Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mets First Spring Training Game of 2007

Can you smell it? Opening Day is just 31 days away, and we had a real live Mets baseball game played yesterday!

Some notes:

Hey Ronny Darling, I know it's Spring Training, but maybe you can brush your hair when you're appearing on television? Was it just me, or does Ron Darling look just a bit out of shape? Putting away a few too many cold ones in the Florida sun perhaps? He did provide some terrific insight though during the game. SNY really has a terrific trio with Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez... Hey look, it's HoJo!

The Mets in their regular home white uniforms took on the Detroit Tigers B-Squad, headed by Transplanted ex-Met Vance Wilson. Vance had some nice swings and looked good. Gotta be happy for the guy.

Oliver Perez made the start and looked rather lousy, actually. Darling commented that Perez needed to work on reducing walks and homers, and O'Perez walked the second batter of the game and allowed a homer to the leadoff man in the second. Way to try and win a job. OK, it's the first start of Spring. Let's not get too hysterical just yet. Still...

Alay Soler, the forgotten man in camp looked pretty decent. He threw two innings of good ball and looks like he's lost some weight. Billy Wagner followed up with one inning where he tested out a new pitch to complement his fastball which has lost some oomph. See what I did there? Anyway, he's 36 now. Who is our closer-in-waiting?

Speaking of trying to win a job, Damion Easley got the start as Jose Porn Star Mustache Man Valentin is ailing. Easley looked good in the field and had some solid swings, which iss a nice way to impress his new bosses and teammates.

Fellow old man Moises Alou gave a clue as to why he gets injured so much. The guy slides into a wall in the first, gets hit during his first turn at bat, and then bangs into a wall trying to save a homerun. Ease up a bit, man! It's early, and you don't have to worry about your job, OK? Just stay healthy!

Lastings Milledge also took a beating, getting nailed in the hand by Zach Minor in the sixth. Milledge stayed in the game and even managed a single in the 8th. It would be great if this kid could make the Opening Day squad. By all accounts, he's matured a ton since we last saw him and it would be nice to have some more youth on the big team. Plus, with all the hype around F-Mart and Carlos Gomez, it would be good for Lastings Milledge to get a leg up on those guys and prove he's big-league ready before they get called up.

A lot of discussion took place about the 2007 bullpen. The 'pen was a strength of the Mets in 2006, and they've lost Darren Oliver and Chad Bradford to free agency, two guys who ate up a lot of solid innings last year. Also, Gary Cohen reports that Duaner Sanchez "is not as far along as the Mets would like," in recovering from the shoulder injury.

The scores don't really matter in these contests, though Bobby Valentine used to say that ideally the club finishes at .500 for the Spring. This way, they get used to winning, but don't waste too much energy on games that don't matter. But, for posterity's sake I'll report that the Mets lost, 5-4.

Tom Glavine takes the hill against the Cardinals and Chris Carpenter this afternoon, when we'll also get a look at Jorge Sosa, Pedro Feliciano and Ambiorix Burgos.

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