Saturday, April 07, 2007

Glavine's Back On My Hate List

With apologies to the great Metstradamus, Tom Glavine's back on my hate list. I had finally gotten over my anger over his pathetic first 2.5 years at Shea, his whining about getting to 300 wins, and even his waffling this past offseason, when I read a blurb in the Daily News yesterday that he was "noncommital" about next season, leaving open the possibility of returning to Atlanta for 2008. Then, before the game lst night, the guy was practically in tears about picthing against his BFF John Smoltz. So, when he departed the game on the short side of the score yesterday, I had mixed emotions. Naturally I want to beat the Braves, but I also was OK with Glavine not notching closer to 300 a day after indicating that he might want to finish his career with our rivals. I mean, c'mon guy! So much for that crap he told Schmuck & His Lap Dog this offseason that even if the Braves had matched the Mets offer he wouldn't necessarily have returned South. Yeah, right. As long as "The Confederacy" offered anything Glavine could have accepted without pissing off The Union, he would have been gone faster than you could whistle Dixie.
Mike V's Met Of The Game: Nobody

Oh, Perez!

Friday was our first full day in Manhattan for quite awhile. We spent the afternoon checking out art galleries, but my wife was annoyed that I was most captivated by the subway posters of David Wright and Jose Reyes. Friday night we went to a play, but stayed up til 2 AM watching the Mets game on my brother in law's DVR. It was great to see Perez pitch a dominant game against the Braves. I think it's time we laid off Rick Peterson. He may not have been able to fix Victor Zambrano, but O'Perez looks like the real deal.

Mets (4-0) beat Braves (3-1), 11-1
Mike V's Met Of The Game: Oliver Perez

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Big News For Out Of Market Baseball Fans -
Extra Innings Will Be Available on Cable, After All

Anthony DeRosa alerts us on Metsblog that

iN DEMAND has entered into a seven-year agreement in principle to carry the MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription package of out-of-market games and will distribute the MLB Channel, which is scheduled to launch in January 2009.
iN DEMAND is a joint venture by Comcast Time Warner and Cox Communications, so if you have those cable companies in your area, the ExtraInnings package will be available to you. The press release says that other cable companies will be able to carry the package through iNDEMAND as well.

So, there you go.

How Sweep It Is!

In April 1986, after losing to the Cardinals in the 1985 pennant race, the Mets traveled to St. Louis and swept a four game series. Tonight the Mets completed a three game sweep at Busch Stadium, making a statement that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Especially with a dominant performance by John Maine (W, 7 innings, 1 hit 2BBs) and nice outings by Burgos and Sele, I think the naysayers will be quieted early this year. I'm not saying they'll run away with it like last year, but I do think the talk about them being "ancient" will be a thing of the past soon.

The Mets shut out the Cardinals 10-0 tonight, scoring all their runs in the 6th 7th and 8th innings. Beltran had a pair of homers and 4 RBIs, Reyes had one homer 3 RBIs and two runs scored, LoDuca had 3 hits, and Alou and Green each had a pair of hits. After watching the opener on ESPN and catching the SNY game coverage last night, tonight was a night for the WFAN broadcast. I listened to a slightly fuzzy call of Beltran's first homer in my car on the way home from class, and listened to the rest on MLB Gameday Audio.

Couldn't script the opening of the 2007 campaign any better. The Mets now head to Atlanta for a three game set starting Friday, but I'm off to New York tomorrow night to see the Home Opener on Monday. Hopefully they'll be 6-0 by the time Keith Hernandez throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Shea.

Mets (3-0) over Cardinals (0-3), 10-0
Mike V's Met of The Game: John Maine

Transplanted Ex-Mets:
Braden Looper allowed 3 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings and took the loss.
Jason Isringhausen pitched a perfect ninth inning
Preston Wilson went 0 for 3 with 2 K's, left 3 men on base, and allowed a run to score on a missed sacrifice fly by Julio Franco. This was the third straight night a Cardinals outfielder looked foolish. I think someone should check the lights at Busch.

Extra Innings Free this Week on DirecTV

Thanks to Neil in the comments section for pointing out that the Extra Innings package is free this week on DirecTV.

Vote For Pedro Keith!

Rawlings is compiling an all-time gold glove team, and right now Keith Hernandez is losing to Don Mattingly. Puh-lease. Hurry to Rawlings Website and cast your vote. I like this because they don't require you to register or anything to cast your vote. That's good. Me hate SPAM.

What I don't think is good is the cartoon depictions of the players you pick after your ballot is cast. Check out my ballot:
OK, Bob Gibson is black, Johnny Bench is white, Keith Hernandez is... yellow?

And what a pathetic representation of his pushbroom!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

An El Of A Game By Duque

It was also so great to hear Gary, Ron and Keith in the booth. It had been so long since hearing the threesome in a meaningful game!

So much for pitchers taking it easy during the first few weeks of the season. Old Man Orlando went seven strong innings tonight, threw over 100 pitches, and got the win in the second game of the season. More great leather was flashed around the diamond by the Mets, especially by Jose Valentin. Man, this Valentin kid could really be something huh? His double-play partner Jose Reyes went 1-4 with a walk and was on base enough times to score 2 runs.

I loved what we saw out of El Duque, but not so much what we got from The Show. He retired the first two batters of the 8th and had a chance to put the Cardinals away, but he walks Eckstein and then after getting ahead with an 0-2 count on Duncan, he let it go to 3-2 before giving up a hit. Mopeyface Heilman came in, challenged Pujols and got the out. That's the kind of stuff I love. Yeah sometimes you lose those battles against the great hitters but when you beat them like Heilman did it's so gratifying. On the complete complete opposite end of the spectrum were the Cardinals wimping out and pitching around Valentin to load the bases for El Duque. That worked out nicely too, right? If you don't trust your pitcher to face the 8th place hitter with two outs, then do you really have any confidence in him at all? I know this goes on a lot and usually works out because pitchers are usually automatic outs, but on the flip side how great is it for a pitcher to face the 9th place hitter to start the next inning?

Anyway, enough on that, but one more complaint - Is Kevin Burkhardt just the worst interviewer ever? He's got some experience under his belt now but still it's so obvious that he's not listening to the person he's interviewing; he's just sitting there nodding his head and pretending to listen when really he's just waiting to get his next lousy question in.

But back to the game - Wagner came in the ninth and did his job. He earned his first save of the season, Duque gets his first win, and he even got two RBI's too.

Mets will try to break out some early season brooms tomorrow night. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 for all you out of market fans out there. Shawn Green went 0 for 4 with 2 K's and left 5 men on base tonight making it an easy decision for Willie to give Lastings Milledge a start against Braden Looper tomorrow. I guess we'll see... John Maine takes the hill. Lets Go Mets!

Mets (2-0) over Cardinals by the score of 4-1
Yahoo! Game Recap
Mike V's Met Of The Game - No question, El Duque

Transplanted ex-Mets:
Preston Wilson,ph 0-1

Monday, April 02, 2007

Seems Like Old Times

Ah, Opening Night. A great way to start the season, wasn't it? Glavine seemed to be in nice form (was Pujols impressed, I wonder?), and notched himself a win. Alou, Joe "Mr. Anonymous" Smith, and Hello, Newhan made successful Mets debuts. Alou made a nice diving catch, Smith struck out Mookie's kid on three pitches, and then walked Pujols on four. Newhan came up with a pinch hit single. Sweet. The sportswriters are coming after Randolph for pitching Smith in a big spot, but hey, what do we have him on the roster for? Mets beat the Cardinals, 6-1 in the first game of the season.

It was so nice to have baseball back that listening to Jon Miller and Joe Morgan's inane commentary didn't even bother me that much. How could I be irritated while watching the impressive glovework by Reyes, Valentin, and Alou, or while seeing BelTRON and LoDuca nail Eckstein at the plate?

Offensively, Delgado, LoDuca, Beltran and even Green contributed nicely. Green had two hits - I wonder when Milledge will get his first start? Perhaps Friday in Atlanta, against lefty Mark Redman?

Ah... baseball is back.

Mets 6, Cardinals 1
ESPN Game Recap

Mike V's Met of the game: Tom Glavine (W, 1 run on 6 hits over 6 innings pitched)

Transplanted ex-Mets:
Preston Wilson 1-4, 2K's, 3 LOB

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Global Warming be damned, it's been a dank, cold winter without the Mets. Our last images of the Mets can finally be replaced. That the 2007 season begins against the same team we last faced, and that we have to watch them raise their banner before the game does not dampen my enthusiasm one iota. Baseball Is Back. A new season is upon us and tonight it begins!

So, what's up with these 2007 Cardinals, anyway?

The biggest difference between the 2006 Cards and the 2007 version, besides the fact that their manager now has a DUI on his record, is the pitching staff. Oh, they still have Chris Carpenter and Anthony Reyes, but now the rotation is filled out with Kip Wells, Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper. Yes, Braden Looper. The fivesome have pitched well this spring. Fellow ex-Met Jason Isringhausen is back in the closer's spot after hip surgery. Here are the pitching matchups for the first series:

Tonight: Tom Glavine vs. Carpenter
Tuesday: El Duque vs. Kip Wells
Wednesday: John Maine vs. Braden Looper

As for the offense, some familiar faces: David F'n Eckstein, Albert "Glavine sucks" Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Yadier F'n Molina, So F'n Taguchi, and Mookie's kid.

And here is your Mets Opening Night Lineup:


That bottom third of the order is looking kinda weak, huh?

Well, away we go...