A Word From Our Sponsors


Houdini was a Braves fan...

I'm starting to get sick of Brian Bannister really quickly. As a former big fan of his, I'm exercising my biggest flip-flop in print since I turned on John McCain in the 2000 Republican Primary. Brian Bannister's performance last night was once again ugly. He put himself in jams and had a BB/9 rate of 10.80 in last night's start. He has a BB/9 rate of 5.87 on the year. For comparison, Pedro Martinez had a BB/9 of 2.50 in his age 25 season (Bannister is 25). In Pedro Martinez's 2000 (age 28), a BB/9 of 1.33. In Victor Zambrano's 2005 (which, unfortunately, was a career year for him) he had a BB/9 of 4.16. The pattern I'm trying to establish is that Bannister is walking way too many batters. And the problem is that history easily shows that his Houdini act can't stand up much longer. Last night he killed the Mets, tossing 100 pitches in five innings, giving up a run in his final inning of work. Willie cannot, in good faith, send him out for the sixth. He then remains resigned to burn the bullpen.
Darren Oliver throws an inning. Then Sanchez tosses two. Then Heilman is run out to throw another. Then Wags pitches two in a non save situation. Feliciano faces 2 batters. Then ChadBrad finishes Feliciano's inning, pitches another inning, and is run out for a third inning of work. This one didn't go so well. But Bradford is a ROOGY, not a set-up man.
And while this decision means Jorge Julio will have to buy the shots this time because he didn't pitch, it is fair to say he did pitch last night (like Sanchez, Heilman and Feliciano).
I'm also a bit incensed by this story I just linked. I thought we got rid of Benson to get rid of his party-hard habits and his party-harder wife and get a pair of projects in Julio and the Maine, but it turns out we got a man downing shots while lying on a bar.
And, since when were third base coaches having such crazy bashes? Sandy Alomar, Sr., you turn 63 this year. How's about a little invite for the "press"?
Anyway, do not despair. Tonight Pedro's on the hill, and he'll throw all 14 if he has to.

CrispAds Blog Ads


A Comeback Unlike Any Other

-----Original Message-----
From: Schuyla (sdickey[at]andover[dot]edu)
Sent: Fri 4/21/2006 4:16 PM
To: My Boss (jschuerholz[at]atlantabraves[dot]com)
Subject: RE: Missed Work on Tuesday/Wednesday

Dear Mr. Schuerholz,
Last night was exhilarating.
It was beautiful, delectably savored by all of the Big Apple's night owls.
The Mets were in San Diego.
It was everything a great game could be: tension, great bullpen shows and a late-inning comeback.
Steve Trachsel and Jake Peavy locked horns in a duel of formidable righties.
Trax went six strong, allowing a couple of runs. Peavy seven: the only run was Kaz Matsui's inside-the-parker. Despite this, Steve left with two on and no out.
Chad Bradford comes in. Ben Johnson hits a nubber! No one gets it. Bases loaded.
In Feliciano. Geoff Blum is vaporized on a weak pop out.
Up comes Eric Young to pinch-hit. Here comes Sanchez. First pitch is a ball.
Second pitch, Young whacks it to third. David Wright makes a diving stop and throws it to Kaz at second.
The runner bears down on Kaz. He hangs in there. The throw to Delgado. Young is out. The Mets escape, trailing by only a run.
In Scott Linebrink. X-Man hits a leadoff double. KazMat, at the plate, grounds it weakly to third. Runner can't advance.
And now, a pinch-hitter. Willie was going to use Jose Valentin. I could feel it.
Instead, Father Time, Julio "Generalissimo Francisco" Franco steps to the plate.
'Brink threw him something away.
And you don't do that with a short right-field porch.
Ju-Franc jacks a shot the opposite way. The Mets are up. 3-2. Up Heilman.
Jose Reyes to the plate. A hit. A steal against defensive replacement Doug Mirabelli.
Then comes the Duck. A long fly ball! Could it go? No. Reyes tags. To third.
In Alan Embree. Up steps the 119-million dollar man. Wait? Isn't that... No... It couldn't be... ENDY CHAVEZ?
He was hitting .069 going into that at-bat. I prepared myself for a nailbiter.
Instead, the most graceful of drag bunts. The suicide squeeze. He's safe. Reyes is safe. 4-2.
Then up comes big, bad, Carlos Delgado. The lefty, Embree, toes the rubber.
And Delgado kicks him. Hard. A long two-run homer. 6-2 Mets.
Up Wright. He walks, steals second. Cliff Floyd to the dish. In a funk? An RBI single to center. 7-2.
In Sean Cassidy. X-Man whiffs.
Bottom eighth. In Heilman. Two whiffs and a groundout.
To the ninth...
I think I remember Jose Valentin getting a hit while I slumbered.
Jorge Julio slammed the door. 2 whiffs and a groundout.

In all this mess, I must have forgot to turn on the alarm. Sorry.
You can throw all of the three-hitters you want, but there's nothing sweeter than a Julio Franco-led comeback.

See you in Atlanta a week from this evening, Mr. Schuerholz.

First placely yours,

CrispAds Blog Ads


Holy crap.

For the third consecutive year, Kazuo Matsui has hit a homer in his first at bat of the season.

This is crazy.

Father's Day(s)

For the first time in a long while, Mike Piazza would be doing his job to suffocate the Mets. In '03 and '04, his long DL stints hurt the team. Now he and Mike Cameron will try to unleash their bats against their former employer. The Mets will head to sunny southern California to face the Friars after an extremely disappointing series against the Braves, where, for the first time this year, the Mets lost two in a row. The squad is currently battling injuries, including Cliff Floyd's ribcage, Carlos Beltran's hamstring, and the tumor that Kaz Matsui will be on this team. While I am as big of a fan of Kaz as any, where's Keppy? Haven't we established that he's better defensively than Matsui (though with a little less range) and better than KazMat and Andy Hernandez offensively as well? (Yeah, Andy's the best I could come up with.)

Game 1: Thursday, 10:05
Steve Trachsel (1-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (1-2, 5.50 ERA)
  • Edge: Peavy. He's one of the top young pitchers in the game, despite his slow start, and Trax is coming off a game where he gave up a long double to Tomo Ohka.

  • Game 2: Friday, 10:05
    Brian Bannister (2-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. Woody Williams (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
  • Edge: Push. I didn't much care for BB's last start. WW's an established veteran. Good curveball. I just like all the initial repetition.

  • Game 3: Saturday, 10:05
    Pedro Martinez (3-0, 3.66 ERA) vs. Chris Young (2-0, 2.95 ERA)
  • Edge: Pedro. Come now, Chris Young is a good young (again with these annoying names) pitcher. But Pedro's hot and is certainly capable of defeating this Padre lineup.

  • Game 4: Sunday, 4:05
    Victor Zambrano (1-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Clay Hensley (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
  • Edge: Hensley. Hensley looked very good out of the bullpen last year, but he's not even a reliever. He's racked up double digit starts every year in the minor leagues. Expect a strong performance from him and expect Zambrano to have Mets fans calling for Lima Time from AAA.

  • SDP Breakdown: Record- 6-8
    This team has been made over. Big time. They are not close to an elite team, with Dave Roberts getting regular playing time when he should be speed off the bench and Vinny Castilla's old bat at cleanup. They have a pair of above-average rookies in Josh Barfield at 2B and Adrian Gonzalez at first. They also have the less impressive Ben Johnson doing time in center field. Brian Giles remains patrolling their deep right field and Khalil Greene will keep the game easy with his .375 career BA against the Mets at short. Mike Piazza will catch, and in an even stranger blast from the past, Shawn Estes was slated to start for them this year before he got hurt. Expect Mike Cameron to come off the DL sometime during this series and have some fun with his old friends like Cliff Floyd. Expect Mike Piazza to brood and expect Paul lo Duca to follow him wherever he goes.

    Players to Watch for:
    SDP: Brian Giles. His ridiculous patience and power will not face too many challenges with all righties toeing the slab for the Mets this series.

    NYM: David Wright. After a disappointing series from D-Wright against the Tomahawk Choppers, he should be due for some fun against this San Diego crew.

    Player of the Series: David Wright

    Picks: The Mets will take three of four if Floyd and Beltran start tonight. If one of them starts, they will split the games. If neither of them start, they will only win one.

    Sex can wait! Prognosticate:
  • Please stop insulting my intelligence by saying Jose Valentin is a better option in LF than Victor Diaz. With Anderson Hernandez going on the DL, VD can be recalled. Bite the bullet, and cut Valentin's million-dollar salary and horrible play.

  • Why doesn't Willie go to Woody as his premier pinch-hitter? He's a .412 pinch-hitter over the last three years and it makes no sense to let him rot on the bench while tossing Jose Valentin and Julio Franco (much as I love him) up there?

  • The Mets should swap Darren Oliver for Heath Bell. Old Man Ollie has no spot in this bullpen with the addition of Feliciano. It makes too much sense.

  • Steve Trachsel really needs to tell Zambrano the virtues of a minor-league stint to get everything straightened out. We cannot have games like the one against the Braves every five days. Get over the Kazmir trade and realize that something, even something small, must be done.
  • 4.18.2006

    While you were sleeping...

    While you were sleeping...

  • Pedro Martinez shredded the Atlanta Braves.

  • Duaner Sanchez was clutch.

  • Billy Wagner looked every bit the $43 million man.

  • Omar Minaya vindicated himself again with the Xavier Nady deal. X-Man has hit huge homers in back-to-back games, while Cameron and his salary seven million dollars greater than Nady's will play in a Single-A game tonight.

  • Pedro Martinez won game 200 of his career. He has the best winning percentage of any pitcher to win 200.

  • New Met Paul Lo Duca went 3-4 with a double.

  • Carlos Delgado clocked a big 2-run homer. Mike Jacobs is hitting .200.

  • The Mets got off to their best start in franchise history.

  • The Mets are 5 games ahead of the second-place Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

  • The formerly witty and creative marketing team went with their second choice to produce this hot record after Phil Spector was unavailable.

    Tonight's Game:
    The Vitals:
    Kyle Davies against Victor Zambrano.
    First pitch at 7:10 PM. Shea.
    TV: SNY
    Radio: WFAN

    I don't really know what to expect of this game. Davies dominated the Flushing Nine when he pitched against them last year, though rookie pitchers have fared well against the Metropolitans the past couple years. Zamby, well, he's Brian Bannister without the Kaz stigma behind him. But if he can pitch well tonight, it will undoubtedly do something to increase fan loyalty towards him. Not to mention that it will put the Mets six games up on the Bravos... in mid-April.
  • 4.17.2006

    The Great Showdown

    note: sorry for the lack of series recaps. i was pretty much without internet over the holiday weekend.

    Well, we knew this would come. Or rather, that they would come. The ridiculously consistent division champs will return to Flushing for the first time since Tom Glavine banished them with his complete game. The Braves have usually meant big problems for the Mets, as the Mets haven't had a winning season against the Tomahawk Choppers since that great 1997 squad took 7 of 12. Don't forget that Carl Everett played a huge role on that team. But maybe, just maybe, it's our year.

    Game 1: Monday, 7:10 (National TV: ESPN)
    Pedro Martinez (2-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Jorge Sosa (0-2, 11.37 ERA)
    Game 2: Tuesday, 7:10
    Victor Zambrano (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (0-1, 8.38 ERA)
    Game 3: Wednesday, 1:10
    Tom Glavine (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (0-1, 9.20 ERA)

    ATL Breakdown: Record- 6-7
    I don't really think much of this Braves team. Their pitching has not been sufficient, and their only starter to win a game was John Smoltz with his magnificent CG shutout of the weak Padres on Saturday night. They might have swept the series if it wasn't for a sophomore mistake by Ryan Langerhans. This rotation lacks the depth that made it dominant once, as they no longer have that consistency of last year and the year before. Mike Hampton is done for the year, and Kyle Davies and Jorge Sosa, both surprising wild card starters last year, have been shelled so far. Even Tim Hudson has been raped and pillaged by opposing hitters. I don't think a lot of this Braves pen, either. It's a motley crew of other organizations' castoffs, though some of them have been strong. The two relievers acquired in the deal that sent Johnny Estrada to the Diamondbacks, Lance Cormier and Oscar Villareal, have ERAs of 1.04 and 1.13, respectively. Villareal also has 4 wins. They've also brought in journeymen Peter Moylan, who was doing office labor in Australia no more than three months ago, and Ken Ray, a 31 year-old who pitched for five organizations but only made one major league appearance before this year. They also dropped Joey Devine, the first rounder of the 63.00 ERA, which is only a slight dropoff from last year's 12.60 ERA.

    Players to Watch for:
    ATL: Jeff Francoeur. The sophomore right fielder just broke out of his slump on Thursday, and continued his torrid hitting during the weekend series, raising his average by more than one hundred points. Expect him to have a little fun with the gopherball-prone Zambrano.

    NYM: Carlos Delgado. This man is on the verge of mashing some already battled Braves pitching. No lefties pitching, no righties with gas. Heck, he hit 5 straight homers in 5 AB against Jorge Sosa during their AL days (thanks to MetsGeek for the info). I'd also like to see a nice show from Cliff Floyd.

    Player of the Series: Carlos Delgado

    Picks: The Mets will take two of three in this one, though Zambrano will have a bit of trouble with that Braves lineup.

    Sex can wait! Prognosticate:
  • The Braves have no chance of holding Jose Reyes in check this series.

  • Willie Randolph really needs to stop using Jose Valentin. He looks really overmatched.

  • Jorge Julio will pitch in a close game during this series. He won't give up more than one run.

  • Billy Wagner will hammer down two saves this series. They will be painless.

  • The Mets will make a couple roster moves, snagging Kaz Matsui from Norfolk (in exchange for Jose Valentin), and Heath Bell will come up if Darren Oliver has another bad showing.

  • Anderson Hernandez will continue to start even when Matsui comes back.

  • And if any of you remember Get Metsmerized, isn't this a sign that this season secretly is 1986 again? Where's Tim Teufel?

  • Trash talk:

    ATL 1B Adam LaRoche: "I bet their fans can remember 14 straight division titles." [MSNBC]

    ATL C Todd Pratt: “I’ve been on the other side. The other side has been saying ‘This is the year’ for 14 years.” [MSNBC]

    NYM RP Aaron Heilman: "I think we all know plenty about the Braves." [NY Daily News]

    NYM 1B Julio Franco: "On the Braves they've never cared about records. They come to the park to beat you and they're not going to change anything about what they do just because the other team has more wins. After all that winning they believe in themselves." [NY Daily News]