A year and 10 days later…

It’s hard to believe that the last post made in this blog was on May 19, 2007, and since then, Mets fans have gone through the lows of seeing their beloved team pull off an epic collapse down the stretch, the highs of the front office signing one of the league’s top pitchers, and the frustration of an under performing, inconsistent team, putting the manager on the hot seat.
So it’s definitely been a while.  But the blog is still here, and I’m hoping that next time I won’t neglect it as much as I have.
Tonight it’s the first of three against the Dodgers–Vargas vs. Penny.  The obvious storyline–Joe Torre returns to NYC for the first time since (essentially) being fired by the Yankees…
I’ll have a wrap-up later.

A few thoughts about the Yankees…

As a Mets fan it’s great to see that they are doing well as one of baseball’s best teams once again.  But you almost feel for what is going on over in the Bronx.  The Yankees lost another pitcher as Darrell Rasner broke his finger and according to Kim Jones of YES he will need emergency surgery.
This is getting quite absurd…their staff has run into all kinds of trouble and it has come at the most inopportune time.  Wang started on the DL, Mussina has seen time on the DL, Jeff Karstens is hurt, Kei Igawa has been a bust so far, and the Carl Pavano situation is a mess.  You almost feel sorry for the team and what they have gone through, especially since it can happen to anyone at any time.
Right now the offense that usually bails the Yankees out in times like this has gone a little flat.  They did put up 7 today so it is still a force to be reckoned with.  Even so, I would be very surprised to see them make the playoffs this year even with Clemens.
Just my thoughts.  Wasn’t able to see the game today because of prior commitments but good to see we hung on in the end.  John Maine is up tomorrow so hopefully we can sweep the Yanks and make some Red Sox fans even happier.  :)  Admittedly it is a tad amusing to see Yankees Chick‘s reaction after each Yankees loss…

The real Maine event

Sorry for the lack of updates, but things have been busy around here…
Can’t go far without mentioning how big John Maine has come up this year.  5-0, 1.37 ERA…but Willie says there’s still "a long way to go".  While Josh Beckett is off to a strong start of his own at 6-0, his ERA is 2.72; Roy Halladay is back to form with 4-0, but with a 2.28 ERA.  Probably too early to talk about Cy Young with a long season ahead but with the way things are going we might have some controversy at the end of the year…


Watching Joe Smith’s excellent slider as the Mets head toward 4-0.
Oliver Perez proved me wrong tonight as he was spectacular…I have been a big critic of his over the past few weeks but the question is if he can keep this form up all year.  While the loss of Pedro for a few months was supposed to hurt the team right now it looks like the Mets could make it without him at least for now.  I’m aware it’s a long season but as of now a lot for Mets fans to be excited about.
Offense poured it on once again–Jose looks to have caught fire, Paul is hitting well…pretty much an all-around great effort tonight.  A nice win for the Mets as they were pretty much perfect all-around.
More tomorrow after the game…

Busch Stadium becomes state of Maine…

I think we all saw a glimpse of how great John Maine can be…one hit, two walks, 6 SO over seven innings as the Mets sweep the Cards in a 10-0 drubbing.

Spectacular night for Maine and a spectacular night for Reyes going 2-5 with 3 RBI and a homer, Beltran with 2 HR of his own (2-5, 4 RBI for the night), PLD going 3-4 with a walk, Alou going 2-3 with a walk.  Even Shawn Green was 2-4.  Mets definitely proved that they can get it done on the mound as well as with their bats; sometimes it will be a close 2-1 game and other nights it will be a rout like it was tonight… 

For those worried about Delgado…he will come around even though he had a tough night at the plate.  It’s a long season and he will have plenty of time to get it together but there is nothing to worry about now.

Mets are off tomorrow before getting back at it at Turner Field Friday.  As I said the big challenge will be seeing how Oliver Perez can make an impression…we will see how things go though.

Mets 4, Cards 1

Great to see that El Duque pitched like the El Duque of old (1 R, 5 H, 2 BB)…but the real challenge is tomorrow (for both teams).  It’s John Maine, in his first full season in the Majors, versus the closer turned starter Braden Looper as the Mets look for the sweep tomorrow.  After that it’s an off day of Thursday before the Mets open up a three-game series against the Braves, with the shaky Oliver Perez getting the call on Friday. 
So the good news is that Glavine and El Duque look good so far, but it is obviously a long season…now time to see if John Maine can grow into a viable starter and if Oliver Perez can get back to his 2004 form.

Postgame: Mets 6, Cards 1

Great win for the Mets to kick off the season and put a tough spring behind them.  Glavine was outstanding over 6, despite going through a slightly rough stretch (which all pitchers go through) but only allowed a run and six hits while out there.  Also great to see Shawn Green go 2-4 today…he is showing that he still has the potential to be an impact player (even though it is only the first game and anything can happen).  Pitching was a little shaky late but the Mets got through it and are 1-0.
The teams are back at it Tuesday with another after-8 start…it is on SNY with El Duque on the hill for the Mets and Kip Wells for the Cardinals as the season starts in full force tomorrow.  Postgame notes to follow that game as well…

Glavine’s Back As Mets Top Astros, 7-2


Mets 7, Astros 2
Tom Glavine helps the Mets get back in the win column as they top Houston in Kissimmee.

The Good:
Glavine’s performance earns him a spot in our "Good" section as he scattered 4 hits over three innings of work in the start.  He also walked one and struck out two.  Jorge Sosa, Billy Wagner, Aaron Heilman, and Willie Collazo were strong in their appearances once again…Mike Carp is the other big story as he went 2-4 with 5 RBI…Julio Franco started at 3rd today and had a 2-3 day.  The 48-year-old is hitting .417 this spring…

The Not-So-Good
:  It hasn’t been an impressive spring for Carlos Beltran.  He was 0-2 with a walk today and is hitting .214 in Grapefruit League action…Shawn Green was 0-3 today, and Paul LoDuca was 1-4.  LoDuca’s hitting .183.

Mets are in Ft. Myers tomorrow as they take on the Red Sox shortly after 1.

Ralph Kiner Night: July 14

Before the Reds game.  Marty Noble says that Ralph’s "closest Mets friends" would be on hand for the celebration…
More on this as information comes in.  Should be a great night of memories.  As a younger Mets fan I haven’t really been able to appreciate Kiner’s impact on the Mets broadcasts but I have heard nothing but great things about him.

Spring Training Game 6: Perez Good, Mets Offense Not As Tribe Win 4-1

SPRING TRAINING GAME 6: Indians 2, Mets 1
Oliver Perez gives up a run off of two hits and strikes out three in 3.0 IP, but the Mets only manage one run all day as Cleveland pitching allows only four hits.

The Good: Oliver Perez
–3.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H 3 SO, no walks in the start, but took the loss to fall to 0-2 in the spring.  Perez’s record does not tell the story of his strong pitching, though…Alay Soler scattered four hits and a run across three innings…Scott Schoenweis was perfect in the seventh, and Joe Smith did well in the 8th and 9th, only allowing a walk…At the plate, Jose Reyes went 2-4 with a SB and Paul LoDuca had a hit and walk in his two plate appearances.
The Not-So-Good: The rest of the Mets offense, which was only able to eke out four hits (two by Reyes) and one run, and that run was off a sac fly by David Wright

Mets are back at it tomorrow as they face the Astros at 1:05 in Kissimmee…