Today I am participating in a progressive game blog put together by United Cardinals Bloggers. Several Mets and Cardinals blogs will each cover an inning of today's game.
I covered the first inning from the Mets' side. Pitchers Hit Eighth will
cover the first inning from the Cardinals' side.
been a Met fan for more than four decades, but today's game will be a new
experience for me. For the first time, when the opposing team gets a hit, I won't
think to myself, "another day without a no-hitter."
Cardinal fans reading this may not realize how
big a deal last night was to Met fans. You've had ten no-hitters, six since the
Mets came into existence in 1962. We had none before last night. And the Mets
are typically a team built around pitching that has played primarily in
to mention the superstar pitchers who have played for the Mets. After taking
three no-hitters into the ninth as a Met, Tom Seaver finally completed one the
year after the Mets dealt him. Nolan Ryan went on throw a record seven
no-hitters after the Mets traded him away. Gooden and David Cone not only
pitched no-hitters after leaving the Mets, but did so for the (ugh) Yankees.
the Mets' latest superstar pitcher, Johan Santana, attempted to come back from
an injury that the conventional wisdom said would mean that he would never be
great again, one of the players traded for him, Philip Humber, pitched a
forgive me, Cardinal fans, if I'm still basking over last night. It only took
8,020 games. And the fact that it was Santana showing he had made it all the
way back makes it even sweeter.
Top of the First Inning
pitcher R.A. Dickey had a sensational May, going 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
and 33 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings. For the season, Dickey is 7-1 with a 3.06
ERA. He's become a big fan favorite since joining the Mets in 2010. This
spring, Dickey was the subject of the documentary "Knuckleball," which follows
Dickey and fellow knuckleballer Tim Wakefield during the 2011 season.
batter Rafael Furcal grounded out to third.
Descalso struck out swinging. Then Matt Holliday came up.
I see Holliday, I think back to when Holliday was a free agent after the 2009
season and signed with St. Louis for $120 million. The Mets signed the
second-best power-hitting left fielder available that year, Jason Bay, for $66
million. At the time, one could argue
that the Mets were making the right financial decision. Of course Holliday was
better than Bay, but was he really worth twice as much?
Actually, Holliday has turned out toe be worth a lot more than twice as much as Bay. Here’s
Holliday and Bay’s WAR from 2010-12, via Fangraphs:
has been on the DL since April 24 and few people seem to care. The Mets were
8-8 with Bay and have been 21-15 since he got hurt.
comes across as a likable sort who always hustles. If Bay had been in left last
night, I have no doubt that he would have crashed into the wall to make the
play as Mike Baxter did. Bay suffered a season-ending concussion crashing into
a wall in July 2010.
as far as contracts go, Bay's helped get Omar Minaya fired.
flied out to left.
only threw seven pitches. I couldn't help thinking of Santana barreling past
his 115-pitch limit last night on the way to 134 pitches.
Bottom of the First Inning
fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off for the Mets. Nieuwenhuis, a rookie hitting .301, is the
main reason few people are that worried about when Bay will return.
struck out swinging.
up was center fielder Andres Torres, who is evidence that Mets GM Sandy
Alderson, now in his second season, remains in his honeymoon period. Alderson
acquired Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan.
is hitting .211 with an OPS of .649. It would be nice if he were simply off to
a bad start, but these numbers are similar to his 2011 numbers of .211 and
.643. Torres' breakout year in 2010 at age 32 looks more and more like a fluke.
Now Torres is 34 and could not make it
through Opening Day without ending up on the DL with a calf injury.
is also a big disappointment so far with a 4.78 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. And now
there's news that he was injured during the celebration after the no-hitter. See, nothing can ever go completely right for
Pagan is off to a great start, hitting .315 with an .821 OPS and 10 steals.
Torres and Dickey, the Mets do hold the distinction of having two players in
the same lineup who are the subjects of new documentaries. "Gigante" is the
story of Torres' struggles with ADHD.
tried to bunt his way on, but not much is going right for him and he bunted
foul. Then he grounded out to first.
third baseman David Wright, the face of the franchise, came up.
in all the excitement over Santana’s no-hitter was Wright's announcement
yesterday that he will not talk about a new contract during the regular
season. Last year, Jose Reyes made the
same announcement and we know how that turned out. Most people around here seem
to feel that the Mets will keep Wright, but you never know until it happens.
hit a ground-rule double to center. The Mets moved their fences in this year
and it's already helped a few more balls go out of Citi Field, but they didn't
move them in enough to help Wright on this at bat, as the ball landed on the
warning track before bouncing over the wall.
baseman Lucas Duda walked on a 3-1 count. The Mets have become a much more
patient team at the plate since the arrival of Alderson and his "moneyball"
baseman Daniel Murphy was up next. With
players like Murphy and Duda in the lineup more for their bats than their
gloves, the late innings of the no-hitter were that much more dramatic. Murphy in
particular can be an adventure in the field. Fortunately for the Mets, it all
flied out to end the bottom of the first.
For the second inning, please go
to Cards 'N Stuff.