A good weekend for the Mets by taking two out of three games from the eastern division favorites the Washington Nationals.
Dillon Gee got off the schneid and pitched his best game of the season this afternoon in a combined effort that shut out a talented Washington offense. The Mets bullpen in middle relief has been shaky once again this year but so far Bobby Parnell in the closing role has been everything the Mets could have hoped for. It's obvious he worked hard with the coaches in the pre-season to iron out some of his control issues and he's developed an effective breaking ball. Frank Francisco when he returns from injury rehab will most likely be placed in a set up role out of the bullpen. He's going to have to grin and bear it because Parnell has been the best pitcher out of that bullpen so far this season.
If there was some type of award for best "throw in" player involved in a major trade this season, Mets catcher John Buck would win it hands down. Another monsterous home run today (His 7th) and he's now leading MLB in runs batted in. However long this streak lasts, Mets fans are thankful to have him. He's been a superb handler of the young pitching staff and a leader on the ballclub. Buck will continue to anchor the catching position indefinately now after it was learned that the catcher of the future Travis d'Arnaud suffered an injury to his foot after fouling a ball off of it in a minor league game.
Detroit didn't have much luck replacing Valverde in the bullpen this off season, and he had no takers elsewhere this winter. He did have success for you guys during the regular season last year though. Probably their main reason for bringing him back. I hope it all works out, just not against the Mets.
I've been watching R.A. Dickey with Toronto this season and he is not at all looking like the pitcher he was in New York for the Mets last year. He's got a nagging back and neck strain that is forcing him to alter his mechanics. If his knuckler isn't working properly he's obviously not going to get by on his other pitches alone. His fastball couldn't break a pane of glass, never could, and he lives and dies on the fluttering wings of that knuckleball.
The Blue Jays rolled him out there the other night and he gave up a bunch of runs in one inning which knocked Toronto out of the game early. Toronto isn't hitting much right now either. Dickey getting bombed early or giving up more than a few runs in a ballgame was a rare sight last season in New York. He's not been right up to this point, and he's a gamer trying to pitch through it but this has the potential of only getting worse.
The smart thing to do would be to sit him down for at least one start but Toronto is feeling the pressure right now because none of their other "star" starters are performing as planned either. Their rotation on paper after all the trades looked like gold this winter. Josh Johnson used to give the Mets (And the rest of the league for that matter) fits when he was in Florida as a Marlin and he has been having his difficulties the last several seasons getting it together after returning from numerous injuries. Johnson was one of those young hard throwing control guys who if you didn't get to him early and catch a break you were in for a long evening.
Sorry to hear about the passing of Rick Camp. I know his life after baseball took some downward turns.
Many Mets fans well remember Camp but cannot name the Mets pitcher he hit that home run off of. The pitcher was Tom Gorman. Perhaps it's just as well.
We've discussed this game before here someplace waay back on this thread. I was up watching the whole marathon till the wee hours of the morning, and the Braves (True to their word) still held their planned fireworks display after it was all over. Needless to say, quite a few Atlanta residents were roused from their sleep a bit earlier than they may have planned.
Well, that particular game went 19 innings and the roosters were all set to crow just as it ended. Both teams were exhausted and running on fumes in terms of available pitchers left and the Mets were crossing their fingers and toes when they brought in Gorman. Gorman is right up there with the Mark Bomback's of the world in terms of being one of those mediocre pitchers of the past who many Mets fans barely even remember anymore. Every team has them, but whenever this one game is mentioned, Gorman's name of course comes up.
Most of the ex-players from both teams when asked about that game now look back at it fondly. Rick Camp had a great quote about the only home run he ever hit in his big league career."If this team needs me to hit a home run to win a game, they're really in trouble".
I think SNY has played truncated versions of the game from time to time on Mets off days and during the off-season as a schedule filler. It does bring back memories, seeing all those players of the past I rooted for, and the Mets of course were right on the cusp of winning it all the following year in '86. Camp, despite his later problems off the diamond will continue to be remembered in baseball history if just for this one record setting game. It's now commonly referred to by the writers and fans as "The Rick Camp Game".
I have both broadcasts of the game. The TBS version is the more common one as that's the version ESPN Classic and company used to replay. I combined that with an original broadcast recording that goes from the 10th inning to the finish. The Mets version I only have in a two hour replay version from a few years ago. In that one, there's a great line where McCarver at one point says, "If this were a movie, no one would believe it," and Kiner said, "If this were a movie, no one would watch it!"
Yankees win 6-4 over the Blue Jays! Rivera locks down the save and has been looking like the old Mo.
But unfortunately a disaster as Cervelli fractures his hand and is out for six weeks and Nova goes out with soreness. With all the injuries this team has had, it's a miracle they've played as well as they have up to this point.
Yankees sweep the Blue Jays by beating Dickey in his return to New York, 3-2. That puts them at 14-5 since their bad 1-4 start. I have to say, I'm amazed so far especially with all the other injuries they've had but if they can hold the line this way until the big bats come back they will be in good shape (of course the pitching must hold too).
Dickey has not been sharp since the season began and this afternoon he didn't pitch badly against the Yankees but the long ball got him once again. Dickey is injured and trying to pitch through it. Toronto continues to struggle and the Red Sox and the Yankees continue their improbable starts to the 2013 season. The writers should approach Blue Jays manager John Gibbons with caution. Yesterday when interviewed after the loss he looked like an angry snapping turtle about to take someone's head off. Toronto was supposed to be the favorite in the AL east division. It's not happening.
The Yankees are looking like a 2013 version of Al Davis 70's/80's Oakland Raiders. Somehow they have this way of propping up former stars, fading stars, and castoffs from other organizations. And these players thrive in pinstripes. It goes way back to the days of George Steinbrenner. Vernon Wells? Lyle Overbay? Kevin Youkilis? Two 40 year old starting pitchers? A 40 plus year old closer? Fans can shake their heads if they want. The Yankees are winning baseball games with this group so far. Stay tuned.
Sandy Alderson is a smart baseball man. I've said it over and over, and over again here. But the last several years he's hit the wall in trying to find decent bullpen help for the New York Mets. Other than an improved Bobby Parnell, this most recent group of journeymen in the revolving door once again stinks to high heaven. I don't know if all this has to do with the team budget or what, but this lack of being able to fill this particular hole has been an issue for years now.
In this day and age of pitch counts on starters you MUST have a least a few solid go-to middle inning relief specialists in the bullpen. Guys who can pitch and get outs. This group is not cutting it. Again. The only work Bobby Parnell gets lately are not save opportunities but mop up duty after their mess. I realize the Mets are not contending this year, but Alderson is going to have to find a solution going forward or this team is going to continue to have problems getting out of it's own way.
It's turning out to be a disaster so far for Toronto. And we're not even out of April yet.
They took on the huge heaping load of owner Jeffrey Loria's Miami Marlins salary dump, plus traded away top prospects to the Mets and gave Dickey the big contract extension on top of it. All in an effort to win it all now. On paper this winter it all looked like gold. On the field it looks like something else.. This kind of wild spending doesn't bother teams like the Dodgers who now seem able to throw money around at the drop of a hat. For a market like Toronto, this could wind up affecting them for years down the road.
Baseball has it's surprises. Toronto obviously thought the Yankees and Red Sox would be in their rear view mirror this season when they pulled the trigger on these moves. But it's now Toronto who blew the tires in the opening weeks and are being passed by.
Given how much Toronto gave away in taking on these players, they could look at years of setbacks to their development. Similarly, the Dodgers who took on all those contracts off Boston's hands last year aren't doing much with all those players either.