Hope is the best of things – June 27-28

Johan loses again as Mets fall to Carl Pavano and Twins

For the third straight start Johan Santana was slapped around by an American League team.  It’s a good thing Santana left the American League because judging from his last 3 starts, he might not win too many games anymore.  The Twins jumped on him for 4 runs in the first inning, and much like when the Mets played the Nationals earlier in the season and they jumped on Santana for 4 runs in the first, the Mets offense went into a slumber.

Carl Pavano, yes the same Carl Pavano that was laughed out of New York while pitching for the Yankees, dominated the Mets lineup so easily that the Mets didn’t even get a runner past 2nd base.  Jeff Francoeur had 2 of the Mets 3 hits on the day as the rest of the lineup might of well stayed home.  Games like this against inferior pitchers just shows how far the Mets are from seriously competing among the baseball elite.

Carl Pavano allowed just 3 hits in winning his 8th career game vs the Mets.

Pavano has now defeated former Cy Young Award winners Roy Halladay and Johan Santana in consecutive starts, so at least the Mets can hide their shame by pointing out that the Phillies also lost to Pavano.  However, unlike the confidence the Phillies still have in Halladay, the Mets have now lost confidence in Santana.

Santana leaving the game with his head down has become a familiar site this season.

Since scoring 7 runs for him against the Indians on June 15, the Mets have gone scoreless in Santana’s last 2 starts in losing to the Yankees (4-0) and the Twins (5-0). Despite his lack of run support, the Mets still seem to suffer from shock when Santana allows runs early.  This is the 4th time now this season that Santana has allowed 4 runs or more before the 5th inning and in 3 of those starts the Mets have lost and scored a total of 2 runs in those 3 games.

Johan Santana – Allowing 4 runs or more by 5th inning – 2010 season

June 25        allowed 4 runs in first                         Mets were shutout

June 15        allowed 4 runs in first 4 innings         Mets rallied to win

May 2           allowed 10 runs in first 4 innings      Mets failed to score after

April 11        allowed 4 runs in first inning              Mets scored 2 runs in loss

What this tells us is that the Mets seem to go into shock when Santana is slapped around.  Although since the calendar almost reads July, this should no longer be a shock.  Perhaps no one on the Mets has been as disappointing as Santana this season. Yes, the Mets have failed to provide him adequate run support in many of his ND or losses, but he has also failed to either continue win streaks or end losing streaks at some bad times this season.

Santana needs to get back the form that rewarded him with a $137.5 million contract.

I think the term “ACE” no longer applies to Santana.  What the Mets have to think about is whether or not they can continue with him and his huge contract.  In 2008 Santana signed a 6-year deal worth $137.5 million deal.  Perhaps the Mets should look at the example Santana has set when deciding whether or not to sign Cliff Lee to a huge contract in the offseason.

Santana was 29 when the Mets signed him.  Cliff Lee will be 32 next season.  Can they risk another long-term contract on a pitcher who is almost past his prime?  If Santana faltered and was 3 years younger upon his signing, is it wise for the Mets to invest another large contract on a over 30 pitcher?

Mets W-L Since May 13th

When Santana starts   W-L:  2-7   Runs PG: 2.1   BA: .189  Runs PG allowed: 3.7

When others start       W-L: 23-7   Runs PG: 5.5  BA: .293  Runs PG allowed: 3.8

Mets take 2 of 3 from Twins

Entering this home stand I mentioned how important it was that they continue their solid play and take at least 2 of 3 in each series.  The Mets accomplished that feat and were a David Wright strikeout away from winning 5 of 6.  The Mets threw their 11th shutout of the season yesterday which is the most in MLB.

Niese helped the Mets record their 11th shutout of the season which is the most in the majors.

Most shutouts – MLB 2010

Mets            11

Padres         10

Rockies         9

Athletics       8

Phillies          7

Blue Jays      7

Other notes on Mets win and interleague play

David Wright collected 24 RBI in interleague play this season which ties an NL record previously set by Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins last season.  Jon Niese finished June with a 4-0 record.  The only other Mets rookie pitcher to win 4 or more games in June was Ron Darling who won 5 games in 1984.  The Mets have now won 6 straight home series, their longest streak since 2008.  The Mets won their 13th interleague game this season which sets a new team mark for most wins in a single-season vs AL opponents.

Most Wins vs AL teams – Single season

2010        13

1999        12

2008         9

2000         9

1998          9

Most RBI, Interleague Play – Single-Season

Frank Thomas     2000      26

Jim Thome           2001      25

David Wright        2010      24

Hanley Ramirez   2009      24

David Wright tied an NL record for most RBI in a single season in interleague play with 24 this season.

As the Mets travel to Puerto Rico to take on the Marlins they now face another opponent that embarrassed them earlier this season on the road. The Marlins are having their own trouble right now as they recently fired manager Freddi Gonzalez and were thought to have named Bobby Valentine as their manager, but that has not happened as yet.  They have lost 4 straight games.  Unlike the series in May, this series will be played in Puerto Rico, not Florida.  The Marlins have done very well playing at Hiram Bithorn Stadium as they won 5 of 6 games there when the Expos played games there during the 2003-04 seasons.

The Mets and Marlins will play this series in Puerto Rico.

The Mets have not faired so well in their 7 games played in Puerto Rico.  Overall the Mets are 2-5 there, having lost all 4 games in 2003 and won 2 of 3 in 2004.

W-L at Hiram Bithorn Stadium

Marlins:   5-1     ERA: 1.87   Opp. BA: .203   Runs PG: 6.0

Mets:        2-4    ERA: 3.10   Opp. BA: .243   Runs PG: 2.1

>>Marlins won their last 3 games all by shutout

Top 10 Mets regular season moments (to see moments 10-2 look at previous entries of hopeisthebestofthings)

1. – 6 way tie: Mets clinch postseason berths – It’s hard to argue with games that officially put you in the postseason as the most important moments in a teams history. On September 24, 1969 the Mets secured their first postseason berth with a 6-0 win over the Cardinals at Shea Stadium.  On October 1, 1973 the Mets secured their 2nd NL East title with a 6-4 win over the Cubs.  On September 17, 1986 Doc Gooden pitched a complete game in the Mets 4-2 win over the Cubs.  That clinching date actually took 6 days to reach as the Mets failed in their first 5 tries.  On September 22, 1988, Ron Darling threw a complete game in a Mets 3-1 win over the Phillies to clinch the team’s 4th NL East title.  On September 18, 2006 the Mets clinched their 5th NL East title with a 4-0 win over the Marlins.  Last but not least, on October 4, 1999, the Mets defeated the Reds 5-0 to win the NL Wild Card.  I did not put the clinching of the 2000 NL Wild Card since that was pretty much anti-climatic and the team didn’t even celebrate.  It’s actually very interesting how in all the Mets clinchings in team history, they have pitched excellent.

David Wright celebrates the Mets 2006 NL East title.

Dates of Mets postseason clinchings – Team History

September 18, 2006    Clinched NL East       SP: Trachsel (W)       Final Score: 4-0

September 27, 2000    Clinched Wild Card    SP: Reed (W)             Final Score: 6-2

October 4, 1999            Clinched Wild Card    SP: Leiter (W-CG)    Final Score: 5-0

September 22, 1988     Clinched NL East       SP: Darling (W-CG)  Final Score: 3-1

September 17, 1986     Clinched NL East        SP: Gooden (W-CG) Final Score: 4-2

October 1, 1973             Clinched NL East       SP: Seaver (W)          Final Score: 6-4

September 24, 1969     Clinched NL East       SP: Gentry (W-CG)  Final Score: 6-0

Bedlam rained on Shea Stadium when the Mets clinched their first postseason berth since 1973 on September 17, 1986.

This might seem lame to some of you, but there’s nothing quite like knowing your team will be in the postseason and getting excited for that clinching date.  Also after that date, you get to finally relax as your team now can rest it’s players and you even get a chance to see some of the younger talent ready to come up.  I remember in 1986, Dave Magadan playing for a flu-ridden Keith Hernandez and getting 3 hits and 2 RBI.

Part of the disappointments of the 2007-08 seasons was that once the magic number count down came into play (I start counting down at 10), that’s when the Mets seem to self-destruct.  On September 14, 2007 the Mets magic number was at 11.  It then took them 6 days to cut the number to 9 while the Phillies trimmed 5 games off the Mets lead.  To be honest, I still have nightmares about the Mets final 17 games of that season in which they won only 5.  One day I’ll write it out just to finally slay the demons that torment me.

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 and 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 for something like this and want to become involved, check out our facebook page or email me.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Help-Start-a-Foundation-or-Fund-for-Cancer-Survivors/108359165870155?ref=ts

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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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