Meet the Mets
I don't know about everybody else, but I think Johan Santana's no-hitter on Friday has made me greedy. R.A. Dickey went out to the mound on Saturday afternoon and within a few pitches, I realized that he had a special knuckleball. That was when I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Mets were destined to throw no-hitters on consecutive days after waiting until their 51st season to throw their first. Dickey disposed of the Cardinals in the first inning with ease, needing just seven pitches. In the second, though, Carlos Beltran stepped to the plate and lined a clean double into the left-center field gap for the Cards' first hit this series. FIRE! TRAID! #BlameBeltran! The dream lived on all of one inning before we all woke up. It was a nice dream but instead, the Mets had to settle for consecutive complete game shutouts, as they defeated the Redbirds 5-0. Fine, I'll take the shutouts!
Despite not throwing a no-hitter, Dickey was in command all day. He allowed seven hits, while striking out nine batters and not walking a single one. He wasn't really in much trouble and he fell just a strikeout shy of his third consecutive start with 10+ strikeouts. Amazin' Avenue's favorite knuckleball deity has been excellent since first donning a Mets' uniform in May 2010, but in the year 2012, we are seeing a completely new and somehow improved Robert Allen Dickey. Offensively, the Mets were gift-wrapped a trio of runs in the second inning thanks to some CardinLOLs defense and a couple of rib eye steak groundouts. In the seventh, they stole a run on a wild pitch. Then, in the eighth, David Wright hit his sixth home run, a shot into the Mo's Zone netting in RF. He's just hitting .369/.472/.591 this year. No big deal. LoveTheMets! LoveTheMets!
Jon Niese heads to the mound as he tries to keep the Mets' shutout streak intact in game three of their series with the Cardinals. He'll be opposed by Jake Westbrook. First pitch in this matchup is at 8:05 PM and you can catch all of the action on The Worldwide Leader--that's right, this is an ESPN game.
Unfortunately, there's some injury news to dole out. Mike Baxter will be out for six weeks after his miraculous catch up against the left field wall and Ramon Ramirez will also hit the DL. Baxter injured his collarbone and ribs on the game-saving catch and in the process, turned himself into a real New York hero. Ramirez, on the other hand, injured his hamstring celebrating the no-hitter. D'oh! There's no word on replacements as of this writing.
The Mets rotation is in flux, as they are unsure who will start Monday's afternoon game against the Cardinals. Jeremy Hefner and Miguel Batista seem the most likely options. It will not be Chris Schwinden, however. Schwinny is now Toronto Blue Jays property, as he was claimed off waivers by the Jays. Good luck up there in Jason Bay-land, Chris! Meanwhile, it looks like Chris Young may be in line to take Tuesday's start.
Johan Santana received plenty of congratulations the day after his no-hitter: former Mets' aces Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden, no-hitter spoiler Jimmy Qualls, former Mets GM Omar Minaya and even Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez all sent Santana kudos.
John Franco will be inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame before tonight's game and the Daily News has a look back at Franco's journey from Brooklyn to St. John's to the Big Leagues.
Want to learn more about Jon Niese? Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with today's starting pitcher.
The St. Lucie Mets swept a doubleheader, clinching the first-half title and a playoff berth in the Florida State League. It's June 3rd, by the way, and the mini Mets are now 43-12. Wow. Meanwhile, we're approaching the amateur draft in nearly 24 hours and Toby Hyde has some more draft buzz. Lance McCullers? David Dahl? Max Fried? Whispers of Mets' interest in Lucas Giolito? It'll be really interesting to see who lands where and what direction they decide to go in on Monday.
Around the NL East
The Phillies lost to the Marlins 5-4 and they continue to be hit hard by the injury bug. They lost reliever Jose Contreras for the season on Saturday, as he tore his Ulnar Collateral Ligament and his Flexor Pronator Tendon while throwing a pitch.
Stephen Strasburg pitched like Stephen Strasburg, as the Nationals shut out the Braves 2-0.
Around the Majors
MLB has declared 20 year old Cuban CF Jorge Soler a free agent. I would love to see the Mets get in on him, especially before the July 2nd IFA signing period begins, but I haven't seen anything linking the Mets to him. Of course, I don't think anybody had the A's signing Yoenis Cespedes.
The Astros called up former Mets' prospect Fernando Martinez to replace injured outfielder Travis Buck. F-Mart has stayed healthy with the Astros' AAA club and is hitting .319/.374/.532 with 8 home runs. Granted, this is in the offense-heavy Pacific Coast League, but those are still impressive numbers. Meanwhile, Houston also was busy exploiting MLB loopholes over the last week.