About Last Night: Reyes on sparking the offense

Last night, Jose Reyes went 4 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored and a stolen base. He has 10 hits and eight runs scored in his last three games.

After the game, Reyes spoke to reporters about his performance and basically said:

  • When he gets on, especially to start the game, he feels like he ignites the offense.
  • Terry Collins told him he removed him from the game to get him a few innings off.
  • In his last at bat, he was looking for a pitch on the inner half of the plate to try for the cycle, but the Tigers pitched him outside, so he took the walk.

And the dream season continues. Reyes picked up his 23rd four-hit game of his career, tops on the Mets all-time list, en route to sparking another offensive explosion. It was also his 40th multi-hit game this season and, maybe even more importantly to this front office, Reyes drew his 25th walk of 2011. He has 31 all of last season.

Reyes touched on it a bit after the game, but when he gets on to start the night, it throws a wrench in the opposing team’s game plan. Immediately, it forces the opposing pitcher into the stretch, allows the Mets to see more fastballs early in the game and opens up the team’s options to play hit-and-run, sacrifice or punch a ball through a vacated hole in the defense. I’ve been really impressed with Reyes’ approach at the plate all year. It’s easy to see he’s picking up a ton of hits, getting on base and scoring runs. But I think the key has been his improved patience and his ability to work himself into good counts. I think that, in some ways even more so than the .349 batting average, is what could make a long-term deal viable to Sandy Alderson and potentially turn this year’s team into legitimate contenders.

By the way:

Reyes is second in ASG votes at SS, Beltran eighth in OF

With voting for the All-Star Game set to end at 11:59 pm on Thursday, Jose Reyes trails Troy Tulowitski by just 240,000 votes to start at shortstop for the National League, while Carlos Beltran trails by about 1.3 million votes for a starting spot in the outfield. For the latest tallies, click here.

To vote up to 25 times for both Reyes and Beltran to start in this year’s All-Star Game in Phoenix, click here.

By voting for the Mets 20 or more times and selecting the Mets as your “favorite” or “other favorite” club, you will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to a Mets home game plus the opportunity to meet Jose Reyes before that game. For details, click here.

Morning News: Grand Slam, Reyes, Niese update

The Mets trounced the Detroit Tigers last night which you can read about here. They will continue their three game series against the Tigers in Comerica Park tonight at 7:10 pm, with Chris Capuano (6-7, 3.99 ERA) taking on Phil Coke (1-7, 4.32 ERA).

In case you missed it, Jason Bay hit a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning during the Mets 14-3 victory last night ending the clubs drought of 299 games without a grand slam. The drought was the longest since the Marlins went 363 games without a grand slam from 2002-2004. To learn more, check out ESPN New York.

With the win, the Mets are now over .500 for the first time since April 6 (3-2). To read more about last night’s win, check out post-game write ups from fans at 213 Miles from Shea, Blogging Mets, Mets Fever, and Mets Report, as well as beat reports from MLB.com, the New York Post, Newsday, the Daily News, Bergen Record, the Star-Ledger, and New York Times.

Last night, Jose Reyes played in his 1,000th major league game, in which he was 4-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

Jose now has 98 triples and 360 steals to his credit, and according to Elias Sports Bureau the only other player with that many triples and stolen bases in his first 1,000 games is Ty Cobb, who had 106 triples and 391 stolen bases.

Yesterday, Jon Niese underwent an exam on his rapid heartbeat at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and the results were normal. Niese will wear a heart monitor for the next 24 hours, and is expected to make his next start.  To read more about Niese, check out the Star-Ledger, the New York Post, Newsday, the Daily News, New York Times, and MLB.com.

Prior to last night’s game, Terry Collins told reporters that David Wright will begin hitting off a tee this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana was scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since experiencing soreness in his shoulder yesterday, but was PPD due to heavy rains.

Carlos Beltran told the New York Post he is willing to waive his no-trade clause should GM Sandy Alderson decide to trade him to a contender.

Lastly, with the win, the Mets are 9 1/2 games behind the Phillies for the Division lead and 5 games behind the NL Wild Card leader:

Final Score: Mets 14 Tigers 3

The New York Mets (40-39) defeated the Detroit Tigers (43-37) tonight by a score of 14-3.

For a complete box score and game recap, check out SNY.TV.

The Least You Should Know:

  • R.A. Dickey (4-7) threw seven innings and allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six.
  • Jason Bay ended the Mets grand slam drought in the fourth inning. It was Bay’s fourth home run of the season.
  • Just an inning later, Carlos Beltran delivered the Mets’ second grand slam of the game. Beltran was 2 for 5 with 4 RBIs and two runs scored.
  • Jose Reyes came up a home run shy of the cycle. He was 4 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored and notched his 29th steal of the season.
  • Angel Pagan had a perfect night at the plate, going 3 for 3 with two walks, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.
  • Josh Thole slugged his first home run of the season as part of a 2 for 5 night.
  • The Mets have now scored 36 runs in the past three games: the most of any three game stretch since August of 2005.
  • The Mets have now won five of their last six games.

Terry Collins Post-Game Comments:

  • He thinks the offense is being very disciplined and working themselves into hitters’ counts to get good pitches to handle.
  • He’s thrilled for Bay, saying that there is no better team guy than Jason.
  • He thinks Bay’s grand slam was the biggest hit of the game and could get the left fielder going for good.
  • He thinks Thole is starting to see the ball much better and the competition for the catcher’s spot is starting to heat up.
  • He believes the team can sustain this level of performance.

Quick Post-Game Reaction:

  • Thankfully, the great grand slam saga is over. It almost seemed as if Bay was in slight disbelief as he stood at the plate and willed the ball inside the left field foul pole. As has been recited ad nauseam, it was the Mets first grand slam since August 1, 2009 and it should take a ton of pressure off the club in future RBI situations.
  • Until tonight, the Mets had put up flashy offensive numbers on this road trip without the benefit of the home run ball. That all changed with what will be the most forgotten homer of the night: Thole’s solo shot in fourth. Not only was I glad to see Josh get on the board, but all seven of the Mets run in that inning came with two outs: a very encouraging sign.
  • As I scanned my Twitter feed during the game tonight, I noticed a few fans comparing this team to the 2000 squad. And while they’re certainly a long way from a pennant, I can see the similarities, especially in two managers who got the maximum effort and performance out of their rosters.
  • A win tomorrow could clinch a winning road trip through two first place American League team’s home parks. With the Justin Verlander looming on Thursday afternoon and the weekend Subway Series on its way, tomorrow night’s tilt would be a fantastic game to get.

Up Next:

Chris Capuano (6-7, 3.99 ERA) will start the middle game of the series for the Mets tomorrow night. He’ll be opposed by Phil Coke (1-7, 4.32 ERA) for the Tigers. Game time is set for 7:05 PM.

Pre-Game News: Niese to make his next start on Fri.

This afternoon in Detroit, Jon Niese underwent an exam on his rapid heartbeat, and the results were normal.

Niese will wear a heart monitor for the next 24 hours, but he will make his next scheduled start on Friday against the Yankees.

Update, 5:11 pm:

This afternoon at Comerica Park, Terry Collins spoke with reporters, and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York basically said the following:

  • He believes David Wright will begin hitting off a tee on Wednesday.
  • Justin Turner has been moved down in the lineup because “we’re not seeing that same crisp swing we saw earlier.”

According to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger, Collins also added that Taylor Buccholz is still resting at his home in Pennsylvania.

In addition, Jon Niese was checked out this afternoon at a Detroit hospital, and according to the Mets, the results of his tests are not back yet.

Update, 4:04 pm

Original Post, 2:18 pm by Michael Baron:

Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Mets:

Jose Reyes – SS
Willie Harris – DH
Carlos Beltran – RF
Daniel Murphy – 3B
Angel Pagan – CF
Jason Bay – LF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Justin Turner – 2B
Josh Thole – C

R.A. Dickey – RHP

Tonight is Reyes’ 1000th career game.

Game 79: Mets vs. Tigers at 7:05 PM

Tonight in Detroit, the Mets open a three game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park. Game time is 7:05 PM.

Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Mets:

1. Jose Reyes – SS
2. Willie Harris – DH
3. Carlos Beltran – RF
4. Daniel Murphy – 3B
5. Angel Pagan – CF
6. Jason Bay – LF
7. Lucas Duda – 1B
8. Justin Turner – 2B
9. Josh Thole – C

Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Tigers:

1. Austin Jackson – CF
2. Brennan Boesch – LF
3. Magglio Ordonez – RF
4. Miguel Cabrera – 1B
5. Victor Martinez – DH
6. Jhonny Peralta – SS
7. Alex Avila – C
8. Brandon Inge – 3B
9. Ryan Raburn – 2B

R.A. Dickey (3-7, 3.76 ERA) will start for the Mets. Dickey has been outstanding overall in his last five starts, going at least 7 2/3 innings in four of them and pitching to a 2.52 ERA, although he’s just 1-2 over that span. He allowed a run in eight innings in his last start against the Tigers. Dickey’s made 13 appearances and six starts in his career against Detroit, and he’s 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in 56 innings against them.

Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.50 ERA) will start for the Tigers. It’s been an up and down season for Porcello so far in 2011, as he’s allowed 115 baserunners in only 89 innings of work, and has allowed 11 earned runs in his last 7 2/3 innings, which spans two starts. Porcello is making his first career appearance against the Mets tonight.

Nolan Ryan: Rangers NOT interested in Beltran & K-Rod

According to ESPN Dallas, Rangers owner and former Met Nolan Ryan said the Rangers are not interested in acquiring either Carlos Beltran or Francisco Rodriguez.

“I don’t see that’s an upgrade” to the Rangers’ bullpen, Ryan said. “And Beltran, you worry about his knee. And you’re taking on an awful lot of salary.”

Beltran and Rodriguez will earn approximately $15 million combined through the remainder of the season, and if Rodriguez finishes 55 games this season, his 2012 option for $17.5 million will automatically vest. Rodriguez is currently on pace to finish 60 games this season.

Yesterday, Jon Heyman of SI.com said the Rangers were interested in both Beltran and Rodriguez, although he indicated the Rangers could find right handed relief elsewhere.

Peter Barrett talks with Rick Peterson about Moneyball

Last week, Peter Barrett of New York Sports Cookie sat down with former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson.

He transcribed a couple questions and answers for MetsBlog, which you can read below. Or, to listen to the entire interview, check out his website here.

Pete Barrett, New York Sports Cookie: Moneyball the movie is coming out in September; (unlike originally planned) you did not get the chance to star with Brad Pitt. How disappointed were you that did not happen, and are you still excited to see the movie?

Rick Peterson: Well yeah, absolutely. The irony of that whole situation was that Steven Soderbergh was the original director of the movie. And in February of 2009, I sat out that year, and I had a call from Steven Soderbergh, and he said, “Hey Rick, I would like to offer you the opportunity of being the technical director of Moneyball.” I said jeez, I’m in. I don’t know what a technical director does, but I’ll do it! And by the time we finished the conversation, he said, “how would you like to play yourself in the movie?” And I said, “jeez I play myself in my own movie, I might as well play it in your movie. You know, why not?” Anyway, so for five months I got very close to Steven Soderberg, as we had lengthy conversations about that 2002 season and how magical that was, and you know, the dynamics of what Michael Lewis had chronicled in “Moneyball”. And then we went out to Hollywood about a week before we were ready to film, and there was about 20 so of us, who were going to play ourselves in the movie. Art Howe was going to play himself, Scott Hatteberg was going to play himself, I believe Chad Bradford might have been playing himself because there were a bunch of players playing themselves, and then a bunch of scouts and what not. And I asked Steven the question, “Are you about all of us playing ourselves in this movie? I mean with your reputation as a director, we have never been in a movie before.” And he didn’t even hesitate, and really with a cold stone face he said “Rick, that’s whats going to make this movie, the benchmark of all baseball movies.” He said, “The things that happened that year, that were so magical, when I bring all of you guys together, in some of these baseball scenes, and some of these scenes in the clubhouse and in Art Howe’s office and what not, I cant write that script, I don’t know what you guys said. I would have no idea. I mean, I have talked to Art about it, I have talked to Billy Bean eabout it, obviously I have done my homework, but when I get you guys in that environment, you will remember things that, that you forgot. And it will all come back to you, it will be like Déjà vu, being in the same scene, with the same people in which you were in the moment with in 2002.” And you know, I said, “Wow, that’s amazing.” So, what happened was, the day before we were ready to film, I guess Steven and Sony were really kind of butting heads a little bit, and Sony was really unhappy with the script. Because of exactly what I just said. Sony looked at some of the key scenes in the movie and said, “Steven, there is no meat in the script. There’s nothing in here.” But he said, “You don’t get it, there’s nothing in here, because I cant write what is going to happen when I bring all these people together. Its going to be the icing on the cake about what this movie is about.” And Sony was just so concerned about it that they pushed the pause button, and they let Steven go as the director. I am not even sure who they brought in as the director, but when they let Steven go, they basically changed the whole format of the project. You know, the new director had a whole new concept of how he wanted this movie to be done. So all of us were basically non existent at that point, and to my knowledge I don’t think anybody played themselves in the movie. I think Royce Clayton, the former player was playing Tejada, Chad Kruger, the former catcher was actually playing myself in the movie, is what I am told. So yeah, I am really excited to see how this movie comes out. I mean that was- those years were magical years for all of us. And if you go back and look at the players, the coaching staff, you know, the manager, Billy Beane, you know his staff, those years really launched many of our careers. I mean, there were a lot of us who were just beginning our careers that who knows where that career would have went, but our careers got launched, because of those Moneyball years.

Pete Barrett, New York Sports Cookie: You’re very invested in your current projects, having a good time helping both the pros and the amateurs, but do you see yourself once again as a Major League pitching coach?

Rick Peterson: Oh absolutely. I mean it was, it’s, it’s um, I can’t tell you there’s a huge part of me. The year I took off with the Mets I needed to take off that year. I really didn’t want to get back on the field. I really felt that for my own mental health, for some of the things that, just the way some of the things happened, um, I was really looking forward to taking that year off, and I didn’t miss it at all. When Spring Training came up, you know I had many of my closest friends call me like, “Jeez, are you ok?” I said, “I am great. I am doing great.” And the irony of that was the fact that I grew up in a baseball family. My dad played in the big leagues with the Pirates, and then managed through the Minor Leagues, and then from there um, literally was the GM of the Pirates. So, literally from the time I was born, I went to Spring Training every year. So that was like the first year that I never went to spring training in my life. You know, in my early 50’s. This year really, I didn’t want to take a year off this year. Um, from taking that one year off I was really so energized, and I did a lot, as I am now. You know did a lot of, what do I say, studying, self development, um, to really improve my coaching skills. I have done a lot of corporate speaking over the past few years and you know, have done some minimal coaching. But, I love to coach, and, you know, it’s really, it’s been a mission statement over my life when I decided to do this as a career- or as my life’s work I should say. The quality of a person’s life is to truly make a difference in someone else’s in a positive way, and that’s really what I dedicated my life to do. So, as a coach, you are really a teacher. You know, and if you are a great teacher, all great teachers are great students, and you become a student of the people that you coach, and you really are there to optimize their entire development. So, I really hope next year there are some openings that come up where I can find a new home. I am not looking for another team, but a home I can put this system in place, and really optimize the performance of the pitchers in that organization and put the system in place throughout all the minor leagues as we did in Oakland, like I did in Toronto, Oakland, New York, and Milwaukee.

To follow Peter on Twitter, click here.

Links to Read: Bets, Interleague, Recognition & Relevance

Patrick Flood writes “as great as Reyes has been, $100 million dollars is an enormous bet to make.” although the Optimistic Mets fan says the decision about Reyes is simple.

Speaking of Reyes, Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger writes “his only Achilles heel appears when he faces lefties…”

Brian Joura of Mets 360 discusses why fans should be opposed to interleague play.

The folks at Shea Faithful believe Terry Collins deserves more recognition and Steve Serby of the New York Post believes Collins has made the Mets relevant once again.

Kerel Cooper from On the Black discusses the possibility of trading Francisco Rodriguez.

Michael Diaz of Mets Minor League Blog asks “What’s up with Jeurys Familia?”

If the Mets were to trade Carlos Beltran, Adam Gross from Mets Online wonders who would replace him.

Lastly, Adam, the Brooklyn Met Fan has no problems with the Rangers potentially trading for both Beltran and K-Rod.

Mets to host Summer Blood Drive on July 7

The Mets will host their annual Summer Blood Drive for the New York Blood Center on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 in Citi Field’s Caesars Club from 10am to 5pm.  Each donor will receive 15% off regularly priced merchandise at the Mets Team Store. The discount is good for that day only.

Donors must be 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Each donor will receive a pair of tickets to a 2011 Mets home game during the month of August. Bring ID with photo or signature. Patrons may use parking lot G at the corner of 126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. (Donors should enter through the Hodges VIP Entrance) Call 1-800-933-BLOOD for more information.