Hope is the best of things – June 9

Before we get to the Mets…Amazing debut for Strasburg

In his much anticipated first major league start (shown nationally on the Baseball Network) Stephen Strasburg was everything the Nationals and their fans could have hoped he would be.  He threw 7 innings allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, ZERO walks and 14 Ks. What a debut!  Is it wrong to wish that he suffer a career-changing rotator cuff injury (like Paul Wilson) or suffer other arm troubles (like Bill Pulsipher).  Since he is SURE to be an awful thorn in the side of the NY Mets for many years to come, I can’t help but hope (the sinful side of me hopes this…the same one that hopes Tom Brady gets injures himself skiing in the offseason and must end his football career) that Strasburg suffers some sort of setback that will slow his progression, because the way he looked last night it looks like the Nationals have a franchise-type starter to help them for the next 10-15 years.

Rookie Pitchers to not allow a walk a strikeout at least 14 batters – since 1969

Stephen Strasburg          6/8/2010  vs PIT        14 K

Kerry Wood                      5/6/1998  vs HOU      20 K

Doc Gooden                      9/17/1984 at PHI        16 K

Doc Gooden                      9/12/1984 vs PIT       16 K

Roger Clemens                 8/21/1984 vs KC        15 K

>>Elias Sports Bureau

Stephen Strasburg was everything Nationals fans hoped he would be in winning his first MLB start.

John Starks – Redeemed?!?!?!

All Knicks fans will never forget two MAJOR individual games/moments/players during their what now was (thanks to ONE playoff appearance in the last 9 seasons) the glory days of the 1990s.  Game 1 is STILL the most exciting sporting event I have ever been to, and that is Game 5 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals.  The name is Charles Smith and the moment was him missing multiple chances to put the ball in the basket underneath the basket.   The other occurred in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals when John Starks went 2-18 from the field in the Knicks loss (including 0-11 from 3-point range).   This coming after Starks single-handedly almost won the Knicks the NBA title in Game 6 with a 27-point effort (9-18, 5-9).

Well, last night Ray Allen stepped into John Starks territory.   After scoring 32 points in their Game 2 win of the NBA Finals on Sunday and making a NBA Finals record 8 three-point shots, Allen went 0-13 from the field (0-8 from behind the arc) and scored just 2 points in the Celtics loss.  It wasn’t quite the same as doing it in Game 7, but maybe John Starks can rest a little easier knowing that he wasn’t the only player to self-destruct in the NBA Finals.

Knicks fans will never forget Starks dismal Game 7 performance in the 1994 NBA Finals.

More notes on Ray Allen

– His 0-8 from behind the arc was the 2nd most 3-Pt FGA without a make in NBA Finals history (you guessed it, Starks is first with his 0-11)

– His 0-13 from the field was the 3rd most FGA without a make in NBA Finals history (Dennis Johnson went 0-14 for the Sonics in 1978 and Chick Reiser of the Baltimore Bullets went 0-14 in 1948 – source: ESPN)

– His 2 points in Game 3 tied for the fewest in NBA Finals history for a player the game after posting a 30-pt effort (Dave DeBusschere also did this in the 1973 Finals – source – ESPN).

Ray Allen could only wish his shots were falling like he was in an historic evening for dismal performances.

…And Now on to the METS

The Mets won their 9th straight home game last night, marking the 2nd time this season that they have won 9 straight home games.

Two win streaks of 9 or more games at home in one season – team history

2010 –  9-game streak and 9-game streak (current>>)

1990 – 11-game streak and 10-game streak

>> started on May 22nd

Mike Pelfrey had his Johan Santana moment last night for 7 innings as he only allowed 1 run, but the Mets could not get to Clayton Richard despite having a few chances with RISP (paging Jason Bay…Jason Bay…).  Jose Reyes HR in the 7th prevented Pelfrey from being on the losing side, but after 9 brilliant innings Big Pelf left with a ND.  If I was Jason Bay I would have stayed away from Pelfrey through the entire game.  Bay came up with a Angel Pagan on third and one out in the first of a 1-0 game and left Pagan there by striking out LOOKING (nothing makes me more annoyed than watching a player go down LOOKING with a runner on third and less than 2 outs).   Bay then came up with Reyes on third and Pagan on first in the 5th with 2 outs and – you guessed it – struck out AGAIN.

Mike Pelfrey was outstanding again yesterday, throwing 9 innings and allowing just one run in a no-decision.

To be fair to Bay, Jeff Francouer also had multiple chances to drive in a run in the first 9 innings but failed to deliver.  After singling in the 2nd, Francouer had 2 separate chances in his next 2 AB to drive in David Wright but struck out in the 4th and flew out in the 6th.

Pelfrey left after 9 BRILLIANT innings that saw his ERA drop from 2.39 to 2.23.  K-Rod threw a perfect 10th and Pedro Feliciano and Elmer Dessens worked around a David Eckstein single in the 11th.  However in the 10th, Angel Pagan JUST missed a game-winning HR (sometimes I really HATE this field’s dimensions – and WHERE is Jeffrey Meier when you need him?!?!?!) with 2 outs that set the stage for – guess who – Jason Bay AGAIN to be the hero…the 10th ended when Bay failed for the 3rd straight time to drive in a run from 3rd base when he weakly grounded out to Chase Headley (by the way HOW GOOD IS THIS KID VS THE METS?!?! – he is batting .529 (9-17) vs the Mets in 2010 and has a .423 BA (23-52) vs them overall in his career).

Chase Headley loves seeing the Mets on the schedule as his career .423 career BA vs them proves.

Highest career BA vs Mets – Active Players with at least 50 AB

Chase Headley       SD       .423

Derek Jeter            NYY   .381

Ivan Rodriguez      WSH   .373

Garret Anderson   LAD    .360

Ike Davis then led off the 11th and hit a ball that almost went to where I was sitting when I went to “bark at the park”.  I mean this ball was CRUSHED!!!  I think it even went farther than his first ML homer which I also saw in person vs the Braves at Citifield that went over the Shea Bridge in right CF).  The more I see of Davis, the more I like him.  He seems to be patient and hasn’t let any miniature slumps get in his head so far.  He also seems to be able to adjust pretty quickly to how the pitchers are pitching him.  Ike Davis’ walk-off HR was the 2nd fewest career games that a Met has hit a walk-off HR (this was his 45th career game).  Do you know who had played in the fewest games before hitting a walk-off HR?  For those of you who remember Craig Brazell, you WIN!!  Brazell’s walk-off HR on September 25, 2004, came 2 innings after Victor Diaz hit a game-tying 3-run HR off of Cubs closer LaTroy Hawkins.  Cubs fans remember that game as the game that cost them the postseason as they were a game-and-a-half up in the wild card heading into that game and proceeded to win just 2 of the final 9 games to miss the playoffs.

Mets fans everywhere jumped up when Ike Davis hit one into Nassau County in the 11th inning of the Mets walk-off win last night.

What else can be said about the inability of Jason Bay to drive in runs?  Overall, Bay has been solid.  He’s a very good base runner, a much better fielder than I thought he would be, and he hustles and tries hard all the time.  Saying that, 24 RBI in 250 PA is NOT what the Mets gave him that big contract for.

Jason Bay – Fewest RBI through first 250 PA of season

2010             24   –  3  HR

2005             27   – 11 HR

2008             29   – 13 HR

2007             43   – 10 HR

Jose Reyes snapped a 1-20 streak with a single in the 3rd inning. Reyes HR in the 7th snapped a streak of 5 straight games without scoring a run.  It was also just the third extra-base hit Reyes has this season coming in the 7th inning or later.

More to come later on my thoughts of Generation K…

Help Fund for Cancer Survivors

I might as well use this blog to educate people that cancer survivors out there need your help.  Many of us (myself included) have suffered awful side effects from the chemotherapy and radiation.  As a result of my treatment, I now suffer from Hemochromotosis, Crohn’s Disease and Lymphedema.  I had to retire in April 2008 after being diagnosed with Hemochromotosis. Disability payments are not NEARLY enough to live on an many of us in situations like mine need help.  PLEASE help me by donating to a fund to start a foundation for cancer survivors.  If you want more information or are looking want to become involved, check out our facebook page or email me.



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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