Archive for the ‘Jonathon Niese’ Category

Pitching, Pitching, & More Pitching

October 4, 2011

Jose Reyes will dominate the discussion in terms of 2012 roster decisions for the New York Mets.  He’s one of the most exciting players in all of baseball, so it’s easy to understand.

The problem is, the shortstop position should not be the focus of the organization.  The starting rotation should be.  The Mets could re-sign Jose Reyes, successfully convert Ike Davis into a gold glove center fielder, sign Prince Fielder and they still wouldn’t make the playoffs with their current rotation.  I may be exaggerating a tad, but you get the point.

Besides, their offense isn’t the problem.  The Mets were sixth in the National League in runs scored (718).  That’s five runs better than the Phillies.

The 2011 Mets’ starting rotation sported a woeful 4.11 ERA.  There were nine teams better in the National League in this particular area, including all four playoff teams.  As it stands, the rotation has no legitimate ace, a number two or three guy in Johan (due to injury and age), a number three guy in Dickey, and a collection of #4 or #5 guys at best.

Mike Pelfrey (career 4.40 ERA) and Chris Capuano (career 4.39 ERA) need to go.  To put it simply, they are not part of the solution.

Jon Niese and Dillon Gee still have yet to prove they are worth holding on to, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Mets want to give them both another chance in 2012.  Part of me thinks Niese doesn’t have the stamina or strength to make it as a starter and the Mets need to consider moving him to the bullpen. Right now, his 4.20 ERA in 2010 and his 4.40 ERA this season place him alongside Big Pelf and Cap.

Back to Jose for a second. For those of you new to Midwestropolitan (shame on you for not joining us earlier), I am not saying I don’t want Jose to remain a Met.  As a fan, I hold on to hope they can figure out a way to re-sign him and fix the rotation at the same time.  The realist in me knows that is a tall order.

The bottom line is we should keep an eye on what the front office does with the rotation.  It will tell us a lot about whether or not they truly believe they can contend in 2012.  If there isn’t much turnover, it means they are willing to sacrifice 2012 to give Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler time to develop with hopes that any and all of them form a strong young core in 2013.

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Series Loss Is A Microcosom of 2011 Season

July 17, 2011

As I sat pondering how much closer the Mets are to becoming sellers at the trading deadline,  a thought occurred to me.  If someone asked me to sum up the Mets season, I would tell them to watch this series.

Hear me out.

1.  I’ll start off on a positive note:  The Mets have shown some resiliency this season.  After a rough first game, they absolutely embarrassed Cole Hamels, coming up with after hit and scoring a bunch of runs with two outs in yesterday’s game.

Hell, they even caused me to raise my eye brow for a split second in the eighth inning of today’s drubbing.

2.  They have had to adjust due to a plethora of missed games by their star players.  In this series, Terry Collins was forced to replace Carlos Beltran for two of the three games due to the flu.

3.  At times, the Mets have made average pitchers look like Nolan Ryan.  Kyle Kendrick?  Kyle Effing Kendrick goes seven deep only giving up one run today?

Even TBS’ Dennis Eckersley couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know how many times he commented on how Kendrick didn’t have an out pitch and that he was very hitable.

In the middle of the game I messaged Tom stating, Dennis Eckersly should just get it over with and say: “How the fuck are the Mets not hitting this guy? He sucks ass!”

Even I could hit Kyle Kendrick

4.  At times, the Mets starting pitching has been lights out.  Thank you Jon Niese.  Not so much Mike Pelfrey.

5.  The young players that have had to step up have played well for the most part.  Daniel Murphy was a monster in this series going 7 for 12 at the plate.  I realize he was not a call up, but at the beginning of the season Murph was supposed to be the utility guy, not the cleanup hitter.

6.  The Mets have been atrocious at home.  With the exception of game two, there was much atrocity on display in this home series loss.

There’s more, but I’ll let you play, so feel free to add your examples in the comment section.

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Owning Cole Hamels & Another Start For Scott?

July 16, 2011

The Mets will not catch the Philadelphia Phillies this season.  Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.

However, the continued owning of Cole Hamels keeps getting better. Today the Mets spanked Hamels around for a career high (or low depending on who you ask) seven earned runs.

I have to believe this is getting in Hamel’s head at this point.  Unfortunately, the Midwestropolitan research staff was unable to dig up any evidence of him weeping like a little girl in the visiting clubhouse.  Instead, he gave this bland reaction,

“Haven’t really been able to get a good roll against them.  It’s kind of one of those games where you just want to throw it out.”-Cole Hamels

Hairston To Start Tomorrow?

“One thing about Scott Hairston, about a guy stepping up when someone’s not around. If that’s not an example of it, I don’t know what is.”-Terry Collins

I’d like to see Hairston get a start tomorrow.  Try to see if he has a hot hand.

After an unbelievably horrible beginning of the season, he has been displaying some pop.  Something the Mets are seriously lacking right now. Assuming Carlos can play, I would let Bay take a day off.

Let me clarify that this is more of a preference than a statement.  I won’t be calling for TC’s head if he doesn’t get the nod.


Jon Niese is good.

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Mets Win Their 9th Road Series

July 7, 2011

Quick thoughts on the Mets 5-3 win before I call it a night:

  • The Mets won their National League best 26th road game. However, only two teams have less wins at home. Question is, will it even out? Ideally the Mets will continue their road winning ways while picking it up at home in the 2nd half.
  • The Mets road series record improves to a pretty 9-5. This is probably the most unbelievable difference statistically that separates the ’11 team from the ’10 version; the ’10 team did not win their first road series until August.
  • Jon Niese becomes the 3rd Mets pitcher to reach 8 wins. Hopefully after tomorrow he’s just one of two 8-game winners.
  • I’ve been meaning to write a post on it and I realize this is news to no one, but Vin Scully is a remarkable broadcaster. I’ve learned more interesting tidbits about Mets players in these past three nights than I have with Gary Keith and Ron all year. It’s not a knock on the SNY trio, it’s simply that Vin is the best at describing players and telling stories. He calls the game in a way so that novices can understand and appreciate it.
Wild Card Standings
 Atlanta 52 36 74
 Arizona 47 41 5.0 74
 Milwaukee 46 42 6.0 74
 New York 45 42 6.5 75
 Pittsburgh 45 42 6.5 75
 Washington 45 43 7.0 74
 Cincinnati 44 44 8.0 74
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Fourteen Runs?!?

June 26, 2011

With 8,000 other Mets blogs out there surely you’ve read a riveting recap of the Mets 14-5 win by now. So, as always, I’ll take no part in that.

Anyway, the 14 run outburst had me wondering just how good the Mets offense is. Naturally I consulted the Midwestropolitan Research staff, and let’s just say I was surprised to find that the Mets are the highest scoring team in the division.

Ok, Atlanta, Washington and Florida are all pretty bad offensively. But I figured at least Philadelphia would be ahead of New York (the Mets hold a 12-run advantage, 329-317).

The difference? The Phillies lead the NL in ERA and the Mets are 12th, almost a full run higher. That’s why the Mets only (slim) shot is the Wild Card…unless another one of the fantastic four goes down to injury…

So who is to blame?

Well, the Mets team ERA of 3.99 would be pretty awesome any other year, but it is the year of the pitcher. Clearly Mike Pelfrey (4.78 ERA) is the one dragging down the starting staff. Capuano has picked it up, Gee has been great, Dickey gets no run support and Niese is solid.

Four names have really messed up any chance of the team having a lower ERA though – Carrasco, Misch, Boyer, and Acosta. All of them have 5 or more games pitched and an ERA ranging from 6 point something to 11 point something.

The Point?

There is none!

Texas Walker Rangers Series Expectations

June 24, 2011

Yup, you guessed it.  Had to do it.

I have to admit, it didn’t take me very long to determine what my expectations would be for the Rangers series.  I’ve got the Mets dropping two of three.


1.  It’s kind of obvious isn’t it?

2.  The Rangers’ offense is flat-out scary.

3.  Their starting pitching is solid.

I see the Rangers building multiple run leads in their two wins and their weak bullpen barely hanging on.  The sole Mets win will come from a dominating start from either Pelfrey, Niese, or Gee.

Why Not?

1.  The Mets get two dominating starts from Pelfrey, Niese, or Gee.

2.  The offense displays an uncharacteristic display of power in the hot and muggy Texas nights.

3.  The Rangers get so focused on the Mets stealing of their signature “Claw” hand gesture that they lose concentration during the series.

Speaking Of The Claw

I’ve been meaning to bring this up.  Does it bother anyone that the Mets have adopted a version of the Claw when they get a hit?

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t lose sleep over it, but I will admit the first time I saw Jose and crew throw up their long distance high-five I felt a twinge of disappointment that the guys didn’t come up with something more original.

I did ask the Midwestropolitan Research Staff to look into this matter.  They informed me that the claw has actually been adopted by multiple teams including the San Francisco Giants.  Keep that in mind as this will inevitably come up on message boards this weekend.

I enjoyed the following comment regarding this little issue:

“The Rangers stole their uniform and name form a hockey team, so they shouldn’t complain.”-Machinehead 4 Hart

The way I see it, the Rangers should be honored that other teams have copied their style.  Too bad they didn’t trademark it.

You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth?

This may come as a shock to you but there are many in the Midwest that believe that people on the East Coast, particularly those in The Big Apple, have potty mouths.  During our in-depth research on the Bitchin’ Internet we have discovered that it is possible that Texas Ranger fans may take the cake in terms of their love of expletives.

Check out the comment thread in this post. Wowza! 

The Midwestropolitan Statistics Department provided the following metrics regarding the love of profanity:

  • 10 F-Bombs
  • 2 Asses
  • 1 Shit

Not only did we discover they love some cussin’, but they also seem to have a deep dislike for columnist Randy Galloway.

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Ass Backwards

June 19, 2011
June 17th:

“I’m going to cut to the chase here.  The Mets should win their upcoming series against the Angels…….I’ve got the Mets favored in two of the three pitching match ups as I am giving an edge to the Angels in the Haren vs. Pelfrey game.  Big Pelf should have a good showing but I would be silly not to give Haren and his 2.54 ERA the nod.” – Me

Boy, the Mets couldn’t have been farther off  from what I expected if they tried.  Did I do something to anger them?  Not only did the Mets lose this series, but the result of all three starting pitching match ups was the exact opposite of what I thought would happen.

Today’s game was indubitably disappointing.   The Mets were never in it, largely due to Jon Niese flat-out not having it.  Quite the futile feeling as a fan.  Thankfully, there have not been too many contests like this in the 2011 season.

Maybe they’re a little gassed.  After all, this was their 13th game in as many days.  Hopefully, tomorrow’s off day will provide some rest and they can mount yet another assault on breaking the .500 barrier.

Setting The Table For A Steal?

June 14, 2011

Raise your hand if you thought the Mets were going to bungle tonight’s game when Niese left.  For those of you that didn’t raise your hands, you should be ashamed of yourselves for being such blatant fibbers.

I applauded Terry Collins for yanking Pedro Beato once Brian McCann was called on to pinch hit.  There was no better time to use his lefty then right there in the seventh inning.  Midwestropolitan, Tim Byrdak, did not disappoint fanning McPain In Our Ass as well as Diory Hernandez.

Timmy would get my game ball if this were little league and I was his coach.  He’ll probably settle for a beer from Jon Niese for helping him save his sixth win and his fourth consecutive quality start.  I would think Pedro Beato owes Byrdak a beer as well for bailing his ass out of trouble.

Jason Isringhausen is not looking so good.  He gutted his way through the eighth but almost wound up giving up back to back jacks to tie the game.  He has been and is someone we should keep an eye on.

What more can we say about Jose Reyes?

The Amazin’s put themselves in quite a lovely position to steal another series from the Braves.  With Gee and Dickey taking the hill the next two days I certainly feel good about the possibilities.

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Which Way Will Uncle Mo Be Heading After The Visit To ATL?

June 14, 2011

Well here we are.  The Mets are two games under .500 having established themselves as an opponent not to be taken lightly.  That’s a place very few would have placed the Amazin’s a few weeks ago.

So what’s next?

Visiting the Braves in Atlanta has the potential to swing old Uncle Mo one way or the other. The Mets have never played well there traditionally.  A three game sweep would all but kill the little bit of momentum they have been able to obtain.

On the other hand, if they are able to find a way to take two of three it would do a world of good for their confidence heading into a 15 game stretch of inter league play.

What To Expect

Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot to make light of this time around.  The Mets will be facing Jair Jurrjens and Tim Hudson again accompanied by Mike Minor.  However, the Mets will be throwing their top three starters right now in Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and R.A. Dickey.

I am actually giving the Mets the slightest edge on the starting pitching front.

The offense of the Braves has started to heat up which scares me, especially when they get to the bullpen.  Expecting complete games out of Niese, Gee, and Dickey is unrealistic and insane.

Using this logic, this means the Mets success will boil down to the lineup trying to build a big enough lead for the pen to hold on.  A big enough lead in my opinion would be a minimum of three runs as I don’t know how you can’t expect the bullpen to give up at least two runs each game.

Based on this reasoning and the fact that the games are being played in Atlanta I am expecting to see the Mets drop the series 1-2.

Who knows?  Maybe Fredi Gonzalez may figure out a way to screw up a game or two with his poor game management skills.  It’s happened in the first two series against the Braves.  That may be the X factor in helping the Mets steal one.  It’s not something I like to rely on however.

Consider Me Encouraged

June 10, 2011

I guess I’ll go with the flow here and make it a perfect three for three night for Midwestropolitan and “Encouragement” related post titles. I find Jason inspirational in many ways, not least of all his wide vocabulary.

Anyhow, anybody else spend their Thursday night watching the NBA finals? I found it encouraging to see Dirk get one step closer to his first ring.

But that’s neither here nor there as this is a baseball blog…run by clowns.

I read Jason’s motivational bullet-point speech (post below) and color me encouraged. While we’re coloring, color me surprised to see the Mets bounce back and take 2 of 3 on the road in Milwaukee. Bernie Brewer must be fuming.

It’s a little hard to believe that the Mets are only 4.5 games out of the wild card (Theyre not .500 yet, I know) taking into account just how bad the bridge to K-Rod has been and just how easy Jason Bay is to get out.

That said, what I take as most encouraging from tonight’s ballgame is Jon Niese continuing to pitch really well. His ERA for the season is down to 3.51 and more importantly he has made five straight starts ranging anywhere from good to outstanding. Jason and I were in agreement that Niese is not a number one guy – and no one currently in the rotation is. But he has a chance to develop into a really nice front-middle of the rotation pitcher.

What’s Next?

I had a chance to watch the Pirates play in person when they traveled to Citi Field last week. “I had a chance to watch the Pirates” sounds a little funny to me, still. Also, they hosted Arizona this week and I caught most of the three game set.

I kind of wish they would just go away. They’ll probably end up with 70 wins like always, but of course the Mets have to face them twice when they’re playing good ball. I’ll defer to the expert to analyze this series more thoroughly. I know how happy it makes him to talk about his made up stats.


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