With Jason Bay and Justin Turner out of the lineup nursing nagging injuries and offensively challenged Willie Harris DH'ing and batting second, it would've been the smart money to bet on the Mets offense getting shut down by Alexi Ogando. We've all seen this story before, right? Well, apparently we all guessed wrong, as the Mets decided to go out and score a season-high 14 runs, demolishing the Rangers 14-5 on Saturday afternoon.
Lucas Duda and Carlos Beltran led the charge as the Mets offense rattled off 17 hits, five of those for extra bases. The unconfident headcase Duda had what could probably be described his best game in his short big league career, going 4-5 with 3 doubles and 4 RBI, while Beltran selfishly went 3-5 with a lazy, not-caring triple and 3 contract enhancing RBI's. Everybody in the Mets lineup reached base once and everybody except for Angel Pagan had a hit.
On the pitching ledger, Jonathan Niese was excellent, allowing just a pair of solo home runs, while striking out seven over 5.2 innings. Niese left this game early with a rapid heartbeat. After the game, he downplayed it, saying it was "not an issue". He'll be re-examined in Detroit on Tuesday.
Hometown boy Dillon Gee takes the mound for the Mets in the rubber game of the series on Sunday. He'll go up against lefty Derek Holland. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM.
Josh Thole and his wife are expecting their first child, a son, any day now and likely will be the second Met to take advantage of MLB's new paternity leave. This means the Mike Nickeas era will likely resume in New York for a few days.
David Wright is in Florida and is starting to ramp up his baseball activities: he's twisting (and hopefully not shouting). Good news is good.
In case you missed it, the Mets have reportedly agreed to terms with their second pick in the draft, righty Michael Fulmer who was taken #44 overall from an Oklahoma High School. Fulmer was in attendance for Saturday's drubbing of the Rangers and will be there on Sunday too, where he'll get to meet some of the players after the game. A word of advice: stay as far away from Ray Ramirez as humanly possible.
Speaking of the draft, the NY Post has an excellent profile of 13th overall pick Brandon Nimmo, his barn and his family along with quotes from his American Legion coach and other baseball higher-ups. Really good stuff. I highly recommend reading this one.
Jeff Wilpon wasn't pleased with his team because they didn't retaliate after Justin Turner was hit with a pitch in the first inning of Thursday's game vs Oakland. Not only was he not pleased, but he let the team know it in the clubhouse after the game. Wilpon was apparently looking for '86 Mets style retaliation. Jeff has everything wrong with him. He won't get it.
Former tall, lanky, hat-losing Met outfielder Shawn Green visited the team's clubhouse not too long ago. Apparently he has a Zen mentality and even wrote a book about it. I imagine he got along well with fellow Zen master Rick "I'm the hardwood floors ripped out for Tuscany tile" Peterson.
Around the NL East
The high flying Nationals fell for just the second time in their last 14 games, losing 3-0 to the White Sox. In other news, Davey Johnson will manage the team on Monday. The move hasn't been made official yet and it's unsure whether he'll be managing in Washington just for this season or beyond.
The Phillies fell to the A's 4-1. The news on Roy Oswalt is not good for the Phils, though not disastrous either: a mild bulging disk in his back is what sent Oswalt to the DL and he likely won't be back until August.
The Marlins beat the Mariners 4-2. They currently have Jack McKeon at the helm but they'll likely be looking for a manager for the longterm this offseason. Enter White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen into the picture. If you recall, there was a rumor last year that the Marlins discussed an insane trade of Guillen for Mike Stanton. If an abomination like that were to happen (scroll down to "managerial chairs" for more), it's just more evidence of the awfulness that is Jeffrey Loria.
Around the Majors
Tim Wakefield made his return (long awaited? probably not) to Pittsburgh and was knocked around. Fun fact: he's the last Pirates pitcher to win a postseason game. Maybe I should've labeled that "Sad fact".
Finally, from the human interest department, a little kid at Saturday's Giants/Indians game catches a foul ball and then throws it back onto the field. Awwww!