It was a great weekend for fans of Big East basketball, but a bad one for fans of U.S. baseball. It's an all-Asia final tonight in the WBC, with Japan facing South Korea. Here we go:
Around Port St. Lucie
The Braves beat the Mets 12-1 on Saturday, as John Maine struggled. Returning the favor on Sunday, Mets pitchers combined on a four-hitter and Jeremy Reed (4-for-5, 2 doubles) led a 17-hit Mets attack to top the Braves 12-1. Johan Santana pitched quite well, and here is his stat line, inspired by Viva El Birdos:
Santana walked Jeff Francoeur. Mark the date down, you will probably never see that again.
- Carlos Beltran was a late scratch from the lineup, due to a stiff neck. Take your time Carlos.
- Brian Schneider missed his scheduled return to the lineup due to lingering knee problems. Would anyone be surprised to see the Mets break camp with Schneider on the DL?
David Lennon at Newsday spoke with Tom Glavine about Pedro Martinez's comments concerning the cheap deal Glavine signed with the Braves. I'm not saying that Pedro owes the Mets anything, and should therefore lower his asking price. However, the Mets paid him $53 million the last 4 seasons and got a little more than half of that in value. If Pedro loves the Mets as much as he says he does, you'd think he would swallow his pride and accept $1-2 million guaranteed plus incentives. He's free to do whatever he wants though, and who am I to judge.
Buster Olney at ESPN looks at some players to watch for 2009, Daniel Murphy amongst them. I'm as big a fan of Murphy as the next guy (we sponsor his Baseball-Reference page) but it's really too early to say things like "everybody who sees his at-bats walks away thinking they've just seen one of the most savvy young hitters in the sport." Olney also looks at Dontrelle Willis's comeback chances. Willis is a complete mess right now (7 BB, 12 earned runs allowed in 8.1 IP this spring) and has been awful since 2007.
Speaking of Murphy, Adam Rubin of the Daily News says Jerry Manuel has plans for batting him in the #2 spot in the lineup. This only confirms what we knew all along -- Jerry doesn't read AA or BtB. Then again, if Murph can somehow maintain his 2008 performance this season, he can hit just about anywhere in the lineup.
Just a week to go before the first game at Citi Field. Anyone else attending?
Around the NL East
Federal Baseball examines what position Adam Dunn will play this season and keeps tabs on the best pitcher in college baseball, Stephen Strasburg.
Beerleaguer notes that Kyle Kendrick pitched well for the Phillies this weekend. As a Mets fan, I would love to see Kendrick in the Phils rotation at some point this year. Go Kyle!
Tom Glavine pitched well for the Braves on Saturday vs. the Mets, despite throwing around 80 mph.
Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the best baseball columnist in New York for my money, named Tom Tango's introduction to WAR his link of the week. Beautiful.
Halos Heaven lists the Mets as a potential destination for John Lackey, who is free agent next offseason. I like Lackey, but not for the ~$100 million he's likely seeking.
Home run derby: the Angels and Royals combined to hit 15 homers in a spring training game yesterday. Mr. Lackey surrendered 4 of them.
General David Petraeus autographed a baseball for Joe Girardi with four stars under the signature since Petraeus is a four-star general. The general threw out the first pitch before Saturday's Yankee game.