Another ballgame, another heartbreaker one run loss for the Reds. Another Jay Bruce home run in a losing effort.
Mike Leake provided a very Leakian effort – he went 6 and 2/3 striking out three and walking three, but gave up two two-run bombs to Lucas Duda which was all the Mets needed to thwart the Reds.
Bruce’s home run was the 166th of his career, and his second of the season. It came off lefty John Lannan and put the Reds within a run at 4-3. He drove in all three Reds runs while also adding an RBI single earlier in the ballgame.
The story of the game for me was little Jenrry Mejia who went six innings while striking out eight for the Mets in earning the win. he walked five batters but had the stuff to get out of several jams with the strikeout; he might be a guy to watch as the season goes on because he has exceptional stuff with a plus fastball to go with.
Of course, it was gut wrenching to watch Jose Valverde work himself into trouble in the ninth inning only to get out of it by Joey Votto having a poor at bat and popping out, then dropping a splitty in to Jay Bruce to get the final out of the game and lock down the save.
Matt Harvey has a partially-torn UCL which always ends the same way. Young pitcher goes under the knife and begins the long road back to his once dominating state. It’s hard to believe as I’m typing this, as Harvey was one of the most dominating presences on the mound that I’ve seen in a number of years – and it seemed that virtually nothing could get in his way of a decade’s worth of dominance.
This news comes nearly three years to the date of when the Washington Nationals made a similar announcement about Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg has came back strong, albeit not quite as dominant as he was prior to the surgery.
Shortly after the news broke, Harvey said “I’m going to do everything I can to avoid surgery”. The smart call would probably be to get under the knife as soon as possible, and pad Dr. James Andrews bank account as quickly as the Mets can wire the money. The longer Harvey waits to have the procedure the further you drag out the 12 to 18 month timeline that will be needed to get Harvey back and working to full strength.
In a very related note, the New York Mets are fucked. They’re up there in Queens with that big boring ballpark and a desolate roster and Terry Collins as their manager. Finally when there was light shown at the end of the tunnel, they’ve once again been left out in the cold with news that no organization deserves. I actually feel bad for a bunch of New Yorkers tonight, except this guy. He deserved it.
There’s nothing better than a Bryce Harper home run on FOX Saturday afternoon baseball. Those two events converged this afternoon, when Bryce Harper took Dylan Gee out to dead center at Nats Park. The Nationals went on to win the game 4-1.
We really want to see the Nationals get hot – baseball would be a more interesting place if they would – and they might be trying. The Nationals had walk-off wins on Thursday and Friday in now winning three of their last four. This can still happen but the Nationals have no more room for error. It’s time to ride, every night; starting right now.
And it brings up a further point: Bryce Harper absolutely murders the Mets. Harper has six home runs against New York, the most against any team in baseball (tied with also six against Miami).
You have to be starting to get the feeling that the Pittsburgh Pirates are just having one of those special, memorable summers. Something just feels different. They’re gutting out wins – night after night – with a bunch of blue collar players and patchwork pieces.
Tonight on FOX Saturday Night Baseball was no different. The Pirates beat the Mets 4-2 at PNC Park, largely behind a big night from their star Andrew McCutchen. Cutch has had a solid, but short of spectacular first half. He’s hitting .300, but his power numbers are down. If the Pirates get anything close to an MVP-caliber second half from the guy, they’re going to the playoffs.
Here’s his 10th home run of the season which tied the game tonight for the Buccos. It was a shot, displaying that ‘power to all fields’ that scouts said McCutchen would develop:
An inning later, McCutchen would single in the go-ahead run. It would stand up. Jason Grilli locked down his 29th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Tonight my wife asked me if I had to bet money on it, who did I see going to the World Series. The simple answer would have been ‘I wouldn’t’ and right now, I definitely have no idea. But as I thought about it, I told her the Detroit Tigers and after a short amount of consideration, why not the damn Pittsburgh Pirates? They’re pretty sound in all facets of the game and I think they’re going to be even better in the second half.
As we approach the All-Star break, count me as one who thinks the Pirates have a legitimate shot at getting to the World Series this year. The Reds are fading, the Nationals are probably done, I don’t buy the Braves, the Dodgers still have a ways to go, and I think the Pirates just might have enough to take down the Cardinals in a long NLCS series. Call me crazy if you want. These guys have something going.
Bobby Parnell has a decent chance to make the All-Star game this year. Not racking up the saves on a bad team but pitching well. He actually had a chance tonight and couldn’t do it. He came in with a standard one run lead to protect. He got no people out. He also looks a bit awkward as he starts to go cover first. Bad news Bobby – that grounder found the hole and scored the game tying run. Details here:
Double, wild pitch, single, double, walk, game over. Come back strong Bobby, we’re rooting for you.
Note: I know he recorded an out technically but since it was the game winning sacrifice, I’m going to go ahead and not count it this time.
Bruce extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his two hits last night. Over his last 15 games (beginning May 1st), here are his numbers:
.338, 5 HR, 19 RBI, .352 On base %, .721 slugging, nine doubles and a triple for good measure.
The guy loves to hit in May.
The Reds also welcomed back Johnny Cueto from injury. The control wasn’t really there – he walked an unusual four hitters – but I saw him hit as high as 97 MPH on the radar gun. He gave the Reds five solid innings with his only mistake being the three run homer he allowed to Marlon Byrd.
Chapman came on in the ninth, destroyed two hitters; and avenged his blown save that was caused by danish pastries. With one more win the Reds will move to 10 games over .500, something any franchise in the game would sign up for right now. They really are playing solid ball night after night despite having some injuries to key members of their squad.
Because I’m a huge sucker for anything 80′s and especially anything mid-80′s New York Mets, I’ll probably buy Doc: A Memoir and read it within a couple days even though I am already reading a Mickey Mantle book and a Lenny Dykstra book.
I think we’ve all heard the story of Doc Gooden’s morning the day after he became a World Series champion. In case you have not, here is a snippet of what it was like for him:
“As my teammates rode through the Canyon of Heroes, I was alone in my bed in Roslyn, Long Island, with the curtains closed and the TV on, missing what should have been the greatest morning of my life,” Gooden wrote.
“I stared at the TV through narrow, squinting eyes,” Gooden wrote. “And that’s how I watched my own victory parade.”
At this point there will be few surprises that a Gooden book offers. It should still be required reading if you were a fan of baseball during the 80′s or grew up when Gooden was the best young arm in the game. And he’s at least already sold one copy of it. I just want it sitting on my book shelf in my den someday. My personal collection wouldn’t be complete without it.
I’m a sucker for old Shea Stadium. I really got caught up in the place. The Mets were on top of the world in 1986. Punch Out for the Nintendo starring Mike Tyson was about a year from release. Tyson was in the midst the biggest, baddest moments of his prime.
There’s something special about this footage I can’t quite put my finger on. These three were the kings of a very large city in an era, but you get the feeling their paths didn’t cross prior to or after this video.
This is one of the worst ways to walk off. The Mets had the worst team in the league down 1-0 and just needed to shut the door in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets brought in Jeremy Hefner to do the job but that didn’t seem to work out. He gave up a single and the Chris Coghlan advanced on the first ball that passed the catcher – error on catcher. After the speedy Juan Pierre got on base, Brandon Lyon came in but Donovan Solano hit a bloop single to right field to score Coghlan and move Pierre to third. Then Lyon threw a sweeping pitch that frankly should have been caught but kicked away and Pierre scampered home…walk off wild pitch. Details below.
Bryce Harper launched home runs number 6 and 7 on Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, the Nationals needed a little something extra to slip by the Mets. Gio Gonzalez imploded, Ryan Zimmerman headed to the disabled list, and Bryce Harper hit two home runs, the second being a mammoth shot that won the game for the Nationals 7-6 (and won us yet another parlay bet).
The first one comes off poor Jeremy Hefner. We’ve got a new nickname for Hefner. We’re going to start calling him “The Organ Donor” because all the guy does is give away pieces of himself – vital organs, one by one every time he makes a start.
We’ve covered this before, but Bryce Harper has really taken a liking to Jeremy Hefner in his short time in the big leagues. The last time they crossed paths, Harper hit a 434-foot shot.
This one wasn’t quite as far (423 feet is all), but it certainly got out just as quickly. And oh look, there goes Hefner’s liver landing in the bullpen in right center!
The second one was the monster blast. I can’t wait to see the measurement on this one (that’s what she said). And according to Hit tracker online, it traveled 433 feet. It was getting late in the day, and Harper needed some Dunkin’ Donuts. You probably didn’t realize that sign was there. No one in the Mets lineup can hit a shot to that part of the park. But as Harper illustrates, it’s there.
So let it be said, and let it be written; that on this April 20th day in 2013; Bryce Harper hit over 850 feet of home runs at Citi Field and put his team on his back in route to a win.
It took a little longer than usual in the day, but finally had a bullpen collapse. There were two rounds, although the first is hard to put all on Bobby Parnell. The Mets were up 8-6 in the 8th inning. Using 3 relievers and only having one hit out of the infield the Rockies scored 2 runs to tie the game up. The first base runner was allowed via error and a seeming routine chopper up the middle that should have ended the inning was botched with an errant throw to first. This is the carnage:
The Mets were able to stave off defeat for another inning but in the bottom of the 10th the Rockies had had enough. Just like in the 8th inning the Mets pitcher, Greg Burke, was able to retire the first two batters. Then the following happened:
A walk, another error and a slap base hit later the Mets have to walk off the freezing cold field knowing they blew a two run league. The relievers had a rough time but they weren’t helped at all by the defense.
I’m not all that excited about writing the Mets preview this year. I’ve had the same feeling for a few years now when I write the Mets preview. They’re still part of the fraternal order of Major League Baseball. Due to that, I’ll settle in and do my best to give them their share of the spotlight.
It’s just that the Mets might be without David Wright to open the season due to a ribcage injury he suffered in the World Baseball Classic. If the Mets don’t have their newly crowned captain, they’re not that interesting of a team.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Traded for John Buck
Traded for Travis d’Arnaud
Signed Shaun Marcum
Traded for Collin Cowgill
Released Jason Bay
Getting out from under Jason Bay’s albatross of a salary was probably their biggest move of the winter. The Mets are in one of baseball’s primo divisions this year, and it’s going to be tough for them to provide bright spots for their fan base. Gone are R.A. Dickey, Scott Hairston, Mike Pelfrey, and Andres Torres. All decent players who make the everyday Mets more interesting, albeit still mediocre. The Mets didn’t do enough to make themselves better. It’s going to be a long year.
In my opinion this was the most impressive of all of Bryce Harper’s 12 career home runs. This is just one of those majestic, tape-measure shots that impales the facing of the upper deck. It again comes in a Nationals victory, 5-2 over the Mets.
The poor soul who gives this up is Jeremy Hefner. I would imagine that when a generational talent like Harper gets a fastball down the heart of the plate from a guy like Jeremy Hefner, this is what is going to happen more often than not. Bow your head today, we’re going to allow a moment of silence for the victim, Jeremy Hefner.
Here’s the list of players in baseball history to record at least 12 homers in their age 19 season: Tony Conigliaro (24), Mel Ott (18), Ken Griffey Jr. (16), Mickey Mantle (13) and Bryce Harper (12). That’s decent company. Harper also tripled in the game for good measure.
Here’s footage of the 434-foot blast:
Fun factoid: I was supposed to be at Nationals Park this weekend, and due to some circumstances I didn’t make it. Our friend Craig Calcaterra from Hardballtalk had the opportunity to be there Friday. He writes up a similar-style post that I would have. I’ll get there someday. Everything happens for a reason, as I was planning to go to the game Saturday and Harper wasn’t in the lineup.