Halfway Mark – Projections

Midseason Projections

Some interesting notes. The Mets had a bad June, and without a swoon like that in the second half, I forsee these numbers being a little higher. If they have a better second half than first, Carlos Beltran and David Wright both have a chance to be 30 Home Run and 30 Stolen Base guys. Another key note is that Scott Schoeneweis should have significantly less IP than Feliciano, and he doesn’t. Heilman’s not been very good this year, but somehow he’s the most used reliever. Maybe he just needs a little more rest to be the most effective. I left out Aaron Sele because he’s horrible, but his numbers look like 51.1 IP with 74 hits. That’s really all you need to know about him. I want to see Feliciano, and even Smith get more pitching, rest Heilman a little more and Schoeneweis a lot more.

Player

AVG

OBP

SLG

Hits

R

2B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

Jose Reyes

.316

.397

.453

208

114

34

8

68

80

90

Carlos Delgado

.229

.293

.418

140

78

38

26

90

4

50

Carlos Beltran

.271

.346

.475

164

90

32

28

100

26

72

David Wright

.290

.378

.505

176

92

42

28

88

36

82

Paul Lo Duca

.280

.329

.371

148

62

18

10

48

4

32

Shawn Green

.276

.331

.436

134

70

32

14

54

12

38

Win

Loss

ERA

IP

BB

SO

HR

Hits

SV

SVO

Tom Glavine

14

12

4.39

217.1

78

104

28

228

John Maine

18

8

2.74

204

76

168

20

158

Oliver Perez

14

12

3.14

189.1

74

170

22

146

Orlando Hernandez

8

6

2.78

144.2

50

118

18

104

Jorge Sosa

14

6

3.92

128.2

46

76

12

110

Aaron Heilman

12

6

4.19

77.1

18

58

12

70

6

Joe Smith

4

0

2.73

66

32

66

2

56

Billy Wagner

2

0

1.73

62.2

18

98

8

48

32

34

Scott Schoeneweis

0

4

5.46

59.1

40

30

10

64

2

Pedro Feliciano

2

2

1.76

61.1

30

52

2

34

2

2

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Continuing to Roll

I strongly feel that John Maine got snubbed, but I’m not surprised. He suffered because Billy Wagner deserves to be there too, is a bigger name, and was the 4th Met selected. I feel bad for Kevin Youkilis too, who certainly deserved to be there. I really feel baseball should attempt to honor guys like this, who would go to the game excited, and not guys like Manny Ramirez, who will go reluctantly, if at all. To make the All-Star game more meaningful, fill it with players that want to be there. We don’t necessarily need guys playing all out, colliding with catchers and getting into fights, but these young guys that want to be there will play hard, and enjoy playing. That’s what would make it watchable.

The Mets dropped the finale, missing out on sweeping the Phillies. It doesn’t matter, they had a bit of a sloppy day and left the Phillies with a little bit of hope. It’s misguided hope, as the Mets now have won eight of their last 10, and now hold a five game, six losses, lead over the Phillies. The Braves are four games back and five losses. I’d be happy with picking up one more game on each before the All-Star break. Colorado has been playing badly since sweeping the Yankees, and while they’re due to start winning some, the Mets can take two out of three easily, even with Vargas pitching one of the games.

Mike Pelfrey looked good, I’ve thought he looked good all year long, just not quite ready. He looked more ready this time, if not quite there. I feel like one of these days he’s suddenly going to develop some confidence, make a small adjustment with his pitching, and suddenly will start winning. I’d like him to start throwing more innings, but even three runs in five innings at a ballpark like that keeps the team in the game. Maybe if he keeps pitching like that, the offense will feel last pressured to score nine runs to win for him, relax a bit and just start hitting, and making plays behind him defensively.

I don’t know what’s up with Oliver Perez. We all know he’s pretty much a head case, and when he’s made such good progress this year I’m not sure I want him pitching injured either. We’ve in a good situation right now, with a good lead. If he’s really hurting, we could DL him retroactively, he’d be eligible to come off by the games after the break, and we could get some help up here in the meantime.

Carlos Gomez has picked up a bit of a reputation as a hot dog, which is why Joe Smith asked Carlos Beltran how to say “hot dog” in Spanish. “Perro caliente,” Beltran replied. Gomez seemed to like the new nickname. I like it too.

Speaking of the All-Star break, I hope Ricky Ledee doesn’t see the other side of it. Lastings Milledge has starting playing rehab games, and I see no reason why he shouldn’t be with the team by then. Whether to try to contribute, or to showcase to be traded. Willie seems to be alternating Ledee and Gomez anyway, and I don’t know anyone that looks forward to seeing Ledee’s mangled picture up on the scoreboard.

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The City of Brotherly Love

We arrived in Philly around noon, stopped at my friend’s condo, had some lunch, and then took the transit system, SEPTA, to the ballpark. We arrived in the top of the first, and it was weird that we were actually missing the Mets at bat. This was my first time seeing the Mets away from home, and they made me proud. The first game featured probably 30% Mets fans, so we weren’t alone. The night game was sold out for fireworks, so there were less Mets fans, but we still managed to get a “Jose, Jose” chant going for a bit before we were booed. Oddly, I only heard one “Let’s go Phillies” chant the entire day. I wasn’t hassled much either. Some girls teased us a little on the train, and we got cursed at a couple of times throughout the day, but nothing major. We were in our seats in time to see the Phillies complaining about El Duque, and could tell that he was getting angry at them. Six innings later, with the Mets out to a nice lead, he had his revenge.

The Mets bats surely woke up, in both games. The second game especially, where the Mets stranded tons of runners on base, some from some nice plays by Michael Bourn in right field. They got some hits, they got some home runs, they stole some bases, and they got some hits with runners in scoring position and two outs. The Mets have won seven of eight, put the Phillies six losses back, and are again on a roll.

The bullpen make it a little difficult in the first game, and then we hurried over to Chickie’s and Petes, which is a local sports bar. They have yummy crab fries, which I, and apparently Metsradamus, highly recommend. We also had a tower of beer, which is just like it sounds. It’s two and a half pitcher’s of beer in a tall tower with a tap on the bottom to serve yourself that sits on the table. We also had some wings, paid, and headed back to Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.

Back at the stadium I made sure to get a cheesesteak, and I had a Phillies hat full of chocolate ice cream, that I didn’t smash like the Fanatic smashed a Mets cap on the field during the game. The Mets loaded the bases in the first inning, but didn’t score. That was only the start though, Beltran blasted two runs, and the Mets chased Cole Hamels early. Not before he threw behind Reyes, leading to a wild pitch and a run. Reyes had an interesting day, he was angered by Hamels, and in the first game he was called out stealing second on what was clearly a bad call. He even stood around the base, still reluctant to actually leave the base that was rightfully his. Willie came out to argue briefly, but to no avail. Wagner was summoned after Maine gave up a double to start the 9th, even though it wasn’t a save. Wagner sadly allowed that run to score, but in a measure of revenge for his only blown save of the year, he struck out Pat Burrell to end the game.

David Wright says he will be upset of John Maine is not on the All-Star team. Only Brad Penny has more wins than him at 10, and he’s fourth in the league in ERA at 2.74. At what basically is his halfway point, he has 84 strikeouts in 102 innings. To compare, Cole Hamels has the same 9-4 record as Maine, with an ERA approaching four. To think that Maine was considered one of the Mets question marks before the season, is laughable.

I do enjoy the stadium down there, but I think it’s nothing that special. It’s a nice modern park, but nothing superb. The ball travels nicely there, and all the sight-lines are good. The Mets always hit well there, and they have much better food than at Shea. Still, when I go back to Shea later this month, I’m sure I’ll have that ‘It is good to be home’ feeling.

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Off We Go To Philadelphia

I’m excited about my impending trip to Philadelphia tomorrow for both games of the doubleheader. Maybe after watching the Mets’ fireworks, I’ll watch the ones provided by Philadelphia after the game. It will be my first time ever seeing the Mets on the road. Mike Pelfrey hasn’t looked great in the majors, but maybe he figures it out tomorrow, and the Mets blast enough to win. John Maine continues his consistency tomorrow, and I expect the Mets can win that game too. I know their offense isn’t quite there, but they are near the top of the league in batting average, even after the last three days. Obviously they need to get more big hits, and I think they will. I also think some 370 foot fly outs might become 385 foot home runs in Citizens Bank Ballpark.

I’ve only had one cheesesteak in my life, and it was a generic one at Shea earlier this year. I have yet to find that booth on the field level again after either. I plan to have a nice delicious one down there in Philadelphia, while I enjoy the games. I expect some heckling, but I’ll be ready. I’m probably going to wear my Beltran shirt, because it’s one of the two shirts I have that easily proclaims Mets on both the front and back. Which is surprising as I have roughly 10 different Mets shirts. It’s probably going to be too hot to wear my jersey, so I’m leaving it at home. Our seats for the first game are in the upper terrace section, behind home plate. The nightcap seats are out in left field, in I believe the second area. I expect to have a blast, and hopefully not have to punch anybody wearing a Rollins shirt.

A quick note on tonight’s game. I think it’s a measure of redemption for Carlos Beltran to express that he can learn from past mistakes, and become a better player. The Mets need to hit the ball hard, in preparation for the weekend. I picked up Orlando Hernandez in my fantasy league, so I’m hoping it pays off. Are last view of last year was a curveball from Wainwright, and I think it’s only fitting that the last thing Wainwright sees tonight is a Carlos Beltran home run.

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Another (Season) Series Won

The Mets again, just like game seven, took a tie game into the late innings against the Cardinals. This time Heilman retires the side, Billy Wagner strikes out So Taguchi, and the Mets win on a Shawn Green home run. It’s been a while now since people have been calling for Green’s head. He’s started to play well again, and the hair on that head has started to grow again. The Mets now have a four game winning streak, and instead of not hitting when they pitch, they pitch when they’re not hitting. It’s a small thing, but a huge difference. The Mets are finding ways to win again, despite two Delgado errors, despite only having three hits.

This isn’t a fluke, this isn’t the Yankees teasing fans with a long win streak only to stumble again. The Mets are for real, this is for real. The Mets have now won the season series against the Cardinals, and have yet to lose a game against them. I think I’m over last year now. I still despise the Cardinals, but the Mets are far enough along that I can block out the NLCS and focus on the future. The Cardinals will not be standing in the way in October. The Mets have a big series coming up this weekend, and it’s good that they’re playing well again. If I could pick one stretch for the Mets to have a losing streak, June would be the one I would’ve picked. They lost games against mainly American League teams, who they won’t be competing against to win the division or even a wild card. An added bonus is that losing games to teams like Detroit and Minnesota actually hurts the Yankees wild card chances.

The Mets have a chance to gain a comfortable lead after a miserable stretch. They will actually go into July with a greater lead than they went into June. The Mets are 8-14 so far in June, and they actually have a chance at not having a losing June. I don’t expect this to happen, but it’s starting to look much better than it was.

To address the pessimists that think the first three weeks in June are more a measure of this team then the rest of the season, you’re crazy. I know the Mets were playing the so-called best teams in baseball, but that doesn’t mean the Mets stink. Besides the fact that the American League teams have an obvious advantage in interleague play, particularly at home, the Mets were just slumping. You could see it in their play. It’s not like the Mets were playing great, pitching well, hitting well, and not making mistakes. They played crappy, and they lost. I know they went through a similar interleague struggle last year, and it’s a sad coincidence that strengthens this bogus argument. If the Cardinals could beat Detroit last year, do you really think the Mets wouldn’t have?

Another negative point the pessimistic Mets fan likes to rant about seems to be that we need another starting pitcher. This is the rant of a fan that’s not paying much attention. Tom Glavine will be what he is, and he actually pitched well in the playoffs last year. El Duque can be a starter, or a long reliever, and is great in the playoffs. Oliver Perez is really starting to look like a clutch pitcher, and John Maine has had a measure of consistency this year, keeping the Mets in games. All accounts say that Pedro Martinez is progressing marvelously and he would be a bigger addition to this club then any trade could bring. The bullpen is another story. I would like to see some other players audition, whether it is through trade or call-up. I’m sure Omar is looking into solutions, and it’s still a month from the deadline, so he’s probably putting out feelers and expressing interest in guys on teams that haven’t given up yet.

Another bat is another common request, but I think it’s a bad one. Counting out Moises Alou, whose injury gets worse and worse the more doctors look at it, we’ve got Shawn Green and Carlos Beltran. After them, we’ve got Carlos Gomez, Endy Chavez, and even Lastings Milledge. These guys add sparks and excitement and the ability to mix it up, put out different guys and try to find someone hot is much more valuable then putting a acquisition out there. Especially if that acquisition is a guy like Sosa, who by many accounts is a cheater.

All I can say is, stop being so pessimistic. Have some faith in the team, in Willie and in Minaya. Enjoy the winning season rather then expecting it to be like 2003.

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The Mets Are Still The Best in the National League

It’s hard to be optimistic at this juncture, so I’ll keep it short. The Mets obviously aren’t this bad, it’s just not the case. A lot of the problem is hitting, and all of the other problems with mental errors and actual errors and even some of the relief pitching is probably a byproduct of confidence. Once the Mets get going again, and they are going to get going again, these problems should melt away.

One of my biggest complaints is Jorge Sosa and the starting pitching. We’ve gotten some big games, like Monday night, that have looked like slump-busters, only to have the next day’s pitcher pitch us out of it early. This trend needs to stop, and we’ll get a stretch of good pitching again that will wake us up sooner or later. You can’t micro-manage these situations, blame Willie, blame Delgado or really anybody. They seem to be trying to hard more than not trying hard enough. Tuesday’s game turned on Beltran’s throw in the second inning. Pressing to help, seeing an opportunity he throws fast and hard and it sails into the stands. If the team is going good, Beltran probably pauses for that split second he need to make an accurate throw.

I can point out positive signs, throw out numbers, but none of it really means anything. The Mets will get out of this, and how they get out of it, and how hard they get out of it will go a longer way in demonstrating how good the Mets are this year than the slump itself.

I do think things need to be shaken up a bit here and there though. None of our outfield moves worked out, but I think we could do with testing out some of our Zephyr relievers up here, just for some new blood. Another new starter might work too, although while I think Sosa might have used up his magic, he definitely gets one more start. I wonder if seeing Philip Humber up here would motivate these bats to wake up for him though? Just a though, I’m sure Omar and Willie are in the process of making something interesting happen, and I trust them.

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Ticket Woes

Feb 26, 2007 01:27 PM

It gets harder and harder to get the platinum level type ticket every season. Last year I managed to have tickets for opening day, and all three subway series games. This year I have 3 tickets to opening day, and 3 tickets to one of the Subway Series games. I also have 4 tickets to a second subway series game, but that’s only because I took the financial hit and bought a Saturday season-plan which included one.

Sadly baseball is becoming, at least here in New York from my perspective, a sport for richer folk. Now I don’t remember the days where you could see a baseball game for less than the current price of a mocha at Starbucks, but even at 24 I can see the ever increasing cost of being a fan.

I understand that a fan has to remember that baseball is a business, but I think that _baseball_ needs to remember that it is also a game and a passion of a lot of ordinary, average people. It’s understandable that baseball tries to make money, by offering corporate boxes, charging more for prime games, and the like. There are millions of us out here that are fans that cannot come up with hundreds of dollars to see a couple of games, but are willing and enthusiastic about spending what money we have on the sport we love. Making it hard for the average fan to buy a cheap ticket, even to deep bleacher seats just alienates us, and mutes our interest in the game.

Some people have wonderful memories of paying quarters to get into memorable games of baseballs rich history, remember getting into the bleachers just so they could see some of baseballs great players play. Others listen to stories of fathers, or grandfathers, or uncles as they recollect some of the exciting games they went to, even if they weren’t rich, while we listen on, remembering just how much to costs to be able to goto a game today.

With the construction of Citi Field, and others like it, the philosophy of having no bad seats is a wonderful one, but if the trade off is the cheapest ticket being $20 or $30+ dollars, I’d be just as happy watching it at Shea. For the true fans, it’s not about the seat, the concourses or the view. It’s about the game in front of us.

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Excited

Feb 15, 2007 11:47 AM

Maybe it’s because it’s the first year the Mets have made the playoffs in a while, or maybe it’s because of how devastating it was leaving Shea after game 7, but i’m very impatient about the start of the 2007 season.

Even though the roster is still unknown, there are a lot of young pitchers out there ready to make the team and shine. And a lot of them will get the chance to. Orlando Hernandez will probably miss a couple of starts here and there, and there are always injuries and switches during the season. On top of this, Pedro rarely pitches a whole season, but this year it will be the first part of the season he misses, so that when the time comes to pitch in the playoffs, not only will he hopefully be energized from missing it last year, it’ll feel like July for him as he’ll only have been pitching a couple of months.

We’ve got enough relievers out there to find something that works and Wagner…well, he’s not Rivera, but what else is there?

Delgado is a very smart player, and after his struggles last year, I think he’ll be having a monstrous year, Reyes is only going to get better, i’m predicting 70+ steals this year. David Wright is only improving too, and as of yet he’s the only position player in Port St. Lucie right now. He’s going to hit 30 home runs and 130 rbi’s this year. I’ve been saying this all off-season, and he’s been doing great in the games he’s been playing, I think Anderson Hernandez is going to be a starter on this team.

I miss Cliff Floyd, and I think he’s going to have a huge year this year, but I think are outfield can get it done. I’m interested to see what happens with Milledge.

I’m strongly considering trying to goto Spring Training this year, but if not, I have every intention of winning the lottery and scoring tickets for opening day.

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