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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Upsetting Recap: 2011 Regular Season Game 27 - Mets at Phillies

Roy Halladay 2010 RoadImage by BaseballBacks via Flickr
Final Score: Philadelphia 2, New York 1

Roy Halladay tossed his 60th career complete game and the Philadelphia Phillies set a franchise record with a 2-1 victory over the New York Mets in the middle tilt of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

Halladay (4-1) limited the Mets to one run on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

"I was trying to be aggressive, trying to throw strikes and got some early swings for some quick outs. That helped," said Halladay. "I felt like I was able to keep things down, keep things under control and we got a lot of outs early, a lot of outs within the first three pitches."

At 18-8, the Phillies set a club record for wins in the month of April, surpassing the 1993 squad that won the National League pennant.

Jon Niese (1-4) was tagged for two runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings for New York, which has lost three straight games after winning a season-high six in a row.

Things won't get much easier for the Mets, who will face No. 2 Phillies starter Cliff Lee on Sunday.

"We gotta keep playing, we gotta keep playing along," said New York manager Terry Collins. "We gotta come out and fight tomorrow."

John Mayberry Jr. tied the game with a leadoff home run to left field off Niese in the seventh. Wilson Valdez followed with a single and Dane Sardinha walked before Halladay struck out on a bunt attempt.

Taylor Buchholz replaced Niese and Shane Victorino singled to load the bases for Placido Polanco, who lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.

Halladay gave up a one-out single to Jose Reyes in the eighth, but got Daniel Murphy to ground into an inning-ending double play.

New York's David Wright walked on four pitches to open the ninth. Halladay, though, retired the next three batters to seal his seventh win in as many starts against the Mets.

Three straight singles by Murphy, Wright and Carlos Beltran produced the Mets' lone run in the fourth.

"It was definitely a pitchers' duel," said Mayberry. "Both guys had really good stuff going. We just had to battle."

Game Notes

Halladay has now won 12 consecutive starts against NL East opponents...Polanco finished 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games...The Phillies improved to 10-0 in day games this season.

Box Score: Click Here
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Video: Forbes - Are the Mets Worth Buying?

Video: Steve Cohen to buy the Mets????

Upsetting Recap: 2011 Regular Season Game 26 - Mets at Phillies

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Phi...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Final Score: Philadelphia 10, New York 3

Ryan Howard belted two homers, including a grand slam, and knocked in six runs to carry the Phillies to a 10-3 rout of the Mets in the opener of a three-game series.

Howard's explosive bat backed a good outing by Vance Worley, who was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace injured No. 5 starter Joe Blanton.

Worley (1-0) yielded just two hits and four walks in six innings, striking out five Mets for his second career MLB win.

Howard moved into a tie for second place on the Phillies all-time home run list and set a team record with 27 RBI in April. Placido Polanco set a new franchise record with 39 hits in April, going 2-for-5 to break Chase Utley's mark of 38 set in 2008.

The Phillies (17-8) also set a club record for wins in April, matching the 1993 team that won the National League pennant.

Ike Davis hit a solo homer and Jason Pridie belted a two-run blast with one out in the ninth inning for New York's only runs. The Mets have lost two in a row on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

The Phillies, after beating Arizona on Wednesday to finish 5-2 on their road trip, started a nine-game homestand with a bang Friday.

The catalyst was Howard, who has three home runs in his last two games after going the previous 13 without one.

Ronny Paulino Activated, Nickeas Optioned

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, The New York Mets activated catcher Ronny Paulino from the disabled list and demoted Mike Nickeas to Triple-A Buffalo.

Paulino signed a $1.3 million free-agent contract in early December to serve as a right-hitting complement to Josh Thole behind the plate.

He had difficulty securing a visa because of a 50-game MLB suspension for a performance-enhancing substance and arrived late to spring training.

Team doctors discovered Paulino had issues with anemia, so Paulino was placed on the disabled list after the remaining eight games of his suspension were completed while his blood levels returned to more normal levels.

He was eligible to be activated from the DL on Tuesday, but tweaked a side muscle last weekend with Triple-A Buffalo, further stalling his return.

Paulino hit .190 (8-for-42) with four RBIs and a walk in 12 rehab games between Class A St. Lucie and Buffalo.

Manager Terry Collins indicated he plans to platoon the left-hitting Thole and Paulino, with the exception of Thole catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey regardless of the opposing pitcher.

Nickeas hit .250 with 20 at-bats and belted his first major league homer on April 21, off Houston's J.A. Happ.

Mets Lineup for Tonight - Mets at Phillies - Game 26

Tonight's Mets Staring Lineup - Mets At Phillies Game 26
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Murphy-2B
  3. Wright-3B
  4. Beltran-RF
  5. Bay-LF
  6. Davis-1B
  7. Thole-C
  8. Pridie-CF
  9. Pelfrey-RHP 

Mike Pelfrey vs Phillies: Howard could be the difference maker

Philadelphia Phillies Career statistics vs. Mike Pelfrey
Raul Ibanez27 9 0 0 1 6 1 5 .333 .357 .444 .802
Placido Polanco13 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 .154 .267 .154 .421
Jimmy Rollins29 7 0 1 1 4 1 2 .241 .267 .414 .680
Brian Schneider10 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .200 .333 .200 .533
Ross Gload6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .167 .167 .333 .500
Shane Victorino39 12 2 1 1 6 2 5 .308 .341 .487 .829
Pete Orr6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333
Wilson Valdez7 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .125 .000 .125
Ryan Howard32 13 2 0 2 4 5 2 .406 .486 .656 1.143
Carlos Ruiz20 5 1 0 0 3 2 2 .250 .318 .300 .618
Ben Francisco2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .333 .000 .333

Mike has to come out and prove himself tonight in front of the Phillies Frenzy. The Mets will get a look at rookie Worley tonight. With the Phillies not having Utley in the lineup, the Mets really have to concentrate on Howard. If he is successful he can be the difference maker.

Note: Pelfrey coming off the Flu Bug, Let's see if he holds up...

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 26 - Mets at Phillies

Full House at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia...Image via Wikipedia
New York Mets (11-14) at Philadelphia Phillies (16-8), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Mike Pelfrey (1-2, 7.23) Philadelphia - Vance Worley (0-0, 0.00)

Injuries are starting to pile up for the heavily-favored Philadelphia Phillies and their pitching staff has been hit the hardest.

Joe Blanton is the latest victim to land on the disabled list, as he was slated to pitch Friday's opener of a three-game series versus the despised NL East-rival New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Instead, Blanton will head to the DL and Vance Worley will begin a nine-game homestand on the hill tonight.

Blanton is battling a right elbow problem and will join fellow hurlers Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero on the infirmary list. Starter Roy Oswalt has been given a leave of absence to deal with family issues involving disastrous storms in his hometown and catcher Carlos Ruiz is expected to miss some time too with a balky back. Worley, meanwhile, was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and went 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts for the Iron Pigs.

Worley, a right-hander, got his first taste of major league action last season when he compiled an 0-1 mark with a 1.38 earned run average in five games, two of which were starts. Worley faced the Mets in an inning of relief on Sept. 26 during a 7-3 loss and recorded a walk and a strikeout.

Phillies starters were amazing in a four-game sweep at San Diego, as Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay each came out victorious against the Padres. The buzz wore off in a three-game set at Arizona with Cliff Lee and Oswalt losing the first two tests of the series. Hamels avoided the sweep with a solid performance in Wednesday's 8-4 victory over the Diamondbacks and yielded three runs and four hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blanton goes on DL, Worley called up to start against Mets

Joe Blanton during pregame warmups against the...Image via Wikipedia
The Phillies announced on Thursday that Joe Blanton will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a medial impingement in his right elbow.

Vance Worley has been called up from the IronPigs to take his place.

Worley will get the start Friday night against the Mets - a start originally scheduled for Blanton.

Blanton's stay on the DL is retroactive to April 24, meaning he could be back as soon as May 9.

However, the severity of Blanton's injury remains unknown, and the Phillies have given no timetable for his return.

Worley, the IronPigs' staff ace, has gone 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts for the 'Pigs this season.

Blanton joins fellow Phillies pitchers Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and J.C. Romero on the disabled list.
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Recap: 2011 Regular Season Game 25 - Mets at Nationals (Snaps Winning Streak)

Livan 3Image by afagen via Flickr
Final Score: Washington 4, New York 3

Livan Hernandez threw eight strong innings to lead the Nationals over the Mets, 4-3, salvaging the finale of a three-game series.

Hernandez (3-2) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.

Ian Desmond went 2-for-4 with a triple and a homer for Washington, which had dropped three straight and six of its previous seven games.

Chris Capuano (2-2) took the loss, lasting 5 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits while striking out two to snap the Mets' six-game winning streak.

Box Score: Click Here
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Mets Lineup for Tonight - Mets at Nationals - Game 25

Gulf Coast League MetsImage via Wikipedia
Thursday's Lineup at Washington:
  1. Reyes-SS
  2. Murphy-2B
  3. Wright-3B
  4. Beltran-RF
  5. Bay-LF
  6. Davis-1B
  7. Thole-C
  8. Harris-CF
  9. Capuano-LHP
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Pic of the Day: Nationals' Scoreboard


Video: Reyes Goes Nuts After Missed Call

With the Mets down 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Reyes hit his signature high liner into the opposite field gap that let him slide into third with an easy triple.

Rick Ankiel threw into 3rd base about 2 seconds too late BUT Jose was called out. Although he maintained contact with the bag for all in the stands, field, home and dugout to see, third base umpire called him out mistakenly thinking Reyes' hand came off the bag. And Jose was livid.

I loved watching his strides to third but his reaction after being called out was the the best part of the play. Our spark plug ignited the inning and the rest of the Mets for the rest of the game.

While the Washington D.C crowd sounded lifeless and dull during the play, here in NY we were up in arms right along with you. Go Jose!

Video from last night:

Chris Capuano vs Nationals: Right Man for the right Job

Chris CapuanoImage by slgckgc via Flickr

Washington Nationals Career statistics vs. Chris Capuano
Alex Cora1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .500 .000 .500
Jerry Hairston Jr.17 4 0 0 1 1 0 3 .235 .235 .412 .647
Rick Ankiel6 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .167 .167 .167 .333
Jayson Werth7 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 .143 .250 .143 .393
Adam LaRoche7 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .286 .375 .286 .661
Michael Morse2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .333 .000 .333
Wilson Ramos3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 .667 .667 1.000 1.667
Danny Espinosa3 1 0 0 1 3 0 2 .333 .333 1.333 1.667

Audio: K-Rod on the WFAN with Joe and Evan

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 25 - Mets at Nationals

New York Mets (11-13) at Washington Nationals (10-13), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Chris Capuano (2-1, 5.95) Washington - Livan Hernandez (2-2, 3.48)

A 2-12 stretch earlier this month left the New York Mets searching for answers. So far the club has been looking in all the right places and will take aim at its seventh straight win tonight in the finale of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals in D.C.

The Mets recorded their sixth straight win with Wednesday's 6-3 triumph at Nationals Park, where they posted four runs in the top of the ninth inning to secure the lead for good and extend their winning run. Daniel Murphy roped a two-run double in the top of the ninth and also finished with a home run and three RBI for New York, which is on its longest winning streak since prevailing eight consecutive times from June 10-18 last season.

"You got to give Murphy credit tonight," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. "He hurt us twice tonight. He's a tough out to deal with."

Jason Bay and Ike Davis had two hits apiece, while Mets starter R.A. Dickey did not record a decision with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball. He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out three batters. Pedro Beato claimed the victory by working the eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez logged his sixth save with a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning.

After tonight's matchup in the nation's capital, the Mets will make a stop at rival Philadelphia for three games over the weekend.

Daniel Murphy Is Clutch

You ever the get the feeling when you're watching a Mets game that the batter will hit a home run on the next pitch?

Well, I can't say this is completely true about last night, but I was pretty close.

After the debacle of a call by Marvin Hudson that erased Jose Reyes' one-out triple, the Mets could have easily folded, just like they've been accustomed to doing over the last few years.

That's the type of call that forces some players to say, "Not tonight boys, we'll get them tomorrow."

Daniel Murphy stepped in with two outs and no one on base against a pitcher in Tyler Clippard who has been dominant in the late innings, especially against the Mets.

For some reason, I knew Murphy was going to get a big hit. He kept fouling pitches off, waiting for one he can drive.

On the pitch before he went deep, I said to myself this one is it. And sure enough, another foul.

Then Clippard left a change-up straight down the middle and up in the zone, and Murphy clobbered it.

That is easily the biggest hit of the Mets season so far, and hopefully we can expect many more of those out of Murphy.

Though he was a little late covering second base in the next inning, these are the types of growing pains we will have to deal with as he continues to learn the position. However, if he keeps driving in big runs with clutch hits, I'm sure we can forgive him for some minor defensive lapses.

The great thing about Murphy is that he doesn't settle for just one come-from-behind win. You can tell that he wants to win every single game he plays.

As we approach the end of April, this winning attitude can hopefully further resonate with the players. The Mets have a big road series in Philadelphia this weekend, so gutting out these gritty wins will be crucial.

This may be a tad premature, but get those pens out and start writing "Daniel Murphy" on the bottom of your All-Star ballot. Current Colorado Rockie, Brad Emaus, represents the Mets at second base on the ballot, so Murphy will have to be a write-in.

In other news, congratulations to Brooklyn-boy, Pedro Beato, for picking up his first Major League win. Also, the Jason Bay winning streak extends to six. Let's not forget that he started off the ninth inning rally with a single up the middle.

Keep up the exciting play, Mets, and Citi Field will be packed for the next homestand.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

Originally featured at Mets Merized Online.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Recap: 2011 Regular Season Game 24 - Mets at Nationals - Win 6th in a row

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  RY ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Final Score: New York 6, Washington 3

Daniel Murphy ripped a two-run double during a four-run ninth inning the New York Mets used to record a 6-3 victory over Washington in the second of a three-game series from Nationals Park.

Murphy had also blasted a game-tying solo homer in the eighth in a pinch-hit appearance. The Mets fell behind again, but loaded the bases to begin their final at-bat, then tied the game on a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Chin- Lung Hu. Josh Thole knocked in the decisive run with a groundout to short before Murphy created some breathing room.

Sean Burnett (0-1) suffered the blown save and the loss for the Nationals, who have dropped six of seven. He allowed four runs, four hits and a walk in the ninth.

The Mets have won a season-high six straight games, climbing over the Nationals and out of the National League East cellar in the process.

Box Score: Click Here 
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Flu May Cause Pelfrey to Miss Next Start

According to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, A nasty flu bug has lingered within the Mets clubhouse for about a week now, and the hardest-hit victim is starter Mike Pelfrey. He’s lost 11 pounds in the past week, he said, and his start on Friday in Philadelphia is in jeopardy.

Pelfrey insisted he would pitch. Pitching coach Dan Warthen reported progress from Pelfrey’s bullpen session today. But manager Terry Collins developed a contingency plan: Dillon Gee also threw a bullpen today, and would be available in case Pelfrey cannot pitch.

Last week, when he vomited on the mound during a start, Pelfrey was initially diagnosed with a viral bug. On Tuesday night, he was examined by the Nationals’ team doctor, who gave him medicine for something Pelfrey described as a “blockage.”

Mets Packing a Punch in their Lineup - Batting Stats over their last 7 games

Over the last 6 games Ike has been a monster hitting .455

Mets Batting over last 7 days
Jose Reyes62559000092121.360.407.360.767
Carlos Beltran624394003132300.375.423.542.965
David Wright622761037166630.273.429.7271.156
Ike Davis6226102036212400.455.480.9551.435
Daniel Murphy621481014121300.381.458.5711.030
Jason Bay519572013122700.368.429.6321.060
Josh Thole41602200440300.
Jason Pridie41524001371200.267.313.467.779
Willie Harris6811100020100.
Angel Pagan2600000001100.
Justin Turner3612100030201.333.333.500.833
Mike Nickeas2612001151100.333.429.8331.262
R.A. Dickey1300000000000.
Jonathon Niese1300000000200.
Brad Emaus1300000001100.
Lucas Duda1300000001110.
Chris Capuano1211100020100.500.5001.0001.500
Mike Pelfrey1200000000000.
Chris Young1100000100000.
Dillon Gee11010000100001.0001.0001.0002.000
Jason Isringhausen4000000000000.
Tim Byrdak1000000000000.
Francisco Rodriguez3000000000000.
D.J. Carrasco1000000000000.
Scott Hairston2000000001000.0001.000.0001.000
Taylor Buchholz2000000000000.
Blaine Boyer1000000000000.
Pat Misch1000000000000.
Chin-lung Hu1000000000000.
Bobby Parnell1000000000000.
Ryota Igarashi2000000000000.
Pedro Beato1000000000000.
Totals 620236621501032107193752.307.372.530.901
Opponents 7235245513252187194441.234.294.370.664

Very easy to look at these numbers and tell why the Mets have been so successful. The Mets have hit 10 HRs and drove in 32 RBI's in their last six while batting .302 as a team. The opposition has been only hitting .234 with 5 HRs with 21 RBI's.
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