Tag Archives: curtis granderson

My Game 3 Experience

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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: Justin Upton

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In the offseason of 2012-13, the Mets made a push for Justin Upton. Upton, then of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just 25 years old and was considered to be one of the best outfielders in the game.

Supposedly, Sandy Alderson was pushing hard for Upton, trying to make a trade work for a while. Eventually, this effort failed.

Upton was traded along with Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves in January of 2013 in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and three prospects- Zeke Spruill, Nick Ahmed, and Brandon Drury.

But what would a Mets trade for Upton look like? What would change as a result of this acquisition?

  • The Mets trade Daniel Murphy, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, and Rafael Montero to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Justin Upton and Chris Owings.
  • Let’s take a brief look at how this one trade two winters ago would’ve impacted the way this offseason (2014-15) has played out…
    • With Justin Upton on the Mets, the Braves clearly can’t send him along to San Diego. The Padres killer offseason comes out a notch below where it is today.
    • The Pads’ lose out on Upton, and so, have no need to trade Seth Smith to the Mariners. He remains in San Diego.
    • Even with Upton, the Mets still sign Cuddyer to fill out the outfield, forming the “Norfolk Three” with Upton, David Wright, and Cuddyer.
    • Because Martin Prado is never a Diamondback, he can’t be traded to the Yankees in the summer of 2014. As a result, the Yanks can’t send him to Miami. Prado is still a Brave, and Nathan Eovaldi is still a Marlin.
    • Now that the Marlins don’t have Prado, they have no reason to trade Casey McGehee to the San Francisco Giants, and he thus continues to call Miami home.
    • With the Giants missing out on Chase Headley, and now not acquiring Casey McGehee, they’re in some big trouble at third base. They make a greater push for Asdrubal Cabrera, ultimately signing him, as he spurns the Tampa Bay Rays.
    • The Rays don’t sign Cabrera to add to their surplus of infield talent, and thus, all of these Ben Zobrist trade rumors (particularly to the Mets) are, more or less, obsolete.
    • The D-Backs don’t trade Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees, as they have nobody else at shortstop, with Chris Owings a Met and Nick Ahmed still a Brave.
    • The Yankees need to find another shortstop, so they go out and place the winning bid on Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.
    • And lastly, the Mets aren’t the subject of every shortstop rumor, because they already have their shortstop of the future in Chris Owings…
  • Now we can rewind a little bit…
    • The Braves need to acquire another outfielder to accompany Jason Heyward and BJ Upton after failing to acquire the latter’s brother. With all of the big-time corner outfielders off of the market, the Braves really have nowhere to go… They place utility-man Evan Gattis in left field.
    • In the 2013 season, the Braves don’t perform to the level that they did in the “real world” without Justin Upton, but they still just barely sneak into the playoffs with the weak NL East. They get swept in the NLDS by the LA Dodgers.
    • The Mets don’t sign Curtis Granderson in the winter of 2013 because they already have Upton and Lagares, and plan on signing another outfielder the following offseason. He ends up back with the Yankees on a lesser contract.
  • And many, many, many more things would’ve changed if Upton was a Met…

What else do you think would’ve changed? Let me know in the COMMENT section!

What if Wednesday: Jason Bay

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In December of 2009, the Mets signed star outfielder Jason Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract. Bay was coming off a season in which he was an All Star and Silver Slugger. He had hit for 36 home runs and 119 RBIs the season before, with the Boston Red Sox. His great play that season led to him being listed by Sporting News as the 41st best player in the MLB. The signing seemed like a no-brainer, but as we know now, it was a pretty terrible move

Let’s check out what would’ve happened if the Mets hadn’t taken the bait and signed Jason Bay…

  • With the Mets backing off of Bay, the Red Sox re-sign Jason Bay to a four-year, $60 million deal.
  • The Mets are still in dire need of an outfielder, and they ultimately end up giving big money to Matt Holliday- to a seven-year, $127 million deal to be exact.
  • The Cardinals, after losing out on their trade deadline acquisition, Holliday, decide to go after another outfielder to take his spot. They trade for Curtis Granderson, the star outfielder for the Detroit Tigers. They trade Shelby Miller, David Freese, and Jason Motte to Detroit for Granderson.
  • Detroit acquired now-star pitcher, Max Scherzer, in the Granderson deal to the Yankees. Now that that deal is off the table, Scherzer stays in Arizona. While he excels there, and is a borderline All-Star, he doesn’t do enough to win 2013 Cy Young Award.
  • Granderson does so well in St. Louis that he is locked up long term, and doesn’t even hit the open market in 2013. In this case, the Mets have to look at other options to fill out the third outfield spot and play with Juan Lagares and Matt Holliday.
  • We know that in the 2011 World Series, the Cardinals ended up defeating the Texas Rangers as a result of David Freese’s heroic and historic play. However, now that he’s no longer a Cardinal, they end up falling short of the title, losing to Texas in 6 games.
  • To fill this final spot in the outfield, the Mets put away all bad blood and bring Carlos Beltran back for a second opportunity to excel in Flushing.
  • The Mets never sign Michael Cuddyer, as they have three very good outfielders in place, and he thus accepts the qualifying offer and returns to Colorado for the 2015 season.
  • With Shelby Miller calling Detroit home, the Cardinals no longer have him as a trade chip, and thus can’t acquire Jason Heyward to fill out their outfield. The Braves insist on trading Jason Heyward, so they look for other options.
  • The Braves end up trading Heyward and their #2 prospect, Lucas Sims, to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for their promising, young pitcher, Taijuan Walker.
  • All of these changes will lead to a bunch of other changes throughout the league…

What do you think about this scenario? What else would or wouldn’t have happened if the Mets didn’t sign Jason Bay?

COMMENT your responses!

What if Wednesday: Mike Pelfrey

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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!

What if Wednesday: Johan Santana

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I remember it like it was yesterday… It was the 2007-08 offseason, and Johan Santana, the best pitcher in the MLB, was on the trade block. The Twins were set on trading Santana, who had won the Cy Young Award just a season before. The Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees were the three leading contenders to trade for Santana. Ultimately, with a package of Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra, and Philip Humber, the Mets successfully landed Santana.

But we can wonder… What if the Mets HADN’T traded for Johan Santana?

  • The Boston Red Sox would’ve traded for Santana’s services, giving up Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie, Coco Crisp, and Justin Masterson.
  • Because the Mets failed to trade for Johan Santana, they’d go out and do the next best thing- sign C.C. Sabathia to a record setting deal
  • Now that the Yankees don’t have C.C. Sabathia, they don’t have the pieces to win the 2009 World Series. Instead, the Johan Santana-led Red Sox win the World Series, defeating the Phillies in 5 games.
  • Without Johan Santana, the Mets still don’t have a no-hitter.
  • Johan Santana’s no-hitter with the Mets was highly disputed, as there was an extremely questionable call that kept his no-hitter going. This was one of the main reasons for the installation of a Replay System, and now that this no-hitter was inexistent, a Replay System isn’t installed in the MLB until at least 2015.
  • Carlos Gomez is a Met, and they lock him up to an extension, so he blossoms here in New York. Thus, there is no hole in the outfield come the 2013 offseason, and the Mets don’t sign Curtis Granderson.
  • Instead, because of a lack of a real market, Curtis Granderson settles for less money to join his friend and former Yankees’ teammate, Robinson Cano, with the Seattle Mariners.
  • Granderson adds to an already stacked team that the Mariners built in just a few winter months, and this team is ready to compete. They ultimately perform well enough to earn a wild card spot. The Angels win the AL West, and the A’s and Mariners clinch Wild Card Spots, so this division basically monopolizes the playoffs. Because of this, the Kansas City Royals just barely miss the playoffs.
  • The Oakland A’s beat the Mariners in the Wild Card Game, as they’re simply more prepared and a better team. The A’s move on to face their division rival, the Angels, in 7 games, as the Angels banged-up pitching staff just can’t do the job. Finally, the A’s move to the ALCS to face off against the Baltimore Orioles, and the Orioles are no match for this dominant Oakland team.
  • Oakland moves on to the World Series to play the San Francisco Giants in a Bay Area Showdown. The A’s showed during the regular season that they were a far superior team to the Giants, and nothing really has changed. The Giants end up getting swept by the A’s in one of the least exciting World Series’s of recent memory.
  • All of these changes will change a bunch of other events throughout the league…

What do you think about this scenario? Should we have traded for Santana in retrospect? Would the league have been better if Santana ended up with the Red Sox, and not the Mets?

Please COMMENT your responses and VOTE on the below poll!

 

Citi Recap: 9/27/14 vs. Houston Astros

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What was the weather like?

It was a beautiful night, very nice temperature.

What was the final score?

Mets lost 3-1 :(

Were there any notable stats/events?

-Curtis Granderson hit a deep home run in the fourth inning

-Matt den Dekker faced off against his first cousin, Kevin Chapman, in the 6th inning. MdD drew the walk.

-Lucas Duda made an excellent play at first, snagging a hot liner after a dive

What were the scoring plays?

Astros(Top 6) Robbie Grossman scores on a Jose Altuve single to right field. (Top 6) Jose Altuve scores on a Chris Carter double to left field, Anthony Recker applied tag, but dropped the ball. (Top 6) Chris Carter scores on a Matt Dominguez single to right field.

-Mets: (Bottom 4) Curtis Granderson homers on a deep line drive to right field.

How was the atmosphere?

Very loud, but not quite a packed house. Lower level was filled to capacity, but the upper two levels were nearly empty.

What did you eat?

As usual, I ate at the Pat LaFrieda’s Chop House in the Delta Club. That sandwich is REALLY good…

Did you get any autographs?

Yep! As soon as I walked into the stadium, I saw George Springer signing, so I got his autograph. A few minutes later, I got Jose Altuve, which was awesome! John Franco, the Mets legendary reliever, was on the field talking to the Astros manager, so my friend and I called him over, and he signed a baseball for each of us. Later on, we see him talking to someone and we realize that it is EDDIE MURRAY! That’s right, the same Eddie Murray who is in the Hall of Fame, and is one of the best players in baseball history. After waiting around for several minutes, as he was talking to Franco and another man, he turned around and signed for us! It was awesome! Still have no idea why he was there, but still awesome. A few minutes later, as we were about to leave to get something to eat, Chris Carter walks over to sign. For those who don’t know Carter, because this is his first season as a really good player, he has 37 home runs, good enough for 2nd best in the entire MLB. It goes down in my book as probably the best autograph-seeking Mets game thus far…

Any celebrities in attendance?

-John Franco was there. Brooklyn-born Mets legend. Played for the team from 1990-2004. Team captain from 01-04. 2x Rolaids Reliever of the Year. 4x All Star. Led the MLB in saves three times. Mets Hall of Famer. Overall one of the premier relievers in league history.

-Eddie Murray was there. 504 HR, 3,255 hits, 1,917 RBI, .287 batting average. 1977 ROY. 1983 WS Champ. 8x All Star. 3x Gold Glover. 3x Silver Slugger. First Ballot Hall of Famer in 2003.

-There were two guys from some TV show that were there, but I couldn’t quite catch their names or the name of the show.

 

Overall, it was a fun night, but a sucky game to watch- particularly as a Mets fan. Nerve-racking moment in the 6th, when Jon Niese left the game with an elevated heart beat- hoping that he’s okay. That was my last Mets game of the season, so I just have to wait for next season…

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!