Archive for the ‘Chris Young’ Category

Just Stay Afloat

July 8, 2011

Only three games left prior to the All-Star Break.  My, how time flies.

It is realistic to believe the Mets could drop two of three in San Francisco prior to this well deserved break.  You know what?  I would be okay with that.

If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that the Mets would be one game over .500 considering the following factors I would have laughed in your face heartily:

  • Johan Santana still has yet to pitch
  • David Wright has played in only 39 games
  • Ike Davis has played in only 36 games
  • Angel Pagan missed 30 games
  • Jose Reyes is on the DL with a bum hamstring
  • Chris Young is out for the season after only four starts
  • Jason Bay has been non-existent for a vast majority of the season
  • Tom has yet to don the over sized head of the Mr. Met suit

I am confident they will find a way to get a win in San Francisco.  Much has been said about the three starters the Giants will throw at the Mets. Yes they are formidable, but they are human and can be beat.   As a matter of fact, all three (Lincecum, Vogelsong, and Cain) haven’t exactly thrown no hit ball in their last couple of starts.

The icing on the cake scenario would put the Mets three games over .500 after figuring out a way to stun the World Champs with a road series win.

Avoiding a sweep is paramount.  It would be somewhat deflating to find the Mets a game under .500 after all they have accomplished the last few weeks with all of the challenges thrown at them.

Defining Win, KRod, & ESPN

May 2, 2011

Moving on to baseball on this historic day…..

There was a lot of talk about the come from behind win against the Nats last week being a signature victory.  If that game was a signature win, last night’s was a defining win.

Don’t get confused by my terminology.  The victory over the Phillies didn’t got the ole’ adrenaline pumping like the win against the Nats.  I am being very literal when choosing to use the word defining.

If a non-follower of the Mets asks you about them, simply tell them to watch last night’s game.  They will see a team that, for whatever reason, just can’t put all of the facets of the game together at the same time.

I will say this.  Grinding out a Don’t Disappoint Game Win last night makes a world of difference for the club and all of us.  Getting swept by the Phillies and being entrenched in a four game losing streak is not the place any of us want to be in.  Especially, heading into an off day.

Well done fellas.  12-16 looks so much better than 11-17.

Collins Use Of K-Rod

There is one thing I’ll say about Terry Collins.  He manages to win.  There is something you have to appreciate about that.  His use last night of K-Rod to keep the game tied speaks volumes.

Basically, Collins was saying, “I need this win, so I’m going to throw my best guy out there to stop the bleeding.  Screw conventional wisdom.”

I know plenty of people asked why not use him to preserve the lead?  The answer is simple.  Collins believed Izzy could get the job done.  Once that didn’t happen he went to his best option.

Speaking of K-Rod.  It would be absolutely stellar if everyone would stop talking about games finished and K-Rod’s contract vesting.  It is too early to worry about that right now.  I realize this is somewhat unrealistic, so I am prepared to grin and bare it.

ESPN Coverage

As I have stated in the past, Met fans are spoiled when it comes to baseball broadcasts.  Gary, Keith, and Ron are the best in the business and watching any other broadcast team can drive you nuts.

Last night was no exception.  To put it simply, the Worldwide Leader In Sports has a bland and mildly irritating crew this season.  I get the feeling if they unleashed Bobby V. they could spruce things up a bit.

Until then, audiences will be stuck with an aw shucks type of telecast more concerned about non-essential things like the food at the ballpark and the Philly Phanatic.  I get that during a national telecast you want to highlight what makes the home team’s ballpark unique, but you don’t need to beat us over the head with it.  I wish I had a dollar every time they used the words cheese steak and Philly Phanatic.

Tom G.  Motivational Speaker

A bit of a housekeeping note here.  If you have been trying to get a hold of Tom today, you may want to wait until tomorrow.  He has flown to New York and is planning on meeting with each member of Mets’ lineup individually to give them a stern lecture about how they need to increase their run production for his boy, Chris Young.

Tom’s phone is off so he can focus on the task at hand.

Here is a photo of him practicing on his girlfriend and roommate:

You Have To Do Better With RISP!!!!

Salvaging The Home Stand and Dillon Gee

April 24, 2011

First and foremost, Happy Easter from Midwestropolitan.

Salvaging The Home Stand

It is hard to believe that the Mets are in position to salvage this home stand.  They find themselves playing in their fourth House Money Game of the season with a chance to sweep the Dbacks.  A win today also gives them a 4-2 record which would have them meeting my pre-home stand expectations.

I’m sure meeting my pre-home stand expectations is all the motivation they need.

What Now For Gee?

I know four earned runs doesn’t exactly scream Nolan Ryan or anything, but I really would like to see Dillon Gee remain in the rotation.  He won’t be pitching the Mets first no-hitter, but he has proven that he will give the Mets a chance to win almost every start.

So if Gee were to stay, who is the odd man out?

R.A. Dickey?  Of course not.

Mike Pelfrey seems to be righting the ship and there was no chance he was going to be pulled out of the rotation so he’s not the one.

Not only has Chris Young earned his keep this season, but the Mets would never change his status for fear of retribution from Tom.

Prior to his last start I would have said move Chris Capuano to the pen.  Of course he made things a bit messy with a stellar start last time out.

That leaves us with Jonothon Niese.  I find it highly unlikely the Mets make any kind of roster move involving Niese anytime soon.  My guess is that he has a long leash based on his youth and potential.

I will say that Mr. Alderson has not been afraid to pull the trigger and make adjustments when guys are not performing.  So who knows, maybe Niese has a shorter leash than  I think.

APB For Tom

April 16, 2011

Midwestropolitan has issued an All Points Bulletin for Tom. He was last seen wandering the streets of Tucson aimlessly with a glassy eyed stare.

Eyewitnesses inform us that everything seemed normal earlier today.  He was on his lap top chatting with friends while trying to research different mascot routines, when all of a sudden he got up and left without saying a word.

About five minutes after leaving his friends, 44 year old Jethro Gonzalez saw him shouting at the sky “DAMN YOU BICEPS TENDINTIS!  DAMN YOU!”  He then ran muttering under his breath, “Everything is going to be okay, everything is going to be okay.”

The last thing Tom was reading was this article from NBC about Chris Young being placed on the 15 day disabled list.

If you see Tom, contact authorities immediately.  Whatever you do, do not mention Chris Young, game recaps,  or the New York Mets.  It is best that you let trained professionals care for him.

Hang in there Tom.  We are all pulling for you.

ESPN: “Ten Reasons The Mets Aren’t That Bad”

April 7, 2011

What a terrific title. No BS this time. Let me get right to it…

1. David Wright is still a really good player. He fell out of the “SportsCenter” highlights during that 10-homer season in 2009, but hit 29 last season. If he gets his OBP back in the .390 range, he’s one of baseball’s best third baseman, a step below the Ryan Zimmerman/Evan Longoria duo.

  • The strikeout totals concern me. 161 last year was too much. Already this year he has 7 in his first 5 games. Even so, Wright is absolutely one of the elite third basemen in baseball and I think the Mets can bank on him being right around his 162 game average of 27 HR and 107 RBI. He’s the franchise.

2. Jose Reyes in a contract year. All the skills are still there. He still has the speed and the rocket arm. He doesn’t turn 28 until June. I feel a big year, back among the NL runs leaders … and a big contract in the offseason.

  • Does he have the potential to have a big year? Sure. Does he also have the potential to miss half the season? Yep. If he is playing well and the Mets are out of the race in July he might be on his way out with the right deal. If the Mets are in it and he’s playing well, he may be on his way to an extension. I really don’t know. I lean towards the latter as opposed to the former. I think the Mets organization still wants to try and win something big with the left side of the infield intact.

3. Angel Pagan is for real. He’s a solid center fielder, a switch-hitter with speed and just enough extra-base power to be dangerous. You can win a division title with Pagan out there. For example, is Shane Victorino really any better than Pagan?

  • What I don’t get is how winning a division title affects the player comparison. You can win a division title with Jamie Moyer in your rotation. So what? It really has little to do with who is better. That said, Victorino has 3 gold gloves and some great post season success. I love Pagan and I loathe Victorino. In other words, I’d take either on my team.

4. Depth in the lineup. As Baseball Prospectus pointed out in its annual, the Mets gave 40 percent of their plate appearances to hitters worse than league average. Among the culprits with at least 100 plate appearances: Luis Castillo, Rod Barajas, Alex Cora, Henry Blanco and somebody named Jesus Feliciano. This year, the Mets go eight deep in the lineup, with catcher Jose Thole hitting eighth. And Thole isn’t that bad. Not much power, but a decent .357 OBP as a rookie in 2010.

  • Right. The lineup was never going to be the problem, especially once Bay returns. Reyes-Pagan-Wright-Beltran-Bay-Davis is a dangerous 1-6, especially with pesky hitters in the 7 and 8 holes. The problem is instead when your rotation is loaded with #3 and #4 starters that end up matching up against another team’s ace or #2 starter every 5th day. Without Santana the Mets have no ace, and I’m not sure they have a #2 either.

5. Brad Emaus. My colleague Eric Karabell loves Emaus. Hey, he’s gotta be better than Luis Castillo. Of course, my couch is better than Luis Castillo.

6. The bench. Lucas Duda has some good minor league hitting numbers, Scott Hairston can hit lefties, Daniel Murphy is back after being injured last season and he’s a nice utility guy.

  • How could I not be convinced by “some good minor league hitting numbers” and “nice utility guy?” Still wondering what the plan is for Murph…

7. Potential in the rotation. I am worried about Mike Pelfrey after two bad starts, but the rotation could be solid with R.A. Dickey, a step forward from Jonathon Niese, a comeback from Chris Young and Chris Capuano. Yes, they lack an ace unless Johan Santana returns healthy, but all these guys could at least be decent. And if you have five decent starters, you have a chance.

  • I just don’t see how the Mets rotation gets them to the playoffs without Santana leading the way. There’s no #1 and there’s no #2 until proven otherwise. There are solid #3′s (Niese, Young, Pelfrey, Dickey), and a shaky #5 (Capuano) but Santana’s return is key. The Mets have to find a way to stay in the picture until then. If Santana is any good, it will improve the entire staff because guys will be able to slot down one spot in the rotation a piece.

8. The bullpen is sneaky good. Hard-throwing Bobby Parnell is ready to emerge in the setup role, D.J. Carrasco is a ground ball specialist with a rubber arm who won’t give up many homers,Taylor Bucholz was really good with the Rockies before getting injured. I’m no fan of K-Rod, but he’s better than a lot of closers. (But can we dump the nickname please? He really hasn’t been K-Rod since about 2007.)

  • I have a wait and see mentality about this. I hope Mr. Schoenfield is right. I also hope K-Rod can figure out how to get through an inning without allowing two base runners. I hope his “I have to strike out every batter and be so perfect that I thus torment my manager with walks” mentality fixes itself too. Hope…

9. Terry Collins. Let’s put it this way: BP reminded me of the incident last season when Jerry Manuel had Castillo bunt in extra innings against Cardinals outfielder Joe Mather. Collins is worth a win or two from a strategic/lineup viewpoint. Or maybe three or four.

  • So far I love what I see with Collins. The Mets are playing aggressive and smart for the most part. The guys seem to like him. But, let’s see if his style wears thin as it has in his past gigs.

10. Carlos Beltran’s knees. I’ve avoided mentioning them until now. The Mets are due a little luck in the health department, right?

  • If he can figure out how to hit again like he did in ’06 that’d be fantastic. Don’t count on it.

Add it all up and the Mets could win 86-87 games, and in the National League that could make them wild-card contenders.

  • I picked the Mets to finish 4th in the East and I’m not about ready to change that 5 games into the season. Many things have to go right for them to be in contention for the division or for the wild card. Let’s see them play good ball for an extended period of time and if they do I’ll willingly eat crow.
  • Here is the full article if you so desire…

Cole Hamels Is Almost As Awesome As Chris Young

April 6, 2011

A Reminder – If you’re looking for a recap of the Mets win in Philly last night, tough luck finding it here. The internet is pretty bitchin’, so you’ll be alright.

Shameless Plugs – If you want updates on what’s happening here, check out Midwestropolitan on Twitter. If you want to read my super awesome commentary and life changing revelations you can find me here. Lastly, if you want to Twitter stalk (or follow, if you prefer) the founder of Midwestropolitan, here you go.

On the Mets 7-1 win…

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Mets did a number on Cole Hamels last night. You probably know that he is 2-9 lifetime against the Mets. You probably know he was bounced early. On and on we go.

But what I find interesting is that the Mets might have helped create the perception that the media overdramatized the Philly staff’s overall brilliance. Cole Hamels just does not fit into the Phantastic Four, or whatever you want to call them. He is really, really good. No question about that. But in my opinion, Oswalt, Halladay, and Lee are on another level entirely. I get that he’s a World Series MVP and that’s freaking impressive. Yet, looking at the big picture, I have no choice but to form the opinion that he is the weakest link of the four. Too inconsistent, too vulnerable. He’s to the Phantastic Four what Chris Bosh is to the Big 3.

Other Observations

  • If Hamels struggles this year, the Phillies could be a little closer to earth than some think
  • The David Wright for MVP campaign will probably be underway shortly
  • Chris Young really is that awesome, and I’ll take this opportunity to say I told you so

Don’t get too excited…

A long season lies ahead and the Mets need to do more than win a couple of ballgames against the Phillies. Last year they went 9-9 against Philadelphia, but one team was playing in the NLCS and the other was out of contention in August. Let’s see the Mets put together a good stretch of baseball against everyone before we get too crazy.

The Great Chris Young

April 5, 2011

I would not have charged the mound here

When the Mets signed Chris Young this offseason, David Waldstein of the New York Times wrote:

“The Mets have been using spacious Citi Field as a lure to pitchers with past arm troubles who are looking to prove they are recovered and deserving of long-term deals.”

So, basically, the Mets use the dimensions of Citi Field to attract pitchers with arm troubles (as opposed to pitchers without arm troubles) in hopes that these spacious dimensions will affect long fly balls given up by injured pitchers.

Right. Makes sense.

***

Now, on to more pressing matters. As you’ll learn throughout the course of the coming days and weeks, I am a big fan of Chris Young. And because you care, here are some tidbits on tonight’s starter:

  • He’s 48-34 in his career with a 3.80 ERA
  • At 6’10, 280, Young played college basketball at Princeton
  • While at Princeton, he wrote his senior thesis, titled, “The Impact of Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball on Racial Stereotypes in America: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Stories about Race in the New York Times.” Or something along those lines, he says.
  • He and Chris Capuano were teammates together in Tokyo a few years back
  • The lure of Citi Field attracted him in hopes that long fly balls dying in the outfield would keep him off the DL

Here’s to hoping he begins to legitimize Citi Field’s healing powers with a good (road…) outing tonight!


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