The Mets and Nationals lost last night, while the Phillies, Braves and Marlins won.
To read more about last night’s loss, check out this post on MetsBlog, as well as beat reports from MLB.com, the Wall Street Journal, Star-Ledger, Bergen Record, The LoHud, ESPN, Newsday, the Daily News and New York Post.
Josh Thole is scheduled to catch Chris Young’s rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo today against Columbus. Thole was put on the disabled list in early May with a concussion. The buzz from Citi Field suggests he could return from DL tomorrow.
The Mets are off tonight. They resume the final part of their homestand Friday night with the start of a four-game series against the Cardinals, with Johan Santana (2-2, 2.75 ERA) taking on Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.45 ERA) at 7:10 PM.
Prior to tonight’s game, Jeff Wilpon spoke with reporters and according to MetsBlog’s Vinny Cartiglia, stated there is no reason to rush the David Wright situation, saying:
“As Sandy said last night. He is under contract this year. We have an option for next year. There is no gun to anybody’s head. So, let it just play out. At the right time, Sandy and I will discuss it and it will move on.”
Wilpon went on to say that Wright is very special to him personally, the organization, the fan base, and the community. So, “Give it time. Let it play out. And, we will hopefully have a good conclusion.”
He also discussed the team’s play thus far, saying he is “happy.” Though it is not unexpected. “Listening to Sandy and the baseball guys. They thought we would have a competitive team. And that’s what they are showing.”
Wilpon also praised the Minor League system for being better than people had given it credit for, as well as the club’s depth; citing the fact the Mets are on their fourth string shortstop. Wilpon went on to say a lot of different guys are contributing and “it’s great to see.”
Terry Collins talked to reporters after tonight’s loss and had the following to say about:
Carlos Ruiz, and his game-tying two-run homerun in the eighth against BobbyParnell:
“That was the guy we knew who was sitting over there. We had the match up we wanted. We had Bobby ready for him. Bobby was going to face him no matter when he came in.”
Lucas Duda, who went 3 for 4, including two homeruns:
“Certainly off Cliff, it was a big swing for him. If we get him going, our lineup is going to change immensely…He’s been swinging at some first pitches. He’s worked very hard to make some adjustments in his swing, to get the bat out front, which we saw tonight. Hopefully it continues.”
The Mets bullpen, and their 5.39 ERA this season:
“What you might have seen tonight were guys that pitched three nights in a row. Tonight they made some pitches they wish they could get back. Had we’d been able to stayed tied, Frankie would have gotten in the game, to try and give us another chance. We let the one inning get away. There’s no question, we’ve got to make better pitches than that.”
The Mets (28-23) lost to the Phillies (27-25) by a score of 10-6 at Citi Field tonight, dropping the final game of the series.
[jbox color="gray"]The Least You Should Know:
- Bobby Parnell allowed a game-tying two-run homerun to Carlos Ruiz in the eighth inning.
- Ramon Ramirez did not record an out in the ninth inning, allowing three runs on four hits.
- Dillon Gee allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five.
- Lucas Duda was 3-for-4, including his sixth and seventh homeruns of the season.
- David Wright was 1-for-5, including an RBI double.
- Scott Hairston hit his seventh double of the season.
- Jon Rauch allowed the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.
- Chris Schwinden allowed two runs on on two hits in 2/3 of an inning.
- The Mets were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
For a complete box score and game recap, check out SNY.tv.
Mike Nichols: Dillon Gee deserved better tonight as he pitched well, but suffered from a terrible defensive mistake by Andres Torres and Bobby Parnell failing to close out the seventh inning. Gee, who took a no-decision, has struggled early in the season keeping the leadoff hitter in each inning off base, but improved on that in this start. He was crisp, throwing the ball well and keeping the Phillies – other than Ty Wiggington – off balance until the seventh, when he was burned by Torres playing too shallow. Despite not getting the win, that’s three consecutive quality starts by Gee. With the fifth starter position in constant flux, it’s exactly what the Mets need out of the back end of the rotation from Gee.
Many will look to to the bullpen as where this game turned, rightly so, but all eyes should turn to Torres. The fly ball by Brian Schneider was completely botched by Torres playing too shallow in centerfield. I’m not sure if playing shallow was by design from Tom Goodwin or Torres made the decision on his own. Regardless, it shouldn’t have happened and was the turning point that cost Gee and the Mets tonight.
However, the Mets bullpen shouldn’t go without any blame. It wasn’t pretty between Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Chris Schwinden as noted above. The revamped bullpen continues to struggle and completely gel as a unit. I forsee the bullpen continuing to be a consistent weakness for this team on a nightly basis. However, I would expect Sandy Alderson will continue to evaluate and look for quality options inside and outside the organization to help the ball club in that area.
Good to see Lucas Duda being aggressive and doing some damage, as Terry Collins said he was looking for prior to the game. Duda – who has hit left-handed pitchers well this season, but lacking power against them – launched a two-run shot against the Cliff Lee in the sixth and a solo homerun off the left-handed Raul Valdes in the ninth.
After a tough loss, an off day tomorrow may just be what the doctor ordered. As they have done all season, I expect the Mets to be able to shake off this loss and Terry Collins to get the team prepared to come out sharp against the Cardinals on Friday.
W.B. Mason Post Game Extra:
Prior to tonight’s game, Jeff Wilpon and Johan Santana announced a $10,000 donation to Tuesday’s Children in an effort to expand and enhance services and programs for Spanish-speaking members of the 9/11 community.
On hand for the announcement were Santana, Wilpon, and executive director of Tuesday’s Children Terry Sears, as well as 9/11 family members.
“We have had a long and special relationship with Tuesday’s Children,” said Jeff Wilpon. “We are happy to team up with Johan as he continues the Mets tradition of reaching out to the 9/11 families.”
“For us. It’s an honor to help you,” Santana stated. “We know how important it is. Everything that you went through on 9/11. We help kids in my country and we felt that it was important to do something here in New York.”
The Mets (28-22) look to take the rubber game of their three-game series against the Phillies (26-25) tonight at Citi Field. Game time is 7:10 PM.
The Mets have placed Ronny Cedeno on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf, retroactive to May 27.
Taking Cedeno’s place on the roster is Jordany Valdespin.
Valdespin has gone 2-20 (.100) with one home run and three RBI with the Mets this season. He has hit .279 (29-104) with four home runs and 15 RBI in 27 games for the Bisons.
Terry Collins spoke with the media earlier, stating he is very pleased with the play of team’s recent call ups and it is great to see each of them contribute at the Major League level, according to Matt Dunn of SNY.tv.
Collins also praised the Minor League staff for getting those players prepared to perform well, as there is a lot of pressure on each player to do so.
He also discussed the team’s situational hitting and the discipline the team needs to show when runners are in scoring position. Players need to show patience and put the pressure on the pitcher instead of going after pitches they cannot hit, Collins said. He would like to see some of his players not take such a small approach in those situation, instead taking upon themselves to do “big damage.”
Collins has made no decision or discussed possible moves with Sandy Alderson regarding the catcher position when Josh Thole is ready to be activated from the disabled list. He is not looking ahead because he knows set backs can occur. Collins did however compliment Rob Johnson’s performance since being called up.
He also stated Johan Santana and David Wright are active leaders in the clubhouse, noting that Santana is more of a verbal leader than Wright, but Wright leads by example. Said the young guys on the team get prepared to play by following Wright’s lead.
In regards to the bullpen, Collins believes with seven options in the bullpen the team is set to ride guys who are performing well. Collins would like to see Chris Schwinden and Jack Egbert step up soon. He also said Frank Francisco had a turning point in Toronto when he was booed by 30,000 people. At the time Collins asked Francisco to mix up his pitch selection, which he believes has help his closer.
Finally, Collins indicated he will wait until the weekend before deciding if Jeremy Hefner will get the start against the Cardinals on Monday again.
New York Mets
1) Andres Torres CF
2) Daniel Murphy 2B
3) David Wright 3B
4) Scott Hairston LF
5) Vinny Rottino 1B
6) Lucas Duda RF
7) Rob Johnson C
8) Omar Quintanilla SS
9) Dillon Gee RHP
1) Jimmy Rollins SS
2) Juan Pierre LF
3) Hunter Pence RF
4) Ty Wigginton 1B
5) Shane Victorino CF
6) Placido Polanco 3B
7) Mike Fontenot 2B
8) Brian Schneider C
9) Cliff Lee LHP
In his daily blog for ESPN.com, Buster Olney explains:
[jbox color="gray"]“The Mets are moving forward, climbing again, and playing better than expected. … But as of today, there are no plans for the Mets to dive back into the marketplace and spend aggressively …. As the team gets better, and Citi Field attendance climbs, the Mets’ payroll will grow. … It’s a slow-burn strategy, and rival officials believe it has a chance to work under Sandy Alderson, because there is hope on the horizon. Zack Wheeler is dominating hitters in the minors … Matt Harvey is progressing. Jenrry Mejia appears to be back on track.”[/jbox]
According to Olney, sources say, while David Wright is having a very productive season, the Mets instead look to spend future money on power hitters, “as they push forward, slowly.”
Matthew Cerrone: I don’t care about payroll. I really don’t. And, I hate that these media outlets put such hyperbolic emphasis on it. I care about wins. And, until someone can show me actual evidence that one guarantees the other, I will continue to care and focus more on ‘the slow climb,’ as Olney puts it, since I think Sandy is on the right track.
Frankly, I love that this front office seems so steady. They’re not running wild, all over the place, grasping at straws, out of breath, losing steam and resources, in jeopardy of tripping and spilling out of control. Instead, it feels like they’re walking, rather calm, slowly, but in a straight line, towards a specific point on the horizon. Yes, it’s taking time, and might not be very exciting, by slow-step by slow-step they seem to be building and putting things together in a manner that will make the end-game exciting and sustainable… finally.
The problem, however, is what happens if they trip and fall anyway, even while going slow and steady… then what? I’ll probably be nauseated by all the time that was missed, waiting, again hoping for prospects, missing out on possible trades and signings, etc. I think this is the right approach, though. I think it’s better for the long-term stability of the franchise. I bitched and moaned two years ago how Ownership needed to step aside, hand the team over to a true executive baseball person and let them basically rip everything down and start new. Ownership has seemingly done that, for the most part, the dust is settling and we’re just now starting to see building blocks of a foundation (such as Wheeler, Harvey, Lucas Duda, among others).
There’s still so much work to be done and I know it’s going to take time. I hope it all works out. I think it will, though I bet I end up being a total hypocrite if it doesn’t…
To read Olney’s morning round up of rumors and links, and to get additional quotes and comments from today’s post about the Mets, check out his blog here.
Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92 ERA) will start for the Mets tonight.
Gee is looking for his third consecutive victory after two strong starts against the Blue Jays and Padres. He’s allowed four earned runs in his last 13 2/3 innings and has seen his ERA drop from 5.65 to 4.92 spanning his last two starts.
Gee was hit hard by the Phillies earlier this month, allowing four runs on 10 hits in only 5 2/3 innings back on May 9. He’s 2-1 with a 7.50 ERA in five appearances and four starts against Philadelphia during his career.
Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82 ERA) will start for the Phillies. Lee is still searching for his first win of the season, despite walking just eight batters in 51 innings. Lee allowed two runs in six innings to the Mets on May 9. In his career against New York, Lee is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts.
Michael Baron: In his last two starts, Gee has incorporated his slider much more frequently than he had been. His delivery has also been smoother with less rocking and swaying, which might had been contributing to an unusual amount of movement on his pitches. Gee’s change-up has historically been an important part of his repertoire, but it hasn’t been as effective for him this season, especially against left-handed hitters. But recently, he has been able to compensate for that ineffectiveness with a heavy curveball down and in to the lefties, and that, coupled with his tailing fastball, is helping to successfully alter the eye level of the opposition with regularity.