Category Archives: New York Mets

Mets Wearing 1989 Throwback Uniforms

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Courtesy of Justin Turner’s twitter account (@redturn2), take a look at the throwback away jersey the Mets will wear tonight when they take on the San Diego Padres. The 1989 uniform will be worn as part of “80’s Night” at Petco Park. I wish the Mets could wear these throwbacks a lot more frequently!

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Should Mets Be Buyers, Sellers, or Stand Pat?

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A lot has happened since the Mets 46-40 first half start to the season. The team went on a 6-game losing streak, failed to win a single game on a 6-game homestand, and let various late leads get away. All of this resulted in the Mets losing 13 of their last 17 games. At 50-53, they are 12 games behind the Washington Nationals, and 8.5 games behind the final wildcard spot which currently belongs to the Atlanta Braves.

It is a tough position to be in right now as the Mets are in between being buyers and sellers. While New York has been struggling, the season is not over just yet. Think back to last year when the St. Louis Cardinals overtook the Braves after being 10.5 games behind on the 24th of August. Of course, anything can happen in baseball. And we have seen the Mets have two consecutive historic collapses. So why can’t it happen to the Braves?

I’m not saying they should trade away a Zack Wheeler or any other big prospect to acquire a top player at the trade deadline, but they can afford to make a small trade to acquire a reliever like Grant Balfour or Jonathon Broxton. If Sandy Alderson does not make a move, the Mets terrible bullpen will prevent the team from even cooming close to a wildcard spot.

In terms of hitting, they can also try to trade for a right-handed catcher like Yorvit Torrealba to help out the offense.The Mets could not land Geovany Soto but they might just be able to get Torrealba for cheap. He will be available after being designated for assignment as a result of Soto’s arrival in Texas.

If Alderson decides to sell, the Mets biggest commodity is Scott Hairston who has had a terrific season this year. He  has 14 home runs while playing part-time in the outfield, and he is a monster against left-handed pitching. I don’t think the Mets should trade him, however, because they would only receive a mid-level prospect in return. Hairston is too important to the team right now.

The Mets have also been trying to trade Daniel Murphy, but again, other teams do not value him as highly as the Mets do. As a result, New York would most likely get a relief pitcher in return for a quality hitter in Murphy. Surely that is not enough for an everyday player who is important to the lineup.

The best way to go about it for the Mets according to Sandy Alderson  is to keep the team they have right now and stand pat. By no means will they trade Harvey, or Wheeler at the deadline. Also, it would not be smart to start trading away guys like Murphy and Hairston for mid-level prospects and relief pitchers. New York fans do not appreciate fire sales while their team is still in contention.

The trade deadline is just a few hours away and sources are reporting that the Mets will not trade away Hairston but they will also not look to make any big moves. It looks like they will indeed stay where they are and possibly use the waiver wire to improve their roster if they are still in the hunt down the road. It is a tricky call for Alderson, but is it the right one for the Mets?

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Mets Could Release Jason Bay

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Terry Collins has given Jason Bay yet another opportunity to start in left field for the Mets, but the Canadian-born player has failed to prove himself once again after coming back from the DL. The fans have lost patience with Bay a long time ago and now it seems as though Collins is growing tired of the lack of production from the $16.5 million man.

Bay is hitting a measly .164 with 5 HRs and only 8 RBI so far in 2012. If these numbers aren’t pathetic enough, he has struck out 35 times in just 33 games. Obviously the Mets need more from Bay who was supposed to be a dangerous right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup when he signed back in 2009.

Collins has told Bay that he will have less playing time due to his incredible struggles this season, as he will likely platoon with Jordany Valdespin in left-field. Bay will play vs. left-handers while Valdepin will get the start against right-handers. There has, however, been speculation that Sandy Alderson might just cut ties with Bay before his hefty contract expires after the 2013 season.

If they do release him they will still have to pay his remaining $35 million, but Mets fans would no longer have to witness such a frustrating player who strikeouts out virtually every at-bat. It is a very possible scenario as the the Mets aren’t afraid of releasing players before their contracts expire. They cut Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez who were making a combined $18 million with a year left on both of their contracts. Bay is already giving contributing absolutely nothing, so why not get rid of him? The team was playing better without him with Hairston and Baxter in left-field.

Mets fans, you might just get your wish. New York might just move on and release Bay if no team wants to trade for him this season. It is unlikely that anyone would take on his contract in a trade and it is also unlikely that he will be traded through waivers. As a result, the only option is handing him the pink slip.

Hopefully the Mets learned from this situation and they will think twice before throwing a boat-load of money at a free agent.

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Matt Harvey Shines in MLB Debut

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In the most anticipated Mets debut since Doc Gooden in 1984, Matt Harvey did not disappoint in his start vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets young prospect took the mound in a familiar stadium, Chase Field, where he appeared in the 2011 MLB All Stars Futures Game. He showed no nerves whatsoever and pitched a quality game in a hitters haven.

Harvey’s final line is impressive as he pitched 5 1/3 innings with zero runs on three hits and 11 strikeouts, while picking up his first career major league win. Despite his control issues in AAA, the right-hander only walked two and had a good feel for the strike zone.

The 24-year old came out firing darts, reaching 98 MPH on several occasions. He also had good control of his fastball and mixed in his off speed pitches well, something that was not the case in his time with Buffalo. To add to his impressive debut, Harvey also picked up his first two hits as a pro with a double in his first plate appearance and a single in his second at-bat.

Matt Harvey finally brought a bit of excitement to this team after New York’s six game winning streak put a damper on things. The Mets hope he can spark the club and provide the jolt they need to get back in the playoff spot. If he can continue his success, the rotation will be impressive with R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, and a rested Johan Santana coming back from the DL. Don’t give up yet, Mets fans! There is still hope.

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Mets Make Roster Changes, Harvey Could Debut Thursday Vs. Arizona

41-year old Miguel Batista claimed that the Mets were “the best team in baseball” last week. Now he will no longer be part of the club as he has been designated for assignment after yesterday’s start in which he surrendered 4 ER in 3.2 innings. The Mets clearly saw enough out of Batista the last few times around to earn him a demotion. This season he has a 4.82 ERA while starting and relieving games in the absence of Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee.

New York has announced corresponding moves with RHP Elvin Ramirez being promoted back to the majors after struggling with his control in his first stint with the big league team. He will go to the bullpen while the Mets will need a starter for Thursday’s game in Arizona.

Jeremy Hefner, who was called up to replace Johan Santana, will start on Wednesday and could also work out of the bullpen if they need him to. There is speculation about whether Matt Harvey will be called upon to pitch in Arizona, but after his last start for Buffalo, the Mets are having second thoughts about handing him the ball. He was roughed up in an outing in which he allowed 6 runs on seven hits. Harvey threw 96 pitches but only 61 for strikes as his heavy pitch count has ruled him out of starting Wednesday for the Mets.

With Harvey being lit up in AAA, Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office is a little frustrated with the recent slew of injuries that has devastated the starting rotation. Surprisingly, the team is considering calling up Collin McHugh instead of Harvey for Thursday’s start. McHugh, who is not as highly touted a prospect, is similar to Dillon Gee in that he does not throw hard but has good breaking pitches. He is 1-3 in seven starts for AAA Buffalo, with an ERA of 4.54 after being called up from AA Binghamton.

The Mets rotation is getting really thin all of a sudden with three out of the five opening day starters on the DL. New York is running low on options and needs to make a move to help the struggling rotation and horrendous bullpen. Whether it is Harvey or McHugh, it is hard to expect either to do much in their first major league experience. The season is fading fast and this might be the last chance for the Mets to stay relevant this season. Pitching needs to be better than it has been so far in the second half of the season and it needs to give the team a chance to win on a regular basis.

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Is It Time to Start Worrying About Johan Santana?

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Just over a month ago, Johan Santana did the unthinkable and threw the first no-hitter in Mets history. While in the moment, fans pushed for Terry Collins to leave him in to complete the no-hitter despite a high pitch count. Collins had a dilemma and let everyone know that he would feel awful if the 135-pitch no-hitter had a negative impact on Santana’s health in the future.

Though Mets fans were ecstatic about the no-no, many are far less impressed with Johan as of late. The man who came off serious shoulder surgery has an ERA of 6.54 and a record of 3-5 since throwing the no-hitter on June 1. He has allowed 6 or more earned runs in 3 straight starts, earning him a 13.54 ERA in 3 straight losing decisions.

This is the worst stretch of Santana’s career and many are beginning to question how much the southpaw has left in the tank after the shoulder surgery. Certainly he is not the pitcher he was in Minnesota, but his recent struggles are concerning as the Mets are beginning to question how much left they will get from him with $25.5 million owed to him next season. It will cost New York another $6 million to buy out his contract after the 2013 season, totaling a $31.5 million investment in a fading Santana.

It is clear that he needs rest as he looks tired on the mound and he is missing his spots badly. Maybe the Mets might decide to put him on the 15-day DL to give him some time to recover from whatever seems to be bothering him. While Santana insists there is nothing wrong with him physically, you have to think that Johan’s ultimate competitive attitude is holding him back from admitting that he is injured.

Whether he is simply hitting a rough patch or suffering from an injury, the Mets have to be concerned about what they are seeing from their $25+ million ace. At this point the team cannot trade him because there is no one out there who would take on such a large contract for a 33-year old pitcher that is coming off major shoulder surgery.

As Mets fans speculate on Johan’s future with the Mets, Matt Harvey looms in AAA Buffalo. Worst case scenario Harvey takes Santana’s place in the rotation and he gets to gain some major league experience without the pressure of competing for a playoff spot.

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Mets in Free Fall With Season Hanging in Balance

The first half of the 2012 season couldn’t have gone any better for the New York Mets. The team of unknown young ballplayers surpassed all expectation and finished the first half six games over .500, which was a whole lot better than a team which was expected to lose 100 games by the end of the season.

However, all of the positive momentum from the first half has been undone by some very poor play by the Mets to open up the second half. With two extremely important series against the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals, it was crucial for the team to win games to stay in the playoff race. Unfortunately, things have gone south in a hurry as the Mets have lost six in a row and have fallen eight games behind the Nationals and 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves.

After being swept in Atlanta, the Mets are now in danger of having the same happen to them in Washington. The team is in a complete free fall and they are fading fast as the playoff race heats up. The atrocious bullpen has coughed up many games this season, but none bigger than the one two days ago against the Nationals where they blew a save in the 9th and 10th innings. There is no one in the entire bullpen who can be called on to hold a small lead late.

Aside from the awful bullpen. another reason for the Mets struggles of late is the inconsistent starting pitching, which is coming back down to earth after an amazing first half of the season. R.A. Dickey has finished with no decisions in three of his last four starts while allowing five runs each of those starts. Ace Johan Santana has also struggled 25 earned runs in 7 games since his no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. Injury has gotten to Dillon Gee and now the Mets will have to find a capable replacement for the underrated Gee.

If the Mets continue to have poor starting pitching, they will have no chance at making the playoffs. And even with good starting pitch, they will go nowhere with a leaky bullpen that blows games late. This is the Mets first real test of the season. It is now when they will either pack it in and wait for the off season, or turn it around and compete for a playoff spot. While there is still plenty of baseball left but New York cannot afford to fall any further behind. Terry Collins needs to turn it around now and it starts with today’s series finale against Gio Gonzalez and the Wsahington Nationals.

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Harvey Sparkles in Buffalo

If you’re a Met fan today, be happy.  Yes I know the Mets just got swept by the Atlanta Braves.  And yes I’m aware the Mets are three games over .500 and are going through a rough part of their schedule.  But put that all aside for now because the Mets should be excited.

Highly lauded Met prospect Matt Harvey pitched last night for AAA Buffalo Bison.  Harvey was under the microscope this particular start.  Since the injury of Dillon Gee, the Mets are looking for someone to take his spot and ultimately be the number five starter for the Mets.  Some of the candidates include Jeremy Heffner, Miguel Batista, and Matt Harvey.

We’ve all seen what Heffner and Batista could do in the starting rotation.  Both of them had a couple of moments where they looked like a great pitcher to have in your starting rotation.  Other times you just want to turn away from what you are seeing from them.

Met fans have been hearing Harvey’s name for a while now.  The young right-hander out of North Carolina was picked seventh.  He was known to have electric stuff, but at times could be erratic.  Well Harvey has been working on his command and seems to have much more control than what he had once he was drafted.

Matt Harvey has had a spectacular season.  This season Harvey has a 2.53 ERA in the minors.  He has 106 strikeouts in 105 innings.  He’s the type of pitcher that could get out of trouble with his command of his pitches.  On Monday, Harvey gave up two runs over six innings pitched.  Not to mention he brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Look, the best option to replace Gee with is easily Harvey.  I have a lot of faith in the type of pitcher he is.  I wouldn’t want Batista or Heffner to start for my team.  The organization has been talking about Harvey for the longest time now.  Isn’t it about time they gave him a chance to pitch in the majors?

I get that the Mets don’t want to rush Harvey.  And neither would I.  But he’s ready.  Look at the numbers he has put up in the minors.  They’ve been impressive.  The guy strikes out a bunch of hitters and he’s proven to have much better command of his pitches.  Wally Backman agrees that Harvey is ready for the majors.  The Mets are flirting with going a couple of games under .500 so Harvey might be the spark the Mets need.  Now is the time of season when teams go from contenders to pretenders so the Mets need to stay in the thick of things to make it to October this year.

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SNY @ 7pm: Matt Harvey Starting For AAA Buffalo Bisons Tonight. Next Stop Flushing

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In what is a big game for the Mets and their AAA affiliate the Buffalo Bisons, Matt Harvey will be the center attention as he might very well make his final start for Buffalo before heading to Flushing. The game is being aired on SNY for Mets fans to have a look at whether or not Harvey is ready to be promoted. He will go against the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) with scouts, fans, and Mets front office watching him.

A good start for Harvey could very well punch his ticket to New York to face off against the Dodgers on Saturday. A bad start and he could remain in Buffalo for another start. With the pressure on the right-hander to perform, we will catch a glimpse of how he deals with the expectations of playing in a city like New York. 

Also playing for Buffalo tonight is Jason Bay, who is batting second and playing left field. Bay will be back for the Mets within the next couple of days as he is looking to rebound from a series of injuries. His return will provide New York with a right-handed bat in a lefty-heavy lineup.

If you are a Mets fan tonight’s Bisons game will be of great interest to you. Tune into see the impressive prospect make possibly his final tune up game before making his major league debut.

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Terrible Loss for Mets vs. Braves: A Frustrated Met Fan’s Take

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The only response that I have for this game is; You have got to be kidding me. In an extremely important NL East game, the Mets bullpen once again coughed up a lead late and took the loss. There are so many things to examine in this game which are to blame for the atrocious loss including some questionable deicsions by bench coach Bob Gueren, and a couple of blown calls by the umpires.

First of all, what in the wild world of sports was Gueren thinking when he made the double switch in the 8th to bring in Bobby Parnell for a five-out save? Not only did he take out his best fielding shortstop in Ruben Tejada, but he grossly mismanaged the erratic flamethrower Bobby Parnell. Parnell is a fragile individual who gets rattled in difficult situations. How could you possibly put him in a five-out save situation with the season hanging in the balance. Pedro Beato or Ramon Ramirez should have finished the inning and that is a fact. As a side note, YOU CANNOT WALK THE LEAD OFF HITTER! Nothing else needs to be said here.

Second of all, how can the umpires make such terrible calls in critical situations? Jordany Valespin was involved with both plays as he was unbelievably called out on a drag-bunt play in which he was clearly safe. This play was crucial and with a potential lead off single for him, the Mets could have had a big inning. The next questionable umpire decision was when the men in blue overruled Valespin’s catch in left-field, resulting in men on first and second base. It clearly was not a catch, but Martin Prado should have been called out after being tagged out by Ike Davis. As a result the Braves took the lead against Dickey in the same inning.

It is easy to blame the umpires for those bad calls, but what needs to be said is that this game was blown by the Mets and only the Mets. No one else is responsible for this debacle other than the ineffective bullpen and the managing of the bullpen. If you can’t get five outs then you deserve to lose. It all starts with the starting pitching though. After Chris Young put the Mets in a hole last night, Dickey did the same today and wasted a good offensive game by the Mets’ bats. He did not deserve the win giving up 5 ER in 5 innings in yet another mediocre start. His knuckleball was flat and Braves hitters teed off on him throughout the entire game. Hopefully the first half of the season was not a fluke for Dickey and he will get it back together soon. If he doesn’t, you can count the Mets out.

What was also frustrating was watching the Mets in the 9th inning against Craig Kimbrel. All three hitters were struck out and looked absolutely lost at the plate. Quite frankly, the Mets never had a chance in the 9th after blowing the lead. Kimbrel is automatic.

Moving forward, the Mets clearly need to do something about the bullpen. This cannot continue if the team wants to compete for a playoff spot. With Frank Francisco on the shelf for an extended period of time, Sandy Alderson needs to make a trade for Huston Street, Jonathon Broxton, Francisco Rodriguez, or someone else with experience closing games. Losses like today are demoralizing to a team so we will see how the Mets respond tomorrow. What is certain is that this next week will be crucial for New York with games against Atlanta and Washington. The season could be all but over real soon. It’s time for the Mets to turn it around.

 

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