Meet the Mets
I think we can all agree on this one fact: when you shut out the opposing team, you're likely to win. Well, perhaps the Mets have found the new market inefficiency--getting really good pitchers who throw shutouts every time they pitch. Or wait; maybe that was the old market inefficiency. Anywho, the Mets beat the Orioles 5-0 behind the left arm of Johan Santana, keeping them off the scoreboard for the second day in a row. Santana, who had struggled in his two post-No Han outings against the Yankees and Rays, looked much stronger against the O's. He tossed six innings and handed the ball over to the bullpen, who made easy work of Baltimore on this night. Meanwhile, the Mets offense seems to have found some life. After struggling to score runs against the Reds over the weekend, they've managed to scratch out five in each of the last two days. Today's big blast was of the two-run variety, as Lucas Duda launched it into the Mo's Zone netting in right field--a ball that wouldn't have been a home run a year ago.
The Mets take on the Orioles tonight at 7:10 PM, as they look to complete a 3-game sweep. It'll be Dillon Gee on the hill and he'll face off against lefty Brian Matusz.
R.A. Dickey Avenue
Amazin' Avenue is officially all R.A. Dickey all the time now! At Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan looks at the progression of Dickey's knuckler. At Deadspin, appropriately-named Jack Dickey uses passages from R.A.'s book to compare his performance on the mound with his off the field life. Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels put together one of his excellent prospect retrospectives for Dickey. At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron looks into the numbers a bit more. In the Times, Andrew Keh spoke with Dickey's 2005 AAA manager Bobby Jones about the beginnings of his time as a knuckleballer. Finally, Anthony DiComo has some reaction from Dickey's former manager Buck Showalter and some of the other Orioles players.
Could R.A. Dickey pitch on three days rest? While we probably won't find that answer out anytime soon, manager Terry Collins contemplated using Dickey every fourth day back in May as a way to get Johan Santana an extra day off here or there. It looks like this isn't part of the plan in the near future, as it would throw off the schedules of the other starters.
David Wright still leads NL 3rd baseman in All Star voting. If he didn't, it would be a crime.
Toby Hyde has a preview of the 2012 Kingsport Mets, who opened up their season last night with an 8-4 loss. Along with a few interesting position player prospects, there are a ton of arms with upside on that roster. Toby also has an interview with Brooklyn SS Phil Evans, whose father apparently owns a smoothie shop.
Brandon Nimmo has impressed Brooklyn manager Rich Donnelly with his maturity, as well as his skills.
Around the NL East
The Braves defeated the Yankees 4-3 on Tuesday, snapping the Bronx Bombers' 10-game win streak. Meanwhile, the Phillies defeated the Rockies 7-2 behind the pitching of Cole Hamels. The Miami Marlins continue to struggle in June, as they lost to the Red Sox 7-5. Miami fell to a game under .500 on the season and are just 4-12 this month. Finally, the first place Nationals fell to the Rays 5-4. The Mets currently find themselves in second place in the NL East, just three games behind Washington.
Around the Majors
Injured Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis will not only be off the field for a few months but also out of a few paychecks, as he was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance enhancing substance. It looks like the substance wasn't all that performance enhancing, as Galvis had "hit" a woeful .226/.254/.363 in under 200 at bats.
The Phils also lost reliever David Herndon for the season, as the righty underwent Tommy John surgery. The 2012 Phillies seem to be looking more and more like the 2009 Mets by the day.
Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected from Tuesday evening's game against the Nationals after a significant amount of pine tar was discovered in his glove.
Rangers TV announcer Dave Barnett will sit out a few games after he began speaking nonsense during Texas' game on Monday night before his mic was cut. Apparently, the episode was caused by severe migraine headaches.