SPRING TRAINING GAME 6: Indians 2, Mets 1
Oliver Perez gives up a run off of two hits and strikes out three in 3.0 IP, but the Mets only manage one run all day as Cleveland pitching allows only four hits.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Good: Oliver Perez–3.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H 3 SO, no walks in the start, but took the loss to fall to 0-2 in the spring. Perez’s record does not tell the story of his strong pitching, though…Alay Soler scattered four hits and a run across three innings…Scott Schoenweis was perfect in the seventh, and Joe Smith did well in the 8th and 9th, only allowing a walk…At the plate, Jose Reyes went 2-4 with a SB and Paul LoDuca had a hit and walk in his two plate appearances.
The Not-So-Good: The rest of the Mets offense, which was only able to eke out four hits (two by Reyes) and one run, and that run was off a sac fly by David Wright.
Mets are back at it tomorrow as they face the Astros at 1:05 in Kissimmee…
SPRING TRAINING GAME 5: O’s 6, Mets 3
John Maine gets off to a great start, but Philip Humber gets burned in the 3rd as the O’s drop the Mets in Fort Lauderdale.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Good: John Maine. He was strong in the start allowing only a hit in two innings of work…Ruben Sierra was 2-3 from the plate and racked up 2 RBI..Lastings Milledge continued his strong spring as he went 2-4…Ambiorix Burgos allowed a hit over 2 innings as well, and Pedro Feliciano pitched an inning of scoreless, no-hit ball.
The Not-So-Good: Philip Humber. In an inning of work he was shelled, giving up five runs off of three hits and two walks…Anderson Hernandez was 0-3 with a walk and left three on base, and also committed and error…Mike Carp was 0-3 with a strikeout and a walk.
Mets are back at it tomorrow as they host the Indians at 1:10pm in PSL.
SPRING TRAINING GAME 1: Tigers 5, Mets 4
Two runs scored in the 1st and 2nd were enough for the Tigers as they beat the Mets 5-4 in both teams’ Grapefruit League openers.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Good–A few strong performances from the younger players: Ben Johnson had a strong day, going 2-3 from the plate and scoring two runs…Lastings Milledge picked up a hit in his only at-bat of the day, and also scored a run…Alay Soler went 2.0 innings today and only allowed a hit and BB while getting a strikeout…Lino Urdaneta, Aaron Heilman, Jon Adkins and Willie Collazo each went an inning, with Collazo and Heilman only allowing a hit each; Urdaneta and Adkins allowed no hits. Billy Wagner had a reasonable day, despite giving up 2 H and a run in his inning of work.
The Not-So-Good–Not a good day on the hill for Oliver Perez, who got the start
and gave up four runs (all earned), five hits (one HR), and one BB
while striking out only one batter in 2.0 innings of work. Carlos Beltran joins Perez in the doghouse, at least for today, as he went 0-3 from the plate, striking out twice and leaving three on base.
Back-to-back games coming up against the defending champion Cardinals tomorrow at 1:10pm (SNY will have the game live, as well as MLB.tv for out-of-town fans) and Friday at 1:05.
"We’re the team to beat. I can’t put it any other way," Rollins told
reporters Tuesday. "Look at our team and what we’re bringing. Look at
the improvements we’ve made. You look at the rest of the division. The
Mets had a chance last year to go to the World Series. They made it to
the playoffs. They won the division. Congratulations, but last year is
over. They can take that any way they want, but I’m just stating a fact."
So is Rollins looking to fire up a subpar Phillies team or doing his best Joe Namath impression? Looks like a combination of the two in my opinion. It certainly puts added pressure on Rollins to back his words up with his play, but it motivates the Mets to stick it to the Phils this year. What do you think?
Elsewhere from PSL:
–Players have reported to camp and Marty Noble brings up the fact that there is much diversity among the team this year. My two cents–it shows how far baseball has come…diversity has become a big part of this game and it shows every time you head down to the ballpark or turn on the game on television. Nowhere is it more evident, I think, than in baseball, and it is a great model for the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Be sure to take a look at the article because it’s a great read.
–A new pitch in Billy Wagner‘s arsenal–a spilt finger fastball, and it was actually (kind of) developed by accident:
When Wagner told Peterson that he wanted to get back to being the
old Billy, Peterson suggested developing a two-seam fastball to give
hitters a different, sinking look.
Wagner worked with that suggestion during the offseason, his
index and middle fingers aligning with the stitches on either side of
the ball’s sweet spot.
His experimental pitchers sunk, as desired.
But when Wagner almost inadvertently spread his fingers wider, a sharper break resulted from the modified split.
"It’s not a great, big break," Wagner said on Wednesday, after completing the first official full-team workout.
That made the new pitch an official part of Wagner’s second Mets camp.
Mets back to work tomorrow, and I’ll continue to update you on how things go. Remember, feel free to drop an e-mail or leave a comment and I will respond to them.
(photo courtesy of AP)
Marty Noble reports from PLB in MLB.com’s Mets notebook, among other things, about Jose Reyes‘ desire to improve his focus at the urging of Willie Randolph.
Not that the skipper is, or was, displeased with what Reyes did during
those moments when he was amassing 64 stolen bases, 122 runs, 30
doubles, 17 triples, 19 home runs, 128 other hits and 81 RBIs.
But Randolph believes greater concentration will make Reyes as much of a defensive player as he is an offensive force.
"I’m on him all the time about that," Randolph said Sunday. "Focus, focus, focus."
It’s no secret that Reyes has had his share of problems at short, but is looking to improve them this spring.
Other highlights from Sunday:
—El Duque spoke of his exercise regimen, including 25-30 minute jogs, sprints, and "beans, rice and pork"…
–Some early arrivals–Reyes and David Wright are among some of players getting to PLB early, including newcomers Ben Johnson and Damion Easley. The rest of the team should be in PLB tomorrow…
—Tom Glavine‘s feeling much better after being sick yesterday. Supposedly something he picked up from Paul Lo Duca…
More from MLB.com
The Times has an article on Ambiorix Burgos (picked up from KC in the Brian Bannister trade during the offseason); we may note that the picture you see above you is not what he looks like now, according to the article.
Gone is the clean-cut look he fashioned last season in Kansas City,ditched in favor of straggly curls that resemble fireworks exploding
from his head.
“It’s a new look for a new team,” Burgos said, with his teammate Juan Padilla serving as interpreter.
Rick Peterson is reportedly high on Burgos, calling him a number 1 pick if he were to participate in the draft. Burgos seems to be one of those players that has flown under the radar, stuck with a poor Royals team; he wasn’t bad, saving 18 games but with an ERA of about 5 and a half. He can get it up to 103 MPH, and has a nasty splitter, which "could be as good as John Smoltz’s"…
Bits and Pieces
—Billy Wagner says that even though his numbers were good last year, he didn’t think they were good enough: "My numbers say that I was good…mentally I know that I wasn’t." Wagner’s finger had been bothering him for most of the year, which is why he felt he struggled at times…
—Paul Lo Duca wants to stay in a Mets uniform for the next few years–so much so that he’s bought a house near the city, after representatives from the team gave him a call. LoDuca’s contract runs out at the end of this year…
—Fred Wilpon donated $12M to the University of Michigan (his alma-mater) for a sports injury center and some "rebuilding" for the baseball and softball team’s stadium…
More from the Times…
Pitchers and Catchers Report; Official Workout Tomorrow
Speaking of PLD and Wagner, they were among the pitchers and catchers that reported to spring training today. The first workout is tomorrow with new faces on the 40-man roster including Damion Easley (who should do well in part-time work as he nears the end of his career), a solid bullpen addition in Scott Schoeneweis (who grew up across the river in NJ) and Moises Alou, who probably figures to end his career in New York…older/middle-aged fans may remember his father in Yankees pinstripes from ’71-’73 before being traded to the Expos.
One of the bigger names is Chan-ho Park, who is coming off a 7-7, 4.81 ERA season with San Diego last year, and gives the Mets an added option in the rotation. Right now the rotation figures to be:
Spots 4 and 5 are still up for grabs, but my picks right now would probably be John Maine as an early favorite with spot 5 a huge question mark. Spring training lies ahead so we will see what happens…