Archives for posts with tag: Nick Evans

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
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No mailbag today; emails mainly about Ken Takahashi’s alteration of his rookie costume (from three different folks; didn’t know y’all spent so much time staring at Ken Takahashi’s legs), and votes on the off-season profile pic.  Santana B makes a late surge.  Someone also made an impassioned plea for a humorous Nick Evans pic.  No write-ins means no write-ins, and the payoff would require too many steps.  But if I can do it where the laughter’s immediate and it’s not so expensive, I’m there as a one-off.  To vote on what my off-season profile pic will be, check out the rules and options here and email your choice to omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.

But in the second half of my post on Wednesday, I wrote:

I sound irritated not just because I’ve been concatenating in Excel
like a fiend all morning, but because I see the writing on the
off-season wall and it makes me wish I could unilaterally define blog
topics.  I’d be a lot more specific than all this business today about
Jerry Manuel.

We can only define Jerry Manuel’s job performance
based on the available data, and I don’t even have a full idea of what
that data set is, really.

I was hoping someone would get out in front of this business with a good and crunchy–I don’t know why “crunchy” sounds good to me there–article about how to a proper mathematical analysis on a manager’s ability.  And while it doesn’t claim to have all the statistical answers, Eric Simon’s post today on Amazin’ Avenue is some good work.  Read read read.

Again, and I think the caveats in the article come a bit too late, it does not claim to have a stats-based mien in toto.  But the heart-rather-than-head arguments made aren’t made with the histrionics that can cloud debate, and the attempt to analyze objectively is at least made.  I think it’s a good start.

Going to the game tonight, and will return to find The Wife at home for the first time since mid-August.  So I’ll see youse guys later.

Let’s go Mets!  Perfect October record coming up!

**

Goddamn.  I don’t even think I can call shenanigans:

Things we can take from this:

  • Metsblog is indeed comprehensive.  Love Cerrone or hate him–I think he does great work but needs a steady and fast copy editor–he’s got his finger on the pulse.

  • Jose Reyes’s injury travails shall be the stuff of legend.

  • This blog is remarkably unpopular.

  • I was right to let my subscription to New York magazine lapse.

While clicking around during my lunch hour, I found evidence–hideous, hideous evidence–of Nick Evans’s existence. 

I don’t know who “saubrey02” is, but between The ‘Ropolitans and 24 Hours From Suicide, it’s been determined that Nick Evans will wear anything to prove he’s a part of the team.  See the photo set here.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For more dress-up fun, vote on what my off-season profile pic will be. Check out the rules and options here and email your choice to omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.  No write-ins (i.e. Bobby Parnell in braids) allowed.

Amusing:

I’m sure most Mets fans who troll the internet for some small speck of daylight have already seen Adam Rubin’s coverage of this year’s rookie hazing.  If you haven’t, click here.  Omir Santos is waaay too excited to be dressed up as the Boy Wonder.

Additionally, check out Jay Horwitz’s expression behind the tall-walking, stiff-upper-lip-having Ken Takahashi:

takahashi.JPGI’d be confused, too, Mr. Horwitz.

Now then: I point you to a snippet of Marty Noble’s coverage of yesterday’s game against the Marlins (W; 4-0). 

“Bobby Parnell was dressed as Goldilocks, though there is no record of
her having worn a beard and shades. Lance Broadway was a nurse. Josh
Thole wore long ears that stood erect; he was a Playboy bunny. Nick
Evans was Minnie Mouse — round ears, white polka dots on red and his
own street shoes
. Tobi Stoner was a maid. Forty-year-old rookie Ken
Takahasi was a snake charmer with a boa. And Omir Santos was Robin…”

Emphasis mine.  Click here for the full read.

Now find the read from Rubin on who’s pictured in the hazing shot (it’s in the comments):

“left
to right, it’s Lance Broadway [check], Bobby Parnell [check], Tobi Stoner [check], physical
therapist John Zajac [extra], Daniel Murphy [extra], Josh Thole [check], with Omir Santos [check] in
front.”

Everybody who’s mentioned got a photo.  We even got some extras thrown in for good measure (John Zajac?).  What we don’t have is any confirmation that Nick Evans was dressed up as Minnie Mouse.

I’m thoroughly uninterested in seeing Nick Evans in cartoon mouse drag, but you have to admit it’s funny. First, the man can’t seem to buy a plate appearance, and now even cross-dressing and aping a completely different species can’t get him a humiliating photo. 

Perhaps the Mets sent him down to Triple-A Orlando and purchased Goofy’s contract.

These are the thoughts I have when the Mets are rained out and the Yankees are playing under a dome.

I’ve been gone for awhile.  I cannot be blamed.  I worked nine straight days.  Sure, this was the view from my hotel room for the last two:
beach.jpg
But by no means was it all fun and games.  Those who may know me may know I enjoy a bit of a tune-up when the workday ends.  The proceedings made need for a bottle of Scotch.  I usually abstain from any liquor I can’t see through during summer months.  I made an exception, and a serious dent was put in the thing as I watched the only ball game available to me: Dodgers-Cardinals (on Monday, STL over LAD 6-1).
So if the three of you who read were torn up over the lack of material, know that I was torn up as well.  Mets game via BlackBerry.  Reading up on the Minaya-Bernazard-Rubin nonsense while riding NJ Transit back to civilization.  Falling asleep just after the blown call that had Castillo safe on Tuesday (against Colorado; W 4-0).  Painting my hallway today–TODAY, of all days, where the heat and humidity drenched me repeatedly.  Good thing it’s just latex paint.
At any rate.  Back.  Stretch run.  Sparkle, sparkle.  I geared up for the Mets game but switched it over to the Yankees game after the rain-out for a number of reasons:
  • I was starved for baseball that bore ANY connection to New York.
  • I’d already watched The Ruins, which a friend DEMANDED I DVR and watch.  Wrong call, Sheriff.  Movie was well-done, but lame.  I take my horror schlocky with two sugars.
  • It was raining hard, so going out was not an option.  It’s still raining.  Going out is absolutely not an option.
  • There was almost nothing else on.  The exception was KVC: Komodo Vs. Cobra, co-starring a pre-Tell Me You Love Me Michelle Borth.  But I missed this being on until the near-end.
  • I’d read on the Post‘s website that the Rays might trade Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir.
I start salivating when I start thinking about competent left fielders.  It’s been far too long for the Mets.  Carl Crawford was 2-for-4 tonight, notching a triple off Brian Bruney and scoring from there on Evan Longoria’s home run in the ninth.
As for Kazmir… well, Maine doesn’t look like he’s long for this season.  You should know how I feel about Perez.  Kazmir’s still young and his performance in ’09 will dim the salary lights a little.  Santana-Kazmir-Pelfrey-Niese-Perez.  I can live with that.   A bit lefty-dominated, but that can be solved by jettisoning Oliver Perez.
I’m just sayin’.
But competent fielding and hitting in left?  Delightful.  Forgive me if I don’t want to bet the farm on Cory Sullivan.  Or Gary Sheffield.  Don’t hurt yourself trying to remember the last full-time Mets left fielder.  Christ, Trot Nixon played outfield for the Mets last year.  That’s not a joke.
Counting on Carlos Beltran, who, according to reports filtered through Metsblog is working out despite the bone bruise on his mole knee not being healed, seems chancy to me.  Chowdah has thus far proven himself.  I have been saying my mea culpas and will shout them if he becomes the beast he was in a past life.  But counting on that, and Sullivan, and a not-quite-100% Beltran to patrol center at Citi Field, and trying to make a run for it, is asking for trouble.  Nick Evans was the Mets’ starting left fielder during the last game of the 2008 season.  Endy Chavez replaced him, for defense.
The last good guy out there was Moises Alou, and he wasn’t even legitimately good.  Just lightning-in-a-bottle, astound-you-with-that-batting-stance good.  Crawford-Beltran-Chowdah, with Pagan off the bench, makes me feel a hell of a lot better.
One hopes the symptoms of foot-in-mouth include remorse, humility, and visible shakes yet exclude inability-to-get-on-the-horn, and Omar Minaya can do just that and get a guy.  Crawford isn’t the best left fielder in the world, but he’s a damn sight better than what’s out there right now.
No offense, Mr. Sullivan.  I want you to know, however, sir, that the following “Cory”/”Corey”s have more interesting Wikipedia pages:
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and prove me wrong.  I will gladly add berating you to my list of venal sins if you show me up.

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.

Do you think, perhaps, Johan Santana watched the offensive juggernaut that was the 2009 New York Mets tonight and wanted to shake each guy by the shoulders as he crossed home plate?  I do.

You tag the fifth starter for as many runs as you can; not that I thought the Cardinals were ceding the game at any point before the seventh.  Not even halfway through the seventh.  At the end of the seventh, perhaps a little ceding.  But you tag #5 for as much as you can, and hope you stay in that rhythm in the event that you face #1 tomorrow.

Man, I hope they stay in rhythm.  Johan is quite possibly the Alpha and Omega, but if I’m going to feel comfortable with him on the mound tomorrow, it’s gonna come by way of him being staked to a tidy five-or-six run lead.  Let him find some of the old magic.  Keep him from feeling stressed.

C’mon, it’s a home game.  He could throw it, ice down, shower, and still make it for drinks at the Met’s roof garden by early dusk.  Let tomorrow be easy.

**

Nick Evans looks like a scared little boy at the plate.  I should check my DVR to see if he had his eyes screwed shut when he gave it a hard ride.

**

Speaking of hard rides (this is a PG-13 blog), I leaped out of my seat on Schneider’s seventh inning two run double.  Had he hit three two-run homers in as many games played, I might have bought a Schneider t-shirt.  Do they even SELL those?