Meet the Mets
When word came out that Frank Francisco called the Yankees chickens on Friday, it set the internet ablaze. The Met fans said "how could he say that? He's going to wake up the Yankees! His ERA is over 5!" and the Yankees fans said "I've never heard of Frank Francisco but how dare he say that! He doesn't have 27 rings! Do the Mets still have Mike Piazza? I only follow baseball in October!". There was a great deal of outrage spent on Francisco's playful comments about the team from the Bronx. But in the end, it was the Mets who ambushed Yankees starter Andy Pettitte for five first inning runs after an hour rain delay pushed the first pitch back. And it was the Mets, with Francisco fittingly on the hill for the final out, who clinched a 6-4 victory in game one at Citi Field. Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and was strong, though a bit hittable. In the first inning, Justin Turner knocked in two runs with a bases loaded, two out single and then Ike Davis cashed the rest in with a Nick Swisher-aided three run home run down the right field line. A trio of Yankee home runs, two off of Niese and one off of Miguel Batista, who inexplicably pitched the eighth inning, got the Yankees within shouting distance late in the game. But Francisco backed up his comments, albeit after putting a couple of guys on base and a Luis Castillo flashback or two, by shutting down the Yankees in the ninth. With the Mets' penchant for sweeps over the last couple of weeks, can we put a sweep in the books yet?
Prior to Friday night's game, the Mets activated Ronny Cedeno from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Elvin Ramirez to Buffalo. You have to imagine another move will be made sometime soon. I can't imagine them staying a man short in the bullpen for too long.
Frank Francisco's chicken comments got a lot of press on Friday morning and luckily, Francisco was able to hold up his end of the bargain during the evening's game. After Friday night's game, Tim Byrdak tweeted this:
Does anyone live on a farm that could take a chicken off my hands?— Tim Byrdak (@Givemethelefty) June 23, 2012
Soon after, he tweeted this:
ok people I bought Franky a chicken from China Town and now he is our mascot.....don't want to see him get whacked.....please help!— Tim Byrdak (@Givemethelefty) June 23, 2012
It just so happens, Byrdak actually bought Francisco a live chicken as a prank and had it in the clubhouse, as the video in that link proves. Oh Tim.
Around the NL East
Jair Jurrjens was dominant in his return from AAA, as the Braves defeated the Red Sox 4-1. Fortunately for the Mets, the Nationals fell to the Orioles 2-1 behind the brilliant pitching of Jason Hammel, while the Marlins continued their June swoon, as they got rocked by the Blue Jays 12-5 in Miami. Finally, the Phillies and Rays were rained out and will play two on Sunday. In good news for the Phillies, Ryan Howard thinks he may start a rehab assignment in the next week or so. In bad news, reliever Michael Stutes will have arthroscopic shoulder surgery next week.
Around the Majors
It sounds like "The Greek God of Walks" Kevin Youkilis will be on the move soon, as a deal could potentially go down any day now. Aside from his struggles with injuries in recent seasons, Youkilis was squeezed off of 1st base by Adrian Gonzalez last year and 3rd base by top prospect Will Middlebrooks this year.
Phil Humber was placed on the 15-day DL by the White Sox, as he's suffering from an elbow flexor sprain. Humber has been mostly awful since throwing his perfect game two months ago--he has a 7.47 ERA since then.
Chris Carpenter hasn't pitched in a major league game since last October but on Friday, he threw to live hitters for the first time since March.