Trade Puts Mets In Evaluation Mode

Maybe the general manager Sandy Alderson should call NY Giants GM Jerry Reese to see if Steve Weatherford is available.

The Mets are punting on this season.

After losing Matt Harvey to a torn UCL, the Mets sent outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor leaguer infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

Clearly the Mets are looking towards next year and moving both Byrd and Buck shows that the organization is in take a look mode. With outfielder Matt den Dekker called up today and Travis d’Arnaud anointed as starting catcher, the club will be seeing what they have in the minors going into the off-season.

And frankly, this had to be done. Buck wasn’t starting anymore and the Mets would be crazy to pay up for Byrd in the off-season. It makes too much sense to get something for the two players.

At the same time, the Mets still want to win some games.

“I don’t think that this deal changes anything,” Alderson said.  “This is a baseball deal. This is a typical deal late in the season — players going to a playoff contender and in this instance the Mets acquiring some future talent. When you juxtapose this deal with the Harvey injury, it’s easy to conclude, well, things have gone south. And, in fact, although this deal and the Harvey injury were coincidental, one of the concerns we had was the sense that, OK, the two of them together might send the wrong message. So to the extent there was any influence from the Harvey injury, it would have been not to do the deal. But we felt this was in our best interest.

“We want to finish as well as we can. But the sense we create on the part of the fans and their confidence in the future also is a function of more than wins and losses. It’s about the talent. It’s about the direction of the team. I think this move will be weighed in that broader sense rather than just how well we do in the month of September.”

Now you have to wonder how these moves will affect Collins future. He is up for renewal after this season and even though the Mets seem to want him back, the manager still has to finish strong.

“First of all, we all want to win as many games as possible,” Alderson said. “My role is to balance the short term with the long term. I have said before and would reiterate that how Terry is evaluated is beyond simply wins and losses. We’ve talked about that before. To the extent that it’s perceived that this will make it more difficult to win, and I don’t necessarily hold to that belief, obviously all the circumstances will be taken into account.”

To Collins, none of that matters.

“I will reiterate the same things I’ve been saying all the summer: This is not about me. This is not about me. This will never be about me,” Collins said. “This is only about our team and that clubhouse and those 25 guys that have got to go out and play every night. And so my job right now is to make sure they understand what is expected of each and every one of those guys. And that they go out and attain that and reach those expectations. That’s all this is about.”

Even with these moves the Mets still have some work to do. Now they are in evaluation mode looking towards 2014.

 

Posted under Baseball, Best Interest, Gm, Jerry Reese, Joe Mcdonald, New York Mets, Ny Giants, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates, Sandy Alderson, Top Story, Weatherford

Trade Puts Mets In Evaluation Mode

Maybe the general manager Sandy Alderson should call NY Giants GM Jerry Reese to see if Steve Weatherford is available.

The Mets are punting on this season.

After losing Matt Harvey to a torn UCL, the Mets sent outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor leaguer infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

Clearly the Mets are looking towards next year and moving both Byrd and Buck shows that the organization is in take a look mode. With outfielder Matt den Dekker called up today and Travis d’Arnaud anointed as starting catcher, the club will be seeing what they have in the minors going into the off-season.

And frankly, this had to be done. Buck wasn’t starting anymore and the Mets would be crazy to pay up for Byrd in the off-season. It makes too much sense to get something for the two players.

At the same time, the Mets still want to win some games.

“I don’t think that this deal changes anything,” Alderson said.  “This is a baseball deal. This is a typical deal late in the season — players going to a playoff contender and in this instance the Mets acquiring some future talent. When you juxtapose this deal with the Harvey injury, it’s easy to conclude, well, things have gone south. And, in fact, although this deal and the Harvey injury were coincidental, one of the concerns we had was the sense that, OK, the two of them together might send the wrong message. So to the extent there was any influence from the Harvey injury, it would have been not to do the deal. But we felt this was in our best interest.

“We want to finish as well as we can. But the sense we create on the part of the fans and their confidence in the future also is a function of more than wins and losses. It’s about the talent. It’s about the direction of the team. I think this move will be weighed in that broader sense rather than just how well we do in the month of September.”

Now you have to wonder how these moves will affect Collins future. He is up for renewal after this season and even though the Mets seem to want him back, the manager still has to finish strong.

“First of all, we all want to win as many games as possible,” Alderson said. “My role is to balance the short term with the long term. I have said before and would reiterate that how Terry is evaluated is beyond simply wins and losses. We’ve talked about that before. To the extent that it’s perceived that this will make it more difficult to win, and I don’t necessarily hold to that belief, obviously all the circumstances will be taken into account.”

To Collins, none of that matters.

“I will reiterate the same things I’ve been saying all the summer: This is not about me. This is not about me. This will never be about me,” Collins said. “This is only about our team and that clubhouse and those 25 guys that have got to go out and play every night. And so my job right now is to make sure they understand what is expected of each and every one of those guys. And that they go out and attain that and reach those expectations. That’s all this is about.”

Even with these moves the Mets still have some work to do. Now they are in evaluation mode looking towards 2014.

 

Posted under Baseball, Best Interest, Extent, Gm, Jerry Reese, Joe Mcdonald, New York Mets, Ny Giants, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates, Playoff Contender, Sandy Alderson, Top Story, Weatherford

Mets continue to struggle, so does Ike as Reds sweep series

With Matt Harvey on the mound Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field, there was every opportunity for the New York Mets to get a win. But with the team struggling to score runs, Harvey had to be at his best and sometimes in baseball that is hard to do.

Harvey allowed a career high nine hits and left with the fifth no decision in his last six starts. Ike Davis continued to struggle at the plate, and on the field as the Cincinnati Reds completed their second consecutive three-sweep over the Mets at Citi Field with a 7-4 win.

New York scored four runs which snapped a nine-game string at home with three runs or less, but Davis remained hitless in his last 25 at bats with runners in scoring position, with an 0-for-2 day at the plate. That extended his drought to one hit in his last 38 –at-bats.

Adding to the struggles at the plate for Davis was a play at first base in the ninth inning that appeared to be a double-play ball. That resulted in the Reds scoring and breaking a tie, and a three-run inning.

Overall, it seems the Mets can’t get out of a losing pattern when at home. What appears to be going their way turns out different, even the play at first that involved Davis, one that is epitomizing the first few months of his season.

“I could not get the out at home plus I was trying to get off the bag to get in the hole because it was a right hand hitter,” said Davis about the play to first on a ball hit by Brandon Phillips.

He added, “Right before the bounce I thought it bounced foul.  In my head when I thought I saw it bounce foul I put my glove back. I still can’t tell if it was foul or fair on replays. Everything could go wrong for me now, could go wrong.”

To his defense, it was a difficult play to get two outs. But, with the way things have been going for Davis at the plate, the question is, are mental lapses now hindering Davis on the field?

“If it is a chopper, you got to get it,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “The way things are going that typifies everything that has been happening. He has to try and get the play at the plate. You are not going to get a double play on that. The ball took a tough hop and Ike thought it would go foul.”

“I don’t,” commented Collins regarding Davis possibly taking his struggles from the plate to the field.  “I discussed it with him. Don’t ever take your offense to the field. You’re struggling, make them struggle.”

Davis did reach base twice with base on balls, and in the sixth inning made good contact hitting a ball deep to center that was caught. That renewed some optimism that he could be slowly coming out of a tailspin which hindered him the first part of last season.

“I thought that ball to center might go out, maybe that will get him started,” said Collins, who also added Davis’ walks off Reds starter Mat Latos were a good sign.

Harvey would allow a season high four runs, the second time he has allowed more than three runs in his young career. His start snapped a string of 16 consecutive starts allowing three runs or less. The Mets staked him to a rare lead, a first inning run on consecutive doubles from Daniel Murphy and Rick Ankiel.

“Obviously it wasn’t a good start,” said Harvey. “I had to battle through a couple of things. “I’ll take my 24- hours and move on and get ready for my next start. I wasn’t locating, throwing as many strikes as I wanted to.”

He threw 116-pitches in 6.1 innings, and his next start will come at home against the New York Yankees Tuesday night at Citi Field. The velocity on his fastball was not where he wanted it to be, and Joey Votto reached Harvey for a two-run homer in the third to left field that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

Said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who saw his team win their eight of their last nine against the Mets, “  Harvey has god stuff and power pitches. “He pitches a lot older than his experience.

Baker compared Harvey’s [itches to Nolan Ryan, Jon Matlack, Tom Seaver and Gary Gentry, past pitching greats in franchise history of the Mets. “ He’s in that mode,” he said.

In the end it was the Davis play at first and Bobby Parnell out of the pen in the ninth who gave up the deciding runs. Parnell (4-1) got the loss, allowing three runs in an inning pitched. It was the third time in 20 appearances he has been scored upon.

And as the Mets manager said, the record of 17-27, is not the focus of a season quickly going down the drain.

“We got to get caught up on playing the game right and not the record,” said Collins. With one of the better teams in the National League, the Atlanta Braves coming to Citi Field Friday night for three, and four more with the Yankees home-and home, the record is not as important.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Ring786@aol.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted under Baseball, Bats, Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds, Citi, Double Play, Game, Mental Lapses, New York Mets, Ninth Inning, Play Ball, Replays, Rich Mancuso, Runners, Score, Top Story, Wednesday Afternoon

Gary Carter’s Harley Davidson Up For Charity Auction To Benefit Autism

Gary Carter is still giving back.

The Harley Davidson motorcycle owned by the Mets late, great Hall of Fame catcher will go on the auction block to benefit charity on the Steiner Sports ”Perfect 25th Anniversary Auction,” it was announced today.

The on-line auction at www.steinersports.com, which also includes Don Larsen’s Perfect Game uniform and Bob Knight’s NCAA championship rings, continues through December 5.

Carter’s widow Sandy had donated the sleek, black bike to the Autism Project of Palm Beach County (APPBC), which will receive all the proceeds.

The charity’s mission is to raise money to support two specialized charter schools in Palm Beach County.  C.J., the Carters’ grandson, attends Renaissance Learning Center, one of the charter schools. (RLC) serves children who are on the Autism Spectrum ages 3 to 14 years old.  Twelve years ago RLC had only five students enrolled, today enrollment has grown to 102 with a waiting list.

The 2004 V-Rod “100th Anniversary” model HD has 3,250 miles on its odometer, and is in pristine condition. Personally-owned accessories worn by Gary and Sandy will also be a part of this unique auction package, including leather jackets with “Kid” and “Sandy” embroidered inside, as well as helmets, boots, and gloves. The reserve has yet to be determined.

The bike was a gift to Carter from the New York Mets organization upon his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Posted under 100th Anniversary, Anniversary Model, Auction Package, Autism, Autism Project, Autism Spectrum, Baseball, Carters Grandson, catcher, Charity Auction, Charter Schools, collectibles, Don Larsen, Hall Of Fame, Harley Davidson, Harley Davidson Motorcycle, history, Lead Story, Line Auction, Mets, Ncaa Championship, New York Mets, Palm Beach County, Renaissance Learning, Steiner Sports, Today's News, Top Story, V Rod

Mets Build Momentum with 9-8 victory over Pirates

New York – The New York Mets (26-30) needed a day like today, a game like today can either make or break a season. They needed to teach themselves how to believe in their talents and abilities today, especially with a victory over a team that is as tenacious as the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-29).

New York trailed the Pirates 7-0 after 2 ½ innings of play, and defeated Pittsburgh by the score of 9-8 in Thursday afternoon baseball at Citi Field. This comeback ties the second biggest in franchise history, while also being the biggest comeback victory in the majors this season.

It may also be just what this struggling franchise needs to get back on track and get the many Mets faithful to believe again. Many players echoed that sentiment in the locker room after the game.

“It felt great to get the win today,” said Angel Pagan, who has now hit in all seven games since returning from the 15-day disabled list. The outfielder also said, “We haven’t been playing the way that we know that we are able too. We just kept battling back today and never gave up, and it is a great feeling for us.”

A big part of the comeback effort by the Mets today was one Terry Collins who was fired up after the squad dropping a 9-3 loss to the Pirates yesterday. So far the players enjoy the passion and energy that Collins brings to the squad.

“Terry’s speech after the game last night gave us the wakeup call that we needed,” Pagan said. “He basically said that we can play better than this.” He continued by saying, “I love having a manager like him, the fact that he gets fired up and cares for us, Terry is really doing a great job as our manager.”

Another key to the game was Carlos Beltran, who drove in four runs in today‘s game. Three of those runs were recorded on a huge blast to left field. That homer along with some timely hitting by the Mets propelled them to the huge comeback.

“This was a huge win for us today,” Beltran said in the locker room, “After the homer it was a boost to the team, but we needed to score more in order to win this one.” He continued by saying. “Tejada has a good at bat to drive in a run, and overall it was a true team effort.”

Beltran also had this to say of the meeting that Collins had with the squad yesterday, “The meeting that Terry had yesterday was great, I liked it a lot because it was different then the meetings we had in the past.” He continued, “He has passion and energy and he makes it clear the way he feels about the team and his players, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you need someone to wake everyone up, and it was a good thing because we woke up and won this one today.”

Collins enjoyed the home run by his outfielder saying, “That was a huge swing for us today that has been the biggest thing so far for us was that we weren’t able to get the big swing and today we did.” He continued by saying, “The big guys really stepped up for us today.”

“He believes in us and we need to believe in ourselves,” Beltran said of his manager and his team, “Right now we are missing guys, but we have plenty of guys that can contribute as well.” He would continue by saying, “It is time for us to start working together as a team and playing hard.”

Utility-player extraordinaire Ruben Tejada continues to shine in his time with the Mets. The starting second baseman impressed with both his glove and his hitting as he recorded three RBI in the game.

“I have been feeling good playing with the team,” Tejada said. “I’ve been taking a lot of pitches and really trying to do what I can to help the team win.”

Tejada had a huge moment in the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting a sacrifice fly out to center field, and driving in the run that gave the Mets the 8-7 lead. He also impressed with a nifty play in the sixth inning getting a ground ball by Josh Harrison and throwing him out at first base.

“It feels great to have been a part of his comeback effort today,” Tejada said. “This type of comeback is what we needed to get back to playing our game.”

Manager Terry Collins has been impressed with the youngster saying, “He had a good at bat’s for us this week, and he has been putting the bat on the ball and making contact.” He continued by saying, “He laid off some tough pitches today. Overall he has a huge upside and will be a very good player for our team.”

On this day the Mets bullpen came through and bailed out starter Mike Pelfrey, who didn’t have his good stuff on the mound today. The righty gave up seven runs and 10 hits to a very feisty Pirates team. Collins called in four relief pitchers, to help save the day and the victory for the Mets.

The lone run that the bullpen gave up was in the top of the ninth inning as outfielder Xavier Paul capped a career high four hit day with a triple (2) to right field off closer Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez got a fly ball out and a strike out, before giving up a hit to second baseman Paul Walker, which cut the Met lead to 9-8 at the time.

Rodriguez would earn his 16th save of the season by getting power hitter Lyle Overbay to lift a ball into foul territory, in which Justin Turner was able to grab for the final out of the game as the Mets earned the 9-8 victory. Not only did they earn the victory, but also build much needed momentum for the rest of the season.

Returning from the bereavement list today was shortstop Jose Reyes, who extended his seven game hitting streak when laced a single to center field in the bottom of the third inning.

“To be able to make a comeback like this today was a huge thing for our team,” Reyes said. “We just had to come back little by little, and being able to do that was a huge thing for us going forward.”

New York will now look to build on this momentum. It will not be easy though as they now enter into a three game series against their arch-rival the Atlanta Braves starting on Friday. Jonathon Niese (4-5, 3.91 ERA) takes on Derek Lowe (3-4, 4.03 ERA) in Game One of the series, which is slated to start at 7:10 p.m.

“We just need to continue to take it one game at a time,” Reyes said to NYSportsDay.com about what the team does to take the next step. “We need to continue to keep playing our game, Atlanta is a good team, and so we just will take it one step at a time and take it from there.”

Beltran had this to say to www.nysportsday.com on the steps needed to build on this positive momentum, “We need to keep playing hard and I think today’s game should be the game where we look back and say if we can do it for this game, than we can do it for any game. We just got to never give up and keep fighting as a team.”

Remember this day Mets fans, remember this time and moment. Today was just what the Mets needed to hopefully start believing in themselves again.

Posted under Baseball, Carlos Beltran, Comeback Effort, Comeback Victory, Day Like Today, Homer, Locker Room, Momentum, New York Mets, Outfielder, Pagan, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seven Games, Talents, Top Story, Wakeup Call

This post was written by Stacy Rae Podelski on June 3, 2011

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Despite Win, Everyone is Talking Minaya and Manuel

NEW YORK-  There were multiple reports coming from Citi Field Friday evening that team general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will be replaced when the season concludes Sunday afternoon. The moves have been rumored for the past month.

With the Mets once again finishing their second season at Citi Field below the .500 mark, there is every reason to believe there will be a new regime running the show next April.  Prior to the start of a three game season finale series with the Washington Nationals, won by the Mets 2-1 in 10 innings, Manuel was asked about reports he would not be returning next season,

“I have not discussed anything,” said the Mets manager regarding his situation. The talk about Manuel not returning for a third year has been a constant topic of discussion since the all-star break. “Nothing has been told to me,” he said,

He added “Just like every year you discuss it, you discuss it at the end of the year. I haven’t been told anything.”  Though Manuel may have not been told anything about his status there is every reason to believe his regime with Minaya will conclude Sunday,

Minaya, general manager since 2004 has seen minimal results during his tenure. The Mets once again this year, with high expectations and third highest payroll in baseball, failed to make the postseason again since their 2006 loss in the National League Championship Series to the St Louis Cardinals.

On the field the Mets tried to play for something as they finish out the string. Against the last place Nats, starter Pat Misch went eight innings, gave up three hits and struck out 10.  Michael Morse hit a solo home run to center in the seventh, the lone run surrendered by Misch that tied the game at 1-1.

“I know I can pitch,” commented Misch (0-4) who did not figure in the decision, “Obviously the record doesn’t show it and maybe the numbers aren’t the greatest.” Manuel, speaking like he will be in control next season said, “He can possibly give the organization some depth next year.”

The game stayed at 1-1 until the bottom of the tenth when catcher Josh Thole hit a 3-1 pitch to the right field stands that gave New York a 2-1 win. It was the third home run for Thole as the Mets got another walk-off win. It was their fourth hit of the game off Nationals Tyler Clippard (11-7) tagged with a loss out of the pen.

“I didn’t know what to do when I got to home plate,” said Thole. As was the case with rookie Ruben Tejada, who got a walk-off wining double against the Brewers Tuesday night, Thole was mobbed by teammates when he reached home.

It was his first ever game winning home run. Thole is projected to be the Mets starting catcher next season. “Just wanted to get out of here with a win and get out of here on a positive point,” he said about the win and final games of the season.

They are playing out the string, the Mets are. Manuel is still in control as is Minaya, at least until Sunday. The final two games won’t make a difference as the Mets even with a sweep over the Nationals will have their second consecutive losing season finishing under .500.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under All Star, Baseball, Friday Evening, Game Season, High Expectations, League Championship Series, Mets, Michael Morse, Minimal Results, National League Championship Series, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, Pat Misch, Payroll, Regime, Season Finale, Second Season, St Louis Cardinals, Sunday Afternoon, Tenure, Top Story, Washington Nationals

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on October 2, 2010

Dickey and Davis Lead the Way in 4-0 Victory over Cardinals

New York – Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey went a season-high eight and one-thirds innings, giving up only four hits to help the New York Mets (52-50) blank the St. Louis Cardinals (56-46) by the score of 4-0 in afternoon baseball at Citi Field on Thursday.

Dickey (7-4) was able to stretch his scoreless streak this afternoon, to a career-best 17.0 consecutive innings, which dates back to the fifth inning of his start on July 20th at Arizona. Along with stretching his scoreless streak Dickey helped to lead the Mets to their major-league leading 14th shutout of the year.

It was noticed by Dickey along with young catcher Josh Thole saw that sometimes the knuckleball wasn’t going to always make the other team swing and miss, so instead today the two were able to have a game plan which kept the Cardinals off balance.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel was impressed with how the starter could recognize that saying, “Yes, especially for a pitch like the knuckleball, which is difficult to tell what direction it is going to go, even for the catcher. He and Josh have worked very well together to identify what makes them successful.”

Thole who has had the opportunity to catch Dickey in Triple-A affiliate Buffalo noticed one change in the starter, “His secondary pitches make the difference.  It helps to have those secondary pitches and he has really worked on them and it has made him a more successful pitcher.”

“I tried to change speeds and was able to keep them (the Cardinals off balance today,” Dickey said of his start. “The trend for anytime a pitcher has a shutout is when that pitcher has command of the strike zone and I was able to do that today.”

For St. Louis starter Blake Hawksworth was the recipient of a tough loss in this afternoon’s game (4-7) going six innings, giving up seven hits and four runs along with three walks and three strike outs.

In a game which featured many ground balls along with some fine defensive plays neither team was able to get on the board until the bottom of the third inning. Jose Reyes got the Mets going by ripping a double (18) to right field. Reyes was able to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, which dates to July 19th 2010. Outfielder Angel Pagan followed with a ground ball infield single, which thanks to his speed he was able to beat out and set the stage for rookie sensation Ike Davis.

Davis lifted the first pitch in his at bat over the Nikon sign in center field for his 15th home run of the season, and gave the Mets a comfortable 3-0 lead. For Davis, who had a day off in yesterday’s game,  the 15 homers are the fifth-most by a Mets rookie in franchise history, holding the overall record is the future Met Hall of Famer Darryl Strawberry with 26 in 1983.

On being able to provide clutch hitting in his first year with the club Davis said, “It is all about the confidence you have as a hitter, you need to be able to go up to the plate and have confidence in your swing. You can have that exact same swing but if you don’t have confidence it won’t go very far.” The first baseman continues by saying, “If I hit it well enough I expect the ball to go out of the park. If I am able to get the barrel of the bat to center or to right, I know for sure it will go out. I just wanted to stay through it and not roll it over.”

Dickey would continue to keep the Cardinals guessing in the top of the fifth inning. One huge ground out was when second baseman Skip Schumaker to hit into a infield double play, along with getting  Yadier Molina to hit into another ground out on a nice backhanded play by rookie Mike Hessman, who was playing third base for New York in the game. Hessman looked good making two nice backhanded grabs in the hot corner in this afternoon’s game.

The Mets would get on the board one last time in the bottom of the fifth inning as Angel Pagan ripped a triple (7) to the right field crevice. Center fielder Carlos Beltran would plate that fourth New York run by lacing a single to left field to give New York the 4-0 lead.

“I am good to go and I just want to be out there and help the team win,” Beltran said after the game. “The main thing for me is that I need to come into the ballpark before the game and do my pre-game routine, which started in St. Lucie, and it will be something that stays with me for the rest of my career.”

Ground balls would continue to greet the Mets infielders as Dickey would induce seven alone in the later innings to keep the Cardinals off the board. In the top of the eighth inning the starter found some trouble as the rain started to come down as Schumaker hit a single to right field to try to start the Cardinals offense, a wild pitch placed the runner on second for pitch hitter Randy Winn. Dickey was able to get out of trouble by getting a hard hit ground ball to Alex Cora to end the inning.

“It is great for us to play behind Dickey,” Davis said after the game. “It is hard sometimes when the pitchers throw the balls outside the strike zone then we stay on your heels a little, but Dickey works so fast and he keeps us on our toes.”

New York would try to add one last run in the bottom of the eighth as Hessman was hit in the shoulder by Cardinal reliever Mike MacDougal. Jose Thole worked a walk to have runners on first and second for Jeff Francoeur. Unfortunately for the 40,087 the outfielder hit a high pop up to first base for the first out. Alex Cora worked a walk, before Dickey hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out. The bases were loaded for Jose Reyes, who hit a hard ground ball for the final out of the inning.

Top of the ninth inning was greeted by a huge cheer as Dickey took the hill to close out the game. Pinch hitter Colby Rasmus singled to center for the fourth St. Louis hit. Felipe Lopez advanced Rasmus on a ground ball to Ike Davis for the first out. A walk to rookie Jon Jay placed runners on first and second for the dangerous duo of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. Dickey would not find out how he would have fared against the two big bats as manager Jerry Manuel called for reliever Francisco Rodriguez who got the last two outs and sealed the 4-0 victory for New York.

“This is one of those wins that you point too and hope that it can turn your season around, “Dickey said. “Yesterday was a heartbreaker, but we had no time to think about it. Today you really saw the character of this team and we really have a shot until the end of the season.”

The Mets will now open a three game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks as righty Mike Pelfrey (10-5, 4.00 ERA) takes on Ian Kennedy (5-8, 4.10 ERA) in a 7:10 p.m. Friday night game at Citi Field.

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Trade News: The National League East got a whole lot tougher today as the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt in a trade with the Houston Astros in exchange for pitcher J.A. Happ and minor league prospects Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose.

Story originally posted on www.latinosports.com

Posted under Baseball, Blake Hawksworth, Buffalo, Fifth Inning, Game Plan, Ground Balls, Josh Thole, Knuckleball, Major League, New York Mets, Pitch, Pitches, Recipient, Scoreless Streak, Shutout, St Louis Cardinals, Starting Pitcher, Strike Zone, Top Story, Victory, Walks

This post was written by Stacy Rae Podelski on July 30, 2010

Mets get another series opening win against Twins

New York – When they get to the dog days of August and the September stretch, the New York Mets will certainly know that winning the first game of a series was important, And it certainly looks like the Mets could have an interesting final two months of the season based on what has been happening as June nears a conclusion.

Friday evening at Citi Field, with starter Mike Pelfrey on the mound, New York improved to 16-9 in the first game of a series with their 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. They have won seven straight series openers, 11-2 at their home park.

But when Denard Span hit a game leadoff home run on a 0-1 pitch, the ball traveling and going over the 358 sign in left, Pelfrey made it look like it would be a struggle, from the onset for the Mets to get another opening series win.

“I stayed in there and kept trying to grind,” said Pelfrey (10-2) who got the win in six innings of work. He allowed two runs and six hits and did not walk a batter in getting his sixth win in nine starts at home.  “It was tough” said Pelfrey because that leadoff home run by Span, his third, may have been hard to overcome.

The Twins in a battle for first place with Detroit in the American League central, ahead by a half game coming in, are a tough team to retire. “That team is very good,” said Pelfrey who threw 117 pitches. “They made me work out there and fouled off a lot of pitches.”

But one thing about this Mets team is their resilient approach to come from behind. They did it again against Twins starter Kevin Slowey. They scored three runs in the fourth started by a Jose Reyes soft single, later scoring on a David Wright RBI double.

So Pelfrey had the lead, and the Mets once again played small ball and errorless baseball. Wright would also hit a solo home run in the sixth, off Slowey that gave the Mets their fifth run, his 13th of the season, and with two more runs batted in has 37 in his last 37 games.

“I’m in a good spot right now, I feel good,” said Wright who came into the game leading the National League in RBI.  “He seems very confident at the plate at this time and that’s a good sign for us,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel about the resurgence of Wright who hit his third home run at Citi Field this season.

And it is the small ball that has the Mets also feeling confident. They remained a half game behind first place Atlanta as they play game two of the series Saturday afternoon with ace Johan Santana on the mound.

“Small ball in a big ball park” said Manuel.  He added, as was the case in this game, “We won’t give them the momentum,” meaning his team which got their 11th come from behind win of the season will stay competitive when they don’t score first.

GAME NOTES FROM THE METS:   Carlos Beltran went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk as the designated hitter with St. Lucie of the Florida State League in his second rehabilitation assignment.   Outfielder Angel Pagan, day-to-day with a muscle pull said he feels better and may be in the lineup Saturday.

“Tomorrow I am going to swing and see what happens,” commented Pagan who said that rest, treatment and exercise were a part of the regiment the past two days. Pagan has missed the last two games and is rumored to be a player in a possible trade that would bring pitcher Cliff Lee to the Mets…

Ruben Tejada a natural shortstop, and at second, for the injured Luis Castillo is playing the position well and also connecting at the plate. He extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double in the fifth inning and the streak is the second longest for a rookie in the major leagues this season.

“He is playing with confidence and I am surprised about his ability to play second base,” said Manuel about his rookie that is part of a Mets home grown infield that includes Wright at third, Reyes at short, and Ike Davis at first….

Jason Bay may once again be seeing the ball better and his ability to drive in runs makes the Mets lineup that more potent, as was expected when he was picked up in the off-season. “He’s one of those guys that when he gets hot he gets going,” said Maunel. Bay had a run scoring double in that third inning and has driven in two in the last two games….

With three more scoreless innings of relief the Mets pen has pitched 21.1 scoreless innings dating back to the eighth inning on June 17th, allowing 15 hits, walking seven and striking out 25.  Francisco Rodriguez got his 17th save though giving up two singles in the ninth. He also is having some stiffness in his back which prompted Manuel to see him on the mound

Rodriguez admitted it has been something he has been dealing with and he recently took a anti-inflammatory shot. Manuel sees no reason for concern though speculation persists that the Rodriguez failure to get through an easy inning may be attributed to the stiffness.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under American League Central, Baseball, Conclusion, David Wright, Days Of August, Dog Days Of August, First Game, Friday Evening, Home Park, Jose Reyes, Lead, Mets Team, Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Pitch, Pitches, Span, Straight Series, Struggle, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on June 26, 2010