Archive for the ‘John Maine’ Category

Another Example Of Organizational Indecisiveness

July 10, 2010

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I still don’t buy the reasoning for Reyes batting second in the lineup.

In essence the Mets are trying to bench Reyes but yet play him at the same time.

It is yet another example of how the Mets can be organizationally indecisive.  Here are a few other examples of organizational indecisiveness that comes to mind:

1. The handling of Carlos Beltran’s injury.

Should he have surgery? Should he not have surgery? Oh wait, I guess he did have surgery. We didn’t approve it. We did approve it.

2. The handling of Oliver Perez and John Maine.

These two pitchers have been given an abundance of opportunities to establish themselves as big league starters. Many other organizations would have cut ties with both of them a long time ago. Not the Mets. They are both on the horizon of returning. Or are they?

3. The handling of Jennry Mejia.

Mejia is needed in the bullpen and is crucial to its success. Let’s only pitch him during non-critical situations. On second thought, let’s send him down to develop as a starter.

Back to the latest head scratcher.

Jerry Manuel believes by batting Reyes second you bring more things in to play for the hurting Reyes. For example, if Pagan gets on, Jose can bunt for a hit.

Why can’t he bunt for a hit from the lead off spot?

If he is also considering sacrificing Pagan over, Cora or Tejada are perfectly capable of accomplishing that task. The advantage with them doing it is Jose is not jeopardizing his health.

Reyes is also refraining from sliding head first. So now, not only is he refraining from batting left handed, but he also has to make an unnatural adjustment in a split second when on the base paths.

This whole situation makes me wonder who is in control. I remember the first game Jerry Manuel managed after Willie Randolph was fired.

The Mets were facing the Anaheim Angels (or whatever they were called back then). Reyes came up a bit lame running out a ground ball and Manuel decided to pull him.

Reyes was visibly upset and wouldn’t leave the field at first. Manuel stuck to his guns and had a “heart to heart” with Jose in the clubhouse. I was impressed with how decisive Jerry was in a difficult situation. What has happened since then?

Fellow editor and the Yoda of our staff, Tom Greenhalgh, made a great point last night when he stated “Manage your players. Don’t let them manage you.”

How much of these “Reyes Rules” are Jose’s idea and how much are Manuel’s?

It might be hard to believe, but there is a silver lining to this history of hesitancy by the Mets organization.

It is a sign of a group of people trying too hard. They find themselves in these situations because they try to take the best pieces from two different options and turn it into one. Unfortunately, this option isn’t the most realistic in most situations.

Look at it this way. At least they’re not like the Pirates organization. The last two owners they have had have made it perfectly clear they could care less about winning or the product on the field.

Originally published on Mets Gazette.

The John Maine Decision

May 21, 2010

I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the Maine issue.

Just when I thought John Maine was finished putting this team into strange predicaments, this happens.  I applaud Warthen and Manuel’s decision.

They’re the experts.  They saw something they didn’t like.   I love the fact they were proactive, and didn’t leave him in the game to get shelled.

If this was a different pitcher, it would probably be a different decision.  Maine’s history doesn’t help his cause.

Fact, he just isn’t reliable in terms of his health.

Warthen and Manuel are fighting for their jobs.  More importantly, they are trying to make decisions on what’s best for the team.

Maine has had plenty of time to get right.  This sends a message that he is on a very tight rope.

Obviously, this leads to a bigger issue.  Maine’s fragile psyche has taken a hit.  Check out these quotes from the New York times.

Dan Warthen:

If he’s throwing that way, then there’s got to be something incorrect in that arm.  Something’s not feeling correct. John’s a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health. He’s a competitor and a warrior. He wants to go out there and pitch. But we have to be smart enough to realize this guy isn’t right, the ball’s not coming out of his hand correctly.

John Maine:

I guess they didn’t see 95.   It was a little slow, but it was the first batter of the game, cut me a little bit of slack…….

No, I didn’t get a chance, and I think that’s what I’m most upset about.  They said they saw something, so they’re taking me out. I’m a little hurt by that. It wasn’t 100 m.p.h. the first pitch. I never got asked to really see how I was or anything like that. They just said I was out. That’s what upset me the most.

Maine’s desire for Warthen and Manuel to cut him some slack rubs me the wrong way.  I have always liked his surly, working man’s attitude.

Unfortunately, in this situation it hurts the team.  I can understand Maine’s frustration in the matter.  However,  the Mets can ill afford to let him work through any troubles during a game.

Especially if he isn’t ready in the first inning.

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

Nationals 3, Mets 2

May 11, 2010

Sometimes, the game of baseball is quite simple.  A single game can be summed up with one stat.

The Mets’ 3 to 2 loss to the Nationals is one of these games.  The Mets were 1 for 12 at the plate with runners in scoring position.

This game was there for the taking.  John Maine had a decent outing, giving up two runs in six innings.

The Mets let opportunity after opportunity pass them by.

The fight is still there, however.  The Mets were down 3 to 1 in the ninth inning, when Angel Pagan blasted a solo home run, cutting the deficit to one.

Alex Cora, in for the ejected Jose Reyes, slapped a single up the middle.  This brought up Jason Bay.

I thought to myself, “What an opportunity for Bay right here.  He could go a long way in endearing himself to Mets fans with a big hit.”

It didn’t happen.

Bay struck out weakly to end the game.

Outlook:

Jon Niese will face Scot Olsen in game two of this series.

Reyes and Wright frustration boiling over.

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 7, Dodgers 3

April 28, 2010

There are two reasons why I am glad the Mets have tomorrow off.

1.  The bullpen can get some well deserved rest going into the series in Philly this weekend.

2.  The Mets and their fans can enjoy this seven game winning streak.

Let’s face it.  It has been a long time since we have been able to puff out our chest a little bit.  We deserve to savor it, even if it is just for a day.

Seven wins in a row.

Wow.

Game Recap

Life happened to me today, so I was unable to watch or listen to most of the game today.  Between work and the various things that needed repairing in my house, I was only able to check in from time to time.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great Mets Blogs out there that I can lean on during a day like this.

Check out my fellow Mets Bloggers for their recaps:

MetsBlog

Mets Paradise

The Real Dirty Mets Blog

The ‘Ropolitans

Here’s the skinny:

  • John Maine gave his best performance of the young season, pitching six innings with nine strikeouts.
  • Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur each had two RBI.
  • Ike Davis and David Wright collected two hits a piece.
  • Every position player had at least one hit with the exception of Rod Barajas.  Don’t worry, he did walk and score a run, so he was able to contribute as well.
  • The bullpen did not allow an earned run.

Outlook

The Mets head into a big series against the Phillies this weekend.  At this point in the season, I don’t think many people thought the Phillies would be looking up at the Mets in the standings.

A third series sweep would be absolutely amazing.  I would be extremely happy with just winning it.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be that upset if they lost the series.  They are on the road after all.  Let’s not even talk about a Phillies sweep.

Double Dip Turns Out To Be Pretty Sweet

April 28, 2010

David Wright

I don’t think Mets’ fans could have asked for a better result after Tuesday’s double header.  Two wins against the Dodgers, combined with a Philadelphia, loss catapults the Amazin’s into first place.

Game One (Mets 4, Dodgers 0)

Johan Santana battled the wind and pitched six innings of scoreless baseball.  The bullpen locked down the final three innings per their usual.

Offensively, we saw Jason Bay’s first home run as a Met that highlighted an eight hit day for the bats.

Game Two (Mets 10, Dodgers 5)

Bad Ollie was out for the night cap of the double header as he was unable to make it out of the fourth inning.  Perez was seemingly cruising until the wheels fell off in the fourth.  He gave up three walks in the inning including a four pitch pass  to Dodgers’ pitcher, Charlie Haeger.

Hisanori Takahashi  came in to save the day and dealt another 3.1 innings of solid relief, only allowing one run.  Mejia pitched a shutout inning and Raul Valdes gave up one run in the final inning of the game.

David Wright exploded with three hits, two of them of the opposite field variety.  He provided a two strike RBI single to put the Mets ahead 4-3.  He also drilled a three run triple to the right centerfield gap.  This hit sealed the game.

Ike Davis added his own three run double and Jason Bay added a triple as well.

Outlook

Out of nowhere, the Mets find themselves in first place.  This team is flat out dangerous when David Wright is hitting.  I don’t think it is coincidence that his breakout game occurred with opposite field hits.

I have been saying all season, that he appeared to be pressing.  Last night he took what the pitcher gave him, stayed on the ball, and had some great results.  Hopefully it can continue.

It will be interesting to see what  Jerry and Omar do with Oliver Perez if he continues to pitch this way.  We may find him in a John Maine spot, pitching to save his spot in the rotation.

Next up, the much maligned John Maine heads to the hill this afternoon to try to keep this current winning streak alive.

Mother Nature Giveth and She Taketh Away

April 26, 2010

Last night I, along with every other Met fan on the planet, couldn’t believe how perfect it was that the game was called before Jerry Manuel could dig into the bullpen.  Much needed rest for the over taxed staff.

Tonight’s rain out puts the bullpen in a precarious position.  They will have to play three games in two days.

Fortunately, Johan Santana is pitching tomorrow and the Mets have a day off on Thursday. These are good signs prior to a big weekend series with the Phillies.  You might think, all is well.

Normally, I am an optimistic person.  It would be realistic to be concerned, however.  You see, Santana will be followed by Oliver Perez and John Maine.  Two pitchers that historically have trouble getting passed the fifth inning.

Oliver Perez has shown some promising signs this season.  He owns a respectable 3.71 ERA.  Unfortunately, he is only averaging 5.67 innings per start.  This tells us that the bullpen can expect to pitch at least four innings in his start.

John Maine’s troubles have been well documented this season.  He is averaging just a tad over four innings per start.

If Perez and Maine stay true to form, even with a day off ,the Mets’ bullpen could go into this weekend’s series against the Phillies a little gassed.

This would be a great week for Ollie and Mr. Maine to go against the grain, keep their pitch counts low, and efficiently deal with the hitters they face.

Mets 5 Larry & The Braves 2

April 23, 2010

The One and Only Mr. Met

Day one of the Jose Reyes experiment proved to be a success as the Mets picked up their eighth win of the year. Reyes contributed a double and a triple to the cause.

Pitching

It’s official.  John Maine is cursed.  He couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning due to spasms in his non-pitching elbow.  Seriously, who else would have to leave a game for something like this?

Hisanori Takahashi came in and was able to pitch three strong innings, racking up seven strike outs and only giving up one run.

The rest of the bullpen shut down the Braves and Francisco Rodriquez picked up his second save in as many nights.  Of course, he did so in true Franky fashion allowing the tying run to get to the plate before striking the final two batters he faced.

The Bats

Ike Davis hit his first career home run, a monster of a shot to right center.

David Wright made it two games in a row with a big RBI hit.  He actually missed a third big hit when he had to settle for a 405 foot sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

Jason Bay seemed to be swinging the bat a bit better tonight.  He was able to follow the Jose Reyes triple with one of his own.

Play Of The Game

The Braves botched an infield pop up as Brian McCann displayed his lack of understanding of the infield fly rule.

It all started when Larry Jones botched a pop up with Pagan on second and Castillo on first.  They both took off when he dropped/smacked the ball towards first base.  Brian McCann then threw to first as if he were trying to double up Castillo.

Pagan, better yet Chip Hale, took advantage of the confusion and scored from third as no one was covering home plate.

Reflection

Pretty solid win for the Mets.  They showed their grit by not allowing early inning struggles at the plate discourage them.

I become more confident in the bullpen as each game passes.  Hopefully, Maine and Perez will start getting into the seventh inning so they don’t burn out.

It was especially enjoyable to watch the fundamentally sound Braves come unhinged during a game.  Larry the Met killer was especially ineffective tonight.  Savor the flavor boys and girls.  We don’t get to see this every day.



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