TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Category Archives: Mets

Phillies Breakout the Big Bats; Down the Mets 10-7 After Blowing Big Lead

After last night’s downer of loss, which featured the complete shellacking of Cole Hamels by the Mets, the Phillies looked to put last night behind them. Well it wasn’t pretty but the Phillies got the job done. Heavy B, Joe Blanton the fifth starter, got the nod for the Phillies. Look at it this way: if you were expecting a pitchers duel, you thought wrong. One starter never got out of the second, the other was pulled after recording the first out in fourth.

It started out good for the first four innings for the Phillies. They knocked Mets Ace, Mike Pelfrey around the diamond and out of the game in the second inning. Pelfrey lasting only 2+ innings compared to Hamels’ 2.2 IP last night. The line on Pelfrey: 2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, (6 R), 1 BB, 1 K. The Phillies got to Pelfrey early and often. Ryan Howard blasted his second home run of the year off of Pelfrey, which capped a 4 run third inning by the Phils offense, which sent Pelfrey to the showers early.

Phillies starter, Joe Blanton was on cruise control until the fifth inning, when the wheels came off. Blanton could not get out of the fifth, going only 4.1 IP. The Mets later tied the game later in the inning when Antonio Bastardo, who relieved Blanton surrendered a single to Daniel Murphy, which scored a runner inherited from Blanton. That inherited runner scoring would mark the end of the line on Blanton’s night altogether. The line on Blanton:  4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. At that point the Phillies had blown a 7 run lead.

It wasn’t looking real good at this point, but the Phillies “sleeping dragon” of an offense awoke with a roar in the bottom half of the fifth inning. With a monstrous two-run home run from Ben Francisco off of Mets reliever Blaine Boyer, gave the Fightin’ Phils the lead for good. In the bottom of the sixth, the Phillies tacked on an insurance run and never looked back. The bullpen, was lights out, surrendering two measly hits, while striking out four. Ad hoc closer, Jose Contreras, shut the door in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

Final thoughts: I guess, the term “Runs At A Premium” doesn’t apply here. If you were either starter, it wasn’t exactly a start to write home about. Both teams surrendering double digit hit totals. It was an ugly, ugly, UGLY win… but a win is a win for the Fightin’ Phils and I will take it. Tomorrow is a Halladay.

Phillies 10 Mets 7. Final.

WP: A. Bastardo (1-0) LP: B. Boyer (0-1) SV: J. Contreras (1)

HR: (PHI) R. Howard (2), B. Francisco (2); (NYM) A. Pagan (1)

Box Score:

Mets 7 R, 12 H, 1 E

Phillies 10 R, 16 H, 1 E

Tonight’s attendance at Citizens Bank Park: 45,061. 128th consecutive sellout at CBP.

Tomorrow’s Probables:
NYM: J. Niese (0-0, 2.57 ERA) PHI: R. Halladay (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Start time: 3:05 pm

Line up shake up

No major news other than the fact the Phillies will shake up the line up a little bit for the first time this season. Other than Michael Martinez getting the start over the weekend in the lead off spot, the Phillies haven’t made any line up changes yet this season.

Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez will get their first days of rest this season. Taking their places will be Brian Schneider, batting eighth and Pete Orr, batting seventh. Tonight’s game is at 7 PM vs. the Mets.

Hamels, Phillies struggle in blowout loss to Mets

Back to reality.

After sweeping the Houston Astros over the weekend, Phillies fans thought this team looked invincible. The New York Mets proved otherwise, beating the Phils 7-1 in the first game of the three game series at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Mets are now both 3-1 on the season

The Cole Hamels-Chris Young matchup seemed unfair. While Hamels could be an ace on most teams, Young is clearly a fourth starter.

One of these starts looked sharp. The other was Cole Hamels.

Hamels looked good through the first two innings, but was chased in the third inning after allowing five hits and six earned runs in the third inning. Perhaps worst of all was the fact two of those hits came off the bat of opposing pitcher Chris Young.

Two of those RBI’s came courtesy of third-basemen David Wright who would go 4 for 5 with two runs scored.

The Phillies offense was no better. The Phils would only muster one run on an RBI double by Placido Polanco that scored Wilson Valdez to break the shutout. Jimmy Rollins would get a walk the next at bat, but any hopes of a rally ended on a ground out by Ryan Howard.

Shane Victorino didn’t look too comfortable in the leadoff spot tonight, going 0 for 5 with three strikeouts. Amazingly enough he wasn’t the only Phillie to strike out three times. He would share that honor with Howard who was 0-4 with three K’s.

The Phillies continue their series tomorrow night with Joe Blanton taking the mound for his first start of the season.

WP: Young (1-0) LP: Hamels (0-1)

2B: Polanco (3)

Two in one: Rollins and Reyes look to proove the tank isn’t empty

For half a decade now, Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes have been staples in their respective cities.

Both have tremendous pop in their bats, both can play Gold Glove defense and both can change a game with one swing.

Both have also been fan favorites since they broke the every-day line up. And with the All-star short stops in the final years of their contracts, one can only ask if they will be re-signed by their current team.

The Phillies Jimmy Rollins is off to a strong start this season, batting .500 (6-for-12). (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Injuries bothered the two short stops the past two seasons. Reyes played in only 169 games in 2009 and 2010 combined after tendinitis in his right calf ended his 2009 campaign very early. Rollins missed almost half of last year with a strained left calf that put him in the DL three times.

Rollins is aging and on the downside of the mountain he climbed during his 12-year career in Philadelphia. His career peaked four years ago when he won the National League MVP in 2007 with a sick combination of power, speed and swagger. He boldly proclaimed the Phillies, who haven’t made the playoffs in 14 years, were the “Team to Beat” and put the other 24 players on his shoulders to make it happen.

What Reyes did in New York was slightly different. He, along with David Wright, brought life back to the New York fan base with the aging of legendary catcher Mike Piazza and topple after their 2000 World Series loss to the Yankees. His play along with the bringing in of aging stars made the Mets a scary team and NL East champion, snapping the Braves 14-year streak.

Rollins is in the last year of his six-year, $46.5 million contract while Reyes is in the last of his five-year, 33.75 million deal.

The Mets Jose Reyes is still a dangerous weapon on the base paths. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Rollins is embracing his new role as the #3 hitter for the Phillies with Chase Utley on the DL, hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a stolen base and .571 OBP. Reyes, who doesn’t heat up until June, is batting .200 (3-for-15) with a double in the lead-off spot.

If the free-swinging Rollins can find a way to produce on a daily basis, the Phillies could find value in him as a #3 or possible #5/6 hitter. He isn’t someone who can really protect Ryan Howard but he can certainly get on base and move around so Howard can drive him in.

If Reyes continues to be a slow starter and see his numbers decline, the Mets will have to look for a new top-of-the-order guy to replace Reyes and let him drop in the order where he can be more liberated at the plate and on the base paths.

So what are these guys worth to each team in the following years? The short stop position has become a revolving door position for a majority of the teams (see Boston post-Nomar Garciaparra). So are the two short stops worth getting paid the same they have been the past 5-6 years?

Rollins is making $8.5 million on his option this season, the highest total of the contract he signed in 2006. Reyes is making $11 million this season, also an option, and this is the highest total of his contract as well.

Rollins can certainly make the same amount of money in a future contract, maybe a little more. Maybe a two-year, $18 million deal with an option for a third season. Reyes can either sign a long deal if he bounces back this year with the Mets or another club seeing as he’ll finish the season at 28. A good season could earn him a raise but I doubt he’ll make anything less than the $6+ million he earned on average after 2007.

Fans hope they can hold onto their short stop while seeing the other one leave the division, and rightfully so. Rollins is a career .269 hitter with 23 homers and 89 RBIs in 171 games against New York. Reyes is a scorching .296/16/50 with a strong .839 OPS against the Phils in his career as a lead-off guy.

2011 is an important year for Rollins and Reyes. Both hit up the gas station this off season. It’s time to see how they hold up with the hard miles ahead.

The Mets and Phillies start a three-game series tonight. Rollins and Reyes will continue their half-a-decade-long rivalry on the field.

Series Preview: New York Mets

PHI: 3-0; NYM: 2-1
When: April 5-7
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Cole Hamels (0-0, 0.00) vs. Chris Young (0-0, 0.00)

Wednesday: Joe Blanton (0-0, 0.00) vs. Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 10.38)
Thursday: Roy Halladay (0-0, 1.50) vs. Jon Niese (0-0, 2.57)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 7:05, MyPHL 17

Wednesday, 7:05, TCN
Thursday, 3:05, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

The Mets may have a special player in catcher Josh Thole. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Player to Watch – C Josh Thole: There is something about Thole that I really like with New York. He’s only 24 and is filled with an incredible amount of potential – maybe not a Joe Mauer or Buster Posey-like potential but more on the line of Baltimore’s Matt Weiters.

Thole had a nice start to the season, batting .444 (4-for-9) with a double and RBI. Batting in the eight-hole for New York, the Mets are hoping for a Chooch-like spark out of the left-hander who hit .277 last season in 73 games.

Overview: The most heated rivalry in the division is still alive despite the Mets being such a terrible baseball team.

But the Mets are 2-1, the closest to above .500 they will probably see all season. They are also throwing two of their best pitchers out at the Phillies.

Jon Niese has the ability to keep New York in the game against Roy Halladay on Thursday. He’s the best pitcher the Mets have this season and has been strong against the Phillies so far in his career. In three starts, he’s 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA whiles striking out 20 in 21 innings. His WHIP is a very nice 1.14, but he averages 2.5 walks per nine innings, meaning he can have control problems if the Phils are patient.

The Phillies are very fortunate to not be seeing knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey this series. He’s one of the young, promising pitchers in the bigs who won’t be a staff ace but will be a very reliable #2/3 to keep opponents off-balanced during a series.

On the offensive side of the ball, New York has some young weapons such as catcher Thole and first baseman Ike Davis along with veteran short stop Jose Reyes and third baseman David Wright. Reyes, like the Phils Jimmy Rollins, is incredibly dangerous – as a fielder, hitter and base runner –  when healthy and in a zone. Left fielder Jason Bay still hasn’t lived up to his contract.

The Mets are not looking at a promising season as their bull pen is terrible, the offense is filled with holes with the exception of three, maybe four hitters and their starting pitching is really lacking without Johan Santana.

Season Preview: NL East

By luck of the die, I drew the ability to preview the NL East and home of your Phillies. The only shifting that appears to go on in the division will be the battle for last between New York and an improved Washington. Other than that, expect the Phils to remain dominant and the Braves to continue their run at retaking their place at the top of the East.


Expectations: Win the division with 23 men on the DL.
Key Addition: Cliff Lee
Key Loss: Jayson Werth
Projected Record: 102-60

Summary: I think it’s obvious to say that the Phillies are not only the best team in the division but quite possibly the best team in the National League. The Phillies struggled offensively for most of the season last year while the starting pitching kept them afloat in the NL. So what they lose offensively and dropping Jayson Werth, they gained in pitching with Cliff Lee. Stop scratching your head because that could prove to be a move in the right direction. The game may be turning back to  a pitcher’s game and with the super rotation the Phils created, it could be the advantage that gets them past the other teams in the NL.

But the other main concern is health. seven of the eight every day starters are older than 30 and with Chase Utley starting the season on the DL, age and health have the fans worried. But the adversity aside, the Phillies are experienced and know how to overcome the obstacles as they look to win their fifth straight NL East crown.

Atlanta Braves
Expectations: Blow their load in the first four months before choking again.
Key Additions: Dan Uggla, Rodrigo Lopez.
Key Losses: Billy Wagner, Melkey Cabrera, Derrek Lee, Matt Diaz.
Projected Record: 91-71

Summary: The Braves scare me this year. They really do. Their team is young and budding with potential. Freddy Freeman and Jason Heyward together can be the future of the Braves like Chipper and Andruw Jones 15 years ago. Their pitching is also very sturdy in Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe (let’s face it, Jair Jurrjens really sucks). The bull pen is also strong with Craig Kimbrel, Johnny Venters and Peter Moylan. They lost a lot in Billy Wagner, who was one of the best closers last year but Kimbrel and Venters will look to close by committee. The Braves will give the Phillies trouble early but much like last year, the youth will wear down and the Braves won’t be able to keep up with the pitching and strong play of the Phillies. A wild card berth is very possible.

Florida Marlins

Expectations: To have the same attendance all year as the Phillies will have in April.
Key Addition: Javier Vazquez.
Key Loss: Dan Uggla, Will Ohman.
Projected Record: 80-82

Summary: The Fish have a lot of potential on their team. They bug the heck out of the Phils and Braves each year but never have enough in the tank to be a serious threat within the division. They lost big when Uggla was traded to Atlanta but that was expected as they couldn’t sign him. Florida does boast some very young talent with Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton and Chris Coughlin in the outfield. They also feature the best short stop in the game in Hanley Ramirez and Gabby Sanchez, who is full of potential, at first. But outside of Josh Johnson, one of the best pitchers in the game, the Fish have no pitching and that will kill them. Johnson will have another fantastic year with the run support he’ll get he can’t do it alone.

Washington Nationals

Expectations: To learn that Jayson Werth should have been paid $24 million for seven years or $124 million for 70 years.
Key Additions: Jayson Werth, Jerry Hairston Jr.
Key Losses: Adam Dunn, Kevin Mench.
Projected Record: 78-84

Summary: I can’t wait until the Nats see their over-paid super star in action:

A man on second, two outs and Werth at the plate. The Nats trail one and they need a base hit to tie. Werth will drive him in. He’s super duper clutch…. Are you kidding me? He struck out again?! $124 million my ass.

That will be a familiar scenario on Washington again. I can’t wait until they stop drooling over his ass. Besides Werth, the Nats do have some decent talent. They have everybody’s favorite player in Nyjer Morgan, the ancient Ivan Rodriguez and their ace is Livan Hernandez. But seriously, the only diamond on that steaming pile of doo doo called the Nats is Ryan Zimmerman, who is arguably the best third baseman in baseball and is wasting his talents in the Nation’s Capital. Run for your life, Zimm. It’s not too late!

New York Mets

Expectations: Hahahahaha.
Key Additions: Chris Young, Chris Capuano
Key Losses: none.
Projected Record: 60-102.

Summary: Do I really have to do this? Okay fine…

The Mets flat out suck. They won’t have Johan Santana for a good portion of the season, their closer Francisco Rodriquez and short stop Joes Reyes are scum bags and broken down outfielders in Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay. To be honest, the only bright spots this team has are Daniel Murphy at first, Josh Thole at catcher and pitchers Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey. They won’t even come close to fourth in this division. The Mets are in a deep hole that they won’t get out of for quite a bit.

Believe it or not, I like the Castillo signing… A lot

As many of you now know, the Phillies have signed Luis Castillo to a minor league contract yesterday, three days after he was released by the New York Mets.

There has been a sense of negativity amongst the other Phillies blogs about this deal, but I on the other hand see this as a great signing.

Now before all of you jump on me and call me an idiot let me say this….Luis Castillo sucks. He really does. Last year he batted .235 and had an on base percentage of just .337. He also famously dropped that fly ball against the Yankees which would have ended the game, and for that he will forever remain awful in my book.

However, this is still a good signing for the Phillies. For one, he will only cost $414,000 if he makes the Phillies makes the active roster. They key word here is “if” he makes the roster.

Obviously with Utley out, the Phils are looking for someone to replace Utley at second base, and by signing Castillo to this minor league deal, he essentially has a 10 day try out with the Phillies.

If he impresses during the next two weeks, the Phillies will gain a former Gold Glover and a bat who hit .302 two years ago before his foot injury.

If he sucks wind in Clearwater, the Phillies will probably cut Castillo, and will still have plenty of qualified candidates for the job such as Wilson Valdez, Delwyn Young, and Josh Barfield. If they cut him before Opening Day, they won’t have to pay him a cent.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. put this deal in the prefect perspective when he said this morning, “It’s kind of a low-risk situation. We’ll see if he’s somebody who can help our club.”

So there you have it. I have made my case on why this is a good deal for the Phillies. I stand alone as the only person in the tri-state area who thinks this isn’t a horrible idea. Hopefully I am right so I can laugh in all of your faces.

In other news the Mets released Oliver Perez, the only man who was a worse financially investment for the Mets than Bernie Madolf.  Now that guy really sucks.

Phillies sign ex-Met Castillo

When I think of Luis Castillo, I think of this defining moment in his washed up career.

UPDATE: The Phillies have signed Luis Castillo. It’s a minor league deal, I think he sucks and that’s all you’re going to get from me on this.

ORIGINAL: The Phillies, who are obvioulsy worried with Chase Utley’s right knee, are close to signing former Marlin and Met Luis Castillo according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

I have one question: What in the blue hell is the reason for this signing?

The Phillies are DEEP in capable infielders. Wilson Valdez, Delwyn Young and Josh Barfield have all been putting up strong cases to make the 25-man roster and even start at second base. Placido Polanco, who is a second baseman at heart, would also be an ideal fit while moving Valdez and his rifle of an arm to third.

The 35-year-old washed up loser hit .235 with no homers and 17 RBIs last season in 247 at-bats. Kevin Cooney of Phillyburbs.com tweeted that scouts earlier this week said Castillo’s “got nothing left.”

I mean this guy was ditched by the Mets of all teams.

But at least Castillo will come cheap. According to Dave Murphy, if the Phillies sign Castillo to a major league deal, they would owe him $414,000, with the rest of the $6 million he is due this season paid by the Mets.

More will follow when the signing is finalized. I’ll add text to the top.

The New York Mess

Let’s take a minute to sit back, relax, and laugh hysterically at the New York Mets.

In case you haven’t heard, the Mets are in deep doo-doo financially. Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the owners of the Mets, guarded Bernie Madolf’s investment pipeline which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. To translate, Madolf and the Mets ripped off a lot of people.

Now a trustee for Madolf’s victims is suing the Mets for up to a billion dollars, so the Mets are now trying everything and anything to make up all of the debt they will have. The Mets have even borrowed $25 million dollars from Major League Baseball to help cover their debts.

But today, things seem to be much worse for the Mets. Channel One New York reported this morning that the Mets are trying to make a pitch to a group of banks for even more money.

“According to the New York Post, the Mets are looking to secure a loan worth tens of millions of dollars to cover basic operating costs”

Basic operating costs? Like what? Electricity? Are the Mets too poor to turn on the lights and play night games? Maybe they can save electricity by turning off that ugly apple that pops up after the Mets hit a home run.

I am not even too sure they can even afford to feed their team at this point. Good thing today was free Pancake Day at IHOP.

“JP Morgan Chase, which lent the team $430 million last year, is trying to recruit a team of banks to put together a loan that would keep the Mets afloat until they’re able to sell a minority stake in the team.”

Wait, he lent the team $430 million LAST YEAR? And this guy still wants to give them more money? Talk about a hardcore Mets fan. If any of you find loose change on the ground, don’t put it in your piggy bank. I think the Mets may need it more.

“Any new loans would go toward operating expenses, including paying players.”

If they cannot afford their players, it looks like it won’t be much longer until the Mets will have to lay off workers. I think it is going to be hard for Mr. Met to find a new job.

Oh and to make everything even more hilarious, Johan Santana is going to be out of the line up till mid season. Making their starting rotation:
1. Mike Pelfrey
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Jon Niese
4. Chris Capuano
5. Chris Young

Somebody pinch me.

The Channel One NY article can be seen in its entirety here.

A Mets fan, a Yankees fan and a Giants fan walk into a bar…

Each sporting the t-shirts of their favorite players: a David Wright shirt for the Mets fan, an Alex Rodriguez shirt for the Yanks fan and a smelly, bong water stained Tim Lincecum shirt for the Giants fan.

Mets fan: Dude, when is the last time you washed your shirt?

Giants fan: An hour ago (giggles).

Yankees fan: You can enjoy your World Series ring but if the Yankees didn’t lose to Texas, we woulda swept you.

Giants fan: What makes you say that?

Yankees fan: Because we have 27 rings.

Giants fan: And that means…

Yankees fan: We’re automatically more awesome than everyone in the league.

Mets fan: That’s nice. I tell you, this is definitely the year the Mets win the division, knocking off those Filthydelphia Filthies.

Giants fan: Hehehe you said Filthy…

Yankees fan: Yea, like your shirt, you hippie lover.

Mets fan: Why are you such a snob?

Yankees fan: Because we are the greatest fan base in the world and A-Rod is the greatest player in the world. Don’t you know that many Yankees fans have paintings of themselves as centaurs? I betcha I can get any girl in here to hand-feed me popcorn and hold my Michelob Ultra to my lips… Hey sweetie, feed me popcorn!

Female Phillies fan: Drop dead.

Yankees fan: See that, guys? She totally wanted me.

Mets fan: Right, like Derek Jeter wanted A-Rod…

Yankees fan: Mmmmm Jeter….

Giants fan: Hehehehehe.

Mets fan: Seriously? What is so funny?

Giants fan: You like the Mets hehehe.

Mets fan: Pot smoking hippie…

Giants fan: What’s wrong with pot? Timmy Lincecum smokes pot and he’s a two-time Cy Young award winner, World Champion and oh his hair is super gorgeous.

Yankees fan: God you San Fran people are creepy.

Bartender: Alright guys, what can I get you?

Mets fan: Yuengling.

Yankees fan: Another Mich Ultra for me.

Giants fan: Water.

Bartender: Why water?

Giants fan: Cotton mouth.

Bartender: Coming right up. So guys, who do you think will win the World Series this year?

Yankees fan: Isn’t it obvious? 28 baby!

Giants fan: I think we have a good chance. Timmy will bring us back there. Oh and his hair is gorgeous…

Mets fan: The Phillies.

The Yankees and Giants fans turn to each other, obviously puzzled.

Yankees fan: I thought earlier you said…

Mets fan: Yea I was trying to act tough. Deep down inside I really am just jealous of the Phillies and my hatred towards them means I’m a coward who can’t admit that they are just so much more awesome than my Amazing Mets.

The Mets fan drops his head on the bar and starts crying.

Yankees fan: That’s just sad.

Giants fan: Hehehehe.

Mets fan: Oh what now?

Giants fan: You’re sad.

Bartender: Here you go guys. What the hell is his problem?

Yankees fan: He just realized baseball season is only two months away and the Mets are already in September form.

Bartender: Hey buddy…

Mets fan picks his head up

Bartender: Cheer up. It’s okay. Just thank your lucky stars you’re not an Islanders fan too.

The Mets fan sobs even harder.

Bartender: Ah well. Go Phillies!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,625 other followers