Meet the Mets
On Friday evening, the Mets fell 4-3 in 10 innings to the San Francisco Giants, a tough loss in which the Mets also showed some resiliency before ultimately falling just short. Jon Niese started and was okay, allowing three runs in the third inning, one of them on a Pa-GONE off of the bat of our old buddy Angel Pagan. New York answered back with solo home runs, the first from Jason Bay in the fourth and the second from Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the fifth. Nieuwenhuis had an awesome game, contributing the homer and a pair of defensive gems. The scoring stopped after that and the game sat at 3-2 until the bottom of the ninth, when the Mets mounted a rally capped off by a Josh Thole RBI single through the second base hole. Thole worked an excellent at bat, fouling off pitch after pitch against sidearming lefty Javier "Not The Ex-Braves' Catcher" Lopez. Unfortunately, they could not push the winning run across the plate and they went to the 10th inning, where Frank Francisco allowed a run, giving up a single to catcher Hector Sanchez, after a leadoff four pitch walk and then a strange intentional walk to Nate Schierholtz, a man who holds a career 97 OPS+. In the bottom of the inning, but Mets got singles from Daniel Murphy and David Wright but were once again unable to capitalize, this time against well-traveled reliever Clay Hensley.
In Game Two of this four game set, the Mets will send Mike Pelfrey to the hill up against last year's out of nowhere sensation Ryan Vogelsong. First pitch today is at 1:10 PM and you can catch all of the action locally on WPIX11 and WFAN 660.
Early on, the Mets have had a lot of baserunners but the struggles of the middle of the lineup have thwarted a number of rallies. In particular, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay have been below par with runners in scoring position, though that probably makes sense since both have been below par offensively in the early going.
One guy who's not struggling is David Wright, who went 1-3 with a pair of walks to bring his average down to .486. TRAID! According to Wright, he has yet to have any long-term contract discussions with the team. This shouldn't be too surprising, as Wright is under team control through 2013.
With Captain Kirk doing his thing out in center field on Friday, let's not forget incumbent center fielder Andres Torres, who continues to increase activity in his rehab down in Port St. Lucie. Torres still has yet to run at full speed but he is beginning to add more outfield drills into his workouts.
The injury bug has bit down at AAA Buffalo, as lefty reliever Danny Herrera needs Tommy John Surgery and will miss the rest of the season. That leaves the Mets' lefty relief depth a little thin, though it's one less guy in the way of relief prospect Josh Edgin.
Herrera may be off the radar now but there are other depth players at Buffalo and Howard Megdal took a look to see how some of these guys are doing.
R.A. Dickey and fellow knuckleballer Charlie Hough, who are both featured in the movie "Knuckleball", spoke on the field before Friday's game about the movie. Dickey worked on his knuckler with Hough back in 2005 with the Rangers. The movie will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival tonight at 8 PM and is free to attend.
Finally down on the farm, Baseball Prospectus has some scouting notes on Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Binghamton righty Zack Wheeler, who's been excellent in his last two starts. Meanwhile, Baseball America put out their prospect Hot Sheet for the week and Wheeler was the #6 prospect on there, while hard throwing 20 year old Savannah righty Domingo Tapia was listed in the "Helium Watch" section. This, of course, was published before Tapia struck out 9 in 5.2 innings last night.
Around the NL East
Coming off bashing the Mets' starters the last two days, the Braves' offense continued to roll as they beat up Trevor Cahill and the Diamondbacks 9-1 in Arizona. Freddie Freeman had 3 hits, Brian McCann hit a home run and Brandon Beachy threw 7.1 shutout innings.
Ross Detwiler tossed 6 shutout innings and Rick Ankiel had 3 hits including a home run, as the Nationals shut out the Marlins 2-0 in DC. I've got to say, that headline on MLB.com's wrap is pretty corny.
Around the Majors
The Red Sox celebrated 100 years of Fenway Park history with a pre-game ceremony filled with baseball legends (and some not legends too) but once the game started, this one was all about the Yankees. They defeated the Sox 6-2 on Fenway's big day.
Yu Darvish hasn't been all that dominant yet but Aaron Gleeman takes a look at what the righty has thrown in his first few big league starts.
Finally, Jose Canseco is back in baseball, everybody! That's right. The 47-year old signed on with the Worcester Tornadoes of the unaffiliated Can-Am League. If you follow Canseco on Twitter, you've probably seen his ultimately futile attempts to ask people in big league organizations for a contract. Welcome back (sort of), Jose!