Archive for the ‘Fernando Nieve’ Category

The Rain Can’t Slow Down The Mets Offense

June 23, 2010

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

When it rains it pours.

At least that’s what the Tigers had to be thinking about the Mets’ offense last night.

The Amazin’s racked up fourteen runs on sixteen hits in a route.  Combined with a Braves loss, the Mets find themselves a game and a half out of first place.

Third Inning Of Fun

The Mets onslaught was highlighted by an eight run third inning, the longest third inning in recent history thanks to a fifty-eight minute rain delay.

Tigers’ pitcher Jay Sborz came in for Justin Verlander after the delay for his Major League debut.  It had to seem like a nightmare for him.  He never made it out of the inning, giving up five runs on five hits.

For the Mets, Bay and Davis doubled (Ike would later come up with a single as well), while Reyes, Pagan, and Wright singled in the inning.

Angel Stellar Again

Angel Pagan continued his torrid pace in this game.  He went four for six, drove in four, and scored three runs.

What’s impressive to me is that he is playing like this while the talk is heating up about him losing playing time when Carlos Beltran returns.

Not only has his play been outstanding, but he has handled this situation like a true professional.

What’s in my mind is to help the team as much as I can and to protect Carlos’ spot; that’s a big responsibility.

After last night’s game, Pagan is hitting .304.

David Wright went three for three, drove in two, and reached base in all five of his at bats.

Jose Reyes and Ike Davis each went three for six.

Jon Niese Probably Wasn’t A Fan Of The Rain Delay

The only Mets player that had room to gripe about the rain delay was Jonathon Niese.  He didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings.

Jerry Manuel opted to let him continue to pitch after the delay and tried desperately to allow him to get the win.  Unfortunately, Niese couldn’t get the final out in the fifth so he could not be the pitcher of record.

The ball got soggy. I just couldn’t make the adjustments.

I’m not sure if Jerry will take heat for this decision or not, but I liked it.  He could afford to give Niese a long leash after the Mets eight run explosion.

Fernando Nieve wound up with the win as he pitched effectively, picking up the final out of the fifth for Niese and then throwing an additional two innings.  He didn’t give up a run.

Bobby Parnell had a successful 2010 debut, throwing up a zero in the eighth. He threw consistently in the mid nineties which was a good sign.

On Deck

R.A. Dickey takes the hill with his 5-0 record as he faces Jeremy Bonderman tonight.

I Blame Oliver Perez

May 29, 2010

The Mets dropped their second game in a row to the Milwaukee Brewers tonight losing 8-6.

It appears that the pitch by committee strategy employed by Jerry Manuel was doomed from the start, thanks to Corey Hart and his first inning grand slam.

The Mets fought back with a big blast of their own.  It came in the shape of an Ike Davis three run bomb in the fourth inning.

Unfortunately, the Mets couldn’t catch the Brewers and now find themselves back to .500.

I don’t blame Fernando Nieve or Jerry Manuel entirely for this loss.

I blame Oliver Perez.

Ollie Is Useless

Oliver Perez’s decision to refuse to go to the minors is killing the Mets’ pitching staff.

It is obvious Perez isn’t a big league pitcher.  He was ineffective tonight as he gave up three runs in just two innings of relief.

I have to believe that guys in the Mets’ clubhouse are getting frustrated with the fact that he is wasting a roster spot, which in turn makes the Mets very vulnerable every fifth start.

It is time for the Mets to cut their losses.  I know it’s not my millions I am throwing away, but the Wilpons have to recognize Perez is hurting this team in a major way and he represents a sunk cost.

Here’s the definition if they are reading:

A cost that has already been incurred and  cannot be recovered to any significant degree.

Oliver Perez cannot be recovered to any significant degree.

Getting To The Bullpen Early

I keep thinking about how the game would be different if the Mets were able to go with an actual starting pitcher tonight.  Fernando Nieve followed by a committee of pitchers is not the answer.

Think about it from this perspective.

Very frequently in this game, we hear someone state  that the goal of the offense is to get to the opponent’s bullpen.

Tonight, the Brewers were able to accomplish this common goal before the game even started.

Nats 5, Mets 3

May 20, 2010

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The brutal road trip continues for the Mets (they are now 1-6 if you are playing at home).  Not even a triple play or an inside the park home run could spark the Mets to a victory against the Nationals.

R.A. Dickey Starts Off Well

R.A. Dickey did his part.  He allowed two runs in six innings which qualifies as a quality start.  He did walk four batters, but what else would you expect from a Mets’ starter?

I liked his composure on the mound.  He didn’t seem to get rattled when he found himself in a tight spot in the fifth inning. He didn’t come unglued, threw strikes, and was rewarded by the defense umpires (thanks to their indecision on the triple play).

Having a knuckle-baller on staff is going to be fun to watch.  It definitely makes the hitters uncomfortable as they have no idea where the pitch is going.  The flip side, of course, is neither does Dickey.

Two Simple Reasons For The Loss

1.  Hitting or lack there of.

After last night’s loss, the lineup Manuel had on the field included no one batting .300 or better, and three players batting .220 or less.

Ouch.

I don’t blame Manuel for resting Wright.  I am torn by the decision, but I understand the rationale.

The offense’s futility is beyond frustrating right now.  Last night they only mustered three hits.

I’m happy Jose Reyes is back at lead off, but I am really getting tired of seeing him pop the ball up twice a game.  Surely, Hojo and Jose could do something to try to limit them.

Might I suggest the Willie Mays Hayes treatment?

Well, you can run like Mays, but you hit like $#%&. With your speed, you should be hitting the ball on the ground and legging them out. Every time I see you hit one in the air, you owe me 20 push-ups.

Speaking of Hojo, why is it he gets a pass for the most part?  This team has talent offensively.  The hitters just aren’t making adjustments.

Most of the blame falls on the players’ shoulders, but Johnson needs to be held accountable as well.  He is the hitting coach, after all.

2.  The bullpen was not impressive. 

After Dickey left, Raul Valdes and Fernando Nieve gave up three runs in two innings.

Nieve looks like a completely different pitcher in his last several appearances.

I am not sure why Jerry pulled Valdes so quickly to get to Nieve.  Valdes is actually better against righties than he is against lefties this season (.208 BA vs .292 BA).

Lost In The Shuffle

Angel Pagan has impressed me this season.  I know, I know.  It is easy to say that when he was responsible for an inside the park home run and starting a triple play with a nice catch.

He has been the Mets’ most consistent hitter of the season.  His defense has been excellent.  Last night he made two huge catches, both saving a number of potential Nationals’ runs.

His base running has quietly improved as well.  At the end of last year, he seemed to be  a liability in the lineup due to his ability to make bone headed decisions on the base paths.  We haven’t seen much of that from him.

If he continues to play like this, he should be starting over Francoeur or Bay when if Beltran returns.

On Deck

John Maine faces Luis Atilano in the final game of this two game series with the Nats.

Marlins 10, Mets 8

May 16, 2010

Sometimes it is painful to be a baseball fan.  Especially, when things aren’t going your team’s way.

A four game sweep makes the cut that much deeper.  Unfortunately, that’s where we now sit as the Marlins swept the Mets.

Here’s a few key events from today’s game:

The Mets had a brutal third inning in the field in which they allowed the Marlins to score six runs.

    Jon Niese injured his right hamstring (in the brutal third inning).  You guessed it, the same hamstring he injured last year.

      I have to believe he is going to miss some extended time.  Anytime it’s the hamstring, it is going to be a long road to rehab.  Just ask Ryota Igarashi.

      This latest injury will more than likely place the Mets’ third best pitcher on the DL.

      David Wright had a rough game in the field today.

        It all started in the brutal third inning (Are you catching on to the theme?).  He flat out missed a throw from Jon Niese on a sacrifice bunt by Ricky Nolasco.

        Nolasco bunted the ball straight back to the mound at Niese who went to Wright with it.  It looked like he was thinking about trying to double off Nolasco at first and he took his eye off of the throw.

        Wright also tried a fancy ole attempt on a Cody Ross chopper that allowed a run to score.  It wasn’t exactly an easy chance but I can’t figure out why he just didn’t get in front of it and knock it down.  He had plenty of time.

        There were a couple of times when the Fox Sports cameras zoomed in on Wright as the Mets were imploding.

        I really am starting to feel for him.  It is evident he is giving everything he has.  He still appears like he is trying to carry the entire team on his back by hitting six run home runs and making the impossible plays in the field.

        I wish someone would sit him down and convince him to stop trying to play outside of himself.  He can’t control every aspect of the game.

        The Mets fought once again.

        They were able to come up with six unanswered runs after finding themselves down 7-0.

          They plated three runs in the sixth and three runs in the seventh.  I started to believe that they had a chance.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards.

          Fernando Nieve is either spent, or is coming back down to earth.

            Nieve let the Marlins come up with three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh.  He walked a runner, allowed an infield hit, and then gave up a three run bomb to pinch hitter, Chris Coghlan.

            One of these days, it will be nice to see a pinch hit three run home run for the Mets.

            Coghlan’s bomb pretty much sealed the game.  The Mets were able to score a run in the eighth and the ninth.

            Good Riddance Miami!

            The Mets can’t get out of South Florida fast enough.  I hope the change of scenery in Atlanta will do them well.

            Marlins 2, Mets 1

            May 14, 2010

            The offensive struggles continue for the Mets.  Their latest failure to hit,  squandered a great outing by Johan Santana.

            Santana gave the Mets seven scoreless innings, but it wasn’t good enough.

            Fernando Nieve was able to shut down the Marlins in the eighth.   Unfortunately, he wound up allowing the winning run to score on a wild pitch in the ninth inning.

            Rod Barajas was responsible for the only Mets run as he came up with an RBI single in the second inning.

            The Mets had a great opportunity to take the lead in the ninth inning as Luis Castillo managed to get to second base with no one out.  For the second consecutive game, Jose Reyes failed to move him over with a sacrifice fly.  He wound up flying out again.

            After Reyes’ fly out, Jason Bay and David Wright failed to score Castillo.

            I understand the fact Josh Johnson was on the mound for the Marlins.  So, some of the offensive futility can be attributed to facing a good pitcher.

            However, the lack of offense is becoming alarming.

            The other day Jerry Manuel told us he thinks this team is on the verge of another winning streak.

            One game later, he is starting to doubt the ability of his lineup to score runs.

            We have to probably take note these next couple of days of where we are as an offensive club.  If we continue to see the same thing, I’m going to have to make some adjustments to the lineup.

            Which one is it Jerry?  You are giving a bit of a mixed message here.

            I am all for mixing up the lineup.  I am particularly interested in seeing Jose Reyes moved out of the three spot and back to the lead off role.

            Apparently, we’ll have to wait a couple of days to find out what kind of moves Jerry is contemplating.

            On Deck:

            Oliver Perez fights for his life in the starting rotation as he faces Anibal Sanchez tonight in Miami.

            Mets 5, Reds 4

            May 5, 2010

            The Mets ended their losing streak and have given themselves a chance to go .500 on this current road trip.

            John Maine pitched six strong innings only allowing two runs.  The Mets were able to build a 4-2 lead but the bullpen finally faltered and was not able to protect the lead.

            Fernando Nieve appeared to be cruising as he retired the first two batters he faced in the eight.

            The wheels fell off the wagon at that point as he gave up back to back home runs to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen.

            At this point plenty of fans probably said to themselves “Here we go again”.

            Rod Barajas quickly erased those thoughts with a blast of his own in the top of the ninth.

            Francisco Rodriguez came in for an uncharacteristic one, two, three inning for the save.

            Notes:

            • David Wright hit his sixth home run of the season
            • Jose Reyes went 2 for 4 with an RBI
            • Jason Bay added to the scoring with a sacrifice fly

            In Their Own Words:

            Rod Barajas on his ninth inning home run:

            I was pretty sure it was going to be a fastball or a slider and I just took a guess.  I’m a better fastball hitter, so I just sat on the fastball.

            John Maine, you look at the [radar] gun and look at the hitters, they don’t seem to match up. He’s throwing 89, 90 [mph] and they are missing it — good left-handed hitters.
            John Maine on his performance:
            It’s just being around the zone with your fastball. If you put it in the zone enough they are going to put the ball in play and hit it at people.
            David Wright on the Mets’ power:
            I don’t think we are going to live or die by hitting home runs. But they are a momentum shift. One here or there is going to give us a little boost.
            Jose Reyes on his day at the plate:
            I feel happy because I got a double off a change-up today. It was good to get a base hit off a breaking pitch.
            Fernando Nieve refusing to blame fatigue for allowing back to back jacks:
            I’m good. I just threw too many fastballs. But I got the first two outs, and I just tried to get ahead, but the balls were over the middle.
            Outlook:
            The Mets remain only a half game out of first place in the NL East.   They will send Jonathan Niese to the mound to face Johnny Cueto in the rubber game of the series.
            Around The Horn:

            Check out what other Mets Bloggers are saying about the game:

            Reds 3, Mets 2

            May 4, 2010

            Why do I get the feeling this is going to be an up and down year?  With this loss to the Reds, the Mets find themselves on a three game losing streak.

            It took eleven innings for the game to be decided on a Lance Nix home run off of Manny Acosta.

            PITCHING:

            Oliver Perez pitched well for the Mets allowing two runs in six innings.  His fastball was reaching the low nineties consistently and it looked like it had some bite to it.

            Hopefully this is  a sign that Ollie is feeling good and is going to get on a roll.

            Of course, we couldn’t have a game without the obligatory Met walk of a pitcher.  This occurred in the fifth inning as Ollie walked Mike Leake with one out.  He would eventually wind up scoring.

            The bullpen was able to produce four shutout innings prior to the Nix home run thanks to Jenrry Mejia, Fernando Nieve, and Pedro Felciano. Nieve looked particularly impressive in his two innings of relief.

            THE LUMBER:

            The most positive sign was Jose Reyes‘ effort at the plate.  He went 2 for 5 with an RBI, and hit the ball well all night.

            Luis Castillo and David Wright were able to produce two hits a piece as well.

            Jeff Francoeur was responsible for the other Met run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.

            OUTLOOK:

            The Mets faced the Reds’ best pitcher so far in this season in Mike Leake.  He was impressive as he kept the ball down all night and didn’t make any huge mistakes.

            The Mets have the chance to play .500 baseball on this road trip with wins in the next two games against the Reds.  They will need the bats to warm up and the pitching to repeat its performance from the first game of the series.

            After three losses in a row, the Mets still find themselves only a half of game out of first place thanks to the Cardinals win over the Phillies.

            John Maine will take the mound to face Bronson Arroyo Tuesday night.

            More on Monday’s Game:

            Check out what my blog brothers are saying about the first game of the series against the Reds:

            Mets Today

            Metsmerized

            MetsBlog

            The Real Dirty Mets Blog

            Mets 3 Braves 1

            April 24, 2010

            Mets pitching continues to impress as they  secured their second straight series win today.  Jonathon Niese was only able to go 5.1 innings before handing it over to the bullpen.

            It was Manny Acosta’s turn to pick up the win against his old mates.  He looked impressive today striking out three in 1.2 innings.

            Fernando Nieve and Pedro Feliciano were then able to bridge the gap to get to Francisco Rodriguez.  Rodriguez enjoyed a much smoother outing today as he picked up his third straight save.

            The Lumber

            Another slow start for the sticks today.  They didn’t exactly heat up, as they scratched out only five hits.  They were able to pick up some big hits when needed, however.

            Jason Bay lead the way with three hits including a game tying double with two outs.

            Jeff Francoeur drove in the go ahead run with a 415 foot double of his own.

            Slump Watch

            Just when I thought David Wright might be starting to climb out of his slump, he comes up with an 0 for 4 performance today.  His average stands at a paltry .230.

            Today’s plate appearance included a strike out, pop up to the catcher, and 4-6-3 double play.  I am not completely discouraged.  He didn’t appear to be over matched.  He just wasn’t affective.  It happens in this game.

            Braves Blunders

            The Braves continue to play uninspired baseball.  Today’s Keystone Cops moment occurred when Yunel Escobar either thought there were two outs or thought that Troy Glaus’ fly ball to Jeff Francoeur was a sure hit.

            In any case, Escobar nonchalantly jogged back to third after the ball was caught.   Martin Prado was then caught in a run down between third and second because he assumed (rightly so) that Escobar would tag to score.  Not your average, every day, double play.

            Outlook

            It hasn’t been pretty from an offensive perspective, but the Mets are accomplishing what needs to be done.   They are now a .500 ball club heading into tomorrow’s chance to sweep the Braves.

            At some point the inability to get passed the fifth or sixth inning by Mets’ starters will gas this bullpen and then things could get real ugly.  Gary Cohen pointed out in today’s telecast that the Mets’ bullpen leads the majors in innings pitched.


            Follow

            Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

            Join 374 other followers

            %d bloggers like this: