That's right, folks. Welcome to the inaugural edition of Weekend Applesauce! I am your host mistermet and for now, you can call me mistermet! I'll be providing your daily dose of Applesauce on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. I'm really excited to be a part of the team and I look forward to serving everybody their delicious morning dish of applesauce! Now, on to the good stuff.
The Mets defeated the Pirates on Friday evening by the score of 8-1. It was a stress-free victory for the Mets, something that has seemingly been a rarity this season. The Mets took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, but three straight singles in the bottom of the frame off of Dillon Gee tied the game at one apiece. From that point on, Gee was money, shutting the Pirates down the rest of the way. The victory put Gee's record at a sterling 7-0, the best start for a rookie pitcher since the Angels' Jered Weaver went 9-0 to start the 2006 season. He also bested the franchise rookie record of 6-0, set by Jon Matlack in 1972.
Gee's solid start has led to speculation from some that he is perhaps a future ace. While this is certainly a testament to Gee's effort and a potentially nice story, it's probably too early to raise our expectations to that level. Still, the story of Gee is an uplifting one, considering that he was unsure whether he would be drafted out of college and started preparing to follow in his father's footsteps as a firefighter as a fallback option.
Aside from Gee-mania, the Mets offense had another solid showing as they rocked Halladay impersonator Charlie Morton for seven runs over four innings. Jose Reyes hit his 2nd home run of the year on the eighth anniversary of his big league call-up. Lucas Duda played in his first game post call-up and was solid just based on the fact that he was not Jason Bay. It sounds as if Bay will return to the lineup on Saturday, hopefully ready to positively contribute to the offensive fun. Even if he doesn't, Saturday's game should be great because it is R.A. Dickey Day! R.A.men.
There is some good news on the injury front, for once. Long-lost ace Johan Santana is in the final phase of his recovery and should throw batting practice soon. Terry Collins wants to see Johan throw a bullpen session at Citi Field and if everything goes right with this phase, Johan could return to the club around the All-Star break.
Ronny Paulino played in Pittsburgh for a while and will face his former team, while catching Dickey tomorrow (pause).
Spoiler Alert: If you are looking for a little cold water to douse on the opti-Met fan inside of you, read on. Apparently the Mets need to go 59-40 to reach 90 wins this season. While 90 wins seems like an arbitrary number, it'll probably be in the neighborhood of what they need to win the Wild Card. Even if they do stay in the race, perhaps they should still sell some spare parts. Or maybe not. Either way, at least we have word from Scott Boras' mouthpiece that the Mets are willing to selfishly cover some of Carlos Beltran's salary in order to acquire better prospects (those shellfish Mets).
Around the NL East
There wasn't any help in the divisional race tonight as the Phillies beat the Cubs, the Marlins beat the Diamondbacks, snapping their 8 game losing streak, the Braves crushed the Astros, and the Nats squeaked by the Padres.
Philly's LOLpen is causing Charlie Manuel heartache. What a shame.
Around the Major Leagues
Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona nearly ignited a brawl in the Bronx, hitting Mark Teixeira in the shoulder one pitch after a Curtis Granderson home run. The benches cleared but no punches were thrown. Managers Manny Acta and Joe Girardi got into a heated argument on the field.
Ichiro is having an awful season and feels that he is being challenged to overcome his struggles. I'm mainly surprised that he's actually a human being and not a slap-hitting robot, like I had assumed.
Two top prospects made their big league debuts. Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo, acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, debuted on Thursday after assaulting the PCL to the tune of a .365/.444/.715 triple slasher, with 16 home runs and 20 doubles. In Kansas City, third baseman Mike Moustakas debuted on Friday night, becoming the next in a crop of uber-prospects to debut this season for KC.
Finally, is Frank McCourt the worst owner in baseball? Michael Hiltzik says "no", but almost everyone else says "yes". What's your opinion on the Wilpon/McCourt showdown?