Archive for the ‘Raul Valdes’ Category

Mets 10, Nats 7

May 21, 2010

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

There are many fans that are going to spend some time on how the Mets made a 10-1 ball game a stressful one.

Not me.

There were plenty of things to be encouraged about from last night’s game.  Let’s examine a few.

David Wright Stepped Up

Some may disagree with this.  I think he is going to face unrealistic expectations from the Mets fan base for the rest of the his career.

Last night, he drove in four runs, including a huge three run double in the first inning that set the tone early.

What I found interesting about that hit is that he didn’t show any kind of exhilaration upon reaching second.  No pointing to the sky, no pounding his chest, not even a clap of his hands.

This could mean one of two things.

1.  He expects to do this, so he felt no need to celebrate.  It his job.

2.  He has developed a bit of a chip on his shoulder after all he has gone through.  Maybe a little bit of anger.

I’m not sure what to think if the second option is true.  On one hand, I like a little bit of anger from D Wright.  He has always come off as a nice guy.  A little bit of fire may not be a bad thing.

On the other hand, this could be a sign of resentment that he may have for the pressure he had faced as a Met with very little support from his team mates over the last two years.

Either way, I was impressed with his showing last night.  He only had one hit, but I’ll take four RBI’s any day.  At the end of the day, that’s what counts for your franchise player.

Offensive Explosion

The Mets bats came to play.  They collected 10 runs on 15 hits.

Even more impressive than their ten runs, is the fact that they only struck out three times in 39 at bats (none of which were David Wright).

Rod Barajas delivered his team leading 1oth home run of the season and knocked in two in the game.

Ike Davis and Jason Bay each had three hits.

Side note on Davis: Keep in mind this is a rookie that was originally assigned to the minors for the season.  He continues to impress and play with poise.

I like to think about Ike when things are going bad.  It goes something like this…”at least Ike Davis is here and playing well”.  It is  the “happy place” I go to when the Mets are on a slide.

Jeff Francoeur was also productive, as he went two for five with two RBIs.

Cool Raul

Raul Valdes’ performance was fantastic.  Some may argue this point, as he gave up three runs.

I think five innings out of the bullpen when you really aren’t preparing to pseudo-start the game deserves a pat on the back.

Now that Takahashi is in the starting rotation, it is good to know that Valdes can fill the long relief role.

Adam Didn’t

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous when Adam Dunn stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with the bases loaded.  The score was 10-6, so he represented the tying run.

Pedro Felciano didn’t appear to have his best stuff.  I love how on the outside he appears extremely confident.  That was a tough situation.

He came through and was able to get Dunn to strike out.

I understand, the Mets should not have been in that situation.  The fact of the matter is, they got an out when it mattered.

Ask the Cincinnati Reds about how important that is.

On Deck

The Mets face the dreaded Yankees.

Hisanori Takahashi faces Javier Vazquez

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.

Giants 6, Mets 5

May 9, 2010

The Mets lost a tough one today.  Anytime you give up eleven, yes eleven, walks and are in position to win the game in the eighth inning, it is a miracle.

I was able to catch part of the game amongst the Mother’s Day festivities, so this post game reaction will be brief.

Oliver Perez was abysmal today.  He couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, pitching three and a third innings.

Not getting out of the fourth is bad enough, when you throw in seven walks in that time span, it is down right awful.

More on him later tonight.

I didn’t see any of his at bats, but David Wright was 0 for 4 with four strike outs.  He was ejected on his last strikeout, which tells me he is completely frustrated.

Now, the good.

You wouldn’t know it by reading comment sections, but the Mets did win the series against a tough Giants team.

Even in their loss, they battled back from a 4-0 deficit against Tim Lincecum and company.

Ike Davis, Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, and Jason Bay had two hits a piece.

Raul Valdes looked sharp, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings.

Next Up:

John Maine vs. Luis Atilano to kick off a three game series with the Washington Nationals.

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.


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