Archives for posts with tag: Mike Pelfrey

Hard not to get excited about a guy caught on national television yelling at Mike Scoscia. 

I’ve watched this video at least four times, and I’d embed it, except MLB.com doesn’t quite have their finger on the pulse of the nation.

“This is mine!  Are you s***ting me?  This is mine!  Scosc’…” [walks off mound, undefinable muttering and cursing].

It doesn’t quite have the outer space, Bo Diddley poetry of “I’m a man!” but I could feel the crush/man-crush** spreading across all strata of Met fandom.

Sure enough, Matt Cerrone of Metsblog addressed the potential Mets love, and caught Ed Leyro of Mets Merized Online backing it up with stats (see the Metsblog post, top third).  Kranepool Society’s on it, too. 

Here’s the Cot’s spreadsheet which includes John Lackey’s due this year; this is the general Cot’s page on the Angels (Lackey’s near-ish the top).  John Lackey’s Baseball-Reference page (sponsored by “Ricky”), and, because I think he’d be a good place to start my advanced stats training, his page on Fan Graphs.

This is what I get: the Mets kinda missed the boat, but word is he wants to play in Texas, anyway.  His bread and butter are named fastball and curveball, and that seems to be rehabilitating the man somewhat, as there’s a hiccup in his 2008 stats. 

Wikipedia has no answer for that hiccup (I’m a fan of Wikipedia), but I’ll keep looking.  Anyone who knows, feel free to give me an email shout.  The entry does mention he got tossed after his first two pitches OF THE SEASON this year.  Why?  Read here, by Lyle Spencer, on the Angels’ MLB website.  Video’s great, too.

See, now? I could’ve had two John Lackey video embeds in one post.  Damn it.

If the man would want to pitch anywhere where fastballs that become fly balls go to die, it’d be Citi Field.  I say this, of course, having only scratched the surface of his stats and having only watched him for two hours and change, commercials excluded. 

A guy entering the midlife of his career might enjoy the protection that Johan Santana provides in the rotation.  That’s what I get from Cerrone’s comments on the man.  Careful there, though, as you now have that third-hand.  That’s how the Spanish-American War got started.

No, it isn’t.

His money years should’ve been ’05, ’06, and certainly ’07, when he went 19-9, and pitched a healthy two hundred twenty-four innings.  If he did “take a discount,” that’s on him. (I’m not trying to kiss Cerrone’s ring over and over; I’m just lazy and in the middle of rushing through breakfast at 1:30p.)  No team should pay crazy money to a guy who, a year ago, was four full wins above replacement below his high.  I don’t care how he bounced back in ’09 or what he shouts to Mr. “Big-Machines-And-Cool-Dials-And-Stuff.-Like-An-Oil-Refinery,-Or-Hydro-Electric-Plant.”  (I will kiss John Swartzwelder’s ring, though.)

I hate to keep beating the same drum, over and over and over again… that’s not true; in this particular case, I enjoy it.  But if the Mets had any shot at giving Lackey what he wanted, it split last year. 

In other words, I know where $31 million of that supposed $80 million could’ve come from.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Here’s Randy Wolf for 2009 on a one-year, $5 million deal.  Here’s Fauxhawk in 2009, at $12 million for the first year of his three year contract.

You’d have to be out of your gourd to roll out a 2010 pitching rotation of:

  • Johan Santana: $21 million;
  • John Lackey: $16 million;
  • Oliver Perez: $12 million;
  • either Mike Pelfrey (free agent) or John Maine (arbitration year): $7 million’s a complete guess; Fauxhawk got $6.5 million in arbitration in 2008;
  • the Willets Point Mystery Bucket (5% curveballs, 5% stolen car parts, 90% chum): estimate unknowable

plus a closer (Frankie Rodriguez) for a little over $12 million. 

For those counting, that’s $45 million, confirmed, committed to pitching; add the pie-in-the-sky Lackey and Pelfrey/Maine numbers and that goes to $68 million.

So. Lackey was a great story; is a great story.  The man, by some measures, appears to be a beast.  I will be waving bye-bye to him, however, and content myself with the memory of last night, laughing so hard through a sneeze that I thought I was having a heart attack.

**Are “man-crushes” confined to men?  I take “man-crush” to mean someone you’re completely engrossed in, but not interested in canoodling with.  This is opposed to a regular crush, which is interchangeable and adds the canoodling.  I’m sure John Lackey’s a stand-up guy, but I doubt he can make pesto like my wife.

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crowd sky.jpgThe thing about The Wife attending grad school in the South is that whenever she comes up for a week-long break, weekday mornings are a bear. This may be too saccharine for a blog about the Mets, but I find it exceedingly difficult to WANT to get out of bed and go to work, and do all the things that take place via muscle memory on any given Monday.

Difficult, too, is the day after the end of Baseball I Truly Care About. They’ve been rough the past couple of years. This one’s worse, somehow, despite the profound lack of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I want to throw on jeans and a t-shirt, get some people together, and play some ball (by the by, the David Wright GQ photo won in Steelers-like fashion, surviving a late surge from Santana’s soulful warm-up shot, in the battle for off-season profile pic).
 
This year, with the end of the season occurring one week later and her vacation one week earlier, I’ve been hit with a double-barrel shot of I Don’t Wanna Go.  But go I do, riding on the local train as I type to vision loss on a tiny screen.
 
I think I’d be happier if I were on my way to Citi Field; I’d also be happier if The Wife were done with grad school and she were somehow gainfully employed in marine matters up here, up North. Today is a red-letter day in “dang.”
 
There are bright spots in memory. Yesterday was gorgeous.
 baseball sky.jpgI can’t recall the last beautiful day I spent at the park, and that’s partly a function of all the night games I managed to go to this year, and partly a function of the awful weather that the city’s been saddled with.
 
Also can’t recall the last time Alex Anthony, the Mets’ P.A. announcer, had to tell me about a pitching accomplishment.

fig pitch 01.jpgfig pitch 02.jpgfig pitch 03.jpg1010 WINS’s sportscaster called it this way at 7:45a: “Mets end their season with a sweep of the Astros, winning 4-0 on a good start by Nelson Figueroa.”
 
fig pitch 04.jpgIn fact, Figueroa threw the first complete game shutout in Citi Field history, a fact that would’ve explained away my surprise at seeing him come up to bat in the bottom of the eighth. I just kept looking at the pitch count and thinking, “He’s thrown for a million years and that arm hasn’t quit yet. If he gets lucky in the ninth, I doubt he goes much past 120.” He threw 113 pitches to dispatch with the Astros.
 
fig dugout.jpgYesterday’s game was also a demonstration of the style of play the park “was built for”: hits in the gaps; speed on the base paths.  Hassling pitchers.  In the bottom of the fourth with Beltran on third, Jeremy Reed walked on ten pitches; Josh Thole grabbed his single to score the run on nine. 

thole bat 01.jpgthole bat 02.jpgthole bat 03.jpgthole bat 04.jpgthole bat 05.jpgthole bat 06.jpgThat’s nineteen pitches over the course of two batters, accounting for nearly twenty-five percent of Wilton Lopez’s final total on the day.  Good work.  More next year, please.

Still would’ve enjoyed it if Pagan had hit for the cycle.  Regardless, a masterful effort offensively and defensively for the man.
 
In the past two years, Pagan and Figueroa have shown themselves to be two good soldiers. In the afterglow of a great effort, a win on the last day of the season, and a jolt of immediate nostalgia for this ragtag group of intergalactic rebels–which, given the season record, one could call criminally psychotic–I had Pagan penciled in as the opening day left fielder, and Figueroa as the fifth starter.
 
Then I woke up.

thole crouch.jpgThese guys–a lot of the guys on the Mets–are good soldiers. But the good soldiers have to be the last line of defense on any game in which the elite squad’s either put the game away or have been put away themselves.

last line.jpgPagan and Figueroa are not a foundation on which to build. 

Neither are Thole or Murphy or Santos or Parnell, or Misch or Evans.  Not yet, at the very, very least.

Neither are Maine or Pelfrey or Chowdah, as much as it pains me to say about Maine and Pelfrey, and as much of a soft spot I have now for the right fielder.

They’re who you use to clear wate
r out of the foundation when all you can do is wait for the morning, when the river’s receded.  How’s THAT for an overextended metaphor?
 
Truly, the next Mets team that comes to Flushing with championship aspirations must be a team that can soundly batter, not merely play good and close. All Mets starters should be eminently capable of throwing complete game shut-outs. I want a threat for the cycle at least once a homestand.  I want 30/30 seasons from my center fielder, third baseman, AND shortstop.
 
I want my wife to finish grad school and move back to New York. I want to work for/around/in/about baseball.  I want to write screenplays. I want a nutritious breakfast.
 
end of year crowd.jpgAny and everything is possible, save for a Mets no-hitter; I was convinced I’d see that this season as karmic recompense for the siege on the team’s health, and was denied it.  Today the Mets begin working on getting me what I want. The cruel fact of life is that, in order to get what I want, I have to get up and go to work. Gotta be a good soldier.
 
fan sign.jpgI like my job; I like the people there. But it sure isn’t baseball.
 
**
 
Section Five Twenty-Eight won’t shut down for the post- or off-season; there will certainly be fewer photos, but I’m certain that without necessarily having to apply the artifice of baseball to my random pandemic twiddlepoopings, the posts will be fluid reads.
 
That said, I do watch as much as I can of the post-season. I said I wouldn’t declare those loyalties until the teams were decided, and Minnesota has made it impossible for me to do that today. I’ll definitely be watching their game on Tuesday, as well as watching/reading/listening to any developments on the Mets front.
 
I imagine that much of my Mets commentary in the fall and winter months will be focused on dissecting the dissection of various team moves; I’m hot on this “we should be responsible fans” kick. If you’re new here I strongly urge you to visit the folks I’ve linked to in the blog roll on the right; I find that together they present a fine and balanced picture, easily understood and always fun to debate.
 
Let’s go Mets in 2010!

mr met.jpg

This was not Pat Misch’s night.

One and a third innings pitched.  Eight runs, all earned, on seven hits, and three of those hits home runs.  Forty-two pitches, and six of those to Adam LaRoche, who struck out.

I don’t know why I want to subtract those, but I do. 

So seven hits in thirty-six pitches.  Eight runs on thirty-six pitches, which means he gave up, on average, one run every four and a half throws to the plate.

For all the talk of Pat Misch being “Tom Glavine-like,” it’s important to point out that Glavine was somewhat of a punk until 1991.  Misch has pitched about 140 innings.  Glavine pitched many more than that at the end of his first four seasons. (Click here for the summed stat line on Glavine, 1987-1990.  I know it’s off to compare the two this way, but hopefully you take this to mean I don’t think they should be compared.)

I don’t know if it’s going to work out for the guy; I hope it does.  I think, though, that with the Sword of Damocles dangling over homeboy’s career, it’d behoove him to work things out at least a LITTLE, and quickly.

Lots of guys are gunning to carry the dirty laundry that’s owned by the guy who carries Santana’s dirty laundry.  And if things are really working out, one would hope that Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, and, what the hell, Nelson Figueroa are working to fill that laundry carrier’s laundry carrier position.

Your advantage, Pat Misch and underperformers, can’t just be that you’re cheap.

I’ve been up since about 2a.  My electronics are cooperating; I watched a load of Miami Vice on Hulu and battled one of the few surviving mosquitoes in Bay Ridge.  The damn thing actually got me, among other places, on the pad of my middle finger.

I have NEVER been stung on the pad of a finger before.  It’s remarkably painful.
Throughout all this, I debated about putting up the following photo, taken near the end of Friday’s game against Washington (L; 6-5).  It’s up–you see it out of the lower corner of your eye, so you know it’s there.  Just understand that while it pained me terribly to see–I’ve never been stung on the pad of the finger, I’ve never seen this sort of business in person–it needed to be shown.  Shying away from images such as these would, for me, be like the Mets wrapping up the season at 81-81, in some alternate reality, and taking the argument that they weren’t SO bad.  I mean, .500 season’s got some merit.  They must’ve battled.
Nay, nein, nyet.  No battling here.  Only guys wearing paper bags over their head.
bagman.jpg
Guys wearing paper bags and chugging beer, with a guy who looked vaguely like John Olerud behind him.  
Observation and Interrogation revealed that it was not, in fact, John Olerud.  For one, John Olerud does not chug beer.  He drinks it, steadily. …There’s a “Facts About Chuck Norris” style bit in there, somewhere, about John Olerud.
John Olerud never “takes” a base.  He always asks permission.
John Olerud once drove over the speed limit.  Once.
John Olerud asked for an order of wheat toast at a diner.  He was given rye by mistake. He ate the toast anyway.
Other photos from that night, with limited commentary:
pelfrey warms up.jpg
That’s Mike Pelfrey.  He, along with chicks, digs the long ball.
giant head.jpg
I have a MASSIVE head.  And I think my face is getting thicker.  This can’t be good.
it's a standings board.jpg
That video board seen at the last game turned out to be a standings board, which until I saw it I’d not given a thought to.  Seems somewhat mocking, now, but one hopes it comes in handy next year.
The thing did suffer an attack of Mercury in retrograde as the game wore on:
board breakdown.jpg
That “M.L.” should say something about Boston being ahead of Texas not in the “M SEVENTH” but in the “A.L. WILD CARD.”  It was turned off eventually.  Better that way.
jerry dior.jpg
On the screen at center there, Jerry Dior, designer of the MLB logo (read this post for more).  I’m assuming he and his wife are wearing No. 40 in honor of the logo’s fortieth anniversary, and not in honor of Robinson Cancel or Tony Tarasco.  MAYBE Randy Niemann. …Wait.  No, not even Randy Niemann.
(Believe that’s MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy to Dior’s right/your left.)
From bagmen to batting helmets to beer, we all find our joys at the park where we can.  I think fans have to own it; we’ll get through this if we don’t run away from the misery and misanthropy.  Odd, though, that I’m known now in the section for not being a fan of Sean Green:
Me: (after Green throws a pitch gone wide of the strike zone) “Hey, Green!  The strike zone’s about three goddamn yards to your left!”
Fan Seated Four Rows Down: “What is it with you and Sean Green?  You’ve been on his case all year!”
Me: “He’s been horrible all year!”
Fan Seated Four Rows Down: “True, but jeez, man!  Ease up!”
I will ease up.  He’s not been horrible all year.  He’s been horrible MOST of the year.  The only thing I got out of the J.J. Putz trade was a few glorious nights of singing “Thunderstruck” at the top of my lungs and the mild competence of Jeremy Reed.
Vitriol feels good when you’ve been up for seven hours and the sun’s been up for two.
Tim Redding pitched an efficient gem yesterday (vs. Nationals: W; 3-2) while I followed via Gameday, too tired and irritated to stray from my bed until about 5p.  There are thirteen games left to play, and doubtless more feeling like this.  
As I am not John Olerud–who replaced all the incandescent light bulbs in his home with energy-saving fluorescents–I am sure I will get angrier before I get better.  I don’t wear paper bags; that is the province of those who laugh to keep from crying, and I’d forget to bring one anyway.  
But I appreciate the sentiment, and the desire to do so.  Misery, company, yada yada damned yada.
**Visit Jon Springer’s Mets By The Numbers to read his piece on the Top Ten Mets #6s Of All Time, which he read at last week’s Amazin’ Tuesday event over at Two Boots.  You can find my write-up on the whole event by clicking here.  My thanks to Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing for pushing my coverage of the event.  Hooray for page views!

The other of my two roommates returned from extended travels last night, and in deference to his Red Sox fandom, the house flipped between the end of the Boston game against the Detroit Tigers, and the Mets game against the Does-It-Really-Matter?.

We talked about what football team I should root for this coming season.  If I’m not mistaken, I may have mentioned on this blog that I’m a man without a team, finding it impossible to root for the Jets for the pain it would cause; being banned from rooting for a number of other teams because of friends’ Jets-framed ire.  No Giants, no Cowboys, no Patriots, no Steelers.  I mentioned the Kansas City Chiefs.  I bear no animus towards the Chiefs; I think, despite the Herm Edwards business–or perhaps because of it–the Jetstock hold no grudges, either.

Then it was revealed to me: “My cousin was a catcher for the Royals.”

“Really?  Who?”

“Brent Mayne.”

For those who don’t know, Brent Mayne was a catcher for the Mets back in 1996.  I barely remember him on the Mets because while Todd Hundley had a bit over six hundred plate appearances, Mayne had barely over 100.  He struck out almost as many times as he hit safely.  He did have a home run that year, which is more than I can say for some Metsies hanging about right now.

But he was quite a citizen for the Royals, and Wikipedia rides the rail (but is technically correct) with his trivia claim to fame, being the only MLB catcher in the 20th century to have won a game as a pitcher.  He had only 131 days left to do it.  Hell, from the most highly technical perspective, he only had 39 days left in that season to do it.  The year 2000 was in the 20th century.  Pennies are money.  The bus fumes are free.  Et cetera.

Fourth all-time in fielding percentage is a gaudy stat, as well.

He has a great blog to boot: see it here.  Spent most of the night reading through it.  HIGHLY recommended.

So, yeah, Brent Mayne.  My roommate’s story checks out.  Who the hell knew?

** 

I have to think he’d’ve done better than Omir Santos last night.  Or had the presence of mind to argue against walking Augie Ojeda in the bottom of the second.  Miguel Montero on second with two out and the score freshly 1-0.

In the bottom.  Of the SECOND.

Look, if the Mets are at the stage of baseball in 2009 where they can’t trust their onetime second act to Johan Santana to get Augie Ojeda to fly out, ground out, or otherwise show his human frailty, and save the pitcher’s spot for the bottom of the third, then I just don’t know what in the hell to do. 

And don’t give me playing the percentages.  Mike Pelfrey should, at this stage in his career, know how to get right and left and switch-hitters out, even in pressure situations.  And I’ll remind you again: it was the BOTTOM of the SECOND.  Yikes.

I don’t like getting this heated about something like this, but since the overmanaging of the game against the Cardinals on the 4th, I’ve worried about coming back to baseball and seeing only the heavy hand of Jerry Manuel.  I don’t like disliking the manager.  But now I do. 

What’s the score if you take away Doug Davis’s hit in the bottom of the second and replace the dessicated remains of Elmer Dessens for a competent relief pitcher in the seventh?  It’s a fallacy; a weather balloon could’ve crashed in the outfield and suspended the game.

But if I’m truly one of the last few with hope for the season, and the name of the game is seeing what they guys have got, then why not let Pelfrey pitch his way out of trouble, and send Elmer Dessens (a known and unhelpful quantity) back where he came from?

I won’t accuse Mr. Manuel of giving away the game.  At this point, I’m accusing him of doing a poor job with admittedly limited options at best, and at worst betraying an inside directive to see what parts of this team can do for 2010.

*Soon you’ll see a few new I-Can’t-Do-Without links on the sidebar.  I’ve come to Jesus and Baseball-Reference, as well as the MLB-based stats pages.  Thanks, CBS; it’s been real.

**Be well and rest easy, Mrs. Mantle, who passed away yesterday.  A true example of how strong men are backed up by stronger women.

***You don’t need help from me to visit Faith And Fear in Flushing, but a point Jason Fry makes in his post today bears browbeating.  He’s stated my case in a fashion with more concision than I have:

Doctor’s Orders: You could fold this one into the
question above, but let’s go over it anyway. The Mets either have
incompetent doctors or competent doctors whose recommendations are
ignored by incompetent baseball executives. It’s one or the other, and
neither answer is acceptable. The question isn’t why there have been so
many injuries, but why so many injuries seem to have been misdiagnosed
and/or mishandled, leaving guys sliding with excruciating slowness from
Day-to-Day to We Don’t Know to Being Re-evaluated to Finally on the DL
to Still on the DL to Out for the Year. The Mets have consistently
taken the field with 22 or 23 guys available, which is a dereliction of
someone’s duty. Fix. This. Now.

Yes, absolutely.  Fix it.  Who’ll accept a trade to the Mets (and we need the kind of players that can fetch no-trade clauses) with the mess this place looks like?  ::strangled, irritated, impotent groaning.::  Goddamn it.

Okay, okay.  I kid because I love.

In case you’d not heard, Jerry Manuel had a family chat with the team on Tuesday night, and the team rode over to Miller Park together Wednesday morning.  Then Mike Pelfrey pitched a gem, and the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 to avoid the sweep.

In reply to a commenter on the previous post, let me say that it appeared by the encore presentation of the game that the Mets DID play some baseball.  There is the notable exception of the seventh inning, wherein Mike Pelfrey, like Bono and Alexander Haig before him, forgot a key nuance of his day job and committed a balk.  But they played ball, and I thank you for your words.  I like to think we had some part in it.

John Franco spoke some nonsense about David Wright not being a clubhouse leader, and David Wright retorted in quite fine fashion before going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. You can read about it from Metsblog here.  (UPDATE: Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News presents a transcript here.  Despite openings and closings not transcribed, I get the sense it’s otherwise complete.)

I’m a supporter of the idea that the Mets need a team captain.  I also think they need to trade Oliver Perez and bid a heartfelt farewell to Fernando Tatis.  But in all those cases, what does a team do if an injury takes that guy out?  Mark DeRosa went over to the Cardinals, sprained his wrist after three games for them, and will be out for the next three or four games.

And if the Mets trade Brad Holt and Bobby Parnell for Adam Dunn, and Adam breaks his hand trying to open a jar of pickles?

And if the Mets sell half of the Acela Club, Mr. Met, and his kids for Roy Halladay, and Halladay breaks down like a ’77 Dodge Dart? …Though I’d almost do that deal.  Swap Mr. Met for three minor-league mascot prospects, and make the call.

Any Mets captain would have to be resilient and magnetic enough to draw attention even if on the bench.  These attributes are not quantifiable; Mr. Franco was right about that.  But what he has wrong is not the need, but the reason for the need.  The Mets need a captain for our sake, not theirs. 

David Wright is right: we don’t know what goes on in the clubhouse behind closed doors. All reports are that Carlos Delgado is still at home recovering and Gary Sheffield’s a model citizen, so John Franco’s further afield than most.  They need to play as a team, and pick themselves up in times of trouble.  Playing coherent baseball as a team will keep the crew from air-mailing balls and throwing to the wrong bag and all that nonsense.  I think the 2009 Mets are working hard at playing as a team, with some glaring goddamn missteps.

But we need a captain because on any given day during this injury crisis, we’ve seen half this lineup play a few handfuls of games.  Argenis Reyes; Fernando Martinez; Nick Evans?  To the masochistic Mets fan, these names are familiar if not battle-tested.  To the casual observer, they’re nobodies.  The captain fills the gap in crowd confidence with his captaincy, like so much *Great Stuff.

Gratuitous link.

And when the captain goes into the locker room, he controls the message to the media hordes who demand to know just what they’re gonna do about all these injuries and do you think Omar should trade for a bat or some rotation help and oh my gosh oh my goodness gracious the 2009 Mets are a step away from 1962! 

(Ah, Suzyn Waldman.  When digital photo frames can reliably play downloaded video, I’m hanging that Clemens bit in my bathroom.)

When Delgado comes back and Jose Reyes comes back and Carlos Beltran and J.J. Putz and John Maine come back, we should see these guys as a team with a colorful history.  The captain can continue to control the message, but we really should hold no illusions that, when the door closes on the clubhouse, David Wright is going up to Carlos Delgado and telling Carlos how to play the game.  Carlos would be well within his rights to take an aluminum bat to the man.

The captain frees the rest of the team up to coalesce and do their job.  The captain takes the heat for the other veterans and the rookies.  For that, he’s awarded a slightly larger percentage of the glory and the pain.

From this perspective, the reason Mr. Franco believes the Mets need a captain is because he needs to hear a player voice of authority account for what’s going on at the park.  But to extend that to be the reason for the shoddy play is false.  The Mets have not played at their best because they are not at all at full strength.

A team in better shape, DL-wise, would be the Philadelphia Phillies.  They got blown out by Atlanta yesterday, no-hit all the way through to the seventh, and the Mets are now two games behind first. 

I’m sure David Wright wants to lead the Mets, Mr. Franco.  Tell me if anyone wants to lead this division.

*Great Stuff is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company.  If you’re going to use it, WEAR GLOVES AND EYE GOGGLES AND CLOTHES YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT EVER WEARING IN PUBLIC AGAIN. 

Today’s line-up facing the Milwaukee Brewers, as reported by David Lennon of Newsday:

Argenis Reyes – SS
Daniel Murphy – 1B
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Ryan Church – RF
Fernando Martinez – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Luis Castillo – 2B
Fernando Nieve – SP

This was yesterday’s line-up (vs. Yankees; L, 4-2):

Daniel Murphy – 1B
Alex Cora – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Fernando Tatis – RF
Fernando Martinez – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Luis Castillo – 2B
Livan Hernandez – P

And the night before last’s (vs. Yankees; L, 5-0):

Alex Cora – SS
Argenis Reyes – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Ryan Church – RF
Gary Sheffield – LF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Jeremy Reed – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Tim Redding – SP

And the night before that, this was the order (vs. Yankees; L, 9-1):

Luis Castillo – 2B
Alex Cora – SS
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Fernando Tatis – RF
Ryan Church – CF
Nick Evans – 1B
Omir Santos – C
Mike Pelfrey – SP

I don’t know that I have a point here.  I’m sure I will after tonight’s game.  You may feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Actually, that’s a lie.  I do have a point.  I’d just prefer not to breathe life into it until after tonight’s game.

Yes.  Latin this early in the morning, after significant pop culture events conspire to make late-night YouTube hounds of us all. 

There’s no real good video for “Human Nature.”  My friend–of the baseball-learning the other evening–prefers “Man In The Mirror.”  To each their own.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.  After this, therefore because.  Id est (i.e.) gibberish.  But good gibberish.  Gibberish we live with on a daily basis.  I had socks.  You came over.  You left.  Socks are no longer where they were.  Never mind an enterprising soul put them in the wash; you took my socks!

In sport, interesting: the Mets were losing and listless.  Bring up Nick Evans.  Nick Evans drives in the coffin runs of the last two victories over the Cardinals (yesterday’s game: W, 3-2).  The reason the Mets were losing and listless was they didn’t have Nick “The Executioner” Evans.

I like Nick Evans and I love that bat stroke he’s got.  I also remember last year’s Colorado series where he came up and was an RBI-doubles machine, then fell off the proverbial cliff.  Back then, the reason why the Mets were losing and listless was the presence in the line-up of Nick “the Black Hole” Evans.

The Mets could be a lot better if Fernando Tatis wasn’t playing, hitting into double plays.  And then a blooper before Ryan Ludwick, and some decent stuff the night before.

Chris Carpenter takes a no-hitter into the fourth.  Ralph Kiner comes into the booth, and talks about Carpenter’s no-hitter, my roommate says.  Sure enough; no-hitter gone.  Mets with life.  (UPDATE: Brooklyn Met Fan appears to love him some Ralph Kiner.)

I love baseball, but at what I believe is the halfway point in my 2009 Citi Field Splurge Pack, causality is starting to wear me a bit thin.  It makes me want to walk into the park tonight and spout all sorts of nonsense about Pelfrey’s prowess and Sabathia’s lack thereof. 

(If I happen to see him, I will demand that Danny Meyer start pumping some distracting Blue Smoke aroma towards the field earlier than the fourth or fifth inning. …That’s a half-joke about Sabathia being a big guy.)

I’m excited for tonight’s game, as I always am, but I’m already sanguine about a letdown and in that, am anticipating a let down.  They took three of four from the Cardinals and lose to the Yankees.  The reason why they lost to the Yankees was that they took three of four from the Cardinals, and any sub-reason you’d like to assign.  No.  Gibberish.

They’ll lose to the Yankees because they won three of four against the Cardinals–the lesser known *** hoc ergo propter hoc, but the stock in trade of pessimists.  No.  Backwards gibberish.

(UPDATE: MLBlogs Network, I’m trying to keep a PG blog yet I’m citing Latinate phrases.  Is there REALLY a need to censor the Latin?  Can’t we find a censor that will accept contextual conditionals? 

Ugh.

Go here and read what I meant to have displayed.  Giggle like a pre-teen if you must.)

The latter softens the coming blow and the former takes the rest of the sting out of it.  The Mets are not invincible.  They weren’t in any year they played games in October.  But on this Friday morning, post hoc and *** hoc (…Lord, give me the strength…) seem to be defying the laws of physics: negative plus negative does not equal more negative, does not equal zilch.  Negative plus negative equals positive.  Hell. The Mets can take this game.  They can take the series.  They can go on a ten-game winning streak, and play Delgado and J. Reyes off the bench when they come back.  Exciting thoughts.

I have no real clue.  I’m trying to remember if I called Wilson Valdez “Wilmer” the other night.  I know my prospects but I only sort of remember my Joe Cool DFAs.  I haven’t done laundry and my “I’m Calling It Shea” T-shirt could’ve benefited from the Peter Venkman Ghostbusters II treatment: a couple hours hanging outside the window, and it’s fine.  Why am I wearing it?

Because I’m avoiding the object lessons of logical fallacies, as explained by smarmy damned Latin.  It’s come to this.  When I start pulling out my eyelashes and making wishes on them, you’ll know I’ve gone Stratosphere.

Mets vs. Yankees.  Pelfrey vs. Sabathia.  Bring on the voodoo dolls and the gypsy curses.

Doom, meet Gloom.  Gloom, this is Doom.

Carlos Beltran has been put on the DL with that bone bruise business he felt last month.  He’d said it was painful yesterday as he ran about the base paths and in the field.  This according to MLB.com.

… .

I suppose it’s a good thing that Brian Schneider’s unloaded a couple home runs recently.  Let’s, uh, see if he can keep that going against the Cardinals.

Buh.

The problem with being a finesse team is that you typically need dominant pitching to stay in the game long enough to eke out runs.  But I’ve pointed this out before–the Mets’ starting rotation is:

  1. Johan Santana
  2. Mike Pelfrey
  3. Tim Redding
  4. Livan Hernandez
  5. Fernando Nieve

I repeat:

… .

Fernando Tatis will need to be more patient.  Gary Sheffield will need to pick his spots.  David Wright, at this point, must go fifty for his next fifty.  No pressure.

I’m heartened by Daniel Murphy’s picking up steam.  Word is Angel Pagan will be back at some point soon.  But this line-up’s lying in a burned-out basement, hoping for replacements.  And there are no real viable options out on the block.

So we will no doubt be watching some very interesting or very heartbreaking baseball as we work to the All-Star break.  Here’s hoping the rest of the NL East’s competition is as deadly to them as pursuing a physical activity for the purpose of earning a salary appears to be for the 2009 New York Mets.