Somehow I knew when Daniel Murphy worked the count in the 5th inning to 3 and 2 then struck out on ball in the dirt by his ankles with the bases loaded, the game was lost. The Mets had an 8-2 lead but at Coors Field, I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Archive Page 2
Maybe the Mets and Rockies should just start looking at the calendar and figure out when to make up four games. The weather for the Denver area today, tomorrow, and Thursday all contain the word snow with some very low numbers next to temperature. What options to the two teams have?
Well, they could try to play the first game at least unless the rain or snow is really coming down. The high today is a balmy 46 with rain turning to snow. For the nightcap, the temperature drops to 33. Overall today’s weather is better than what is coming. Tomorrow, the temperature will be lower at 38 with a low of 21 and even worse on Thursday with the high dropping to 34. What a good idea to have a baseball team in Denver with no roof over the ballpark.
The likelihood of the Mets playing four games this week in Colorado is becoming more remote by the hour. Hopefully the Mets can play two, perhaps even one would be better than nothing. With Sunday’s snow-out in Minnesota, the Mets have already lost an off day on the calendar in August. The Mets now end a ten game west coast swing in mid-August with a Monday afternoon stopover at Target Field before returning home to face the Braves. That’s in the midst of a 16 game stretch before the Mets get an off day on August 22nd. I think what we are looking at is a probability where the Mets will get additional home games when Colorado comes to New York in early August. Likely the Mets would be the away team in their own ballpark for one or two games, turning a three game set into a five game series at Citi Field (assuming the Mets can get in a couple games this week in Coors Field). Of course I am just guessing but when you look at both schedules, there does not seem to be a fit for the Mets getting back to Colorado.
On, Thursday May 2, both teams are off. The Mets are on the road between Miami and Atlanta with the Rockies coming from LA to start a home series against the Rays so the teams are very far apart to attempt a one day double header in Colorado. The next opportunity comes on Thursday, May 23 when the Mets have an off day during a home stand. But I cannot see the Mets flying to Colorado for a day trip while the Rockies need to travel to San Francisco for a game the next evening.
On June 10, both clubs off but both are in the middle of home stands. Again, a one day field trip to Denver is highly unlikely.
June 24 is another possibility with both clubs getting a blow but the games would have to be at Citi Field. Both teams are on the east coast. The Mets are finishing up in Philadelphia before heading off to Chicago’s south side to play the White Sox. The Rockies will have just finished a series in Washington before they head up to Boston. Three days later on the 27th, the Rockies could stop off in New York since the Mets are off too awaiting the next day to start a home stand. But in both scenarios, games would have to be played at Citi. Why not just wait till the Rockies are scheduled to be in Flushing anyway in early August?
The other days off in September have the Mets on the east coast while the Rockies are on the west coast. With this afternoon’s game already being delayed because of snow on the field, it is becoming more and more likely that it will be impossible to get four games in this week and very likely the Mets will get some extra home games come August. It will be interesting to see if the Mets can at least get one game in the books before leaving Colorado.
The highest temperature the Mets may see this weekend in Minneapolis is 43° Fahrenheit. (6° Celsius). Ah, the summer game. That’s bad enough but the lowest temperature could be 28° F (-2° C). Sorry but if it’s below freezing at game time… no game. Please, no game. We don’t need Jon Niese hurting his arm throwing in such conditions.
Is it possible NASA could provide a solution for baseball during the global warming age? Oh, I know… those who believe Global Warming is a hoax will say “What global warming, look how cold it is?”
That misunderstanding among the scientifically illiterate is what has caused scientists and politicians to now refer to the crises as Global Climate Change. That’s because there are many that assume if the temperature in their own backyard is cold, global warming cannot possibly be the case. However the term Global Warming is accurate because it refers to the earth’s average temperature, not the temp at game time at Target Field.
The average temperature on the planet is 61° F (16° C). The vast majority of scientists around the world have concluded through empirical evidence that the constant insertion of pollution in the atmosphere from fossil fuels is increasing the average temperature on the planet. An increase of just a single degree can cause (or is causing) catastrophic weather events such as Sandy, devastating tornados in the south, scorched farm land in the Midwest from draught, and some of the most powerful hurricanes and cyclones recorded to date. However, this rise in temperature does not mean palm trees will be adorning the Citi Field plazas anytime soon.
As the average temp rises, the ocean water near the surface heats up and evaporates more quickly, causing more moisture in the atmosphere which in turn provides more fuel to energize storms. Also while areas of the planet experience hotter temperatures other parts will be colder. This was the theme of the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” although it was portrayed poorly and quite inaccurately.
The long term solution is of course to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels and to embrace renewable technology. Other countries are doing this with much more gusto than we seem to be able to do here in the US. Why is that? Could it be related to oil company profits? I guess that suggestion would make me appear cynical.
I could go on but I will spear you the science/political lesson and try to bring this back to baseball.
I know we have had early and late parts of baseball seasons in the past that were cold, rainy, and even snowy. In 1982, the Mets opener in Philadelphia was delayed a day because of a major snowstorm in the northeast. But that was rare. We typically did not see such severe weather every year as we do now. The problem is real and based on facts, not a congressperson’s agenda because oil or coal jobs in the districts he or she represents. Of course baseball is nothing in comparison to when people lose loved ones and their homes as was the case with Sandy and other recent catastrophic storms. But let me attempt to at least lighten the mood a bit.
I always go back to scheduling. There should be no night games scheduled in the northern states till May 1st. Stadiums with roofs and in warmer climates should be utilized more in the early and late part of the season. Games should be postponed if the temp is below 50° F (10° C) to protect the players from injury. All fields should be heated as is the case at Target Field and Citi Field. Perhaps even some regular season games should be played in the Caribbean or Mexico. This has been done in recent years but in the middle of the season which made no sense from a weather perspective. Perhaps it even has come time that the World Series is played at a neutral site, not a decision I would be fond of by the way.
So where does NASA come in?
In the 1960s, NASA had contractors build space suits that could protect astronauts on the lunar surface from temperatures that ran from 226° F to -243.4° F (107° C to -153° C). They came up with an undergarment that had coolant running through tiny tubes throughout the suit. Now granted the coolant circulated through the astronaut’s backpack and I am not suggesting that something so cumbersome be worn during a baseball game. But we are talking about technology developed a half century ago. A lot of advancement has occurred over the last 50 years. Can’t they come up with something that ballplayers can wear under the uniform to help keep them warm?
Wouldn’t you think this should be a national priority? (asked with tongue firmly implanted in cheek)
While the Mets may have won their first two series of the season for the first time since 2006, they were also 4-2 after six games last season. In 2012, the Mets swept the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field to open the season then lost two of three to the Washington Nationals to complete the home stand. Winning series is what it is all about and yesterdays’ steal was a good sign. I have no doubt the Mets would have lost Sunday’s game against the Marlins last season.
In 2006, the Mets defeated the Nationals at Shea Stadium two games to one to open the season. They followed that with a two game sweep over the Florida Marlins and continued streaking to an 8-1 start. Although it might be fun to say the 2013 Mets are the first team to win two series in a row to start the season since the 2006 Division champion Mets, the fact is those Mets only lost one game in their first nine. This year’s club still has a lot to prove if they want to be compared to 2006’s vintage.
How important is it for a team to have a good start?
That’s a silly question. Of course it is important to have a good start. But would you not be happy if your team started at 5-15 but then went 64-21 over the next 85 games. Every game is important. The team with the most wins at the end gets to the post season regardless of when those games are won.
In the magical year of 1969, the Mets were 2-4 after the first six games, winning their opening series and then getting swept by St. Louis. In fact, that year the Mets lost their season and home opener to the brand new Montreal Expos by a score of 11-10. I’ll never forget that game and afterwards if you told me the Mets would ultimately be world champs that season I would have said there’s a room waiting for you at Bellevue.
Forty years ago this season, the Mets started the season also at 4-2. Things were looking good. But injuries abounded, the Mets floundered below .500 for most of the season. Most fans packed it in way before Labor Day but then low and behold, the Mets went nuts in September and won the division on the last day of the season. The ’73 Mets won with the lowest winning percentage in history at .509, just three games over .500. There was a case of not how they started but how they finished. That season the Mets went 20-8 in the month of September on phenomenal pitching.
The Mets were 3-3 to start the season the last time they won the World Series. However, win number three was the beginning of an eleven game winning streak. The Mets never looked back.
In 1988 the Mets were also 3-3 after six. That team should have been better than the ’86 club. They almost were but they won eight fewer regular season games and lost a very disappointing NLCS to the Dodgers.
In 1999 and 2000 the Mets won the wild card having starting those seasons at 4-2 and 3-3 respectively. The latter made it to the World Series to boot.
Here’s another season the Mets got off to a 4-2 start… 1982. Interestingly, those wins would be the first four of just 65 for the entire season.
The point is, it’s nice to get off to a winning start but seriously, you will not know how good the 2013 Mets will be until 40 to 50 games are in the books. For now, none of the pre season predictions have been proved wrong. The Mets of today still have lots of questions and it’s hard to believe this current roster has the talent to make it deep into October. All we can say is they are off to a very good start and are now heading away from Citi Field for a tough ten game road trip.
I’ll keep taking it day by day because regardless of how well or bad any previous Mets team began a season; those clubs have no bearing on how this team will do.
Zach Wheeler went three and a third in his opening day assignment for Las Vegas in Sacramento last evening. He allowed two earned runs on three hits, walking three and striking out three. Wheeler threw 86 pitches, 51 for strikes. The 51s did win the game by a score of 10-5.
Brandon Nimmo went two for three with a walk and scored a run in his debut at Savannah last night. For 2013, the center fielder has moved up to A league from the short season Brooklyn Cyclones.
And in Binghamton, young right hander Rafael Montero pitched 5.2 innings giving up one earned run on two hits. He threw 63 strikes out of 84 pitches fanning eight and walking no one in his first start at double A.
Why play night games so early in the season? Does this really make any sense?
Tonight’s game time temperature is estimated to be 43 degrees dropping to 38 by 10:00PM. Why would any team want to expose their talent to these conditions? Muscles can tighten up causing injuries, perhaps sidelining a player for a few weeks. Remember Tim Leary folks?
Tim Leary was one of the Mets top pitching prospects in the early 1980s. Leary started the third game of the opening series at Wrigley field in 1981. It was a cold, rainy, miserable day. He lasted two innings and left the game with a strained elbow. He was never the same afterwards. It was the last game he started for the Mets that season. By 1985 he was gone from the club. He did manage to hang around baseball through 1994 but he never became the star we all had hoped. Was it the weather that did Leary in back in ’81 or was it just a coincidence? No one will ever know but it probably helped to cause Mets manager Joe Torre to lose his job at the end of the season.
Tonight, Matt Harvey takes the mound. I think everyone will agree that Harvey has the potential to be an ace one day. Certainly the technology is better today than it was 30 years ago so I’m sure the Mets staff will do their best to keep Harvey’s arm lose and warm. But the Mets as an organization could have done more. The thing most obvious in my mind is the schedule. Why in the world are they playing night games so early in the season? I know the Mets are not the only team to do so. Heck, seven miles away the Yankees are doing the same thing.
It is not the earliest day of the year the Mets played a night game but its pretty close. In 1998 and 2003 the Mets played their first home night game on April 2nd. And of course they have played road games early in the season as well. In fact they played a night game on March 30th in 2000 as the home team but that was in the Tokyo Dome.
Years ago, teams in the northern states did not play night games till late April or early May. From 1962 through 1984 the Mets did not play their first home night game until as early as April 16th (’82) and as late as May 6th (’64 and ’66). During most of those years, the Mets did not turn on the lights until the last week of April or first week of May–WHEN THE WEATHER WAS FREAKIN WARM! (spoken in my best Sam Kinison voice)
After the ’84 season, gradually the first Shea night game began to creep up in the calendar. In ’85 the Mets played their first night game at home on April 12th, the earliest ever. Two years later they did it on April 10th and in 1993 the Mets played under the stars on April 9th. The Mets opened their season at home at night in 1995 on April 15th but that was because of the shortened season following the ’94 strike.
In 1996, the Mets played their first home night game on April 5th, the earliest ever up to that point. Two years later and again in 2003, they beat the April 5th date when the Mets played their earliest night game ever on April 2nd. Now it has become pretty much standard that game two of the season at home will be a night game. It’s crazy and makes no sense unless you consider one thing… money! It always boils down to the bottom line.
I assume (just guessing here) that the Mets will make more money tonight from TV revenue airing the game in prime time than they will from the gate. It’s likely the Mets will have a very small crowd this evening, especially with the weather being so cold. Now even if the Mets were playing a day game today, the crowd would likely be small. So you have to figure a small crowd either during the day or at night, from the Mets’ financial perspective, it makes sense to get the TV advertising dollar. Don’t forget, the team owners (Wilpon and Katz) own a big chunk of SNY, the Mets station and they are running a business.
There are a lot of things that can make baseball better. Unfortunately the almighty buck always wins out. Just hope none of the players tonight, on either club, suffer for the team being so short sided.
What happened to the 2012 New York Mets no longer on the roster? I know, who cares? But for those of you wondering where Kelly Shoppach and Garret Olsen are these days, take a look.
Andres Torres re-signed with the San Francisco Giants. Now he and another former Mets center fielder, Angel Pagan, play side by side in the World Champion San Francisco Giants outfield. Yesterday, Torres played left field and went 0-3. Pagan and Torres in the same outfield for the defending champions. Now do you see how important pitching is to winning?
Jason Bay was let go by the Mets last fall. A nice guy who everybody pulled for is now collecting the majority of his salary from the Mets but is playing for the Seattle Mariners. He did not play in yesterday’s opener.
R.A. Dickey, traded to Toronto for Travis d’Arnaud and other prospects starts for Toronto tonight against Cleveland at the Rogers Centre. Updated 4-3, Dickey loses opener giving up four runs including a home run.
Catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, also in the Dickey trade, are both in Buffalo again. Ironically, this time however, they are members of the AAA club of the Blue Jays since the Mets and Jays swapped minor league affiliates.
Mike Pelfrey (P) is scheduled to start Saturday for the Twins vs. Detroit at Minnesota. Big Pelf had Tommy John Surgery last April. I always liked Pelfrey but it was clear he was never cut out for New York. He was non tendered by the Mets over the off season and signed with the Twins. It will be interesting to see how Pelfrey does in a smaller market. It’s possible he could face the Mets next week at Target Field.
Outfielder Scott Hairston who wanted to be an everyday outfielder did not play in the Cubs 3-1 win over Pittsburgh yesterday. However, Hairston did get a two year deal. Seems money was the real motivator after all.
Pitcher Chris Young is a free agent. The Nationals granted him a release in spring training when it was clear Young would not be part of the major league squad. With the loss of Johan Santana for the season, could Sandy Alderson be interested again? We’ll see but the GM has stated the Mets will solve the loss of Santana from within.
Jon Rauch (P) signed as a free agent with the Marlins but did not make an appearance in yesterday’s opener.
DJ Carrasco (P) – whereabouts unknown
Ronnie Cedeno (SS) went 1-3 and scored a run for the Astros in their AL opening night win against Texas. Enjoy the win Ronnie. There may be few this year in Houston.
Miguel Batista (P) signed with Rockies, but was released in spring training.
Manny Acosta (P) signed with the Yomiuri Giants for 2013 in the Japan Central League.
Some less notable players who made brief appearances with the ’12 Mets…
Kelly Shoppach (C) is now with Seattle as the backup catcher to Jesus Montero (I bet Brian Cashman wishes he never made that trade). And like Bay, he did not play last evening either.
Rob Johnson (C) is with the Memphas Red Birds (AAA PCL) in the Cardinals organization.
Vinnie Rottino (LF) is with the Columbus Clippers (AAA INT) in the Indians organization.
Fred Lewis (OF) is with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Japan Central League.
Elvin Ramirez (P) is with the Salt Lake Bees (AAA PCL) in the Angels organization.
Ramon Ramirez (P) is with the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA PCL) in the Giants organization.
Pedro Beato (P) was traded to the Pawtucket Red Sox for Shoppach last season.
Jack Egbert (P) – whereabouts unknown
Garrett Olson (P) listed as with the Oakland Athletics but do not see him on their roster or their triple A affiliate.
There you have it. It amazes me how many players come and go through the course of the season. Wonder which current Mets will make this list next year?