Saturday, July 22, 2006

El Duque OutFOXes Astros

Orlando Hernandez was great today. After a tough first inning, when he gave up three runs, he bore down to pitch another six scoreless innings. Duaner Sanchez pitched the eighth, and Billy Wagner finished off the Mets 4-3 win over the Astros to get the save. X-man gets the game ball because his three-run homer was the difference maker, and Toasty Joe has to lay off Billy Wagner for the rest of the season because Wags has converted five consecutive saves.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver displayed their ignorance once again during the broadcast. I really, really wish FOX and ESPN would have a local guy be part of the broadcasts, at least during the postseason. As the game started, Joe and Tim said that El Duque has been very up and down since joining the Mets, and that by far his best start was his start against the Junkees on June 30th. Hernandez allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings in a 2-0 loss to the Yankees that night. Somehow McCarver and Buck were completely unaware of El Duque's complete game win against the Diamondbacks on June 8th, when he allowed just three hits and one run in the Mets 7-1 win over Arizona.

The Dynamic Duo were made to look even sillier later on in the broadcast. As El Duque pitched, they said that he was getting by mostly on deception at this point in his career, because he just doesn't have the velocity on his fastball anymore. Well I just about howled when they did an interview with Willie Randolph late in the game, and they him asked about Hernandez's performance. Allow me to paraphrase a bit, but Willie said that the most surprising thing about El Duqueis that his velocity has been up since coming over to the Mets, something that he usually didn't rely on during most of his career. Yeah, you read it right, the complete opposite of what FOX's "analysts" reported. And I would say that Randolph is pretty damn familiar with the pitching style of El Duque, having been on the coaching staff during Hernandez's Yankees tenure. Thank goodness tomorrow afternoon's game is on SNY. Mets go for the sweep with rookie Mike Pelfrey on the mound against Roy Oswalt.

By the way, with all this trade speculation swirling around, why has no one mentioned transplanted ex-Met Roberto Hernandez as a target? Here's a guy who thrived for the Mets last year and is now doing real well for the Pirates who are going nowhere. Hey Omar, bring this guy back!

How The Hell Can You Confuse Guy Conti With Pedro Martinez??

No offense to the Mets bullpen coach, but he's no Pedro Martinez.

Yesterday I posted about a report on that Pedro Martinez had to admit himself to a hospital for reasons not disclosed. Well, that link has now changed, but thankfully you can see I wasn't crazy because Yahoo still has a link to the AP report.

As it turns out, it was actually Guy Conti, the Mets bullpen coach, who wasn't feeling well on Friday and checked himself into a local hospital for tests. As scheduled, Pedro Martinez will still throw a bullpen session before today's game and follow it up with a simulated game tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mets and Maine Shut Down Astros - Pedro In Hospital

John Maine surprised everyone by throwing a 4-hit, complete game shut out against the Astros tonight. He was backed by a Jose Valentin grand slam and another homer by Carlos Delgado. The Mets won 7-0, and the strong performance by Maine was especially helpful to the Mets cause, as ace Pedro Martinez admitted himself into a hospital for reasons unclear.

Transplanted Mets Fans almost everywhere will get to see tomorrow's game, as it is broadcast as FOX's game of the week. We'll just have to do our best to block out Tim McCarver and Joe Buck. El Duque is on the hill against right-hander Brandon Backe.

Back From Florida

I made it back safely from Ft. Lauderdale this morning, and ready to be able to watch some Mets games, but of course the game is on Channel 11 tonight, so I am screwed. Oh well. In the meantime, I've updated my post about Transplanted Mets Fan Night At Dolphin Stadium with pictures. So, enjoy!

El Duque will not be the starting pitcher tonight. Due to the anticipated rain delay, the Mets have decided that youngster John Maine will be better equipped to handle a rain delay than the 59 year old Hernandez. Mets vs. Astros tonight!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Transplanted Mets Fan Night At Dolphin Stadium

It's bad enough that the Jets have to play in Giants Stadium, but I actually think it's even more insulting for the Marlins to have to play in Dolphin Stadium. BUT, I was fortunate enough to be one of the twelve people in attendance tonight as the Expos downed the Marlins 7-6.

I missed yet another Mike Pelrey start due to my being transplanted out of earshot, but I enjoyed watching the scoreboard as Pelfrey won his second big league start, backed by another Grans Salami by Carlos Beltran. For a nice recap of the Mets 8-3 win over the Reds check out Mike S's I'll use this space to jot down some notes on my visit to Dolphin Stadium for the Marlins/Nationals game. I'll post photos Friday when I get home. Meanwhile...

Are the Marlins the only team in baseball with cheerleaders? Call me a non-purist, but this is a nice tradition that should spread be around the league.

Our seats were phenemonal. Row 11, right behind home plate. We were just over from where the scouts sit, but not close enough to them to tell if any were from the Mets organization.

Even the beermen are tourists in Florida, apparently. They all wear Hawaiian shirts.

Transplanted Ex-Mets Mike Stanton, Marlon Anderson, Alex Escobar (remember him?), and Mike Jacobs all made appearances, with varying degrees of success.

Dontrelle Willis had some dominating moments, but clearly just did not have it tonight. The first pitch he threw was launched for a homerun by Alfonso Soriano.

Speaking of Soriano, whenever he came to the plate, the organist played the theme from "Happy Days". Anyone out there have an idea what the meaning behind this is? When Nationals pitcher Mike O'Connor came to the plate, they played the theme from "All In The Family," referencing Caroll O'Connor. ButI don't get the Soriano bit.
Update 7/19:
I just got it. I woke up at 3 AM realizing Alfonso - Fonzie - The Fonz. Duh. I should have gotten that, with how much I've been talking about Edgardo "Fonzie" Alfonzo lately....

Not Cool Moment Of The Game:In the sixth, they played a blooper reel on the giant scoreboards. The first two clips were of Lastings Milledge at Fenway Park. Sheesh!

As I watched the out-of-town scoreboard, I honestly was getting a little nervous as the Mets held a 3-0 lead into the sixth. I was a little paranoid, worried I might be missing some Mets history. Thankfully they won without any balls being sent to Cooperstown.

There were quite a few "Nationals fans" in attendance, screaming their heads off late in the game. Please. I started an "Expos Sucks!" chant to try and shut them up. Really, how vociferous can you be as fans of a team with nothing but a two year heritage of mediocrity?

Weirdest play of the night was when Reggie Abercrombie (they GOTTA find a guy named Fitch to be his teammate) tried to bunt his way on base, and wound up coming all the way around to home plate and scoring when the ball was thrown away twice. Crazy.

Ultimately the game was won by transplanted Ex-Met Alex Escobar, with an RBI single in the ninth for D.C.. I was booing him earlier in the game when he argued with an umpire, claiming he should be awarded first base for being hit by a pitch. The ump said it hit the bat. I thought Escobar looked like a pansy up there pointing to his forearm. C'mon, man? You plan on staying in this league by getting hit by pitches? He struck out with the next pitch. I guess he shut me up in the ninth though.

So that's that. For a more professional recap of the game, check out ESPN's version. Oh, and by the way, there's a new Mets blog called MetsMole. Stop by and have a look!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ode To Clifford The Big Red Dog

Rub a dub dub
The Mets beat the Cubs
As day turned to night
New York showed off its might.

As sure as Wrigley Field
Is baseball heaven
The game was a laugher,
The score 13 to seven

The Mets didn't miss
Jose Reyes or his Pinky
Even though their starter
Orlando was El Stinqie

The Mets brought their A-game
And his name is Cliff Floyd
He totaled five RBI's
With two homers deployed

He and Carlos Beltran
Each hit Grand Slams
Both in one inning
And I said Hot Damn!

The Mets are rolling
This truth can't be denied
Just check the box score
If you think that I lied

Check the standings too
As long as you're at it.
See ya later Atlanta
You've just about had it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mets Lose To Cubs, Resign Edgardo Alfonzo

Tom Glavine lost his first game since April yesterday, as a misplay by Endy Chavez opened the Cubs' offensive floodgates and the Mets lost 9-2.

On a happier note, the Mets came to terms on a minor league deal with Edgardo Alfonzo. Fonzie was my favorite Met his first time around, which leads me to compile a list of my favorite Mets of all time. And by all time, I mean since 1980:

1980-1983 Mookie Wilson
1984 -1986 Dwight Gooden
1987 -1989 Randy Myers
1990 - 1993 Howard Johnson
1994 Dwight Gooden
1995 -2002 Edgardo Alfonzo
2003 -2005 Mike Piazza
2006 Carlos Delgado