The Intro June 3, 2010

After much thought, I finally have decided to try my hand at blogging.

So in the hope of keeping people coming back to read, I thought it necessary to delve out a few facts about the author of this blog.

My official blog site is called hopeisthebestofthings.wordpress.com. Why that??  Well, overall it speaks to how I view many of life’s situations, and I loved when Andy Dufresne used that line in “The Shawshank Redemption”.

I am an avid sports fan who has been trained well by my research back round to always look deeper into the games  and to why teams win or lose.

I will cover a variety of topics here.  Everything from of course sports, to movies to TV shows to Charles Dickens.  I hope that those of you who start reading, will continue.

That’s just a small back round on me which I thought was necessary to properly introduce myself.

Now on to the topics…

Why can’t the Mets win on the road?

Staggering…After 3 straight shutouts of the Phillies at home, the Mets lost 4 of 6 games to the Brewers and Padres.  Johan Santana gives up ZERO runs in 15 innings on the trip and the Mets LOSE both games.  Jason Bay and Jose Reyes, after breaking out a bit on the previous homestand, once again disappear.  The Mets have not won consecutive road games since last July 25–26 in Houston, a span of 55 games.  They’re the only major-league team that hasn’t won consecutive road games this season.  The Mets’ streak of 55 road games without consecutive wins is the third-longest in team history.  The only longer streaks spanned the 1963–64 seasons (64 games) and the 1962–63 seasons (60 games).

David Eckstein was his typical self pest by knocking in the tying run of Francisco Rodriguez with 2 outs on a 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the 9th. Adrian Gonzalez grand slam off Raul Valdez in the 11th won the game for the Padres.

K-Rod shaky again?

The loss yesterday was especially troubling since K-Rod blew the save.  He threw 46 pitches yesterday, this combined with throwing 30 in Tuesday night’s win.  I decided to look closer at his outings this season just to see if this is becoming a real problem.  The last 2 outings (last night and Tuesday) were the  first this season in which K-Rod threw more than 30 pitches in any appearance.  The 46 he threw yesterday was the most he threw in any outing since July 2, 2009 vs the Pirates in a game where he blew the save in the bottom of the 9th, but after the Mets took the lead in the top of the 10th he was able to close things down in the bottom of the inning.  Yesterday also marked just the 2nd time in his short career with the Mets that K-Rod has allowed runs in consecutive appearances.  The other time occurred with the previously mentioned game vs the Pirates last season followed by a game on July 8th where he allowed a home run to Manny Ramirez.  The last time that K-Rod had allowed runs in consecutive GAMES was April 4-5, 2007 with the Angels.  This was only the third time in his career which he had allowed runs in consecutive games.

K-Rod allowing runs in consecutive games

August 18-19, 2004

April 4-5, 2007

June 1-2, 2010

He appeared in 143 games between August 19, 2004 and April 5, 2007.  He then appeared in 231 games between April 5, 2007 and June 2, 2010.

Overall this season K-Rod has been good as before the last 2 games he had allowed a run in just 4 of his previous 23 appearances, so let’s hope the high pitch counts and allowing runs in consecutive games things isn’t something that is going to continue.

K-Rod allowed runs in consecutive games for just the 3rd time in his career.

What is going on with Jason Bay?

The struggles on the road of Bay are quite puzzling.  So far in 2010 Bay has appeared in 54 games.  Here are his numbers this season through 54 games compared to his first 6 seasons in the majors.

Overall

2010:  HR:  3    RBI:  23  Slug Pct.  .445

2009:  HR:  16  RBI:  52  Slug Pct.  .618

2008:  HR:  13  RBI:  28  Slug Pct.  .555

2007:  HR:  9    RBI:  41  Slug Pct.  .536

2006:  HR: 17   RBI:  45  Slug Pct.  .592

2005:  HR: 11   RBI:  26  Slug Pct.  .550

2004:  HR: 13   RBI:  40  Slug Pct.  .618

The Mets road uniform has not treated Jason Bay well this season.

Road Numbers through first 54 games

2010:  HR:  0    RBI:  5

2009:  HR:  10  RBI:  27

2008:  HR:  4    RBI:  9

2007:  HR:  6    RBI:  21

2006:  HR: 10  RBI:  17

2005:  HR:  9   RBI:  17

2004:  HR:  6   RBI:  21

It’s quite amazing when looking at those numbers how off his power numbers have been this season.  You would like to be able to blame the dimensions of CitiField a little bit, but that argument doesn’t hold any water since Bay has all of his 3 HR at home, while driving in 18 runs and posting a slugging pct. of .584.

Jason Bay of 2010 reminds me a lot of Jeremy Burnitz of 2002. Burnitz was coming off of 4 straight seasons of 30 HR and at least 98 RBI while playing in Milwaukee.   After hitting 7 HR through his first 29 games, Burnitz hit just 5 in his next 100 games and finished the season with just 19 HR and 54 RBI, while playing in 154 games!

To be fair to Jason Bay, his overall game this season has been very good.  He is a much better fielder and base runner than I remember him being.  His average is what it has usually been for his entire career so far.  So why has his power numbers dropped so drastically?

One could argue that Bay hit his 36 HR and drove in his 119 RBI in the American League last season which overall is a much better league for hitters because of smaller stadiums and the DH.  However, when Bay played for the Pirates from 2004-07, Bay averaged 29 HR and 94 RBI playing in basically the same parks he has played in this season.  Most baseball people like to point out that Bay is streaky, which he is, but after 2 full months of baseball, I think it’s fair to say that the “being streaky” argument is starting to lose weight.

The Return of Carlos Beltran?

I will be very interested to see just how much Bay’s numbers improve once the Mets get back Carlos Beltran, which they actually might very soon.  Reports on Beltran have been very positive lately and he might be playing in extended spring training games very soon.

I have no idea what kind of performance Beltran will give the Mets when he comes back.  Everything I have read of him says he feels stronger now than he has ever felt, and those that have watched him hit batting practice say the ball is jumping off his bat.  While the baseball world would love to see the return of the old Carlos Beltran who was one of the best players in the game, people should allow him a little time to get his groove back.

The return of Carlos Beltran will bring a smile to many Mets fans.

It’ll be very interesting to see the affect Beltran has on the rest of this lineup as well.  If he is anything like he has been throughout his career, the Mets go from an average offensive team to a very good offensive team with very few weak spots in their order.  Just his presence alone should help David Wright and Jose Reyes who have both struggled much more without Beltran in the lineup.

Media Matters

For those of you who enjoy watching a good miniseries on TV, I have recently been enjoying many titles produced by BBC.  One of my favorites is a trilogy called the “House of Cards” starring the late Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart.  Gripping and suspenseful it gives one a look into the dirty world of politics.  His character is a very unique one, as you can’t help but like him despite all of the things he does.

For the females or even the males as I myself liked this miniseries very much, search NetFlix or Blockbuster or your local library for “Cranford“.  Starring Judi Dench, this takes place in the English countryside around the mid-to late 1800s.  The characters are very good and it plays on both your heart and humorous sides.

For those of you who enjoy the classics, I would suggest picking up a copy of Charles Dickens “The Pickwick Papers” which was one of the few comedies that Dickens wrote.  The humor isn’t like that of Monty Python or Mr. Bean, but much like that humor it is for the quick minded.   Others of you who like Dickens more serious side, I would suggest picking up “Bleak House“, as the words Jarndyce and Jarndyce will forever remain in your minds.

Other articles by me published on the internet

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=research/080128

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2003/news/story?id=1629053

http://a.espncdn.com/mlb/s/2003/0717/1581988.html

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3114212

The author can be reached by email at ckmagic3205@yahoo.com

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About Mark Kelly - CKMagicSports

Sports Historian that is well versed at the four major sports first, then College Hoops, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf and NASCAR. Former ESPN Researcher in Bristol, CT. After a 10-year career working in everything from SportsCenter to ESPNNEWS to Cold Pizza. Had to retire due to complications from Cancer treatment. I am a now 25-year survivor that still suffers everyday from the side effects of chemotherapy & radiation. Suffer from Crohn's disease and Lymphedema everyday and started a website called CKMagicSports.com that I do podcasts on that you can help support by clicking on KNOCKOUTCANCER link on my CKMagicSports website. https://www.gofundme.com/KOCANCER Read more about my 25-year battle with the disgusting side effects of this disease here. http://www.ckmagicsports.com/marks-story/
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