Monthly Archives: August 2014

Citi Recap: 8/29/14 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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What was the weather like?

Beautiful weather! Not a cloud in the sky! Temperatures hovered between the high 60s and low 70s.

Who pitched?

Jacob DeGrom pitched for the Mets, and David Buchanan pitched for the Phillies.

What was the final score?

The Mets won 4-1!

Were there any notable stats/events/plays?

-Dilson Herrera made his big league debut, after Daniel Murphy was placed on the DL. Herrera is the team’s 8th ranked prospect, who they acquired along with Vic Black in the trade that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh last August. He was playing phenomenally in the minors thus far this season, batting .340 with 10 HR and 48 RBI in 61 games with the Binghamton Mets.

-DeGrom went 7 full innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run (which was unearned), as well as striking out 5, on his way to his 7th victory of the season.

-In the bottom of the 7th, Juan Lagares hit a routine pop fly to the outfield, and Grady Sizemore, the left fielder, ran over for it, and the ball bounced off his mitt! Two runs scored on the play, and Eric Campbell got to third.

-While the next batter, Curtis Granderson, was at the plate, Eric Campbell stole home. He said this was the first time he stole home in his entire baseball career!

-Bullpen Appearances for Mets: Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless 8th inning, setting up for Mejia. Jennry Mejia struck out the side in the 9th inning to end the ballgame.

-Jennry Mejia earned his 20th save.

What were the scoring plays?

Phillies: (Top 7) Cody Asche singles to LF, Marlon Byrd scores.

Mets: (Bottom 4) Travis D’Arnaud singles to LF, David Wright scores. (Bottom 7) Juan Lagares pop fly to LF, error by Grady Sizemore, Matt Den Dekker scores, Wilmer Flores scores. (Bottom 7) With Curtis Granderson batting, Eric Campbells steals home.

How was the atmosphere?

It got very loud at certain parts of the game, and very, very silent at others. The 100s level was packed house, but the other levels didn’t look so full. Overall, it wasn’t a bad atmosphere, but I’ve seen much better at several games this season.

What did you eat?

Once again, I ate at Pat LaFrieda’s Chop House in the Delta Club. That steak sandwich is just so fricken’ good (and the fries are pretty good too!)…

Did you get any autographs?

I did! As soon as I got the game, which was around 5:30, I went to the very lower left corner of the Delta Club section, and that is right next to the away dugout. Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown each signed a baseball for me, and Darin Ruf signed my ticket. Around 6:50, my friends and I moved to the very lower RIGHT corner of the Delta Club section, which sets beside the Mets dugout. Anthony Recker signed the shirt that they gave away last night, and Tim Teufel signed my hat. This next one isn’t an autograph, but it’s a definite player interaction: my friends and I were sitting in the 3rd row, right behind the Mets’ on deck circle. Throughout the game, none of the players would as much as turn around and look at us, except for Curtis Granderson. We were having full, funny conversations with him throughout the game. He’s a really nice guy! Anyway, after the game ended, I moved right back over to the corner next to the Mets dugout and screamed for Dilson Herrera to sign. He motioned for me to throw him my ball and pen, and I did. He signed it, threw it back, and walked away. This was particularly awesome for 3 reasons: 1) It was his MLB debut and he’s a top of the line prospect; 2) He didn’t sign for anybody else in the stadium, all day; and 3) It is extremely rare that somebody signs after the game.

Any celebrities in attendance?

I didn’t notice/see any.

 

Overall, it was a great game! Had a lot of fun, and it was exciting seeing DeGrom pick up his 7th win and solidify his case for ROY even further. This is the 4th game that I’ve attended in which DeGrom pitched (I saw him against the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, and now the Phillies), and he’s just so much fun to watch!

 

The Case for Dillon Gee

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The Mets have a surplus of pitchers in their system, and people are always contemplating who will, and who should, go. Dillon Gee’s name is always one of the first to pop up in that discussion.

From May 30th, 2013, until early May of this season, Dillon Gee was in amazing statistical company. His 2.66 ERA over that span was better than every pitcher with 20 starts over that span, except for Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Max Scherzer. That’s 4 of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and before Gee got hurt again and started to go slightly downhill, they were the only one’s who had performed better than Gee recently.

Ever since that May 30th, 2013 game against the Yankees where Gee had 12 strikeouts and started to turn the corner, he’s been a better pitcher. From that game until the end of the season, his stat line was:

10-5         105 K       2.73 ERA        30 BB        7 No-Decisions

That is a very, very good stat line, and just for comparison, let’s put it up against Matt Harvey, who was the Met’s star pitcher last year, and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Considering that he missed all of September, and was likely suffering from early effects of injury in August, for comparison’s sake, here is his stat line from Opening Day until August 1st.

8-3        172 K        2.23 ERA        29 BB         11 No-Decisions

So yes, clearly you can tell who the better pitcher is. Matt Harvey is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, while Dillon Gee is not at that point. However, if you look at the stats, you can tell that Dillon Gee statistically isn’t much worse than Harvey in nearly every category, except for strikeouts. Gee was not a strikeout pitcher, and although he still isn’t, you can see some improvement in that area if you look at the box scores.

This is of course a useless stat, but it does go to show how much potential Dillon Gee has and how good he is when he’s on his stuff: During day games this season, Gee is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and an opponent batting average of .186.

Ever since Gee came up during his rookie season in 2011, I’ve felt as though he is going to do big things. He started off 7-0 through mid-June.

Whatever happens, and whoever Sandy Alderson decides to trade, I sure hope it’s not Dillon Gee.

Is Javier Baez a Realistic Option for the Mets?

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The Chicago Cubs have 3 young, very good shortstops. They have Javier Baez, the power hitting shortstop who is ranked the 5th best prospect in all of baseball. They have Addison Russell, the shortstop phenom that they acquired for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the A’s, who is ranked the 6th best prospect in all of baseball. And finally, they have Starlin Castro, the established, 24 year old shortstop for the Cubs, who has appeared in 3 All Star Games so far in his young career.

The Chicago Cubs have a surplus of shortstop talent, and there’s not much that they can do, in terms of repositioning. First of all, sending a young player to a different, unnatural position can really affect their play on both sides of the ball (See: Lucas Duda). But let’s say they were committed to moving these guys around. Well, they’d encounter a lot of issues. They can’t move any of them to catcher, because that’s way too big of a stretch. They can’t move any to First Base, as they have the blossoming young star, Anthony Rizzo, there. They can move ONE of them to second base, but that leaves two more. Can’t move to third, as Kris Bryant, the #3 prospect in all of baseball, is set to play there in the future. They can’t move to the outfield, because they have a nice combo of Arismendy Alcantara, the young Dominican import, Albert Almora, the 39th prospect in baseball, and Jorge Soler, the 51st.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, here’s the gist of it: The Cubs have to trade at least one, maybe even two, of their young shortstops.

This is where the Mets come in…

Citi Recap: 8/15/14 vs. Chicago Cubs

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What was the weather like?

It was nice out the entire night. Slightly cloudy, no rain, and about 65-70 degrees.

Who pitched?

Zack Wheeler pitched for the Mets, and Travis Wood pitched for the Cubs.

What was the final score?

The Mets won by a score of 3-2.

Were there any notable stats/events?

-Zack Wheeler went 6.2 innings, had 10 Ks, allowed 2 runs on 3 hits

-David Wright’s 13 game hitting streak came to an end

-Bullpen Appearances for Mets: Vic Black went .1 innings, finishing off 7th. Jeurys Familia pitched the 8th. Jenrry Mejia pitched the 9th inning

-Jenrry Mejia got his 18th save

What were the scoring plays?

Cubs: (Top 3) Rizzo ground out to 2nd base, Travis Wood scores. (Top 3) Starlin Castro single on grounder to center, Javier Baez scores.

Mets: (Bottom 4) Eric Campbell hits his 2nd home run of season to left-center. Wright scores. Duda scores.

How was the atmosphere?

Recently, Citi Field has been much louder and more upbeat, with the fans actually starting to get into it, and tonight was no different! While the place wasn’t completely packed, it was still filled semi-near capacity (or at least it seemed that way, due to the volume).

What did you eat?

I went to Pat LaFrieda’s Chop House in the Delta Club. Pat LaFrieda’s steak sandwich is out of this world! Whether it be at the chop house (a sit down restaurant), the stand in center field, or the stand in the upper deck, the sandwich is a MUST for any visitor of Citi Field!

Did you get any autographs?

I did! Before the game, Ron Darling Foundation had a little party in the bullpen, and I attended that with my family. At that party, I got the autographs of Dillon Gee, Josh Edgin, Anthony Recker, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. I also got a hat signed by Ron Darling and spoke to him for a while! Later, when I was walking around the Delta club, I saw Jesse Orosco, the Mets legend who made the final out in the 1986 World Series! I called his name, and he stopped to take a picture with me, sign a ball, and have a quick chat!

Any celebrities in attendance?

-Jesse Orosco- Played 24 seasons in MLB, pitched for the Mets in 1979 as well as 1981-1987, most career games pitches in MLB history, 2X All Star, 2X World Series winner
-Jon Matlack- Pitched for 13 seasons in MLB, pitched for Mets from 1971-1977, 1972 NL Rookie of the Year, 3X All Star, 1975 All Star Game MVP
-Gary Dell’Abate- AKA Baba Booey, Producer for the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio, pitched one of the worst first pitches of recent memory at Citi Field. 

Overall, it was a great game! A lot of fun, as usual, and very glad that the Mets won after that dreadful sweep at the hands of the Nationals. Mets are now 58-65, Zack Wheeler improves to 8-8 on the season.

 

 

Three Managerial Candidates That Could Potentially Be Better For This Team Than Terry Collins

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Wally Backman

For years, many Mets fans have been clamoring for Wally Backman to take over as the Mets manager. You can count me as part of that group. Backman has been a manager in the Mets minor league system since 2009, and he has consistently moved up from St. Lucie, to Brooklyn, to Buffalo, and then to Las Vegas (when the Mets’ AAA affiliate changed from Buffalo Bisons to Las Vegas 51’s). He knows the Mets roster better than any managerial candidate, except for maybe, just maybe, the incumbent, Terry Collins, and that’s not even 100%. When Travis d’Arnaud was sent down to Vegas to fix his game, as he was struggling mightily in the MLB, Wally Backman practically saved him. Since being called back up from Vegas, d’Arnaud has hit 7 of his 10 home runs of this campaign, and his been overall a much better player, particularly as a hitter. Wally’s no-nonsense, fiery, exciting, and overall crazy approach to managing would benefit the ball club, and would get the fans excited and rejuvenated!