Archive for the ‘Chris Carter’ Category

Favorites & Frustrations

August 4, 2010

The game of baseball provides numerous opportunities (162 to be exact) to observe your favorite team in action.

As many of you can relate, you tend to pick up on a thing or two that you love about your team, and a thing or two that drives you crazy.

I took the time to think of a few of our favorite things to see while watching the Mets, along with some of the must frustrating things. Here are a few in no particular order:

FAVORITES

* The Jose Reyes Triple.
* SNY’s Gary Cohen’s home run call “It’s outta here!”
* The Jeff Francoeur muskrat look when he hits a home run.
* Getting to call Henry Blanco “Hank White” (it never gets old).
* Watching Angel Pagan run the bases (a frustration in 2009).
* David Wright driving the ball to the opposite field.
* David Wright driving the ball into the left field stands.
* The Jerry Manuel clap when he argues with an umpire (I have no idea why, but I love it when he does that)
* Johan Santana telling Jerry Manuel to go back to the dugout (I know this only happened once this season, but it was so great that it made the list).
* Ike Davis flying over the first base dugout railing as he catches a foul ball.
* Anytime Chris Carter gets an at bat. You get to say “The Animal”.

FRUSTRATIONS

* Stretches when Jerry Manuel thinks the only reliever in the bullpen is Raul Valdes
* Oliver Perez warming up in the bullpen.
* The Jose Reyes pop up.
* Jeff Francouer swinging at the first pitch.
* The Jeff Francouer muskrat look when he pops up.
* Mike Pelfrey licking his fingers.
* Jason Bay flailing at an outside breaking ball.
* A Jerry Manuel visit to the mound.
* Another Jerry Manuel visit to the mound.
* The Luis Castillo slap chopper.
* Francisco Rodriguez insisting on putting at least two men on base during every appearance (mysteriously absent last night…).
* Giving up another home run to Chipper Jones or Pat Burrell

Sweet Road Sweep

June 14, 2010

As I stated earlier it was a busy weekend in the Midwest.  I was unable to watch this game due to the fact that I was at an all-day little league tournament (nine and ten-year olds).

The only thing worse than watching Oliver Perez pitch, is watching a nine-year old trying to find the strike zone.  At least the nine-year old has an excuse as he is  just learning the game.

All I had at my disposal were tweets from Twitter to update me on how the game was going.

For the majority of the day, the only information I received was that David Wright had hit two home runs (his fourteenth two home-run game), and Jesus Feliciano got his first major league hit.

Once I got home I fired up MLB TV to watch the highlights of the game.  Here are a few quick observations:

Davis Wright Is On Fire

Along with the tweets, I received a message from a friend on Facebook letting me know that David Wright carried his fantasy baseball team this week.

That pretty much says it all right there.  When you get a message from a friend, (that is a Cubs fan by the way), about how well one of the Mets are doing, you know that particular player is having an outstanding week.

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Chris Carter’s Home Run Trot

Chris Carter smacked his second home run of the series.  It also happened to be his second three-run home run, so it is fair to say he makes them count.

Upon watching the highlight, I was struck by the lack of grace in Carter’s trot.

First of all, it isn’t a trot as much as it is a lumbering sprint.  I seriously thought he was going to over run Ike Davis and Jason Bay.  He looked like a man possessed.  The Animal was unleashed!

During the highlight, I could hear Ron Darling comment about how animated The Animal was about his game plan for the day.  I really wish I could have heard that conversation.

Sweeping The First Road Series Win

There was a lot written about how the Mets needed to take advantage of the Orioles and the Indians this week.

Maybe the Amazin’s were listening.  They now find themselves at a season’s best seven games over the .500 mark and 1.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves.

You couldn’t ask for a better road trip.  Reyes and Wright are hitting and it appears that Jason Bay might be back as he went four for four with a home run of his own.

So far, so good.  Hopefully the Mets will continue their road warrior ways against the Indians.

Mets 3, Braves 2

May 18, 2010

Whew….

It’s funny how long losing streaks feel compared to winning streaks.

Thanks to Mike Pelfrey, the Mets obtained a well needed victory over the Braves.

Big Pelf went deep into this game pitching 7.2 innings for the win.

Tipping Pitches?

I was forced to watch the Braves’ coverage of the game.  I have to tell you, they bring a whole new meaning to the word excitement.

I  do have to admit, they are a bit more interesting now that John Smoltz is in the booth.

They repeatedly talked about how Pelfrey was telegraphing some of his pitches.  It didn’t seem to matter, but it will be interesting to see what happens the next time he pitches against the Braves.

Sticky Situation

Things got a little dicey in the eighth inning when Pedro Feliciano took over for Pelfrey.

The Braves had runners on the corners with two outs.  Intelligently, Pedro pitched around Chipper Jones to load the bases.  There were a couple of really close pitches in the at bat that didn’t go Feliciano’s way.

He then had to face Brian McCann.  Fortunately, he was able to strike out McCann to end the chance.  It was the biggest moment of the game.

Nicely done, Pedro.

The Lumber

There is not a whole lot to write here.

Rod Barajas was the hero once again as he continues to endear himself to the Mets’ faithful.  He provided the biggest hit of the night with a two run double in the second inning.

Jose Reyes was able to manufacture a much-needed run in the sixth inning.  He singled up the middle and was then bunted over by Luis Castillo.  Jose stole third with a tremendous jump from second.  He was then able to score on a weak ground ball by Chris Carter.

Huh?

Speaking of Chris Carter.  Jerry Manuel replaced the Animal in the seventh inning with Jeff Francoeur.

Jerry wasn’t completely out of his mind, as he wanted to improve the defense late in the game.  I get that.

If this is going to be your plan, then take Carter out of the four hole.

Dubious Streak

David Wright now has a 14 game strike out streak.  At first, I thought he was going to break the streak.  However, he was completely over matched by Takashi Saito in his last at bat.

In D Wright’s defense, Saito’s fastball looked un-hittable.  Just ask Ike Davis and Rod Barajas. They were also blown away by Saito that inning.

On Deck

The Mets have their ace on the mound with a chance to sweep the series.

Can I even say sweep the series when it is only a two game set?

Johan Santana will face Kris Medlen.

Chris Carter Batting Cleanup

May 17, 2010

Chris Carter will get his second consecutive start in right field tonight, according to the Mets’ Twitter Page.

No issues there.  He has been hitting and Frenchy hasn’t.

Although, I would like to see Frenchy got another shot at some point.  It would be great if he could regain his beginning of the year form.

My only concern is what Jerry Manuel will do late in the game if the Braves bring a lefty out of the pen to face Carter.  In yesterday’s game he decided to pinch hit for with Jeff Francoeur.

This doesn’t make any sense in my mind.  Why bat Carter fourth if you are going to pinch hit for him late in the game?

Normally, you place a hitter in the cleanup spot that you want to have hitting in every scenario.

I understand trying to break up the right-handed bats in the lineup, but I don’t necessarily agree with it.

If Jerry believes The Animal has enough pop to bat him fourth.  Let him have an opportunity to see the job through.  Give him the chance to see if he’ll do damage late in the game against the bullpen.

Carter has been praised for his intensity and eagerness to hit.  Let’s see what this intensity will do for him when they change pitchers.

Sometimes it just seems like Jerry doesn’t have a real plan when he puts a lineup together.

Think about it for a second.

Your cleanup hitter is following three guys that are supposed to be getting on base.  That is their role.

In theory, the chances are greater that he will be up in the later innings with runners on.

If you don’t plan on allowing Carter to face lefties then he should be moved further down in the lineup.

By placing a batter in the cleanup spot that you are not planning on using for the entire game, you are  in essence telling the other team’s manager that you will burn a bat on the bench in two spots now.  Everyone knows the pitcher will be pinch hit for.

Head scratcher.

Marlins 7, Mets 5: Box Score Reaction

May 16, 2010

The Mets’ slide continues.   It is doubly painful because they are dropping games to divisional opponents.

I was at the little league fields and my son’s game went into extra innings, so I did not have to witness this loss.

I thought I would have a little fun and write a post game reaction just by what I see from the box score.  I haven’t watched any of the game so I won’t be influenced by any visuals.

Old school style.

Pitching:

John Maine had an “Ollie” and could only give the Mets five innings.  In those five innings he allowed seven hits, six runs, and five walks (not good).

It appears as though he struggled with his control in the first, because I don’t see any extra base hits in the box score in the opening inning.

Maine’s ERA is listed at an abysmal 6.13.

Offense:

It appears as though the offense wasn’t the problem.  They scored five runs.  Seven men left on base isn’t exactly something to rejoice about, but I’ll take an offensive performance like this over what we have seen lately.

Jose Reyes rewarded Jerry Manuel by going 2 for 5 from the lead off spot and he scored two runs.

David Wright went 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBI’s.

Jason Bay went 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Luis Castillo collected two hits as well, including a triple and and two RBI’s.

Rod Barajas had two hits, and Chris Carter added a pinch hit.

Jeff Francoeur continues to struggle mightily.  He was o for 4 and his average has dropped to .215.

Outlook:

The outlook is still bleak for the Mets.  They have dropped to fourth place in the division and are five games back of the first place Phillies.

Jon Niese takes the mound against Ricky Volasco as the Mets try to avoid the sweep.

The Mets could have used a solid performance from Maine.

They already need to fill one spot in their rotation.  I was hoping John had figured things out and was on his way back to being a serviceable starter.

Blog Reactions:

Check out these post game reactions from other Mets blogs if you want a visual.

METSBLOG

METSMERIZED ONLINE

METS TODAY

Mets 8, Nationals 6

May 12, 2010

I continue to enjoy how much this team fights.  The only thing that has been missing was a come from behind victory.

Down five, the Mets plated six runs in the bottom of  the eighth inning to take control of this game.

Throughout the game, the Mets continued to miss out on chances to bring runs in.  I had the feeling they were in one of those streaks where they just couldn’t get a big hit at the right time.

The eighth inning changed everything.

Hopefully, this win gives the Mets a little bit of a boost.  There are several reasons why this could be the case:

  • David Wright and Jason Bay each went 3 for 4.  When they are hitting at the same time, this team can pile up runs.
  • Rod Barajas continues to be clutch.  He went 2 for 4 with a game tying double.
  • Ike Davis may be able to run for Mayor of New York if his season continues to go this way.  Even though he was quiet at the plate, he made his third flip over the railing catch of the season.  This latest addition was the final out of the game.  I am now officially naming that rail, Ike’s Rail.
  • The bullpen continues to dish out zeroes.  They quieted the Nationals in this one for 4.2 innings.
  • Last but not least, Chris Carter.  It has only been one game, so the jury is still out.  However, Carter came up with a HUGE two run double in his first at bat.  It gave the Mets the lead in the eighth.

As far as Carter is concerned, his attitude and approach could be a huge catalyst for this team if he hits.  He has been described as intense and an extremely hard worker.  Jerry Manuel has nicknamed him “Animal”.

This is a combination that seems like it would be  a great fit for the Mets’ clubhouse.  There aren’t any huge inflated egos that Carter’s attitude could rub the wrong way.

Next Up:

Mike Pelfrey tries to give the Mets their fourth home series win in a row in the rubber game.  He’ll be facing Craig Stammen.

Mets Shake Up Their Bench: Chris Carter Gets The Call

May 11, 2010

Chris Carter

Omar Minaya has answered the fans once again.

The Mets have called up Chris Carter and designated Frank Catalanotto for assignment.

I like the call.  The bench definitely needed to be shaken up.  Carter comes to the Mets after performing well in Buffalo.  He is hitting .339.

Catalanotto was very ineffective going 4 for 25 with his opportunities at the plate.

Carter looked pretty good in Spring training batting .393.  Many believed he should have made the team to start the season.

David Wright appears to like the call:

Chris, he’s a competitor. He’s a workaholic. He’s usually the first one here, last one to leave, and really outworks pretty much everybody in the game. Hopefully, it’s a shot in the arm for us. You know he’s going to go out there and give you everything he has every day.

I understand the decision to use Catalanotto, the veteran presence over Carter, who is unproven in the bigs.  Catalanotto had enough of a chance.

He was very ineffective going 4 for 25 with his opportunities at the plate.

Impressively, Catalanotto handled the news with class:

Chances are this is the end of my career.  I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to play for the Mets. I always wanted to play in New York, and it’s a great organization and group of guys.


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