Meet the Mets
Take a deep breath, Mets fans. This team can actually win games by more than a single run. Unbelievable as it may sound, the Mets defeated the Padres 6-1 at Citi Field on Friday night in a game that saw the Amazins hit well, pitch well and defend well. These, of course, are the tenets of the majority of winning base-balling organizations. Dillon Gee was shaky at first, putting a couple of runners on in the first inning before being bailed out by Mike Baxter, who made a nice catch on a warning track fly ball. The Padres scored their only run on this play but Baxter was able to toss the ball in to first for a double play, ending the inning just after the run scored. The Met offense went to work after that against Anthony Bass, plating six unanswered runs over the next few innings. In the second inning, Lucas Duda hit his first home run in nearly a month, while Mike from Whitestone and Kirk Nieuwenhuis knocked in runs in the third. Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy even got in on the fun in the fifth! While all of that happened, Dillon Gee went on cruise control, punching out a career-best 9 Padres. He walked 3 but allowed just that single run on four hits, never really getting into much trouble against a no-name San Diego lineup. Gee went seven innings before giving way to Tim Byrdak and Ramon Ramirez, who tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively.
The Mets and Padres square off in game three of their four game set this afternoon at 1:10 PM. For the Mets, it'll be Johan Santana on the hill looking to shake off a rough start against the Pirates. Opposing him will be fellow southpaw Clayton Richard. You can catch the action on WPIX 11 and out of market on MLB Network, as well as on WFAN 660.
There were some roster adjustments made on Friday, as the Mets demoted lefty Robert Carson back to Binghamton and promoted 29-year old righty Jack Egbert to the big leagues. At first glance, it's a a bit of a headscratcher, considering Egbert's not a prospect and doesn't really seem to have great stuff. Toby Hyde tries to make sense of it at his site and came to the conclusion that Egbert is likely a placeholder until Pedro Beato is activated next week. Makes sense. Egbert, a Rutherford, NJ native and former pitcher at Rutgers, was still pretty excited to get the call.
Speaking of Beato, the righty was promoted to AAA Buffalo yesterday. He made his Bisons debut last night and served up a 2-run homer in a third of an inning. In other rehab news, Chris Young threw for the St. Lucie Mets last night and tossed 6.1 solid innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out one. The Mets also announced that they released D.J. Carrasco, eating his $1.2 million salary. Oh well; I liked the signing at the time. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don't. Bon voyage!
Ruben Tejada is working out down in St. Lucie as he tries to return from a quad strain. Tejada ran on Friday but Terry Collins labeled the session as "so-so", meaning it looks like it'll still be a little while until we see Ruben back manning shortstop.
Despite getting hit around on Thursday, the Mets are going to give Jeremy Hefner another start. Considering the fact that he's about the only option left at the moment and the fact that his start was interrupted by rain, he probably deserves a mulligan for that start.
Over at Rising Apple, Matt Kaufman took a look at some of the Mets' prospects who could receive promotions in the near future.
Sunday is Banner Day at Citi Field and at the least, it should be interesting to hear how many fans' banners get confiscated at the gates.
Around the NL East
The Marlins smacked Tim Lincecum around like most teams have this season and then nearly watched four run lead disappear over the final two innings, as they held on to defeat the Giants 7-6. Up 7-4 at the start of the ninth, Heath Bell came on and did his best to make things interesting before Steve Cishek came on to close it out. Expensive closer contracts are awesome! Juan Carlos Oviedo, the reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez, received his US Visa and will be back in the US next week to begin his 8-week suspension.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run tie-breaking homer in the 10th to lead the Phillies to a 5-3 victory over the Cardinals. Pence's eyes are really scary in that link, by the way. He may be possessed. Unfortunately, there was some dissent in the Philly dugout as Cliff Lee and Shane Victorino apparently had a heated exchange that the tv cameras caught.
Baseball is so fickle. The Nationals defeated the Braves 7-4 on Friday, sending the Barves to their 5th straight defeat. Atlanta stormed to the top of the division a few days ago but all of a sudden, they find themselves two games behind the Nats with the Mets and Marlins just half a game behind them.
Around the Majors
Two teams are on the verge of agreeing to contract extensions with young stars: the Diamondbacks and C Miguel Montero are closing in on a 5 year, $60 million extension, while the Orioles are nearing a long term deal with CF Adam Jones.
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox 7-4 on Friday night but the big story was that the benches cleared in the 9th inning after Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott with a pitch. This should make for an interesting weekend.
That time machine could also apply to the Mariners, who probably wish they could go back and erase the Chone Figgins signing. Despite the deal being a big-time bust for a guy who's just wasting space on the roster, the Mariners refuse to release Figgins. They also refuse to play him (and for good reason--he's not very good these days). It looks like somebody over there in #6org-land does not understand what a sunk cost is.
Former big league pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company "38 Studios" went belly-up a few weeks back, meaning that hundreds of employees were laid-off. As if that wasn't bad enough, now there's this awfulness. Yikes.