Tag Archives: clayton kershaw

My Game 3 Experience

imrs.php

Attending Game 3 of the NLDS was, by far, my greatest experience at a sporting event thus far in my young life. I remember being at the second-to-last postseason game at Shea Stadium in 2006, Game 6 of the NLCS. John Maine pitched a gem and Reyes hit a bomb as we outlasted Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals. We all know what happened in the next game, though, so the inevitable heartbreak of Mets fans happened once again.

This year, as the Mets clinched the NL East Crown for the first time since way back then in 2006, a glimmer of hope re-appeared. We, the Mets, were ready to enter the playoffs with one of the best pitching staffs and a drastically improved offense led by Yoenis Cespedes and the now-healthy David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud.

In Games 1 and 2, the Mets played all the way across the country, in Los Angeles, and even still, the absolute excitement felt by all long-suffering Mets fans could be felt everywhere. deGrom pitched arguably the best game of his career in Game 1, leading to an early victory. In Game 2, we saw a winning performance by the offense & Noah Syndergaard early on, but as a result of an unfortunate, despicable, and most importantly ILLEGAL slide by Chase Utley (BOOOOOOOOOOO), the Mets surrendered a loss to the Dodgers, tying the series at one a piece.

Entering Game 3, excitement was at an all time high… Fans were excited to see the first home postseason game for the Mets since we called Shea Stadium home in 2006; Matt Harvey was ready to step onto the mound, with no pitch cap this time around; Chase Utley was the most hated man in the state of New York; and the Mets were all but poised to take a 2-1 series lead in the NLDS.

I was fortunate enough to attend Game 3, and let me tell you, the environment there was like nothing I’d ever seen before…

The tone was set early on, when the Dodgers were being introduced. A loud and all encompassing “BOOOO” filled the stadium with every name announced, even that of the Dodgers’ massage therapist. But when Alex Anthony on the PA said, “infielder, #26, Chase Utley,” this intensity was taken to an all time high. I can’t even begin to put it in words. So here, watch this clip.

And then, our beloved Mets were introduced. When Ruben Tejada limped out of the dugout with a cane, wow was that a heartfelt moment. After being unfortunately injured by Chase Utley (BOOOOOOOOOOOOO) in Game 2, Tejada was diagnosed with a broken fibula that would put his season to an end. I know that I, along with my brother beside me and several other fans in our vicinity, got “the chills” as our shortstop walked to join his team.

The entire night, the fanbase was standing, screaming, and waving their orange rally flags in the air. Even when Matt Harvey surrendered a three-run-inning in the top of the Second, the Mets fans continued to stand strong.

We witnessed an absolute offensive explosion. The Mets put up 13 hits total and set a team record for postseason runs in one game with 13… Travis d’Arnaud went 3-5 with 3 RBIs, Curtis Granderson had 5 RBIs, and then there was Cespedes.

In the home half of the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes sent a three-run-homer into orbit, making the score 10-3. At this moment, everyone understood that this game was long over. Yo’ hit one of, if not the, most powerful home runs I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The place erupted, and they began to play some sort of movie theme song as Cespedes rounded the bases, further adding to the larger-than-life feeling of him, his dinger, and the game as a whole.

Game 3 was a magical experience, highlighted by the incredible offensive output, but also furthered by the overlooked pitching performances. While Harvey was certainly not himself and had one of his toughest games of his career, he still only let up 3 runs (all of which came in the same inning), putting into perspective just how good he really is. And Bartolo Colon, the absolute fan-favorite, pitching two innings (striking out the first one in order) was not only exciting, but actually historic. See below:

While Game 4 was not as magical and we just couldn’t get the best of Clayton Kershaw (still undoubtedly the best in the world), Mets fans, like you and I, remain hopeful and excited. So put on your Mets gear & get ready for JdG and the Mets to play in Game 4 on Thursday.

 

#LGM

What if Wednesday: Mike Pelfrey

Untitled-1

The Mets drafted Mike Pelfrey, a right-handed pitcher, in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft. 9th overall pick, to be exact…

Pelfrey was a 6’7 ground-ball pitcher from Wichita State University. After months of negotiations, Pelfrey and the Mets ultimately agreed to a four-year contract worth over 5 million dollars in guaranteed money, plus a 3.5 million dollar signing bonus.

Once Pelfrey made it up to the MLB- only about a year after the 2005 draft- he left a lot to be desired. In seven seasons with the Mets, he posted a 50-54 record with a 4.36 ERA. After the 2012 season, the Mets brass decided it was time to move on, and Pelfrey left in free agency, ultimately joining the Minnesota Twins.

Clearly, Pelfrey wasn’t worth that coveted ninth overall pick, and after further examination, it’s clear that there were a lot of guys who would become clear MLB starters, and even a few household names, behind him. Think: Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Colby Rasmus, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Chase Headley, Yunel Escobar, etc.

Clearly, McCutchen is the star of that bunch. Through six years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, ‘Cutch has been voted to four All-Star Games, won three Silver Slugger awards, won a Gold Glove award, and even won the 2013 National League MVP. He is, arguably, the best player in the National League.

Can you imagine what the Mets would be like, had they selected McCutchen (who went two picks later to Pittsburgh) instead of Pelfrey? Well right now, we will!

The Case for Dillon Gee

dillon-gee

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.