Francisco today as they try to avoid a sweep by the Giants. Yesterday was another close loss on the week filled with mental mistakes. Today, Wheeler looks to get the Mets back on track while the Mets bats look to rough up Lincecum.

Wheeler is 2-5 on the season over 12 starts with a 3.89 ERA over 69.1 innings of work. In his last three starts he is 1-1 over 19.2 innings with a 1.37 ERA walking 3 batters and striking out 23 batters. Last year he faced the Giants twice allowing 5 ER over 12.0 innings of work. The Giants have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Blanco 0-5
  • Pence 0-5
  • Posey 0-6
  • Crawford 2-5
  • Sandoval 1-3

Lincecum is 4-4 this season over 12 starts and 64.2 innings while posting a 5.01 ERA. He is coming off of his worse start of the year where he allowed 8 ER over 4.1 innings shooting his ERA from 4.18 to 5.01. Last year he made one start against the Mets allowing 3 ER over 6 hits in 7.0 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • C Young 8-51, 3 2B, 2 HR
  • Wright 3-23
  • Murphy 6-17, 2 2B
  • Tejada 3-9, 2B
  • Granderson 0-6

Lets Go Mets!


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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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Opinion: Where’s Our Tom Seaver Statue? Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:40:29 +0000 tom seaver bw

In an interview on Friday morning with Boomer and Carton on WFAN, Tom Seaver said that the Mets have never approached him about erecting a statue or monument in his honor at Citi Field.

“I understand that I’m a part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

Is there anything better than going to your hometown ballpark and seeing all those bronze statues of iconic players or managers who meant so much to the team and more importantly to the fans?

Back in 2009, during the inaugural season at Citi Field, there was an uproar among the fan base because many of us believed that our new home park was not Metsmerized enough.

Eventually, our pleas led to many changes and additions to Citi Field that better represented our team’s rich history and recognized many of our beloved players and managers.

The Mets Museum also opened a year later and it has been embraced by all fans. Additionally, even the outfield walls would go from a dismal black to a royal blue. Citi Field was beginning to feel like home…

However, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to see was a bronze statue or two that would honor Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges in a similar way that other NL East teams honor their all time greats.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous sculptures you’ll find just in the NL East…

Mike Schmidt at Citizens Bank Park

Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park

Walter Johnson at Nationals Park

Frank Howard at Nationals Park

Hank Aaron at Turner Field

Phil Niekro at Turner Field

Warren Spahn at Turner Field

Isn’t it sad that we have no such monumental testaments to any of our own iconic Mets at Citi Field?

Wouldn’t it be a great to park your car in one of the lots at Citi, or get off the 7 Train and onto the walkway, and then be greeted by a beautiful statue of Tom Seaver firing a fastball, Casey Stengel in his rumpled Mets uniform with outstretched arms, or Gil Hodges and that quiet look of his holding a lineup card?

We are nearing 25 years since Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be something if we could mark that anniversary with a magnificent statue erected in his honor?

The Mets owners should make this happen, however as I see it, there’s just one obstacle in the way… The Mets owners.

Presented By Diehards

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Alderson and Warthen Apologize For Ethnic Slur Thu, 13 Mar 2014 03:54:17 +0000 warthen

The Mets issued statements on behalf of Sandy Alderson and pitching coach Dan Warthen, who used an ethnic slur while conversing with Daisuke Matsuzaka’s interpreter, Jeff Cutler, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s what occurred:


Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.

“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.

“It’s OK,” Cutler replied.

“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”

“It was,” Cutler said, with a small laugh.

Warthen walked away.

I didn’t say anything, but I was startled. As a 27-year-old Chinese American who grew up in San Francisco, I couldn’t remember the last time I heard the term “Chinaman,” a derogatory word originally given by white Americans to Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.

Here are the two statements:

“I apologize for the thoughtless remarks that I made yesterday in the clubhouse,” Dan Warthen said in a statement released by the team. “They were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting.  I am very sorry.”

Said Alderson:  “On behalf of the entire organization, I apologize for the insensitive remarks made by of one of our staff members.  The remarks were offensive and inappropriate and the organization is very sorry.”

That these things can still happen in an MLB clubhouse is pretty sad…

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Fangraphs: Wheeler’s Shoulder, Walk Rates Concerning Sat, 04 Jan 2014 04:49:53 +0000 zack wheeler home

Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs offered a somewhat pessimistic outlook on Zack Wheeler and his upcoming 2014 season.

Zimmerman cites two major factors that he believes could significantly limit Wheeler’s success: his walk rate, and his shoulder tightness that forced him to miss his final start last year. Wheeler’s walk rate in 2013 was 4.1, a figure Zimmerman believes needs to drop roughly 25% for the Mets star prospect to remain a solid major league pitcher.

As for the injury, Zimmerman cites the fact that the 23-year old experienced shoulder tightness after only pitching in nine more innings from ’12 to ’13. Zimmerman went on to say that he believes 180 innings is a max for Wheeler and that an ERA in the range of 4.00 is about right.

You can look at the full article for yourself here, however I see the walks as more of a concern than his shoulder. Wheeler’s command has been an on-and-off problem since he was drafted by the Giants. Over his two-and-change seasons in the Mets organization, his walk rates had lowered substantially in comparison to those when he was with San Francisco before getting the call to the show.

That said, I thought this was a bit too critical for a pitcher who has only half of a season in the majors under his belt. Granted that Wheeler didn’t blow the doors off the competition like Matt Harvey did when he came up guns-blazing in 2012, however Wheeler did show some stretches of being an above average starter at the major league level. There were a half dozen starts where he absolutely dominated.

So long as he keeps the walks in check, there is little stopping Wheeler from taking the National League by storm and I’m expecting him to deliver a solid season in 2014, just wait and see.

Presented By Diehards

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Stick Thu, 26 Dec 2013 15:30:02 +0000 There are a lot memories, a lot of history, being left at Candlestick Park. Willie Mays recorded his 3,000th hit at The Stick; Bill Walsh won his first NFL game and O.J. Simpson played his final game at Candlestick; a massive earthquake rocked the Bay Area and the 1989 World Series; um, Jerry Rice (enough said); and Joe Montana, Dwight Clark and the miraculous “Catch.”

These are good times in San Francisco sports history, and what sports fan doesn’t have a soft spot in their heart for the glory and goosebumps that accompany Candlestick Park? The Stick is part of our collective sports past. During Monday Night Football, potentially the final game in Candlestick history, ESPN reminded us of the greatness in name and performance that now represents the hallowed ground. But don’t be fooled by the drama and romance. The truth is, Candlestick Park has long been thought of as miserable.


Candlestick Park opened in 1960. According to Jonathan Fraser Light, author of the Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, the ballpark was named for the “tall trees and jagged rocks in the nearby area known as Candlestick Point.” The ballpark received rave reviews when it opened. Candlestick Park was touted as the first American stadium to be built entirely of reinforced concrete, and included state-of-the-art features. Fans would be treated to radiant heating under the seats and first modern baseball scoreboard.

“This will be one of the most beautiful baseball parks of all time,” said then vice president Richard Nixon, who made history throwing out the first pitch.

One year later Major League Baseball hosted the All-Star Game at Candlestick, an opportunity for the entire nation to experience Candlestick, warts and all. The game was marred by reports of heat prostration — or hear exhaustion — a condition brought on by intense or prolonged exposure to heat, characterized by profuse sweating with loss of fluids and salts, pale and damp skin, rapid pulse, nausea, and dizziness, progressing to collapse. Final score: National League – 5, American League – 4, Heat exhaustion – 95 cases.

Hey, take me out to the ballgame? Sounds like fun.

In 1962, San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli — the “King of Torts” — filed a lawsuit against the Giants in an attempt to get a refund of his season tickets claiming “breach-of-warranty” and “fraudulent misrepresentation.” He accused Giants owner Horace Stoneham of not turning on the radiant heating under the seats. During the trial Belli wore a winter parka and called an Abercrombie and Fitch salesperson to testify on “outfitting arctic groups with cold weather gear.” Belli eventually won his lawsuit and was awarded $1,886.59 for his pain and suffering. The Giants responded by putting a disclaimer in their game scorecards.


The Giants finally decided enough was enough, enclosing the stadium in 1971. Architects and team owners believed the modifications would serve to accommodate the 49ers while diminishing the powerful winds during the baseball season. To no avail.

Twenty five years after Nixon called Candlestick Park one of “the most beautiful baseball parks of all time,” the Sporting News labeled The Stick “baseball’s worst ball park.”

The Giants played their final game at The Stick in September 1999, losing 8-4 to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers; coincidentally, the final out was recorded at 4:35 p.m., the same minute the final out was record at the Polo Grounds.

“When we left Candlestick in 1999 for AT&T Park, it was very much a bittersweet feeling,” said San Francisco Giants owner Larry Baer. “There are memories there that will not leave. Willie Mays patrolling center field, Juan Marichal’s high leg kick on the mound. I think people are able to separate out the wind and the conditions from the memories.”


Try and convince former St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog that. “Sitting in the dugout [at Candlestick Park] is like sitting in the bottom of a toilet,” he said. “All that tissues blows in, and no one flushes it.”

Or, Dwight Clark, who experienced his greatest professional moment at Candlestick Park. “It was a dump,” he said. “But it was our dump.”

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MMO Exclusive Interview With RHP Erik Goeddel Tue, 26 Nov 2013 01:49:32 +0000 eric goeddel

Last week, the Mets the added left-hander Steven Matz and right-handers Jeff Walters, Jacob deGrom and Erik Goeddel to the 40 Man Roster, protecting those players from being selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

Since then, Goeddel has spawned more than a dozen emails to MMO as Mets fans were curious to know more about this talented pitching prospect who the Mets feared would be swiped up in a heartbeat if left unprotected.

Erik was kind enough to share some of his time with us and tell our readers a little bit about himself. Right off the bat we saw a highly motivated and goal-oriented young man. “It has been my dream my entire life to be a major league baseball player”, says Goeddel.

The Mets selected the UCLA star in the 24th round of the 2010 Amateur Draft. Goeddel dealt with a series of arm and shoulder in his first two pro seasons with the Mets, but after a promotion to Advanced-A St. Lucie in 2012, he began to put all that behind him.

Goeddel started 20 games and went 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA while registering 98 strike outs in 102.1 innings of work. I asked him how he felt his arm held up after dealing with the various arm injuries. “I think the little injuries I had my first couple years in pro ball were just due to the rest of my body being a little stronger than my arm. Now I feel like my arm is back to its old strength and flexibility, and I think I’ll be able to stay healthy,” says Goeddel.

In 2013, he made his way up to the B-Mets and started all 25 games that he appeared in. He had by far the most consistent pitching performance of his brief minor league career.  He was 9-7, with a 4.37 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 134.0 innings of work. He also was a big catalyst in the B-Mets history-making season and playoff run.

“Its always great playing on a good team,” says Goeddel. “The B-Mets hadn’t made the playoffs for a while so when we started playing well and got in first place, the city really got behind us.  It was exciting, and was a good feeling giving the B-Mets fans something to cheer about.”

Truly a great talent in an organization that is stockpiling a fine collection of pitching prospects. Goeddel is on track to make a name for himself within the organization and as long as he continues along his path, his lifelong dream of becoming a major league pitcher, will finally be his reality – and the Mets’ reality as well.

Enjoy our conversation:

David – Is there something that you would like to share with the Mets fans that they do not already know about you? Your interests, hobbies outside of baseball?

Erik - I am kind of a golf fanatic.  I play almost every off day during the season and try to play as often as i can in the off-season.

David – While playing college baseball at the UCLA, who can you say was a major influence in your baseball career?

Erik - Here are a couple things about playing at UCLA that influenced my career.  Firstly, head coach John Savage… I can’t say enough good things about him.  He taught me a ton about the mental approach to pitching, everything from getting a consistent routine to knowing what to do in order to stay calm when things aren’t going well.  The second thing that influenced my baseball career was just the teammates I had at UCLA.  So many of those guys are extremely hard working, and just being around that all the time motivated me to work harder. Also, the constant competition for playing time on a team with that much talent was great practice for the kind of pressure and competitiveness that every player encounters in professional baseball.

David – What can you share about your experience playing in the 2010 College World Series?

Erik - It was absolutely incredible.  Best baseball experience of my life.  I imagine only playing in the Big Leagues could beat it.

David – Did you have a favorite player growing up and if so, did you model your game after him?

Erik - Ken Griffey Jr was my favorite growing up.  I definitely modeled my game after him but unfortunately I only got about 10 at-bats this year. (laughs).

David – On the day that you were signed by the Mets in 2010, what was your reaction and who was the first person you shared the news with?

Erik - When I signed my dad was there with me, so I guess he was first.  But after that I think I called my college roommates and coach Savage.  It was definitely an exciting day, but on the flip side it was tough to leave UCLA, I had a great time there and was leaving a bunch of guys who had been my teammates for the previous three years.

David – In 2010, you played in your first pro baseball game with the Gulf Coast Mets, what was the experience like and how can you compare it to playing in college?

Erik - It was completely different than college.  First off most of the team didn’t speak English, so that took some time to adjust to.  But everyone seemed to have so much talent, but being in rookie ball, a lot of the guys weren’t very refined yet due to their age.  A little different than college where there are a fair number of guys that maybe don’t have that much talent, but use every bit of their potential and are good baseball players.

David – In 2011, you recorded your first win with Savannah, what was the feeling like to get that milestone under your belt?

Erik - That was a huge step for me.  I was a reliever in college and hadn’t started a game before Savannah in over four years, so it was great for my confidence to get a win and get going in the right direction.

David – Who has impressed you the most this past season, and who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?

Erik - Another thing about being on a good team, is that a lot of teammates impress you.  For me though, I would say I was most impressed by Wilfredo Tovar.  He is absolutely unbelievable with his glove.  He makes plays that most guys wouldn’t even get to, and makes them look easy.  And on top of that, he seemed to become a better hitter every month.

David - Is there a Met manager or coach who has made an impact in your approach to the game and helped elevate your performance?

Erik - I’ve had two seasons with Glenn Abbott as my pitching coach, and one with Phil Regan.  Both of them are incredible coaches, and I feel extremely lucky to have been able to work with them both.  Anybody who watched me pitch in college, and then watched me pitch today would see a huge difference, and most of the improvements I’ve made in that time have been thanks to those two coaches.

David - With the success you’ve had in the minors; are you on track with the goals you’ve set for yourself? And what are your expectations for 2014?

Erik - I am happy with how I have done so far in my career.  I feel like I’ve made improvements in my game every year, and that’s what its all about.  One of the hardest things baseball players have to deal with is the fact that you can’t directly control promotions within an organization.  All you can do is go out and work hard every day, and do everything in your power to continue to improve, and to do as well as you can.  I used to have goals about being at certain levels in the minors by a certain time, but as I’ve grown as a player, my goals have changed.  Now all I try to do is continue to improve as much as I can, and I feel like if I can do that then eventually I’ll get a chance to play in the big leagues.

David – What do you specifically need to work on and improve upon, in order to be ready to compete on the big stage?

Erik - I think at this point in my career I just need to get more consistent with my command, and get better at reading hitters so I can select what pitches I throw a bit better.  For the most part I feel like the command of my pitches is as good as a big leaguers, but what I need to improve upon in about once a game I will have a four or five pitch walk.  I will hit my spots for ten hitters in a row, then just lose it for a hitter, and then have good command again.  I’m not saying this kind of thing never happens in the big leagues, but most of the guys up there have more experience, or have found a way to make the adjustment and get on track after maybe going 2-0 on the hitter, instead of 4-0 and walking the guy and then fixing the problem.  I had been struggling to get a consistent change up for a while, but this last season I feel like I finally started to get a good change up. Now I just need to get better at knowing the right times to throw it, and learning how to use it to make my other pitches better.

David - How will you prepare over the winter; can you describe your workout regimen?

Erik - I don’t do much for the first 3-4 weeks.  Just kind of rest and let my body recover, because after 142 games I always have a few aches that a little rest does wonders for.  After that I start lifting weights pretty intensely.  I’m naturally a skinny guy, so I have to lift in order to keep weight on my body.  I lift hard all year with the exception of those couple weeks of rest.  Usually I’ll start throwing again in late November.  First just light catch, then working up to long toss, then starting bullpen session in early January so I’m ready to go when spring training starts.

David – Anything you would like to tell the Mets fans?

Erik - Just that the team seems to be headed in the right direction, and the next few years should hopefully be good ones for Mets fans.

David – Thank you Erik for allowing me to share your story with our readers.


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Giants and Hunter Pence Agree To Five-Year Deal Worth $90 Million Sat, 28 Sep 2013 17:48:14 +0000 hunter-pence

According to several reports, the Giants and Hunter Pence have reached a deal on a new contract to keep the would-be free agent outfielder in San Francisco.

Jon Heyman reported that the deal could be worth $90 million dollars over five years – an average annual value of $18 million per season, topping Andre Ethier‘s five-year, $85 million extension from last year.

This deal will likely set the bar for a free agent like Shin-Soo Choo this winter, Heyman says. (Hi Sandy)

Pence, 30, acknowledged last night that negotiations were gaining traction, and that the Giants were close to getting back to him with a serious offer.

The righthanded slugger is wrapping up a tremendous 2013 campaign in which he hit .282/.339/.481 with 26 homers, 90 runs, 94 RBI and 22 stolen bases.

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Giants vs Mets: Wright Won’t Play In This Series, Wheeler Faces Former ‘Mates Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:14:09 +0000

GIANTS (69-81) at METS (67-82)

RHP Yusmeiro Petit (3-0, 2.53) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (7-5, 3.22)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  6. Matt den Dekker – RF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

David Wright will not play in this series according to Jared Diamond… His status for the weekend in Philadelphia remains unknown at this point.

Flores is at third and batting fifth tonight…

Big thing is that Collins has Lagares and Den Dekker both playing, but it’s Lagares who’s in centerfield… That’s a first…

Game Preview

The Mets open up a series with San Francisco in New York tonight. The Mets had a good month back in July, and a lot of that was due to a fantastic trip to San Francisco, so hopefully the Mets can recreate that in Queens. Outside of Jerry Seinfeld broadcasting tonight, the Mets will have an odd homecoming of sorts as Yusmeiro Petit comes back to New York, the team that traded him away for Carlos Delgado a long time ago.

Wheeler will be pitching for the Mets tonight. He is 7-5 over 16 games with 95.0 innings of work and a 3.22 ERA. He is 3-3 in his last 7 starts pitching 44.1 innings with an ERA of 2.44. He faced the Giants earlier this year pitching 7.0 innings allowing 1 ER. The Giants have the following numbers against Wheeler:

Abreu 0-3
Belt 0-1
Blanco 0-3
Crawford 1-3
Pence 0-3
Posey 0-3

Petit is 3-0 over 5 games and 4 starts this season pitching 32.0 innings with a 2.53 ERA. In his career he has pitched against the Mets once totaling 2.0 innings allowing 2 hits and nothing else. The only Met who has faced Petit in a game is Harang who is 0-2.

Lets Go Mets!

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Beltran’s Cooperstown Headgear Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:21:11 +0000 MLB: SEP 22 Mets v MarlinsI find it impossible to read an article or a forum about Carlos Beltran without there being some mention of “the curveball” or Adam Wainwright. That of course refers to Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS where, with the bases loaded and the winning run on first base with two outs in the ninth, Beltran stared a curveball from Adam Wainwright all the way into the glove of Yadier Molina, thus ending the series. I also find it appalling that many choose this one playoff at-bat to define Beltran’s career. Do they forget that Beltran owns the highest career OPS in Major League Baseball postseason history? Or that he is a career 11/11 in stolen base attempts during games in October? Enough about the postseason. Beltran’s career batting average at .283 is higher than that of Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Larry Doby. His career OPS surpasses that of George Brett and Al Kaline. If his eight All Star nominations (equivalent to the number reached by Andre Dawson, Darryl Strawberry, and Chipper Jones) and his eight 100 RBI seasons aren’t Hall of Fame worthy, well, he’s sixth in WAR among active players, and he’s only 36! He still has maybe three more decent years before he decides to hang up the spikes. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that’s exactly how many more years Beltran actually wants to play. So let’s say Beltran gets into the Hall of Fame. What team’s cap should he wear? Which team deserves it? Let’s find out.

Beltran has played for five teams. The Royals, the Astros, the Mets, the Giants, and he currently wears the uniform of the Cardinals. We can eliminate two of those right away. Beltran played in Houston for all of three months, so bye bye ‘Stros. Beltran was traded to the Giants at the deadline in 2011 for Zack Wheeler and ended up playing in San Francisco for 44 games so no love in the Bay Area when the Hall of Fame comes knocking.

beltran royalsThat leaves us with Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis. Beltran played for the Royals and Mets for six and a half seasons each, and he’s currently in his second year with the Cardinals. So say Beltran plays his three more years with the Cardinals, and makes two more All Star teams. 10 selections sure isn’t bad. With that being said, the Cardinals do have to go, only because five years loses to six and a half in the end. Why do years matter? Well, look at history. Gary Carter went in to the Hall of Fame as an Expo because he played more years (12) than he did in New York (5) despite having some of his greatest seasons in the Big Apple.

So we’re down to two. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. Let’s take a look at what Beltran did in a Royals uniform. Despite only receiving one All Star spot in his tenure, the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year hit .287 with 123 HR while he was there. He lost his starting center field job in 2000 to Johnny Damon but got his job, and his Rookie of the Year form, back in 2001 when he hit .306 and recorded 101 RBI. Beltran went on to hit over .300 once more in his time in Kansas City. All in all, a solid career in the state of Missouri.

And now for an analysis of his Mets career. In his six and a half years in New York, Beltran hit .280 with 559 RBI and 149 HR. Not to mention his two years with ten or more assists. He was named to the NL All Star squad six times and racked up three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers for his mantle. His time with the Mets was shortened by injury, hitting only 17 HR from 2009-2010, but despite this still managed to play at least 60 games in every year. Beltran recorded 100 stolen bases and managed to get caught only 16 times. He finished with an above average OPS at .869 and his SLG was an even .500. A brilliant career in New York that is unfortunately overshadowed by one pitch.

So now the decision. Beltran stole 164 bases and hit .287 with the Royals, but hit 149 HR and drove in 559 runs with the Mets. He can’t be in the Hall with two hats, so he must wear…that of the New York Mets.

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Mets at Pirates: Recker Now Hefner’s Personal Catcher, Kirk In Center Field Fri, 12 Jul 2013 21:53:07 +0000 jeremy hefner

New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates

RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.39) vs RHP Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.38)

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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. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Jeremy Hefner – RHP

Game Notes

Terry Collins decided to bench John Buck in tonight’s series opener and instead have Anthony Recker catching Jeremy Hefner against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The manager made the switch based on pitching coach Dan Warthen’s recommendation. Recker has caught Hefner’s past four starts, and Hefner is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA during that span.

NL manager Bruce Bochy officially will announce the NL starting pitcher and batting order at a press conference in the Caesars Club at Citi Field on Monday at 1:30 p.m., although it would be startling at this point for Matt Harvey not to be named the starter in his home ballpark.

The Mets are starting Carlos Torres in place of Harvey on Saturday for three reasons: to limit Harvey’s season innings count, to allow the blister to fully heal and (although downplayed) to put him in the perfect position to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.

Frank Francisco tossed an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Francisco allowed an unearned run and one hit while striking out one. He last had appeared in an official minor league game on May 8, after which he complained of continued discomfort in his right elbow. Mets doctors have been unable to identify a structural problem causing Francisco’s continued troubles. Francisco is earning $6.5 million this season, in the second year of a two-year deal.

Mets right-hander Estarlin Morel has been suspended 25 games for a violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program, MLB announced. Morel, 23, had a combined 4-3 record and 3.76 ERA in 24 relief appearances between Savannah and St. Lucie.

Game Preview

After a very successful trip to San Francisco (boasting a three game sweep) the Mets travel to Pittsburgh for their last series before a much needed All-Star break. The Mets have done well as of late but they are going to meet a Pittsburgh squad that has been doing well all season. One controversy between these two clubs became a mute point yesterday as Wright selected Alvarez to take over Carlos Gonzalez’s spot in the Home Run Derby. Tonight, Hefner gets the nod for the Mets as he squares up against Charlie Morton.

Hefner is 4-6 over 101.0 innings this season with a 3.39 ERA. He has pitched 44.0 innings in his last 7 starts while posting an amazing 1.64 ERA with 37 strikeouts while only walking 8. Last year he made a very good start against Pittsburgh shutting the Pirates out over 7.0 innings, striking out 7 batters while picking up the win. The Pirates have the following numbers against Hefner:

Alvarez 2-3
Jones 0-3
Marte 1-3
McCutchen 0-3
McKenry 0-3
Barmes 0-1

The Mets bats will deal with Charlie Morton tonight who is 1-2 over 5 starts this season while pitching 24.0 innings with a 3.38 ERA. Last season he picked up the L against the Mets as he allowed 3 ER over 7 innings and 8 hits. The Mets have the following numbers against Morton:

Byrd 1-9
Murphy 2-10
Wright 1-7, 2B
Davis 2-5
Kirk 2-2

Lets Go Mets!

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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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For the Birds Wed, 10 Jul 2013 12:37:11 +0000 HitchYou’re late.

My (bloodshot) eyes dropped, not in shame, but in search of explanation. My iPhone read 10:54 a.m.

Where have you been?

No excuses, I thought. I am sorry. I flat out overslept. I was up until 3:45 a.m.

Are you sick?


Why were you up so late?

You wouldn’t understand.

Amuse me.

OK. You have passions outside of work, right? Baseball is mine. Last night I began watching a baseball game that started at 10:00 p.m. The first nine innings lasted two-and-one-half-hours, but the game was extended seven extra innings which tacked on another three hours. I remember shutting the television off at 3:42 a.m.

I knew what my employer was thinking: It’s easy. Shut off the television and go to bed. Act like an adult. Be responsible.

But it’s not that easy. As baseball fans, Mets fans, we understand that West Coast road trips are difficult. A game that begins at 10:00 p.m. (ET) requires commitment. It really separates the fan and the fanatic. Extra innings on the West Coast, well, that’s when our passion begins to blur. Our love of the game – our passion — is often mistaken, and misinterpreted, as a form of psychosis. There is always some madness in love; but there is also always some reason in madness, wrote Friedrich Nietzschie.

Monday night in San Francisco was different. When the game went into extra innings, then deeper into extra frames – 13, 14, 15, 16 – we knew, as fans, this game is, and was, reaching historic proportion for the franchise (and the game). With each passing edge-of-your-seat, pitch-by-pitch, nail-biting inning I could feel myself chasing dawn.

When will this game end? How will this game end? I can’t – I won’t – shut off my television. Not now. No way. For those of us awake and watching the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants from first pitch to Eric Young Jr. to the bizarre Alfred Hitchcock-like sight of seagulls dipping and diving in front of the television cameras and Bobby Parnell’s final pitch in the 16th inning, this was no longer a baseball game: This was an investment. Each of us owned a piece of this game now.


Later, I replayed the explanation in my mind and asked, “What would you think?” Baseball at 3:30 in the morning? Angry, crazy birds? Passion? Investment? The entire story sounded like some wild dream. Was it? Who could make something like that up? There are much better, more plausible, excuses you could use.

It’s really hard to find a single word to describe the look I got. It was one of those I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about looks. Bewildered? Puzzled? Confused? Disappointed? Are you out of your mind? My wife didn’t understand, how could I possibly explain this to my employer? I couldn’t – effectively — as I was witnessed by watching my employers body language.

Thank you for being honest.

Here it comes, I thought.

Don’t do it again.

I won’t – be late, that is – you have my word. Watching baseball at three in the morning? I’m not making any promises.

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Mets at Giants: Satin Gets Nod At 1B, Gee Looks To Keep Rolling Tue, 09 Jul 2013 23:31:50 +0000 dillon gee

New York Mets (38-48) at San Francisco Giants (40-48)

Tuesday 7/9, 10:15 PM ET at AT&T Park

Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45) vs Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr.  – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Josh Satin – 1B
  6. Andrew Brown – LF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Dillon Gee – RHP

Game Notes

The Mets bullpen hurled 9.0 shutout innings last night. This month the pen has posted a 1.66 ERA (seven earned runs/38.0 innings), the fourth best mark in the majors. Mets relievers have combined to post a 4.07 ERA (131 earned runs in 289.2 innings) ranking 22nd in the majors. Since June 1, the pen has a 3.38 ERA (46 earned runs/122.1 innings).

Carlos Torres tossed 2.0 scoreless innings last night and has the lowest ERA (0.57) among NL relievers (min. 15.0 innings). He has allowed one run in 15.2 innings since his contract was selected on June 15 and currently has a 10.1 scoreless inning streak.

Dillon Gee has not allowed more than two runs in six of his last seven starts, compiling a 2.47 ERA (13 earned runs in 47.1 innings), over this stretch, which dates to May 30. His 2.47 ERA is the 12th lowest in the NL over that stretch. Gee also has 47 strikeouts during that span, tied for the eighth-most in the NL. In addition, Gee has only issued nine walks over his last seven starts.

Mets starter Jon Niese was told he could begin a throwing program by team doctors after a favorable follow-up exam Monday in New York. Niese has been sidelined with a partial left rotator cuff tear since he left a June 20 start with discomfort. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Monday’s MRI led to the decision to allow Niese to begin throwing.

Shaun Marcum was examined by Dr. Robert Thompson in St. Louis on Monday and the news is bad. The righthander will miss the remainder of the season with a blocked artery that will require surgery on Monday. Marcum continued to experience numbness and tingling in his cold right hand during a start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers.after the Mets starter felt tingling and numbness in his right hand the past two starts. Get well soon, Shaun…

Game Preview

The Mets continue their San Francisco series tonight as Dillon Gee takes on Barry Zito.

Gee is 6-7 on the year over 17 games with a 4.47 ERA over 97.0 innings of work. He is 4-1 over his last seven games with a 2.47 ERA and that includes a start where he allowed 5 ER over 5 innings. In short, Dillon Gee has returned. Last year he did not have a good day against the Giants allowed 7 ER over 6.2 innings of work. The Giants have the following numbers against him:

Pence 1-12 Blanco 2-4, 2B Sanchez 1-3, HR Sandoval 2-3, HR Crawford 1-3

The Mets bats will get a crack at Barry Zito who is 4-6 with a 4.44 ERA this season over 17 starts. He has pitched 32.2 innings in his last 6 starts while posting a 5.51 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Last year in two starts against the Mets he allowed 9 ER over 9.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Zito:

Young 7-27, 3 2B Wright 5-17, 2B Byrd 2-8, HR Davis 0-6 Murphy 1-5

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs Giants: Satin Back To Bench As Harvey Set To Oppose Lincecum Mon, 08 Jul 2013 23:23:39 +0000 matt harvey

Mets (37-48) vs Giants (40-47)

Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) vs Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66)

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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. Matt Harvey – RHP

Game Notes

Josh Satin went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles after a two-day absence from the lineup and Jeremy Hefner took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning as the Mets beat the Brewers, 2-1, in Sunday’s rubber game. Collins said Satin is not in a platoon with Ike Davis, but that Satin could play somewhere when the Mets face left-hander Barry Zito on Tuesday.

Matt Harvey will have the chance to pitch in front of NL manager Bruce Bochy, who will ultimately make the decision as to whether Harvey starts the All-Star Game. Bochy said Sunday he has a good idea of who he’s going to pick, but the candidates’ next couple of outings could “slightly” influence the decision.

Josh Edgin has posted a 0.79 ERA and a 0.971 WHIP since was recalled from the minors on June 9. In 14 appearances he has allowed only one of 13 inherited runners to score, and he has limited opposing hitters to a .205 batting average against.

Tim Lincecum had two solid starts against the Mets last season. He went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. It continued a run of strong starts against New York. In his career, Lincecum is 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA against the Mets.

Shaun Marcum boarded a plane bound for St. Louis to be examined for numbness and tingling in his cold right hand. He will be visiting with the same specialist who diagnosed Dillon Gee with a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder and a blood clot. Ultimately it led to season ending surgery for Gee. For now, the plan is to use a four man rotation up to the All Star Break, and if Marcum ends up missing any significant time, Carlos Torres would be the primary replacement.

Jon Niese was to have an MRI on his left shoulder today, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. This will be his second followup MRI and the Mets are hoping to see some improvement in his partially torn rotator cuff. They are obviously hoping to avoid surgery that would wipe out the rest of this season for Niese and probably a good chunk of 2014 as well. The hope is that this tear can heal and repair itself on it’s own.

Game Preview

Happy Harvey Day!

Harvey Pitching 6/28

The Mets travel to San Francisco tonight to take on the Giants (I guess that’s not really surprising. A surprise would be the Mets travel to San Francisco to take on the Golden State Warriors, which I’d also pay to see). Anyway starting for the Mets today is new anointed All-Star Matt Harvey who is looking to rebound from his worst start in his career where he allowed 5 ER.

On the season Matt is 7-2 with a 2.27 ERA while pitching 123.0 innings and a league leading 141 strikeouts. He faced the Giants last year where he pitched 6.0 innings allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned while walking 3 and striking out 7. The Giants have the following numbers against him:

Belt 0-2
Blanco 0-3
Posey 1-2
Scutaro 1-2, 2B
Crawford 0-2
Lincecum 0-2

Usually I leave pitchers off of the batting stats list but thanks to fate, Harvey will be facing off against Lincecum again! Tim is 4-9 over 17 games this year with a 4.66 ERA. In his last 23.2 innings, 4 games, he has pitched with a 4.56 ERA, so fairly consistent with his season numbers. Last year he was very good against the Mets pitching 12.0 innings in two starts allowing only 2 ER. The Mets have the following numbers against Tim:

Wright 2-20
Young 3-18
Omar 5-14, 2B
Davis 3-15
Murphy 5-14, 2 2B
Buck 0-4
Byrd 0-3

Lets Go Mets!

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Hefner Shines, Satin Rakes, Mets Plug The Brewers 2-1 Sun, 07 Jul 2013 21:30:55 +0000 josh satin

Josh Satin‘s RBI-Double was one of three hits on his big day…

The New York Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers by the score of 2-1 before 39,677 at Miller Park today on Hank Aaron Bobblehead Day.

hank aaron

Game time temperature was a beautiful 87 degrees and the first pitch was at 1:10 pm.

Jeremy Hefner was crisp and precise working quickly through seven innings while striking out eight and allowing only two hits and walk. Hefner gave up just one earned run on a home run to dead center by Jonathan Lucroy on an 0 – 2 count. Otherwise the kid was brilliant. The eight strikeouts matched a career high. Hefner now has a 1.27 ERA over his past seven starts and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of those outings.

Tom Gorzelanny matched zeros with Hefner for the first three innings until the Mets broke through in the 4th with a run on a throwing error by Juan Francisco. The Brewers again were awful in the field and it cost them dearly.

Josh Satin continued to rake extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He hit the ball hard all day going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single lifting his season average to .382 and on-base percentage to .485.

David Wright and Eric Young also had two singles each and Young added a stolen base.

Bobby Parnell got a four-out save without incident to preserve the win as the Mets took the series in Milwaukee and head off to San Francisco.

This was a series the Mets should have won as the Brewers didn’t appear particularly competent in any facet of their game. They seem like a pretty good offensive team, but don’t muster a whole lot of punch without Braun in the lineup. The biggest knock on the Brewers is their defense, and they were about as bad as you can be during this three game series. It was nice to see the Mets beating a team they are supposed to beat.

Game time: 2 hours 46 minutes

Winning Pitcher: Jeremy Hefner 105 pitches, 71 strikes, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 run, 1 earned run, 2 hits, 1 HR.

Losing Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, 83 pitches, 64 strikes, 2 runs, 0 earned runs 8 hits, 0 walks.

Here’s a funny video clip I took of John Buck disrupting the Sausage Race:

Maybe Buck was auditioning to be a Knockwurst….

The Mets now head to San Francisco where Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) opens up the three game series on Monday against Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66). First pitch is at 10:15 PM ET. MMO will be at AT&T Park for all three games, so keep it tuned right here. I hope you enjoyed my coverage from Milwaukee.

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