Reyes return overshadowed by Mets injuries and Johan Santana

New York – Jose Reyes was supposed to be the storyline at Citi Field Tuesday evening returning to New York for the first time since signing the lucrative off-season deal with the Miami Marlins. However, that was overshadowed by the outstanding pitching of Johan Santana and the Mets placing outfielder Jason Bay and starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey on the disabled list.

Reyes would go hitless in four appearances at the plate. It was due to the sharp pitching of Santana who went 6.2 innings, striking out eleven Marlins. But once again, Santana, in his fourth outing failed to get run support.

He did not figure in the decision as the Mets got a deciding run in the eighth inning and won the first game of a three-game series, 2-1.

Reyes had a pre game meeting with the media in the Marlins dugout. He was excited to be back in New York, met with his old teammates, and the Mets paid tribute to one of their former franchise players with a brief tribute on the video board before the first pitch.

As expected the small crowd that gathered to their seats gave him resounding boos, though there were those who gave him a nice welcome when they stood and cheered his name. When he stepped to the plate, for his first at bat leading off the game the displeasure of Reyes leaving for greener pastures to Miami were heard from the announced crowd of 20,192.

“It was kind of weird for me a little bit but after the third inning everything goes away and you just focus on playing baseball,” he said. Off to a slow start, Reyes would almost get an extra base hit leading off. The pitch from Santana looked like it would go out of the ballpark, but center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a leaping catch at the fence.

Reyes said, “It is good to get it out of the way. Tomorrow I’ll have a better idea. But it’s good to see my buddies over there. I played for them for a long time.”

However, Mets fans may never forgive the National league batting champion and homegrown product from leaving. It was a matter of another year and a few million more that that Mets did not offer to keep Reyes in a Mets uniform. He signed the $106 million, six-year contract with the Marlins, a team expected to contend and favored over the Mets in the NL East.

Santana went about his business and rebounded from his last start in Atlanta. Last week he gave up six runs in the first inning, eight overall in 4.1 innings. The fastball and changeup were sharp and he had great command. But once again he failed to get a single run of support.

Marlins starter Josh Johnson, also working on six days of rest was just as effective going 6 2-3 innings, charged with one run and three hits.

“I put that one out of the way,” he said about the loss to Atlanta. “I still have a long way to go but it is good to have an outing like this. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

He struck out two in each of the first five innings and had his most strikeouts since the 11 against the Braves on August 2, 2010. In nine previous starts against the Marlins, Santana was 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA. He gave up a one-out single in the first, and did not give up another hit until a Giancarlo Stanton two-out single in the seventh. He was removed after throwing 105 pitches.

On facing Reyes for the first time, he said, “I didn’t do anything different. Everything we do here is professional and we went about our business.”

Lucas Duda hit a tie-breaking single in the eighth that came off the finger of Marlins reliever Edward Mujica that scored the deciding run. Jon Rauch (3-0) picked up the win and Frank Francisco with a hitless ninth got his fourth save.

But the Mets win was also overshadowed by their continued bad streak of injuries. Bay, injured fielding a ball in left, in the second game of a twin bill Monday against the Giants, sustained a broken rib and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Bay will return, but the Mets will be cautious as he is once again is hindered by an injury coming after missing a significant amount of games last year.

The injury to Pelfrey is more of a concern. The right hander, without a win in three starts, was also placed on the 15-day DL with swelling of his pitching elbow. There were reports circulating at the ballpark, not confirmed, that Pelfrey would be shut down for the season and undergo Tommy John Surgery.

Mets manager Terry Collins would not confirm that report about Pelfrey as the Mets suddenly have a rash of injuries that prompted them to call up youngsters from their AAA affiliate Buffalo and Binghamton AA team.

The Reyes return to New York is over. The Mets have moved on as Ruben Tejada, the heir apparent at shortstop has assumed the role and handled the job well in the early going.

As Tejada said about Reyes, “He was a good teammate. Nothing is different. We got the win.” But the manager Terry Collins has to do without Pelfrey and Bay and that seems to have not changed for the Mets, the injuries that continue to plague this team.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring7886@aol.com

Posted under Batting Champion, Boos, Center Fielder, Citi, Displeasure, Eighth Inning, First Game, Franchise Players, Game Series, Greener Pastures, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Jose Reyes, Marlins Dugout, Mets Fans, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Outfielder, Starting Pitcher, Top Story, Video Board

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 25, 2012

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K-Rod Gets Deserving Boos

New York – Top of the ninth Saturday evening and Francisco Rodriguez came out of the pen at Citi Field. It was the more familiar surroundings of the bullpen, not a holding pen at Citi Field where he was retained after his altercation Wednesday evening stemming from an ugly incident with his girlfriend’s father.

The subsequent arrest of the New York Mets closer, which caused a two game suspension was quickly becoming a thing of the past after he reportedly offered an apology to his teammates  But to the fans at Citi Field there was no sympathy,

“No curious at all,” said Rodriguez about the loud boos that were heard when he got the call to pitch the ninth. He threw a scoreless inning and gave up a hit in the Mets 4-0 loss to the Phillies. “It’s something I can’t control,” he said about the fans reaction to the ugly incident

But Rodriguez had to expect what he heard. This is New York City, a place where domestic disputes and battery charges are a part of the daily police blotter. Except we tend to have a low tolerance when it happens at a place of work, especially at the ballpark from a ballplayer with a $35 million dollar contract.

Hours earlier, K-Rod met the media and gave his apology to the Mets organization, his teammates and the fans. It was a brief statement with no questions Comments about the incident were not addressed due to the legal matters at hand, and Rodriguez said he will be undergoing anger management sessions.

For the Mets, more importantly it is time to go forward. There is no time to dwell on the latest black eye that has hit the organization. Embarrassed and more humiliation for a team that realizes there is more season to play with the slim playoff hopes that remain.

Before and after the game Mets players went about their business. Not many were talking. Those who did, including outfielder Angel Pagan intend to speak personally with their teammate. They all offer their support as K-Rod once again goes about his business out of the pen.

“We don’t pay attention to that,” said Pagan. “We have to go out and do our jobs. We talked to him, some of the guys. I’m sure he will handle things the right way.

Other than that, it was business as usual at Citi Field as the Mets try to survive the “Dog Days Of August” and hope they have something to play for in the month of September.  “From what I know of him, I know it is a sincere apology,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

An apology Manuel, GM Omar Minaya and ownership accept for now, but something Mets fans by their actions have not accepted. One that will forever be etched in the unfortunate annals of New York Mets history as the dismal season of 2010 continues.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Altercation, Anger Management, Battery Charges, Boos, Bullpen, Contract Hours, Dollar Contract, Domestic Disputes, Familiar Surroundings, Francisco Rodriguez, Game Suspension, Holding Pen, Mets Players, New York Mets, Outfielder, Playoff Hopes, Police Blotter, Rich Mancuso, Scoreless Inning, Top Story, Ugly Incident, Wednesday Evening

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on August 15, 2010