Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Nick Migliore. Nick is a big-time Mets fan and frequent commenter here and on other Mets fan sites. It’s great to have him making a contribution that should add some diversity to the perspective on the Mets from other posts that are on this site. You can follow Nick on Twitter.
First and foremost, I’m glad to be part of The Mets Report! Thanks again to Dave Doyle for the opportunity to write for this site. I’m a huge Mets fan, and to give you a heads up about my writings, I tend to rely on more in-depth stats than just the standard ERA, win-loss records, batting average, etc. I hope everyone enjoys my contributions. If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop a comment below and I will do my best to reply.
Now, on topic: John Smoltz. Yes, he pitched to a 6.35 ERA and a lousy 3-8 record last year. Yes, he was extremely hittable (95 hits in 78 IP), and yes, he’s 42 years old and will turn 43 about a month and a half into the season. But I really think this guy can help the Mets in 2010. Why? I’ll try my best to explain. Continue reading
It’s 27 degrees and windy outside right now. I’m watching the NFL playoffs, but I’m thinking of warmer times when baseball is the sport of the season. With that, I’ve got some more links for you on this Sunday afternoon. Here are the links:
- Jay Marshall claimed off waivers– I like this move. Marshall is a sidearming southpaw that has had great success in the minors, even at Triple-A level. But had no success at the big league level. He’s 26 years-old and it’s worth a shot to see if he can figure things out. This is a nice, low-risk move.
- David Wright expects to bounce back in 2010– Mark Hale of the Post got an interview with Wright. Of course, he says all of the right things. He doesn’t blame Citi Field or the depleted lineup for his lack of production. Wright is media-savvy enough to make his 2009 10 HR, 140 K season all about himself.
- Mets considering John Smoltz– Smoltz looked totally washed up to me last season. His 8.32 ERA with the Red Sox was atrocious. There are many options better than Smoltz at this point. The only way that I’d consider Smoltz a viable candidate is if he would take a minor league contract, and I don’t think there’s any way he would do that.
- The Mets are actively scouting in Dominican Republic– Always Amazin’ has a link to a Peter Gammons-led discussion with Theo Epstein and Omar Minaya about the two teams being very active in the Dominican.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal talks about Pedro Martinez’ first start back from the DL, John Smoltz season ending injury, and Chase Utley’s monster season.
NL Hot Corner: Go Pedro!
Baseball analyst Peter Gammons talks to Michael Kay on ESPN Radio about Pedro Martinez’ return from the disabled list, John Smoltz’ injury, and Joba Chamberlain’s first start for the Yankees.
ESPN Radio Audio
John Smoltz didn’t have it right from the start today. It was good to see the Mets finally get to jump all over a pitcher. He gave up four runs over four innings to take the loss. The Mets win 2 out of 3 in the series which is critical. They have to win these home series within the division if they expect to be playing in October.
Nelson Figueroa was okay again today going 5.1 innings and giving up three runs to get the win. He hasn’t showed me that he’s markedly better than Mike Pelfrey if a decision comes down to which one stays in the rotation when Pedro Martinez gets back.
The Mets again used five pitchers in the win. It’s worrying me that we’re not getting more depth from the starters. The guys from the bullpen are in there every day. Although today wasn’t the day for it, Willie needs to start thinking about stretching out the starters to give the guys in the bullpen a break. Billy Wagner locked the game down again in the ninth. He actually gave up a hit for the first time this year. But he’s looked better this season than at any time since he’s been with the Mets. He looks like a man on a mission and I like to see that. I wish everyone on the team played with the same intensity that he does.
Raul Casanova was 3 for 4 with a home run. He’s done a terrific job backing up Brian Schneider, and playing frequently since Schneider has been hurt. Luis Castillo was 3 for 5 and is inching his average back up. He’s hitting .284 now and doesn’t look “lost” at the plate like he did last week.
The story of the day has to be Carlos Delgado. He was 2 for 2 with two home runs and three runs scored. The fans called on him for a curtain call but he sat down in the dugout spurning the crowd. I don’t blame him at all. I’d probably do the same thing. Rightfully, he’s been scorched in the press and booed at Shea. I’ve let him have it myself.
The question is still valid about who Delgado is at this point in his career. He can’t be in a slump because it’s lasted for more than a season. Can he be a one trick pony hitting occasional home runs in bunches with a .200 average? I don’t know what to make of him. I’m sure the Mets management doesn’t either.
Atlanta Braves (12-12) at New York Mets (12-11) 1:10pm
John Smoltz (3-1) vs. Nelson Figueroa (1-1)
TV: CW11 Radio: WFAN
What to watch: There’s supposed to be some rain today. We’ll see if they’re able to get the game in or not. What can you say about Smoltz? The guy’s been doing it forever and dominant as a starter and closer. He’s still bringing the heat at 40. Figueroa could position himself pretty well to stay in the rotation when Pedro Martinez gets back. Mike Pelfrey hasn’t looked that great, and one of them will be out of the rotation. Hopefully, the Mets can take the rubber game of the series today.
Atlanta- Despite a solid performance by Johan Santana, the Mets lose 3-1 to the Braves in Atlanta today. John Smoltz pitched very well giving up only two hits and two walks in five innings. Santana was almost as good only giving up one run over seven innings.The Mets offense was stifled by Braves pitching with Santana having the Mets only extra base hit, a double. The Mets had only five hits in the game.
Aaron Heilman was the goat of this game, walking Chipper Jones in the eighth and Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer to right field.
The Mets made a comeback attempt in the ninth inning but it was too little too late. Teixeira snagged a shot by Brian Schneider down the first base line to end the game. See the box score here.
Yesterday the Mets pitching let them down and today the offense couldn’t generate anything against the Braves pitching. The Mets have the day off tomorrow and return to New York for the home opener on Tuesday at Shea Stadium.
View ESPN video highlights.
New York Mets (2-2) at Atlanta Braves (2-3) 1:30pm TV: SNY Radio: WFAN-AM
Johan Santana vs. John Smoltz
What to watch: I thought John Maine vs. Tim Hudson would be a good pitching match-up but it didn’t turn out that way. Santana and Smoltz are both headed for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Smoltz is already in. Santana is well on his way. The Mets don’t want to drop a two-game series in Atlanta. They need a win today to remain above .500.