Monday, May 4, 2015

Inconsistent Mets have Lost six of their Last Eight

The Mets continued their inconsistent hitting on Sunday as they dropped a second consecutive 1-0 defeat to the hands of the Washington Nationals. Sunday, it was Doug Fister's chance to silent the Mets bats on route to clinching the series win for the Nats.

A week ago after after the Mets fell to their cross-town rival Yankees, it just seemed like a bump in the road that every team has over the course of a 162 game schedule. However, after a 2-5 week that saw the Mets lose to under .500 ball clubs, this stretch has suddenly turned into a unhealthy valley.

Last week when I looked at the Mets schedule, they were starting a stretch where they were going to be playing ten out of their next sixteen games against teams with a losing record. It looked like a chance to build on their surprising 14-5 start. Now, it seems like the Mets are a couple of losses away from being in a big slump.

Eventually, the Mets injuries were going to catch up to them. The Mets have a total of nine players placed on the Disabled List right now including third basemen David Wright and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. I liked the move of calling up Dilson Herrara. I wouldn't be concerned about his .100 batting average as it is a very small sample size to judge him just yet.

It will be interesting to see what Manager Terry Collins does with his pitching rotation if anything this week. With the defending AL East Champions Baltimore Orioles coming to town for a quick two game series, there is an opportunity for the Mets having off days today and Thursday. Currently, Harvey is next scheduled to pitch on Friday against the Phillies. It might be over thinking things a bit to move him up to Wednesday, nevertheless I would be very intrigued if he could dominate American League hitters the same way he does to National League hitters.

The Mets will get back at things tomorrow night when Bartolo Colon will try to get back in the win column. Baltimore will counter with ex Astros pitcher Bud Norris. First pitch is 7:10 ET at Citi Field.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Life as a Sports Fan

Being a sports fan in Canada is not always the easiest. The sports landscape mainly focuses on Toronto sports and besides from Hockey and curling, most of them aren't covered wall to wall they way they are covered in America.

Growing up, my four favorite teams were the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Grizzlies, Seattle Mariners and Green Bay Packers. 

Doesn't seem like a bad combination, since 1993 (the year I was born) these teams have created 4 conference Champions with two Champions. (Packers in 1996 and 2010) It is too bad I was a bit too young to remember the 1996 Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, but for some reason it doesn't bother me. Maybe it's because it doesn't seem right cheering for the Packers. It feels like an easy way out. Feels like I'm cheering for the Red Wings of the NHL or the Celtics of the NBA. Not like there is anything wrong with cheering for these teams but the Packers losing is just as painful and winning is not as rewarding. This could be because this team has a lot of history and I expect the Packers to go far in the playoffs every year. However, until there is a team that is unique to me, there is no point worrying about it. 

Unfortunately, not winning enough Championships isn't the main heartbreak I have. In 2001 the Vancouver Grizzlies vacated the city of Vancouver and headed to Memphis. In 2001 I think I was too young to care. I was still seven years old and at first they kept a similar logo and jersey pattern but since they have altered their colors slightly. Over the years, it didn't keep me from not seeing how they were doing but the team feels completely Memphisized now with their moves and playoff fever in Memphis. It isn't Vancouver's team anymore despite them still being called the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies signing of Vince Carter in the off season hurt because if the Grizzlies would have just drafted Vince Carter in the 1998 draft instead of Mike Bibby, the Grizzlies might still be in Vancouver.

The team I have watched a lot lately is the Phieniox Suns. Up until they traded a lot of their team at the trade deadline, they had a lot of players I enjoyed watching. In addition, I have also been to a game in 2009 that I had a lot of fun at. 

I would get into the Mariners debacle but I don't see the point. They divorced me from my enthusiasm of cheering for them and if cheering for a different team that keeps my stress level down like the Angels, I'm all for it. 

The Canucks have been the only team worth cheering for. Yes, the losing hurts but I love knowing they will always have something interesting going on in the media. No Stanley Cup in 45 years but that shouldn't take away from their remarkable era of hockey where they have made the playoffs in 11 out of the last 14 years.

Over the last few years, I have started to watch a lot of European soccer. Mostly watching the English Premier League and Champions League, I have noticed it is a great cultural experience. With relegation and promotion in the EPL, it makes the entire season so crucial on top of other things. The team I kinda like in the EPL is Tottenham Hotspur. They are knocking on the door of the Champions League but still seem a long ways away. The Spurs are also a big club so the threat of relegation is not very good.

Now that I have completed college I am hoping to be on blog spot way more often doing posts about what topics I feel comfortable with. I really enjoy the numbers of sports and the business side to everything therefore I am really looking forward to it all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mets Go For Series Win Against Marlins

Last night's tough 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins should just be a blip on the radar for the New York Mets as tonight they go for their fifth series win in seven attempts in this young season.

Bartolo Colon will try to right the ship as he puts his perfect record on the line in the rubber game of the three game set. Colon so far this year has made hitters look silly at the plate this year. He has posted a 4-0 record with a miniscule 2.77 ERA. Opponents are batting .224 off him so far.

Despite Colon's promising start, the offense will have to pick up the production if the Mets want to protect Colon's unblemished start to the season. The Mets offense has hit a bit of a bumpy patch in the last few games. All year, the Mets offense has been streaky, therefore we will see if that continues and the Mets can open the flood gates for a crocked number tonight. 

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 ET at Marlins Park. Here's the lineup for the Mets tonight:
Curtis Granderson, RF
Juan Lagares, CF
Lucas Duda, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Eric Campbell, 3B
Wilmer Flores, SS
Kevin Plawecki, C
Colon, RHP

No major changes for tonight, top five remain the usual however Eric Campbell will get the start at 3rd and Kevin Plawecki will get the catching duties while batting eighth.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mets Fans Optimistic After 10-3 Start

The Mets have gotten off to a brisk start to the 2015 season with exceptional starting pitching from the rotation and contrabution from their bullpen which bent but didn't break on Sunday afternoon and hung on for the 7-6 win over the struggling Miami Marlins. 

In addition, Saturday marked the third time in the short season where a different Mets pitcher recorded a save. This might not seem like much however, with RHPJennry Mejia on the 15 Day Dasabiled List, the Mets have proven they can equally help carry the load while Mejia is injured. 

This, and the timley hitting from the Mets hitters has bolted the Mets into an early season first place spot in April. Despite it still being early in the season, the signs are promising. The Mets have the second best run differential in the National League going into to Sunday. Run differential can be a very accurate stat because it paints the picture slightly of if a team is playing one run nail-bitters or winning by a comfortable margin. 

Along with the bullpen, the Starting Pitching has been just as impressive. The Starting Pitching has gone a combined 8-2 mark and has eight quality starts. Bartolo Colon has been a pleasant surprise so far. At age 41, he is pitching like an All-Star. Colon, has been an All-Star three times in his career, in 1998, 2005 and 2013. All three years were with different teams, (CLE, LAA and OAK) and also resulted in playoff baseball for the respective team. 

More importantly, with David Wright sidelined on DL for a bit longer, it will be important that the starting pitching continues its strong start. Travis d'Arnaud has been carrying the load offensivley batting .317 with 2 dingers. d'Arnaud went 2 for 3 Sunday helping his team complete the four game sweep of the last place Marlins. 

The Mets will close out their first home stand of the season as they prepare for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are the only team to win a series off the Mets this year. Therefore, it will be just as big of a test for the Mets as it will be for the Braves. It may be early, but there is still a lot of optimism in the air for both of these clubs that have been a moderate surprise so far.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mets 6, Nationals 3 April 9th

The Mets warped up their first series of 2015 with a decisive 6-3 win over the Nationals. Not only did the Mets clinch their first series win, they also were able to defeat a very good pitcher in Stephen Strasburg. 

In the first 21 innings of the Mets season, their offense only mustered up 4 runs. However, in the top of fourth, the Mets offense busted open with a huge four spot ignited by Michael Cuddyer's RBI single to open the scoring. 

For the third day in a row, the Mets starting pitching was outstanding. Yesterday, it was Matt Harvey's turn to shine in the spotlight. Harvey, went six strong, fanning nine guys while in the mean time only giving up four hits. 

In the sixth Inning, David Wright got in on the fun with a two RBI single to increase the Mets lead to 6-0. 

For the first time in the year, the Mets bullpen gave up runs. Alex Torres was the victim giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh and in the process, his ERA skyrocketed to 54.00. 

In the Bottom of the ninth, the Nationals were able to scrape across one run. Jeurys Familia was able to get Michael Taylor to fly out to end the game and give the Mets the series win. 

Mets open up a three game set in Atlanta tonight at Turner Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 ET. 

1:05 PM ET, April 9, 2015
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 
W: M. Harvey (1-0)
L: S. Strasburg (0-1)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mets 3, Nationals 1 April 6th

Opening Day is special in any sport but for baseball it is extra special. There is optimism in the air, the grass is green and the weather is progressively getting better by the week. Everyone is tied for first place and is hoping that just maybe this could be the Mets year.

This years Opening Day was extra special. Yesterday was the first game of the year for 28 teams and because it was Easter Monday I had nothing to do except watch baseball, watch baseball and watch more baseball all day.

Bartolo Colon was the Mets Opening Day starter. He was very impressive in his outing going six strong and striking out eight. Max Scherzer was equally impressive pitching into the eighth inning giving up three runs despite none of them being earned.

Bryce Harper opened the scoring with a solo home-run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. At this point it looked like one run was going to be enough. Scherzer was on his game and it didn't look like the Mets had an answer. They were hit-less through the first five innings. Fortunately, the Mets took advantage of an error by Ian Desmond that opened the door for Lucas Duba to collect his first hit of the 2015 campaign and in the process knocking home two RBI's.

After the sixth, the Mets bullpen shut the door and had a combined effort from Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins and Buddy Carlyle who came in to record the last two outs of the game to secure his first save of the season.  

The Mets added an extra tally in the seventh thanks to a Travis d'Arnaud triple that plated Juan Lagares to give the Mets an insurance run on route to a 3-1 win. 

After an off day, the Mets and Nationals will go at it again on Wednesday. Jacob deGrom will take the ball for the Mets and Jordan Zimmerman will go for the Nationals.  

4:00 PM ET, April 6, 2015
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 
W: B. Colon (1-0)
L: M. Scherzer (0-1)
S: B. Carlyle (1)


Sunday, April 5, 2015

New York Mets Start New Season Today

The New York Mets begin their year in the nation's capital today as they take on the Nationals in the first game of a three game set.

Last year, the Mets posted a 79-83 record placing them second in the NL East. Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duba led the charge offensively in 2014 while veteran Bartolo Colon led the pitching staff with 15 wins.

I am really looking forward to covering the Mets this year. I have never been to Citi Field but I was fortunate enough to take in a game at Shea Stadium when I was really young. It was the summer of 2000 and my family was on a vacation on the east coast. The Mets were playing a double hitter that day.  Ironically the Mets were playing the then Montreal Expos. New York swept the double hitter on the damp day in July.

Despite  not being a Mets fan, I have always enjoyed it when teams that get overshadowed by bigger teams in the city do well. The New York Mets haven't finished with a better record than the Yankes since 2000. Unfortunately, the Yankees got the last laugh that year defeating the Mets in the World Series in five games.

This year, the Mets look to finish ahead of their cross town rivals and more importantly contend for a NL East division Title in 2015. Here is the projected Mets depth chart for 2015:

Sparting Pitching:           
Bartolo Colon
Matt Harvey  
Jacob deGrom
Jonathon Niese
Dillon Gee

Position Players:
Catcher: Travis d'Arrnaud
1B Lucas Duba
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Right
SS Wilmer Flores
LF Michael Cuddyer
CF Juan Lageres
RF Curtis Granderson
                                                                                Closer Jenrry Mejia 

I predict the Mets will build on their 79-83 record from last year and finish with a competitive 85-77 mark. Terry Collins begins his fifth year as the Mets skipper with ambitions of finishing with above 500. for the first time in his tenure with Mets. The new season gets underway at 4:00 ET today as Bartolo Colon takes the hill for New York. The Nationals will counter with prized free agent accusation Max Scherzer.