The good news is that Jose Valverde looked great

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Mets reliever Jose Valverde looked great on Monday, which is all the more important considering Tuesday’s depressing news about Bobby Parnell >> Read more on MetsBlog. Valverde retired all four batters he faced, while striking out three.

He also got out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning, which was followed by his legendary, colorful swinging fist pump as he leaped off the field. It was awesome and among the few moments of hope and optimism that rushed through the crowd on what was a really cold, nerve-racking day…


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The moral of Valverde’s story during his final year in Detroit, according to his former manager Jim Leyland, is this: If Valverde warms up in the bullpen, get him in the game. This is what Leyland told Terry Collins. He applied it Monday and it worked. Hopefully it keeps happening, because he’s about to find himself back in the closer role and the Mets are going to need him…




29 comments
BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Matt again going to the Jim Leyland response like it's this secret formula on how to make him good.  There is a reason he wasn't picked up elsewhere last year.  He's unable to throw his splitter anymore and is relying only on a 92 MPH fastball which is the same speed he was getting destroyed on last year.

This really deserves its own analysis from this site.

Jim Yager
Jim Yager

For those of you saying that this is only the first game and you can't judge the entire season based on one game, I say the same thing about Valverde. He is NOT going to pitch like that the entire season. This team has NO SS, NO first basemen , NO pen and NO closer, that does not add up to 90 wins, or, a contending team :{

Shawn R. Babcock
Shawn R. Babcock

I'd like to be optimistic. I to am sick of the instant doom and gloom worst case senario that is Mets life. I just try to focus on when the young arms will all be ready...

But back to Papa Grande...I'm hoping for him...but ehh...I think yesterday was more about doing what Mets relievers are trusted not to do...come in and go right after the hitter...

The Nats feed off afraid Mets relievers who nibble...or always go to the off-speed pitch when ahead...yesterday was esspecially bad because a strike wasn't even a strike...

Grande came in and pumped 90-92 mph FBs right at them. Totally shocking Nats batters. So, later on they swung at the occasional ball. Basically, it worked.

Other teams might be ready for those fastballs with a lot of plate.

Familia needs to hurry up and find the zone. He's got closer stuff.

Lyle M. Weiser
Lyle M. Weiser

Matt,

I must have been watching a different game than you. If Ryan Zimmerman restrains from swinging at a fastball moving in on his fists, Valverde walks him which forces in a run; Valverde loses the game.

To me, Valverde is a high-wire act with questionable control. I will admit that he has good movement on his pitches and an effective change-up, but he is frequently wild and too often forces himself into poor predicaments with the game's outcome at hand.

Chris Carey
Chris Carey

How many days until Pitchers and Catchers report?

Shawn Mike Rolli
Shawn Mike Rolli

Bad news bullpen a joke / can't find the strike zone if the pitched under hand and now are closer done - mets trainers should never if had bobby on the hill yesterday - sign drew already u need Obama care too?

Mike
Mike

The title of this post made me literally pee myself

A Raymond Cox
A Raymond Cox

Great another Jose Reyes type with the over the top celebrations and gyrating on the mound. Big turn off to an old school fan like myself

erin2anti
erin2anti

Zimmerman swung at ball 4. His fastball was flat and in a line. This will be a train wreck.

C Nerrie
C Nerrie

Here, again, are some quotations about what caused Valverde to lose his job last year. Now that he is the likely closer, maybe MetsBlog could go into some detail about his pitches. (Aside from just being interesting, the purpose here is to determine if his current success is likely to be sustained.)

Last year before he was sent down by the Tigers, it was reported that his problem was that he lost his splitter.He did okay for a while - as he is doing now - but throwing too many fastballs caught up with him and resulted in strongly-hit fly balls, many of which were home runs.

Interestingly, he himself said that he had developed a cutter and a sinker, so didn't need the splitter so much.  If that was true, those pitches didn't work  because he did get sent down.

(This splitter issue was brought up initially here by BringBackDaveTelghe.)-

-- SB Nation, July 4, 2013: "Valverde used it [the splitter] to great success earlier in his career, a fine complement to his four-seam fastball that fell off the table, got whiffs or ended up being hammered onto the ground.  He'd been using it a bit less over the years, but continued to see results.  Last year [2012] the pitches began converging.  No longer did the splitter fall off the table, and batters were teeing up for fly balls more often."

-- Eye on the Tigers early in 2013:"Small samples and it’s still early.  Valverde has thrown a total of 38 pitches in his three appearances; 36 were 4-seam fastballs (94.7%) and only 2 were splitters (5.3%).  Valverde hasn't shown much of anything different so far this year that made him struggle last year, except maybe a few MP on his fastball in one appearance.  His windup has changed slightly....  The results have been much better, though.  I just wonder how much longer he can keep it up as many people think the key to his success is the rejuvenation of an effective splitter."

Tigers' website, May 15, 2013:  " Sometimes you have to throw your split more ," Valverde said. " It's like when I was in Arizona, I had to throw my split and fastball a lot because I don't throw a sinker. Right now, I throw a sinker and I throw a cutter. I don't need to throw my split-finger every pitch because I have more pitches."

D
D

Has anyone asked why our Field General, Terry Collins, decided to put in our LONG RELIEVER Carlos Torres as the 1st reliever outta the pen when Gee left?

Or, why he refused to let Familia work out of it in the 10th? Pitch around Laroche, go after the righty Rendon... but nah, he needed that Lefty Lefty matchup so he would not be questioned.

Terry sucks, it blows my mind how people still defend him

Rob Lane
Rob Lane

So we're looking at Farnsworth in the 8th and Valverde in the 9th. Part 4 of Sandy's bargain basement bullpen solutions.

jamets
jamets

Time to sign Joel Hanrahan. Either to close or to set up Valverde.

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

This is great news.  It means Farnsworth probably comes up.  Had 25 saves.  Valverde steps in.  Had 49 saves.  This team is going to win a lot of games in 2011!

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

That's great, maybe we can have a 1950's style bullpen where Valverde throws 4 innings every other day.

Greg Dee
Greg Dee

replacement closer if Parnell is out?

John Finnerty
John Finnerty

morale: "Morale is the capacity of a group's members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of opposition or hardship."


moral: "a lesson, esp. one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience."

Eric Slater
Eric Slater

Someone will need to step up. Valverde is a former closer so why not try him.  Can't be any worse than what we had.

Brad Houser
Brad Houser

can't wait to see all those all those over the top celebrations in June when the Mets are 25-45.

roe71
roe71

That my friend is the most famous word at the end of any game in any sport..the word "IF"

metslaw
metslaw

@Lyle M. Weiser so you think every pitcher only gets strikes in the strike zone?  The fact that he feared the fastball which he could not catch up to is the reason he chased. 

jiggieny
jiggieny

Poppa Grande is making a comeback baby!

ken1010
ken1010

Valverde.  Perhaps have Montero set up.

Mike Scalera
Mike Scalera

@John Finnerty  Only in America can someone make a good living doing something at which they are demonstrably bad.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

@metslaw @Lyle M. WeiserMore like Zimmerman was looking away the whole time. He was giving it away. Valverde finally went inside and he got tied up.

A Raymond Cox
A Raymond Cox

Don't tell me to shut up. If you don't like the post just give your argument as you did in second part of post. They can have fun, but there is a limit and a line that is crossed when you look like a minstrel jumping around on the field. Old school please

D
D

@Joe Wenzel @D  yup, but don't you dare mention the name Wally around these parts, or to any WFAN host... a man who manages to win, and for no other reason... the opposite of the scared old man terry