Clu Reviews another week in not-so-“Amazin'” baseball.
Its that time of the week everyone! Time to take a step back and give you the weekly review the New York Mets. Last week there was much to cheer about, as they managed to get some big wins against Philly and St. Louis. This week, I look to break down their recent road trips to our Nation’s capital and also part one of the subway series in the Bronx. Maybe this will give Terry Collins a few pointers about their road trip as they continue their interleague road trip against the Rays.
6/5/12-6/7/12: D.C. Smackdown!
Fresh from their series win over St. Louis, the Met’s took the four hour drive to the Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C. to face the Nationals. They were within striking distance of first place, and looking to make a statement against the Nats. Game one went into extra innings despite the mets many chances to win it (they had the lead going into the bottom of the 11th and 12th), and that “Amazin” bullpen of theirs would allow the Nationals to rally not once, but twice. Michael Morse led off the twelfth with his second double of the game and Ian Desmond followed with another double for his third RBI of the game. Pitcher Elvin Ramirez (0-1, 2 runs, 2ER, 3Ks 3 BBs) would then walk the bases loaded for 19 year old Bryce Harper (2-7, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 Ks), who smacked a walk-off single into left. Also LF Vinny Rottino did do his best impersonation of trying to make a great diving catch, despite the fact that the ball hit the ground in front of him. The Mets lost 7-6 and Elvin has left the building everyone!
Game two wouldn’t be any different for the Mets. This time though, the Nationals got the most out of their pitching, with Edwin Jackson winning his first game since April 14th! Also, you can throw in the fact that Adam Laroche decided to score ALL the runs!… well almost all of them. He was definitely the star of the game for Washington, as he went 2-3 with a dinger and 4 RBIs. For the Mets, SP Jeremy Hefner wasn’t spot on. He got roughed up but it, didn’t help that their star second baseman, Daniel Murphy (that’s saying a whole lot about the team), had two fielding errors that led to three runs right out of the gate (more on fielding errors later). Mets lose this one 5-3.
In the rubber game of this three game set, the Mets sent knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to the mound to try and salvage a win in the series. Dickey had his knuckleball dancin’ through 7.1 innings, as he only allowed four hits and struck out eight. He has clearly been the Mets best pitcher so far (9-1 record and a 2.44 era). Lucas Duda chipped in for a two-run HR in the top of the 5th inning off of former Yankee hurler Chien-Ming Wang. The Mets managed to get a 3-1 win, and were looking forward to heading back to New York. But they would not be heading to Citi field. Instead, they had to head up to the Bronx to face their cross town rivals, the New York Yankees!
Player of the Series: There wasn’t a standout in the series but R.A. Dickey pitched his best in game three, so I award him the POTS! 7.1 innings, 4 hits, 2 BBs 8 Ks 2.44 era.
6/8/12-6/10/12: Breaking out the brooms in the Bronx
In the first part of the Subway series, the reeling Mets took on the red hot New York Yankees. They sent their ace , Mr. No-Hitter himself, Johan Santana to the mound fresh off of almost a full week’s rest. How would he fare against the Bronx Bombers? Far worse than anyone would have expected! After hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning, Robinson Cano wasnt finished, as he hit another two-run dinger in the bottom of the third… But Santana wasn’t finished giving up homers. As soon as Cano sat down, Nick Swisher put a solo shot into the LF seats and, to add even more insult to injury, DH Andruw Jones got in on the fun with a solo home run of his own! So make that back to back to back jacks by the Yankees, and that officially ended Santana’s night. Johan finished with 5 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs, 6 earned, 5 K’s and 1 walk.
The Yankees tacked on 3 more runs in the 7th but Yanks’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was dealing as well, which was unusual, seeing how he was previously 1-5 vs. the Mets. This time, however, he allowed only one hit in seven innings pitched (plus one that hit off of his heel and popped up to A-Rod), 7 strikeouts and 1 walk. Met’s did manage to score a run in the top of the 9th off of former Met Ryota Irigashi (I think the Yankees brought him up to face his former team, just as a way to stick it to em a little bit), but they lost this one big, 9-1.
Game two saw little change offensively for the “Amazins.” They got two solo home runs off of Phil Hughes (thank you David Wright and Omar Quintanilla) and were clinging to a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Unfortunately, Dillon Gee had to face red hot Mark Teixeria, with a man on. Gee hung a curveball that was deposited about six rows back into the RF seats and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The Yankees would never look back. Granderson added a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th and Soriano allowed the Mets to think they had a chance to win by letting them put runners at the corners, but a popup ended the game and the Mets lost this one 4-2. Would they be able to avoid the sweep in game three?
I didn’t title this piece “Breaking Out the Brooms In the Bronx” for nothin! In the final game of part one of the subway series, the Mets sent lefty Jonathon Niese to the mound against Yankee great Andy Pettitte, also a lefty. All seemed well for the Mets, as they hit Pettitte early and managed to get a 3-0 lead with some crafty base hits and a fielding error by Cano. So fast forward to the seventh inning. Same scenario: Mets with two outs, still holding to that 3-0 lead, Andruw Jones grounded the ball to David Wright, who had enough time to read a book before making the throw, but somehow threw it into the dirt at first and got the error. Sure enough, catcher Russel Martin (who seems to have finally gotten out of that funk) came up and made Niese pay, with a laser shot that took the luckiest bounce out of all of Yankee Stadium home runs I’ve ever seen. As it screamed towards Scott Hairston, it hit the top of the padding, bounced straight up and into the fan’s hand for a two-run home run … Don’t believe me? see for yourself why don’t ya!
That would do it for Niese, and that Mets’ bullpen wold came into the bottom of the 8th and showed the whole world why they’re ranked last in the league with a 5.46 era. The 8th inning culprit was was Bobby Parnell (Blown save #3) who couldn’t get an out and gave up four hits to bring across two runs and give the Yanks a 4-3 lead. Woe is the Mets fan. Lucas Duda and Ike Davis decided to have some late inning heroics of their own, as they tagged Soriano for two doubles in a row to tie the game up at 4-4. That forced Soriano out of the game, but the Mets ended up only getting that one run across. Russell Martin led off the ninth against new pitcher John Rauch, and worked the count full. Rauch hung one right over the plate and Russel showed off some muscle for the Yankees. He cranked it deep into the LF seats for a walk-off home run (no pie this time), and Rauch got handed his sixth straight loss. Mets get swept 5-4.
Player Of The Series: Robinson Cano – 5/12 (.416 avg) 2 Home Runs, 4 RBIs , 2 Runs
A tough week for the Mets, as they managed to only get one win… One win!? That’s it!??? Only one god damn win!? Well let’s see how they manage this week, as they head down to Tampa Bay to finish their nine game road trip against the Rays, then head back to Queens to host the Reds…stay tuned!
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