Meet the Mets
The Mets fell to the Reds 7-3 on Friday night, as Dillon Gee was hit hard early on and the Mets offense had trouble stringing hits together against the Reds pitching staff. Bronson Arroyo mostly shut the Mets down as he usually does, until Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Scott Hairston hit home runs. After Hairston's two-run bomb, Dusty Baker went right to his bullpen and the Mets were retired in relatively short order by Jose Arredondo, Sean Marshall and the always impressive Aroldis Chapman. Gee gave up a pair of home runs, one an inside the park job by Jay Bruce that will likely cost Jason Bay some disabled list time (more on that below), and the other a two-run shot by Brandon Phillips. Jeremy Hefner came on to relieve Gee and gave up a pair of runs, making a 4-1 deficit at the time 6-1. Elvin Ramirez also threw for the Mets and his command was spotty, as he ran close to a 1:1 strike to ball ratio. You can tell it's a poor game when the post-game REO Speedwagon concert is the highlight of the evening.
The Mets and Reds square off for game two of their three game set tonight at 7:15 PM from Citi Field. It'll be Jon Niese on the hill and he'll match up against Reds righty Homer Bailey. You can catch all of the action on FOX.
It looks as if Jason Bay suffered a concussion diving for Jay Bruce's inside the park home run last night and it sounds like that will send him back to the disabled list. Considering this is Bay's second concussion with the Mets, it seems likely he won't be back for a while. Obviously, he hasn't played well since signing with the team but the guy works hard everyday and deserves better than this. Also, there was no reason for Mets "fans" to boo him last night. Gritty, scrappy, pie-throwing, red-haired utility guy Justin Turner is on his way back to the Mets to replace Bay after two rehab games in Buffalo. Hooray?
Dillon Gee hit Joey Votto early in yesterday's game with a pitch, so the Mets weren't shocked when Sean Marshall hit David Wright with a pitch with two outs and nobody on in the eighth. In fact, Wright assumed it was intentional.
The Mets hosted 2012 first round picks Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki at Citi Field on Friday night, as they took batting practice, posed for pictures with David Wright and spoke with the media. Cecchini wore #2 during batting practice because his favorite player happens to be Derek Jeter. Maybe Gavin has an Edge.
The Brooklyn Cyclones released their opening day roster yesterday and it features some very interesting prospects. the headlining names are 2011 draft picks Brandon Nimmo and Phil Evans. Among other name prospects, you'll see Juan Urbina, JC Gamboa, Luis Mateo and Jeff Glenn, to go along with 2012 draft picks Plawecki, Matt Koch, Brandon Welch, Paul Sewald, Richie Rodriguez and Robert Whalen. SNY also did a video feature yesterday on Phil Evans, the SS taken in the 15th round last year who was given $650,000 to sign.
REO Speedwagon took the stage at Citi Field after Friday night's game and put on a nice show. I was there and I'll admit they were pretty good, though I'm personally not a huge fan.
Around the NL East
Only one team was a winner in the NL East on Friday, as the Braves defeated the Orioles 4-2 to snap a four game losing streak. The Nationals' six game win streak was snapped by the Yankees, who beat Gio Gonzalez 7-2 and are currently on fire. The Rays took out all of their frustration on the Marlins, as they ripped them apart 11-0 in St. Pete. Remember the Mets' 2009 season? That may be happening in Philadelphia. The Phillies were shut out by the Blue Jays 3-0 and to make matters worse, their best hitter Carlos Ruiz injured his oblique on Friday night.
Around the Majors
Dear World: If you don't know that Carlos Beltran is awesome, get with the program. Beltran became the eighth player and the first switch hitter to join the 300 home run/300 stolen base club. Just for reference, 149 of those home runs and 100 of those stolen bases came as a member of the Mets.
The A's released Manny Ramirez, who requested to be let go from his contract. Something something Manny being Manny. Blah blah blah market inefficiency.
The Braves designated Livan Hernandez for assignment yesterday. I wonder if this is the end for the big guy. On second thought, probably not.
At ESPN's Sweetspot, Dave Schoenfield takes a look at the evolution of the closer's role. Really interesting stuff here. I highly recommend reading this one.